/ GlacierHistory

Pasterze - History

Austria's most popular glacier at the foot of Großglockner - Austria's highest mountain. Pasterze is the largest part of a combined mountain glacier system in the Austrian Alps (Hohe Tauern) with several accumulation basins and valley glaciers. The total area of Pasterze Glacier is 16.3 km² (2012) and covers and altitudinal range from 2100 to 3500 m a.s.l.. The 5 km long distinctive glacier tongue is partly covered by a 5-20 cm thick debris layer, exposed to SE and draining into the Möll river. Geophysical surveys in 1998 revealed a maximum ice thickness of 320 m and a mean ice thickness of 64 m. Mass balance measurements were carried out between 1979/80 and 1996/97 and resumed in 2004/05. The mean annual mass loss of the entire investigation period is -0.9 m w.e. a-1 and -1.1 m w.e. a-1 for the last decade. Geodetic mass balances show a mean mass loss of 0.56 m w.e. a-1 between 1969 and 1998 and 1.21 m w.e. a-1 between 1998 and 2012.

Time series of mass balance measurements of Pasterze [m. w.e. a-1]

Net mass balance [mm w.e.] 2015/16 of Pasterze and Wasserfallwinkelkees

Mean annual decrease of ice thickness [m/a] of Pasterze (left) 1969 - 1998 (right) 1998 - 2012