The General Assembly 2022 of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) will be held at the Austria Center Vienna in Vienna, Austria, from 3–8 April 2022. This event includes a number of exciting, mountain-related sessions, including several convened by representatives of the MRI. Abstract submission closes 12 January 2022.

The EGU General Assembly 2022 brings together geoscientists from all over the world to one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. The EGU aims to provide a forum where scientists can present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geoscience.

The last two EGU General Assemblies, Sharing Geoscience Online in 2020 and vEGU21: Gather Online, were organized as virtual meetings due to the COVID-related restrictions. In 2022, the EGU aims once again to provide an on-site experience for those wishing to attend physically, while at the same time developing new concepts to include virtual attendees as much as possible. 

Find out more on the EGU website.

The Mountain Research Initiative at EGU 2022

Global Environmental Change in Mountain Social-Ecological Systems

Convener: Carolina Adler | Co-Convener: Margreth Keiler

Mountains are complex social-ecological systems and natural laboratories in which to tangibly explore and understand how drivers and processes of global change manifest in specific contexts. In this session, we invite interdisciplinary contributions that examine past, present, and future environmental change and associated societal impacts in mountain environments. This session is open to conceptual as well as empirical measurement and/or modelling studies of mountain climate, cryosphere, ecology, hazards, and hydrology, which also incorporate coupled studies on socio-economic dimensions and risks. Mountains as complex terrain can be difficult to adequately parameterize in (climate) models and many areas of the world lack high-elevation monitoring infrastructure that can record data at the relevant locations, densities, scales, frequencies, and resolutions needed. Likewise, there is a need to capture and account for socio-economic changes such as demographic and land-use change and their projections to improve our understanding of how hazards, vulnerability, and exposure interact in terms of impacts and risks. We particularly welcome contributions that describe how steps are being taken to address such knowledge gaps, including high-elevation monitoring efforts, measurements across elevational gradients, climate downscaling strategies and remote sensing innovations, and integration methods that include societal data and information to characterise and represent a more comprehensive systems approach to global change.

This session is supported by the Mountain Research Initiative and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Long-term Interdisciplinary In-situ Observations in the World’s Mountains: Challenges and Opportunities

Convener: Michael Mirtl | Co-conveners: Carolina Adler, Jaana Bäck, James Thornton
The world's mountains hold enormous societal and ecological importance. Long-term efforts to effectively monitor the complex socio-ecological systems that are embedded within such regions – many of which are rapidly changing – are urgently required to understand the driving mechanisms and processes involved, and ultimately develop sound quantitative future predictions and management strategies. Indeed, key trends can be missed if long observations are not sustained. However, the generally rugged, inhospitable, and inaccessible nature of mountainous terrain, coupled with the strong influence of topography on conditions, represent persistent challenges to obtaining informative in-situ mountain observations and sustaining these measurements across the time scales on which many underlying system dynamics operate (i.e. decades, not years). That said, the development of improved environmental sensors and options for their remote management (e.g. direct data transfer), as well as the growth of scientific networks (e.g. LTER and GEO Mountains) and their associated standards, infrastructure (eLTER RI & services like DEIMS-SDR, the GEO Mountain in-situ inventory, etc.), and knowledge sharing opportunities are improving the situation in many regards. In this context, we welcome disciplinary and interdisciplinary contributions related to mountainous regions that summarize persistent monitoring experiences, exploit long-term datasets to answer pressing research questions, and provide ideas on how common challenges associated with the development of formal research infrastructure might be best overcome.

Mountain Weather and Climate

Co-organized by CL2
Convener: Ivana Stiperski | Co-conveners: Dino Zardi, Douglas Maraun, Stefano Serafin, Walter Immerzeel

Mountains cover approximately one quarter of the total land surface on the planet, and a significant fraction of the world’s population lives in their vicinity. Orography critically affects weather and climate processes at all scales and, in connection with factors such as land-cover heterogeneity, is responsible for high spatial variability in mountain weather and climate. Due to this high complexity, monitoring and modeling the atmosphere and the other components of the climate system in mountain regions is challenging both at short (meteorological) and long (climatological) time-scales. This session is devoted to the better understanding of weather and climate processes in mountain and high-elevation areas around the globe, as well as their modification induced by global environmental change.

We welcome contributions describing the influence of mountains on the atmosphere on meteorological time-scales, including terrain-induced airflow, orographic precipitation, land-atmosphere exchange over mountains, forecasting and predictability of mountain weather.
Contributions connected with the TEAMx research programme are encouraged.

Furthermore, we invite studies that investigate climate processes and climate change in mountain areas and its impacts on dependent systems, based on monitoring and modeling activities. Particularly welcome are contributions that merge various sources of information and reach across disciplinary borders (atmospheric, hydrological, cryospheric, ecological and social sciences) and that connect to the Elevation-Dependent Climate Change (EDCC) working group of the Mountain Research Initiative.

Risks From a Changing Cryosphere

Co-sponsored by IACS and IPA
Convener: Matthew Westoby | Co-conveners: Christian Huggel, Michael Krautblatter

The global cryosphere with all its components is strongly impacted by climate change and has been undergoing significant changes over the past decades. Glaciers are shrinking and thinning. Snow cover and duration is reduced, and permafrost, in both Arctic and mountain environments, is thawing. Changes in sea ice cover and characteristics have attracted widespread attention, and changes in ice sheets are monitored with care and concern. Risks associated with one or several of these cryosphere components have been present throughout history. However, with ongoing climate change, we expect changes in the magnitude and frequency of hazards with profound implications for risks, especially when these interact with other aspects relating to context vulnerability, exposure, and other processes of biophysical and/or socioeconomic drivers of change. New or growing glacier lakes pose a threat to downstream communities through the potential for sudden drainage. Thawing permafrost can destabilize mountain slopes, and eventually result in large landslide or destructive rock and ice avalanches. An accelerated rate of permafrost degradation in low-land areas poses risk to existing and planned infrastructure and raises concerns about large-scale emission of greenhouse gases currently trapped in Arctic permafrost. Decreased summertime sea ice extent may produce both risks and opportunities in terms of large-scale climate feedbacks and alterations, coastal vulnerability, and new access to transport routes and natural resources. Furthermore, rapid acceleration of outlet glacier ice discharge and collapse of ice sheets is of major concern for sea level change. This session invites contributions across all cryosphere components that address risks associated with observed or projected physical processes. Contributions considering more than one cryosphere component (e.g. glaciers and permafrost) are particularly encouraged, as well as contributions on cascading processes and interconnected risks. Contributions can consider hazards and risks related to changes in the past, present or future. Furthermore, Contributions may consider one or several components of risks (i.e. natural hazards, exposure, vulnerability) as long as conceptual clarity is ensured. Furthermore, cases that explore diverse experiences with inter- and transdisciplinary research, that sought to address these risks with communities through adaptation and resilience building, are also be considered.

Other Mountain Sessions at EGU 2022

GM7.3 Mountain glaciations: Developments in geomorphology, geochronology, and palaeoclimatology

GM7.2 Erosion, Weathering, and Sediment Transport in Mountain Landscapes

GM7.4 Paleoflood records in a mountainous landscape

GM9.1 Interactions between tectonics, climate and surface processes from mountain belts to basins

AS1.17 Meso-scale convection and disturbances in high-mountain environments | Virtual PICO

GD8.4 Alpine-Mediterranean mountain belts and basins from mantle to surface

NH10.5 Cascading hazards in high mountain regions: process understanding, modeling, and mitigation

HS2.1.4 Mountain hydrology under global change: monitoring, modelling and adaptation | Virtual PICO

TS5.1 How do Earth surface processes, climate, and biodiversity interact during mountain building? | Virtual PICO

SSS11.6 Soil erosion and ecological restoration in the Plateau-Mountain areas

G3.4 Active lithospheric deformation using space (GNSS, InSAR) and marine geodesy: Lessons from mountain belts and volcanic provinces down to earthquakes

GM4.1 Hillslope and fluvial processes and associated source-to-sink fluxes and sedimentary budgets under changing climate and anthropogenic impacts

GM4.3 Geomorphic consequences of land cover dynamics in hillslope environments | Virtual PICO

GM12.2 Geomorphic Impact of 21st Century Climate Change on Landscapes

GM10.3 Cold Regions Geomorphology

GM4.2 Advances in modelling of erosion processes, sediment dynamics, and landscape evolution | Virtual PICO

GM2.2 Assessing and monitoring geomorphic processes across scales

ERE2.1 Energy Meteorology

SSP2.7 Responding to change: Propagation of environmental signals during landscape transience

SSP1.4 Climate and environmental change: Africa’s past, present and future

SSP3.6 Advances in understanding glacial outburst flood processes and dynamics

NH9.9 Natural hazards and urban growth

NH9.8 Estimating and Predicting Natural Hazards and Vulnerabilities in the Himalayan Region | Virtual PICO

HS2.1.5 From snow and glacier hydrology to catchment runoff

NH1.3 Toxic Floods – European summer floods 2021 – heavy rain, flash floods and small river flooding

HS7.2 Precipitation variability from drop scale to catchment scale : measurement, processes and hydrological applications | Virtual PICO

HS6.10 The Third Pole Environment (TPE) under Global Changes

TS7.3 Orogenic styles of the circum-Mediterranean Variscan and Alpine belts: from subduction to exhumation in time and space

CR7.3 Multidisciplinary impacts of glacier decline: shining a light on less conventional consequences of ice loss

CR5.1 Debris covered glacier land systems

CR3.1 Modelling and measuring snow processes across scales | Virtual PICO

CR3.2 Snow avalanche formation: from snow mechanics to avalanche detection

CR2.2 Glacier monitoring from in-situ and remotely sensed observations

SSS9.6 Soil and Water conservation in high-steep slope agricultural landscapes

CR1.3 Observing and modelling glaciers at regional to global scales

CR1.5 Glaciation and climate change in the Andean Cordillera

CR4.5 Subglacial Environments of Ice Sheets and Glaciers

TS7.5 Orogenesis in 4D: deep processes and surface response

TS11.1 Salt and Shale Tectonics : Recent advances and challenges

TS6.3 The spatio-temporal evolution of rift systems and their tectonic imprint on the Wilson cycle

TS7.2 Dynamics and structural evolution of fold-and-thrust belts and accretionary prisms: an interdisciplinary approach

TS13.2 Orogenic Plateaus and Plateau Margins

BG3.11 Forest under pressure: the need to understand causes and mechanisms related to forest vulnerability and dieback phenomena

BG3.7 Mobilization of permafrost material to aquatic systems and its biogeochemical fate

TS1.1 The Arabian Plate and its surroundings – past and present

GD8.3 Central Asian Tectonics –Pamir, Tian Shan and Tibet from Paleozoic to Present

GD5.3 Geodynamics of plate convergence

GD8.1 Linking plate subduction and mantle dynamics in circum-Pacific margins

HS1.1.2 Role of hydrology in policy, society and interdisciplinary collaborations: across disciplines and beyond scientists | Virtual PICO

ST4.2 Nowcasting, forecasting, operational monitoring and post-event analysis of the space weather and space climate in the Sun-Earth system

HS6.2 Remote Sensing for Flood Dynamics Monitoring and Flood Mapping

HS4.1 Anticipation of flash floods and rainfall-induced hydro-geomorphic hazards: short-range observational and forecasting strategies.

NH3.1 Debris flows: advances on mechanics, controlling factors, monitoring, modelling and risk management

Find out more on the EGU 2022 website.

Abstract submission deadline for all sessions 12 January 2022.

Submit an abstract

Cover image by ELG21 from Pixabay.

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