101-0289-00L  Applied Glaciology

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersD. Farinotti, A. Bauder, M. Werder
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


101-0289-00 GApplied Glaciology2 hrs
Wed08:00-09:35HIL E 8 »
D. Farinotti, A. Bauder, M. Werder

Catalogue data

AbstractThe course transmits fundamental knowledge for treating applied glaciological problems. Topics include climate-glacier interactions, glacier ice flow, glacier hydrology, ice avalanches, and lake ice.
ObjectiveThe objectives of the courses are to:
- learn about fundamental glaciological processes, including glacier mass balance, ice dynamics, and glacier-related hazards;
- apply the above knowledge to some case studies inspired by contract-works performed at ETH's Glaciology section;
- generate the own computer code to solve the above case studies, and interpret the results;
- understand, both in class and in the field, the practical relevance of glaciology, with a focus on the Swiss applications.
ContentThe course will develop along the following outline:
- How glaciology became a scientific discipline
- Glaciology and hydropower
- Glacier mechanics and ice flow
- Gravitational glacier instabilities
- Glacier hydrology and glacier lake outbursts
- Lake ice and ice bearing capacity
- Field excursion to Jungfraujoch
- Discussion of the exercises performed during the semester
Lecture notesDigital lecture handouts will be distributed prior to each class.
LiteratureLinks to relevant literature will be provided during the classes.
Prerequisites / NoticeCompleted BSc studies. Basic knowledge in computer scripting in any language (e.g. Python, R, Julia, Matlab, IDL, ...) will be advantageous for solving the exercises. The exercises will be performed in groups. A minimal level of fitness is required for the field excursion.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesassessed
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Cooperation and Teamworkassessed
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsassessed
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management assessed

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits4 credits
ExaminersD. Farinotti, A. Bauder, M. Werder
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationThe graded semester performance consists of a set of individual test cases to be addressed in small groups. Solving the exercises will require some computer scripting. The results will be discussed during the last hour of the semester.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


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Offered in

Atmospheric and Climate Science MasterMinor in Physical GlaciologyWInformation
Civil Engineering MasterMajor in Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources ManagementWInformation
Earth Sciences MasterGlaciology: Courses of ChoiceWInformation
Physics BachelorElectivesWInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterMinor in Physical GlaciologyWInformation