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Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Climate Geography

MOdel- and Remote Sensing-based Analysis of glacier-related Natural Hazards in the Tien Shan mountains - MORSANAT



Climate change impacts in Central Asia pose severe threats to local communities and water resource management. In this sensitive region, no integrated analysis and cryospheric process understanding exists that provides an inventory of glacier-related hazards and other climate change impacts. The project MORSANAT aims to develop, test and apply a modeling and analysis toolkit that uses change detection approaches based on novel Terra SAR-X and Sentinel satellite data for the inventory of glacier-related hazards (glacial surges, rapid growth of proglacial lakes, instable moraines) and snow-water equivalent assessments. We will make use of existing modeling schemes and further advance these to model glacier change despite the highly non-linear character and limited observational data.

The project further involves energy and mass balance modelling of glaciers. Therefore, techniques of downscaling atmospheric numercial data are indispensable.

MORSANAT is an interdisciplinary project incooperating expertise on remote sensing from University of Potsdam, the COSIMA glacier model (HU Berlin), the High Asia Refined Analysis atmopheric dataset (Technische Universität Berlin (TU)), further dynamical and statistical downscaling approaches (TU, GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)), and observational data from glacier sites in Central Asia from GFZ.

The project integrates core competencies of several Geo.X partners including radar and optical remote sensing, atmospheric downscaling, energy and mass modelling of glacial systems, processing of large datasets, field observations, and uses the strategic involvement of GFZ in Central Asia via the Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG).





  • The project duration covers 2 years: December 2016 until November 2018



Cooperation parnters


For project related publications please see the climate geography publication list.