INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Recent mass balance changes of the Agua Negra glacier in the Desert Andes of Argentina
MASIOKAS MARIANO; TEC. ASOCIADO JUAN PABLO SCARPA; PITTE PIERRE; LIC. LUCAS RUIZ; LIC. HERNÁN GARGANTINI
JOURNAL OF GLACIOLOGY
INT GLACIOL SOC
Lugar: London; Año: 2021
The Desert Andes, in northern Argentina and Chile, contain >4500 ice masses but only a handful are currently monitored. We analysed Agua Negra, a small mountain glacier, with remote sensing and in situ measurements. Between 1959 and 2019 the glacier lost 23 % of its area and the glaciological measurements for 2014-2021 show an average annual mass balance of -0.52 m w.e a-1, with 0.80 and -1.33 m w.e. a-1 mean winter and summer balance. The ELA was 5100±100 m a.s.l., which indicates an AAR of 0.28±21. Longer term geodetic data, from SRTM X-band and PLEIADES satellite data showed a doubling of the mass loss rate, from 0.32±0.03 m w.e. a-1 in 2000-2013, to -0.66±0.06 m w.e. a-1 in 2013-2019. Comparatively, the mass losses at the Jáchal river basin (25500 km²), derived from ASTER data, were les negative, 0.11±16 m w.e a-1 for 2000-2012 and -0.17±14 m w.e. a-1 for 20122018. Finally, climate data shows a warming since 1979 and a decline in snow accumulation. The ongoing extreme drought affecting this region since 2009 is enhancing the mass loss and highlights the importance of sustained monitoring of glaciological and hydro-meteorological variables in this extensive arid and mountainous region.