TenCate Geosynthetics

Project Details

Fabric 1

Toptex® GLS 340
Producer/Manufacturer: TenCate Geosynthetics
Primary Use: Main Fabric

Project Manager Name
Davide Panizza (CEO)

Please describe the project specifications

Over the past century, the glaciers in the Alps have been reduced visibly. Measurements on glaciers have shown a reduction of the area by 15% in the period from 1969 to 1998. This trend is ongoing! This reduction is seriously affecting the skiing industry. Lift stations suddenly have no direct access to the glaciers, ski lift pylons loose their stability or are positioned in snow-free zones. More and more rocks are exposed on the slopes, dangerous crevices between the rocks and the snow appear and snow free zones become more common place.

In northern Italy, the Presena glacier has lost more than one third of its volume since 1993. Once the ski season is over and cable cars are berthed, conservationists race to try and stop it melting by using white tarps that block the sun’s rays. This area is continuously shrinking, so TenCate Geosynthetics proposed an innovative solution, to cover as much of it as possible. This covers all of the involved glacier area from melting and also protect it from the summer sunlight.

What is unique or complex about the project?

In 2008 TenCate Geosynthetics developed a glacier protection mat under the brand name of TenCate Toptex® GLS® 340. It reflects sunlight to a considerable degree and ensures a reduction in heat conductivity. Different methods were tested within the framework of a field study conducted by the Institute for Meteorology and Geophysics of the University of Innsbruck, such as snow compaction, water injections, and coverings. The TenCate Toptex® GLS® 340 glacier protection mat turned out to be the best solution. There are other factors which further favor this fleece coverage: its high eco-compatibility, its high strength and its tweaked and water-repellent surface structure. This means that less energy from the air reduces melting. Covering the glacier with the white fleece of special fibers aims to prevent as much snow as possible from melting.

This project is very important, because is eco-sustainable, protects environment, save the glaciers and the skiing industry.

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