Karthaus summerschool


Course information

Course content

The course provides a basic introduction to the dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets with a focus on ice-climate interactions. Topics include (depending on instructor availability):

- continuum mechanics,
- kinematics,
- ice rheology,
- sliding and hydraulics,
- numerical modelling,
- polar meteorology,
- ice-ocean interaction,
- ice cores,
- interaction of ice sheets with the solid earth,
- glacier fluctuations,
- etc.


The course will be held in Karthaus, which is a charming old village in the Schnalstal, about 20 km northwest of Merano, northern Italy. The logistic centre, where all meals will be served and where the crowd gathers in the evening, is hotel Goldene Rose, run by Paul Gruener. Some of the participants will stay in this hotel, many will be housed in good-quality pensions within a 2-minute walk. All participants should check in at Goldene Rose. Students will be asked to share double bedrooms.

There are splendid hiking trails directly from the village of Karthaus. Check e.g. the Schnallstal website for some suggestions. Hotel Goldene Rose has a sauna that can be used by the participants.


The program starts on Wednesday morning and ends ten days later on Friday evening. Arrival and departure are thus on Tuesday and Saturday. Lectures will be given in the morning and exercises (including computer projects) in the afternoon. An excursion will be organised to nearby glaciers, if weather permits. On the first day, the students will each give a 3 minute presentation in which they present themselves to the group. On the last day the students present their computer projects to the students and lectures. Most lecturers will be present during the entire length of the course to guarantee close interaction between students and lecturers. The lecturers are also supervising the projects and exercise sessions.

The lecturers will prepare lecture notes wich will be made available on the website.

The course corresponds to 3 EC credit points.

Lecturers in 2023 include I. Hewitt, N. Karlsson, O. Eisen, F. Pattyn, R. Winkelman, M. Bentley, J. Oerlemans, B. Keisling, C. Tijm-Reijmer (convenor).


The course is meant for early stage Ph.D. students that work on a glaciology-related climate project. Some places are available for junior scientists. The course can accomodate 36 students. Prior detailed knowledge/background in glaciology is not a prerequisite but preference will be given to students with stronger math/numerical background.