INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
The Glacier Inventory of the Central Andes of Argentina (31°-35°S)
LIDIA FERRI HIDALGO; LAURA ZALAZAR; MARIANO CASTRO; PIERRE PITTE
Congreso; American Geophysical Union (AGU); 2015
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
The National Law for protection of glaciers in Argentina envisages the development of a National Inventory of Glaciers. All glaciers and periglacial landforms which are important as strategic water resource must be properly identified and mapped.Here we present a detailed and complete glacier and rock glacier inventory of the Central Andes of Argentina between 31° and 35°S. This semi-arid region contains some of the highest mountains of South America and concentrates the second most glacierized area in Argentina after the Patagonian Andes.To develop the inventory, we used remotely sensed data and related techniques complemented with field surveys. Clean ice and perennial snowfields were identified applying an automatic extraction method on medium spatial-resolution images. Debris-covered and rock glaciers were manually digitized on higher spatial-resolution images. With minor modifications, the present digital inventory is consistent with GLIMS standards. For each glacier, we derived 38 database fields, adding five specific attributes for rock glaciers, which are not included in the original GLIMS database.In total we identified 8069 glaciers covering an area of 1768 km2. Debris-covered ice and rock glaciers represent 57% of the total inventoried area. In this region, rock glaciers are a common feature in the arid landscape and constitute an important water reserve at regional scale. Many glaciers were characterized by gradual transition from debris-covered glaciers, in the upper part, to rock glaciers, in the lower sector. The remaining 43% includes clean ice glaciers and permanent snowfields. These are mostly mountain and valley-type glaciers with medium-to-small sizes. This detailed inventory constitutes a valuable contribution to the ongoing global efforts (e.g. WGI, RGI and GLIMS) to map the world's glaciers. It is also the base for ongoing glaciological, climatological and hydrological studies in this portion of southern Andes.