This subproject is led by Prof. Dr. Michael Becht and apl. Prof. Dr. Tobias Heckmann at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. Dr.-Ing. Livia Piermattei was our project investigator from Jan 2019 until October 2020.
This subproject deals with the propagation of small-scale, local changes, for example increased sediment yield from hillslopes due to deglaciation: Will detached sediment reach the main channel, and will river discharge be strong enough to transport it further towards the catchment outlet ? Or will the sediment be stored in storage landforms, at the slope foot, or in the floodplains where the transport capacity of the river is not high enough ? What kind of changes can we observe in the main rivers between 1850 and today – are they incising, or are the floodplains aggrading ? The structure of the system could even change, through the formation of a new lake following ongoing glacier retreat.
Together with all subprojects, we aim at answering the question of how sensitively the study areas have reacted and are reacting to climate change. A combination of sensitive/active and well-coupled subareas would render the study area highly sensitive, while low activity and/or poor connectivity would indicate an insensitive system.