VIRTUAL FIELDWORK

Moiry Valley

Valais, Switzerland
  • supraglacial environment and processes (e.g. debris, meltwater, crevasses)
  • glacier retreat and landscape change (especially paraglacial reworking)
  • landforms of glacial erosion
  • landforms associated with weathering and mass wasting in mountains
  • the impact of humans on the landscape
Moiry valley virtual field trip

Overview

The north-facing Moiry Valley (Val de Moiry) is located at the head of the Grimentz Valley in the canton of Valais in SW Switzerland. The virtual field trip starts at the Moiry Dam, which is at 2250 m asl, although there is currently only one stop here. The remaining stops are all upvalley from the car park at the end of the road (~2340 m asl), following a path that climbs the eastern slopes to 2470 m asl, before descending onto the glacier surface. The surrounding peaks all exceed 3000 m asl, with the highest (Grand Cornier; 3962 m asl) located at the head of the valley. The Moiry Glacier (Le Glacier de Moiry) is the only glacier in this valley.

This virtual field trip provides an opportunity to explore the surface of the Moiry Glacier, with a number of supraglacial features clearly visible. The surrounding geomorphology is also impressive, and there is clear evidence for more extensive glacier positions in the recent past. From the mid-19th Century onwards, glacier positions are also recorded on topographic maps (available from swisstopo via the link below).

There are many opportunities for using this virtual field trip in class for teaching and assessment. To help you get started, a worksheet is available (see below), and the intention is to add others in due course.

The imagery for this virtual field trip was acquired in June 2017. There are plans to extend this resource when time and finances allow.

UPDATE

Additional imagery was collected in June 2019, and this has now been added to the virtual field trip. It extends the resource up the western side of the valley. There was a lot of snow on the ground, which limited what we were able to achieve in the field. However, there are some excellent moraine-related sites to be enjoyed (Sites 20-30). In due course, drone imagery (video) will be added. Watch this space!

Start of Virtual Field Trip

Moiry Valley Virtual Field Trip

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Google Earth file (.kml)

Download this file if you want to view the virtual field trip stops within Google Earth. KML files can also be used in other applications and web services, including SwissTopo.

Spreadsheet (.csv)

Download this file if you want to view the virtual field trip stops within GIS software, such as ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, QGis etc. Can also be used in Google Earth.

SwissTopo website

Access to current and historic mapping, as well as other data, from the Swiss national mapping service. TIP: You can drag KML files onto the map

Swiss Glacier Monitoring website

Length variation measurements for the Moiry glacier.

Moiry Valley Worksheet 1 (.pdf)

This worksheet is aimed at introductory university level students, although it can probably be used in schools and colleges with minor modifications. Time to complete estimated at 3-4 hours. Further guidance is available in the worksheet. Teachers and lecturers are welcome to contact the author for additional support. Minor update in March 2019.
Dr Des McDougall

Dr Des McDougall

I'm a Physical Geographer at the University of Worcester (England, UK). Interests include mountain glaciers, mountain geomorphology and Quaternary environmental change. I'm also interested in the use of virtual reality in teaching.

Can you help?

In order to support the ongoing development of this site, it would be really helpful if you could let me know why and how you use the resource. I’d also appreciate hearing any ideas you may have for improvements. Thank you!

ABOUT

This website allows you to explore glaciers and glaciated landscapes using virtual field trips. High quality, 360 degree interactive panoramas (panospheres) allow you to look all around and zoom in on features of interest – a bit like Google Streetview ©.

© VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes by Derek McDougall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International License.

Last updated: February 2019