INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
Overview of natural hazards affecting forested areas in the Patagonian Andes
CASTELLER A.; VILLALBA R.; STOFFEL M.; CRESPO S.; ARANEO D. C.; LUCKMAN B.H.; BEBI P.; GONZALEZ M.; CORVALÁN E.
Encuentro; IAI CRN 2047 Science Meeting: Documenting, understanding and projecting changes in the hydrological cycle in the American Cordillera.; 2013
Natural hazards affect infrastructure and threaten human lives in diverse mountainous regions around the world. In order to reduce their associated risks, it is crucial to have information on the temporal and spatial patterns of the hazards affecting a region. In populated regions like the Swiss Alps, documentary records of past events cover several centuries and can provide detailed information on event characteristics. In contrast, in most mountainous regions with recent human settlement, past records of natural hazards are short, scarce and fragmentary. In these areas, tree rings can serve as a precise tool for reconstructing spatio-temporal patterns of different natural hazards with annual resolution, thus complementing written records. An overview of natural hazards affecting forested areas in the Patagonian Andes will be presented; the hazards considered here include: snow avalanches, rockfalls, flash floods and volcanic eruptions. Advantages and limitations of the tree-ring based methodology will be discussed. Finally, a brief description of a recently funded project aiming to study avalanche-forest interactions in mountainous regions of Chile (Andes), Switzerland (Alps) and Nepal (Himalayas) will be presented.