651-3561-00L  Cryosphere

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersM. Huss, D. Farinotti, H. Zekollari
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


651-3561-00 VKryosphäre2 hrs
Tue16:15-18:00CAB G 11 »
M. Huss, D. Farinotti, H. Zekollari

Catalogue data

AbstractThe course introduces the different components of the cryosphere - snow, glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice and lake ice, and permafrost - and their respective roles in the climate system. For each subsystem, essential physical aspects are emphasized, and their dynamics are described quantitatively and using examples.
ObjectiveStudents are able to
- qualitatively explain relevant processes, feedbacks and relationships between the different components of the cryosphere,
- quantify and interpret physical processes, which determine the state of the cryospheric components, with simple calculations.

In the course "Cryosphere", the competencies of process understanding, modeling, data analysis & interpretation and measurement methods are taught, applied and examined. System understanding is taught and examined.
ContentThe course provides an introduction into the various components of the cryosphere: snow, glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice and lake ice, permafrost, and their roles in the climate system. Essential physical aspects are emphasized for each subsystem: e.g. the material properties of ice, mass balance and dynamics of glaciers, or the energy balance of sea ice.
Lecture notesHandouts will be distributed during the teaching semester
LiteratureBenn, D., & Evans, D. J. (2014). Glaciers and glaciation. Routledge.
Cuffey, K. M., & Paterson, W. S. B. (2010). The physics of glaciers. Academic Press.
Hooke, R. L. (2019). Principles of glacier mechanics. Cambridge University Press.

Further literature will be indicated during the lecture.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesfostered
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingfostered
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersM. Huss, D. Farinotti, H. Zekollari
Typeend-of-semester examination
Language of examinationGerman
RepetitionA repetition date will be offered in the first two weeks of the semester immediately consecutive.
Mode of examinationwritten 90 minutes
Written aidsSämtliche Vorlesungsunterlagen und Notizen.
Distance examinationIt is not possible to take a distance examination.

Learning materials

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Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


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Offered in

Earth and Climate Sciences BachelorAdvancedWInformation
Earth and Climate Sciences BachelorElectivesWInformation
Earth Sciences MasterGlaciology: Compulsory CoursesW+Information
Environmental Sciences BachelorEnvironmental PhysicsWInformation