INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Small glacier mass balances in the dry Central Andes of Argentina-Chile.
CABRERA, G.A.; LEIVA, J.C.
JOURNAL OF GLACIOLOGY
INT GLACIOL SOC
Lugar: CAMBRIDGE; Año: 2012
Very small glaciers (<1 km2) are an underrepresented glaciated area of the Earth. However, their sizes are typical of the arid Central Andes between 33° and 20° S and at 40006000 m a.s.l. A five-year mass balance series is presented for four small glaciers in the arid Central Andes of Argentina and Chile, located at 30° S and 4900-5500 m a.s.l. On the Argentinian side, Conconta Norte and Brown Superior glaciers are located in Cordillera Colangüil, a minor local mountain range. On the international border, 83 km north-northwest, there is Los Amarillos glacier, and nearby on the Chilean side, Amarillo glacier. Many glacierets exist in the region, some receding rapidly and disappearing; two of these, located in Cordillera Colangüil, are also studied in this paper. A new operative definition of glacieret is discussed and proposed for Andean dry areas. Glacier mass balances were determined by the glaciological method, with one spring field mission to obtain the winter balance, and another in autumn to obtain the summer balance, every year. Annual balances were negative for all the glaciers during the study period, 2007/2012. Ablation stake displacement was also measured. The cumulative mass variation calculated with the glacier volumes obtained by ground-penetrating radar surveys is -22.5% on average for the two Colangüil zone glaciers and -13.2% on average for the two border zone glaciers. The strong negative balances are compared with World Glacier Monitoring Service data and discussed as local evidence of the current warming climate..