Aiguille du Midi - France

Basic Information

Site Name: 

Aiguille du Midi

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General Site Description: 

High mountain granite peak at 3750 m above Chamonix, in the French Alps. The site dominates a glacial environment, with the Vallée Blanche-Mer de Glace to the Est and North. The site is made of two peaks: the Western peak is accessible by cable car, whereas the monitoring activities are performed on the Central peak.


General Characteristics, Purpose, History

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Purpose of Site : 

Aiguille du Midi is the main observing site for high mountain permafrost on rock faces in the Alps: three subhorizontal boreholes were drilled on rock faces of different aspect (NE, NW, S) and equipped with thermistor chains for rock temperature monitoring, rock sub-surface temperature is measured as well. The Aiguille du Midi is the central station of a broader observation network of rock faces dynamics, including a permanent rockfall inventory and periodic Lidar and geophysical surveys of selected rock faces. The site serves also for calibration of permafrost distribution models in rock slopes.

History of Site: 

Rock surface temperature measurements started in 2005 and was completed by climatic measurements on rock faces in 2006. Three subhorizontal boreholes were drilled to 10 m depth in 2009, on various aspect, and equipped for automated rock temperature monitoring. Periodic geophysical surveys, mianly ERT, are performed since 2008. Extensometers were installed in 2012 on fractures.

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Latitude: 45.878403000000
Longitude: 6.887625000000