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Stubacher Sonnblickkees (Extensive)

Operators: (1) Hydrological Service Salzburg (HDS), (2) Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics (Z_GIS)
Supporters: Hydrological Service Salzburg; Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
DEIMS-SDR Database: Stubacher Sonnblickkees
Contact: (1) Hans Wiesenegger, (2) Bernhard Zagel

Site description

Stubacher Sonnblickkees is a long- range research site with a main focus on the measurement of the annual mass balance, going along with water budget estimations within the catchment area of the lake Weißsee. Funding is provided by the HDS and Lebensministerium (in the past also by the University of Salzburg).

Stubacher Sonnblickkees (SSK) – not to be mixed up with the Rauriser Sonnblick area with the met observatory - is located in the Hohe Tauern Range (Eastern Alps) in the south of Salzburg Province. From 1964 to 1981, the yearly mass balance was calculated by direct measurements. Based on these records of 17 years, a semi-direct method is used since then.

From the beginning in 1964 until 2013 Heinz Slupetzky, University of Salzburg, carried out the mass balance and related glaciological measurements as the principal investigator and as an adviser since then. - The usual and necessary link to the climate and climate change is given by the weather station at the Rudolfshütte (ZAMG and HDS). Great efforts are under way to continue the series and to guarantee a long-term monitoring of the mass balance and volume change of SSK. The mass balance record was the first one established in the Hohe Tauern region and is one of the two dozen longest series worldwide.

For more than 20 years the Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics (Z_GIS) has supported the research activities and monitoring programmes at Sonnblickkess in many ways: Monitoring glaciers with various data capture and photogrammetric methods as well as geospatial analysis workflows are the key contributions.

In recent years, the glacier has fast disintegrated, forced by the formation of a periglacial lake – named Unterer Eisboden See - at the glacier terminus. The processes are monitored by HDS in cooperation with Salzburg University. Modern and classical methods e.g. multi-temporal (aerial) photography, repeated terrestrial laser-scanning as well as bathymetry are used in an interdisciplinary approach to document the development of the lake. - Additionally, parameters like precipitation, temperature, water level, discharge and conductivity are registered. Regular daily water level fluctuations are monitored. The recent lake also represents the development of a new ecosystem, monitoring is going on too.


  • Fischer, A., M. Stocker-Waldhuber, B. Seiser, B. Hynek and H. Slupetzky (2014): Glaciological Monitoring in the Hohe Tauern National Park, ecomont, 6/1,55-62.

  • Slupetzky, H., A. Fischer: Gletschertagebuch, ORF Wien

  • Slupetzky H., H. Wiesenegegger, M. Geilhausen (2013): Formation of glacial lakes – a recent dynamik   process in the Hohe Tauern National Park. 5th Symposium for Research in Protected Areas 10th to 12th June, 2013 in Mittersill (Austria): 821-828.

  • Slupetzky, H., N. Slupetzky, H. Wiesenegger (2012): Gletscher und ihre Spuren beim Stubacher Sonnblickkees. In: Naturkundliche Exkursionen Bd. 2 HOHE TAUERN.

  • Slupetzky, H., Wiesnegger, H. (2005): Glazialhydrologische Aspekte des Jahres 2003 im „Hohe Tauern Einzugsgebiet“ der Salzach. In: Mitteilungsblatt des Hydrographischen Dienstes in Österreich Nr. 83, Wien: 61 - 81

  • Slupetzky, H. (2004): Die Rudolfshütte (2.304 m) in den Hohen Tauern – die zweithöchste ganzjährig besetzte Synopstation in Österreich. Jb: Festschrift 100. Jahresbericht des Sonnblickvereins f. d. Jahr 2002. 6 Fotos, Wien 2004: 48 – 51

  • Slupetzky, H. (1997): Die Gletscher auf den topographischen Karten 1:5000 im Gebiet der Nationalpark-forschungsstelle Rudolfshütte (Stubachtal, Hohe Tauern) von 1990 (mit 5 Farbkarten 1:5000 als Beilage). In: Wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen Nationalpark Hohe Tauern, Band 3; mit 4 Abbildungen, 7 Tabellen. Matrei in Osttirol:137-162.

  • Slupetzky, H. (1989): Die Massenbilanzreihe vom Stubacher Sonnblickkees 1958/59 bis 1987/88. Die Berechnung der Massenbilanz 1980/81 bis 1987/88 (und 1958/59 bis 1962/63). In: Zeitschrift für Glet­scher­kunde und Glazialgeologie, Band 25, Heft 1; mit 1 Foto, 14 Tabellen und 6 Abbildungen. Innsbruck: 69-89.

  • Slupetzky, H, (1975): Untersuchungen zur Massenbilanz eines Hanggletschers. Ergebnisse und Schlußfolgerungen aus der Messreihe 1963/64 bis 1971/72 vom Stubacher Sonnblickkees (Hohe Tauern). In: Zeitschrift für Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie, Band. X; mit 22 Abbildungen und 5 Tabellen. Innsbruck: 1 - 69.

  • Slupetzky, H. (1974): Informations on the IHD-Project "Upper Stubach Valley" and some results concerning mass balance studies on the Stubacher Sonnblick Glacier (Hohe Tauern, Austria). In: IHD-Activities in Austria 1965 - 1974. Report on the International Conference on the Results of the International Hydrological Decade, 2. - 14. Sept. 1974 in Paris; with 2 figs. Vienna: 54‑60.

  • Wiesenegger, H., H. Slupetzky (2009): Der Untere Eisboden - See. Entstehung eines Gletschersees beim Stubacher Sonnblickkees. Mitteilungsblatt des Hydrographischer Dienstes Österreich Nr. 86: 49-63