Theses glaciology

Current research projects of the Professorship of Glaciology are at the basis of the available Bachelor and Master's theses. The topics are offered primarily for students of Earth Science, Physics, Computational Science, Environmental Science, as well as Environmental Engineering, Geospatial Engineering, and Civil Engineering. Interested students are required to contact the persons indicated under “Contact Details” (see project descriptions below) before registering in ETH’s myStudies-portal.

ETH Zurich uses external pageSiROP to publish and search for scientific projects. Student topics in glaciology listed in SIROP are:

Investigation of a one-of-a-kind, long-term sediment discharge dataset from Fieschergletscher, Switzerland

Glacier erosion is key in the development of mountain landscapes such as the Alps. The eroded bedrock is transported from underneath the glacier by meltwater. This study looks at the sediment evacuation rates from Fieschergletscher and how they evolve as the glacier retreats. Show details 

Investigating an accident on Corbassière Glacier using an ice flow model.

Glacier models are commonly applied to investigate past and future ice volume evolution, runoff, or hazards scenarios. 3D glacier models also permit to track trajectories of objects buried within the ice. This thesis aims to investigate the spatio-temporal trajectory of the remains of an unfortunate Show details 

Where in Antarctica should we look for the world’s oldest ice?

So far, the quest for finding old ice on the Antarctic ice sheet has mostly relied on vertical deep drilling efforts. However, in some of the ice sheet’s blue ice areas, old ice directly appears at the surface. Will you help us identifying where to find the world’s oldest surface ice? Show details 

Unhealthy and out of shape: deciphering the slow response of glaciers to climate change

Glaciers respond slowly to changing climatic conditions. In this thesis, you will investigate which glacier characteristics are mainly responsible for this lagged response: is it their size, their steepness, and/or a combination of other factors? Show details 

Mapping glacier extents from changes in Earth’s surface elevation

Glaciers are shrinking globally, losing both thickness and surface area. Outlining glaciers is instrumental to robust observational and modelling efforts, but is complex due to the fast retreat. This project aims at assessing time-varying positions from recent elevation change observations. Show details 

Terrestrial LiDAR and UAV-based photogrammetry for monitoring of slope displacements

Monitoring unstable slopes is a core task of operational slope monitoring. However, ground -based geophysical tools such as radar and lidar are still rarely used to fulfil this task. This project explores how terrestrial lidar compares to UAV-based photogrammetry for monitoring landslides. Show details 

Flotation-event at the snout of Rhonegletscher

In September 2021 part of the glacier tongue of Rhonegletscher that was remaining subaquatic in the proglacial lake suddenly floated. Such rare events are not well understood and buoyancy consideration of the uplifted ice mass could give more insights. Show details 

The topics are usually advertized as Master's theses, but might be suited for Bachelor theses or Project Works as well. This can be clarified upon request. Similarly, the topics are tagged as "Earth Sciences" but the works are open to students from all Departments as far as their study-direction allows. For further information or own project ideas, please contact Prof. Daniel Farinotti.   

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