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Glacier area changes in the central Chilean and Argentinean Andes 1955–2013/14

  • JEPPE K. MALMROS (a1), SEBASTIAN H. MERNILD (a2) (a3), RYAN WILSON (a4), JACOB C. YDE (a3) and RASMUS FENSHOLT (a1)...
Abstract

To improve our knowledge of glacier area changes in the central Chilean and Argentinean Andes (32°9′S–33°4′S), two new glacier inventories from 1989 to 2013/14 are compared with a reinterpreted inventory from 1955. Comparisons show glacier area retreat of 30 ± 3% since 1955, decreasing from 134 to 94 km2 in 2013/14, whilst the annual rate of area loss showed a small increase (insignificant) between the periods of 1955–1989 and 1989–2013/14. Separate analysis of the 1989 and 2013/14 inventories, including a larger sample, revealed a higher rate of glacier change compared with the smaller samples of these inventories. Additionally, an analysis at ~5 year intervals for six major glaciers (1955–2013) indicates large variability in response times and area loss magnitudes. Glacier Olivares Alfa, for example, lost 63% of its ice area, while the Juncal Norte Glacier lost only 10% (1955–2013). The findings from this study improve our current knowledge base concerning widespread glacier decline in the southern Andes, and furthers monitoring efforts in this poorly described region of the world, a region containing vital water resources for populated areas in South America.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Jeppe Kjeldahl Malmros <vwh636@alumni.ku.dk>
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Journal of Glaciology
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