Innsbruck Doctoral College (IDC) “Natural Hazards in Mountain Regions”


Interdisciplinary field trip to the region of Zugspitze 

We would like to invite you to a two-day interdisciplinary field trip to the region of Zugspitze, which will take place on 27.10.2022 and 28.10.2022.


The two-day interdisciplinary field trip leads to the western Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) of Außerfern, Tirol and Upper Bavaria, Germany. The program will start with a stop at Fernpass for a brief geological overview of rockslides and rock avalanches within the western NCA. Then, we will continue to the river Lech, where the participants of the field trip will have the opportunity to study and discuss (i) natural, (ii) controlled (hydroelectric power plant Höfen, Reutte), and (iii) renatured segments of the river Lech. Talking sediment, risk, and tourism management at the last river in Austria with uncontrolled parts will give interdisciplinary insights in highly controversial topics. In the afternoon of the first field trip day, we will continue to the Environmental Research Station at Zugspitze, Schneefernerhaus, where we will get insights in state-of-the-art research of permafrost and rock (in)stabilities at the top of Germany and where we will also stay for the night.

The second day of the field trip will give detailed insights in the Eibsee rock avalanche, both from a geological point of view discussing the catchment area and rock types and from an integrated geomorphic, geophysical and sedimentological point of view focusing on the deposits. Following up on rock avalanche deposits, the field trip continues to the lakes Plansee and Heiterwang, where debris flow deposits and activities as well as accompanied hazard assessment will be discussed. On the way around lake Plansee we will furthermore investigate the geotechnical installations and infrastructure-/ risk management approaches to mitigate the threat of natural hazards.

The lake-site visit allows a follow-up half day “hands-on” workshop at the Austrian Core Facility in Innsbruck using the current state-of-the-art analysing techniques (Multi-Core-Scanner, XRF core scanner, Mastersizer 3000) to facilitate cross-disciplinary research. 


The main proposed stops of the field trip are:

  • River Lech – Sediment, risk, and tourism management along the last uncontrolled river in Austria (guided by Jakob Siedersleben, experts from EWR Reutte and others)
  • Summit region of Zugspitze – Insights in ongoing research of permafrost and rock stability at the top of Germany (guided by Riccardo Scandroglio, TUM)
  • Lake Eibsee – Rock avalanche and paleolake Eibsee (guided by Sibylle Knapp, TUM)
  • Lakes Plansee and Heiterwang – Debris flow hazard and consequences (guided by Marcel Ortler and Carolin Kiefer, TUM)



Figure 1: (a) Digital terrain model of the area between Zugspitze summit, lake Eibsee, and the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The red stippled line marks the extent of the Eibsee rock avalanche deposit, the bold red line the main scarp of the rock avalanche. The red arrows show the main track of the event. Modified from Haas et al. (2014). (b) Proposed route for the IDC field trip 2022, starting in Innsbruck and going to Außerfern, Austria and Upper Bavaria, Germany.


The interdisciplinary exchange of members (student AND scientist board) of the IDC Natural Hazards in Mountain Regions is our main goal for this fieldtrip! Expenses (transport, accommodation, etc.) are covered with funds from the IDC Research Grant 2022.

The group size is limited to 25 participants. If you want to participate, please send a registration email to Anna containing the following information (no later than 31.07.2022!):

  • Name, Surname, Matriculation Number
  • Affiliation (Institute, Department or Research Group)
  • Research Topic
  • (Special Dietary Requirements)

Note: Members of student and scientist board of the IDC Natural Hazards in Mountain Regions are prioritised with their registrations for the field trip. If spots remain available, also students and scientists from other IDC's or departments are welcome to join. Feel free to ask for available spots!


We are looking forward to many of you joining in October!

All the best, 
your field trip organising team

Clemens Hiller, Andreas Huber, Roy Molenaar, Marcel Ortler, Jakob Siedersleben, and Anna-Katharina Sieberer

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