Modeling the impact of climate change on the Crysophere in two contrasted mountains Trollaskagi (Iceland) and The Pyrenees (Spain): EXPLORE THE PAST

Project facts

Project promoter
Complutense University of Madrid
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 6,561
The project is carried out in:

More information


The knowledge of the Iberian Peninsula mountain Cryosphere evolution process is still very limited but also the absolute dating of its chronology is self-contradictory. The purpose of this project is to provide a multidisciplinary point of view of the environmental effects produced by the climate change in the Cryosphere (snow cover, glaciers and frozen ground -permafrost), by analyzing case studies of two areas of particular sensitivity to climate change; Trollaskagi, Northen Iceland and The Pyrenees, in Northern Spain. The specific objective is to obtain an chronology of the paleoenvironmental and paleoclimate situations in both regions through the application of suitable dating methods. Complutense University of Madrid, will contribute its know-how and many years of experience in studying the Cryosphere degradation processes. The collaboration with the donor partner, Icelandic Institute of Natural History, will provide valuable information about the processes of evolution of the cryosphere. The international scientific community would acquire an integrated research model for Cryosphere evolution and land use planning.

Summary of project results

For the last thousands of years the Earth's climate has suffered drastic changes, passing through several thermal and rainfall pulses which had been recorded as glacier fluctuations in high mountain areas at different latitudes. In view of the need of future scenarios about climate warming, it is highly relevant to determine the relationship between these variations in the cryosphere and the evolution of the atmospheric dynamics that produced them. On the other hand, the current degradation. The effects of these changes have been deeply studied in West and Central Europe, but not in some Northern European Regions and the Mediterranean countries. Something similar occurs on Northern Icelandic mountains, where primary results are currently being obtained and seem to be difficult to compare with the other areas. This project has been focused, for the first time, on studying two European mountain areas to understand the global Cryosphere evolution and prevent the effects of climate change, located in extreme regions, in order to fill this important scientific gap. The methodology applied for the project has integrated several techniques that analyse aspects of hydrology, climate, meteorology, topography, ground physics, liquid state physics, glaciers, snow, permafrost, sediments, geomorphology, the dynamics of landscape and land use planning. This methodology had facilitated the research by integrating results in a common data base linked to a GIS. The cornerstone of the project has been the collaboration among researchers from Spain and Iceland, working in several key areas in Tröllaskagi Mountains. Papers and conferences are being presented at national and international forums and articles are being written to be published in international scientific journals. Until this moment, 7 communications have been exposed in International Congress. All of them will be the origin of International Journals papers, Which are in process and will be send to the journals along the next year. The main beneficiaries of the project have been the Scientific Community and the Territorial planning institutions. The main benefit is the advance in the knowledge about the origin of cryosphere evolution.

Summary of bilateral results

A strong relationship has been established between Research teams of the Complutense University and the Icelandic Institute of Natural History. Several of their members are collaborating in common projects. The wider effects of the partnership has been to reach very important scientific objectives, thanks to the collaboration, which are going to be published in important Scientific Journals and transmit to the community. This project has been a new step in the long history of collaboration between the two research teams. The present project has offered training activities for students from institutions of both countries associated with the research. There are now several students who are completing their senior undergraduate projects, and studying for Masters Degrees related to the methodologies and techniques used in the project, who are committed to continue this research in their thesis project. Besides, Complutense University and the Icelandic Institute of Natural History are preparing the application of several proposal to the Horizon2020 opportunities in the European Union context.