Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Tropical glacier meltwater contribution to stream discharge: a case study in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

  • Bryan G. Mark (a1) and Geoffrey O. Seltzer (a2)

Abstract

Discharge measurements, climate observations and hydrochemical samples gathered monthly (1998/99) in the Yanamarey and Uruashraju glacier-fed catchments of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, permit an analysis of the glacier meltwater contribution to stream-flow. These glacier catchments feed the Río Santa, which discharges into the Pacific Ocean. Based on a water-balance computation, glacier melt contributes an estimated 35% of the average discharge from the catchments. For comparison, a volumetric end-member mixing model of oxygen isotopes shows glacier melt contributes 30–45% to the total annual discharge. Based on stream geochemistry, discharge from the Yanamarey glacier catchment provides 30% of the annual volume discharged from the Querococha watershed, which is <10% glacierized. By analogy, the larger Río Santa watershed, also <10% glacierized, receives at least 12% of its annual discharge from melting glacier ice. Tributary watersheds to the Río Santa with larger fractions of glacier cover have less variable runoff and enhanced discharge, demonstrating that the glaciers effectively buffer stream discharge seasonally. With continued glacier melting, stream-flow will likely become more variable, and there will be less dry-season runoff.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Tropical glacier meltwater contribution to stream discharge: a case study in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Tropical glacier meltwater contribution to stream discharge: a case study in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Tropical glacier meltwater contribution to stream discharge: a case study in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Barry, R. G. and Seimon, A.. 2000. Research for mountain area development: climatic fluctuations in the mountains of the Americas and their significance. Ambio, 29(7), 364370.
Chen, J. and Ohmura, A.. 1990. Estimation of Alpine glacier water resources and their change since the 1870’s. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 193 (Symposium at Lausanne 1990 — Hydrology in Mountainous Regions I: Hydrological Measurements; theWater Cycle), 127135.
Clark, I. D. and Fritz, P.. 1997. Environmental isotopes in hydrogeology. NewYork, CRC Lewis.
Collins, D. N. 1978. Hydrology of an alpine glacier as indicated by the chemical composition of meltwater. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialgeol., 13(1–2), 1977, 219238.
Diaz, H. F. and Graham, N. E.. 1996. Recent changes in tropical freezing heights and the role of sea surface temperature. Nature, 383(6596), 152155.
Drever, J.I. 1997.Thegeochemistry of naturalwaters: surface and groundwater environments. Third edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice-Hall.
Dyurgerov, M.B. and Meier, M. F.. 2000.Twentieth century climate change: evidence from small glaciers. Proc. Natl.Acad.Sci. U.S.A., 97(4), 14061411.
Fountain, A. G. and Tangborn, W.. 1985.The effects of glaciers on streamflow variations.Water Resour. Res., 21(4), 579586.
Fountain, A. G., Jansson, P., Kaser, G. and Dyurgerov, M.. 1999. Summary of the Workshop on Methods of Mass Balance Measurements and Modelling, Tarfala, Sweden August 10–12, 1998. Geogr. Ann., 81A(4), 461465.
Francou, B., Ribstein, P., Sémiond, H., Portocarrero, C. and Rodríguez, A.. 1995a. Balances de glaciares y clima en Bolivia y Perú: impacto de los eventos ENSO. Bull. Inst. Fr. Étud. Andines (Lima), 24(3), 661670.
Francou, B., Ribstein, P., Saravia, R. and Tiriau, E.. 1995b. Monthly balance and water discharge of an inter-tropical glacier: Zongo Glacier, Cordillera Real, Bolivia, 16° S. J. Glaciol., 41(137), 6167.
Francou, B., Ramírez, E., Cáceres, B. and Mendoza, J.. 2000. Glacier evolution in the Tropical Andes during the last decades of the 20th century: Chacaltaya, Bolivia and Antizana. Ecuador. Ambio, 29(7), 416422.
Haeberli, W., Frauenfelder, R., Hoelzle, M. and Maisch, M.. 1999. On rates and acceleration trends of global glacier mass changes. Geogr. Ann., 81A(4), 585591.
Hastenrath, S. and Ames, A.. 1995. Diagnosing the imbalance of Yanamarey Glacier in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. J. Geophys. Res., 100(D3), 51055112.
Hastenrath, S. and Kruss, P. D.. 1992. The dramatic retreat of Mount Kenya’s glaciers between 1963 and 1987: greenhouse forcing. Ann. Glaciol., 16,127133.
He, Yuanqing, Yafeng, W. H., Theakstone, Shi and Tandong, Yao. 2001.The isotopic record at an alpine glacier and its implications for local climatic changes and isotopic homogenizationprocesses. J. Glaciol., 47(156), 147151.
Hodgkins, R. 2001. Seasonal evolution of meltwater generation, storage and discharge at a non-temperate glacier in Svalbard. Hydrol. Processes, 15, 441460.
Hounslow, A. 1995. Water quality data-analysis and interpretation. Boca Raton, FL, Lewis Publishers.
Kaser, G. 1995. Some notes on the behavior of tropical glaciers. Bull. Inst. Fr. Etud. Andines (Lima), 24(3), 671681.
Kaser, G. 1999. A review of the modern fluctuations of tropical glaciers. Global Planet. Change, 22(1–4), 93103.
Kaser, G. and Georges, C.. 1997. Changes of the equilibrium-line altitude in the tropical Cordillera Blanca, Peru, 1930–50, and their spatial variations. Ann. Glaciol., 24, 344349.
Kaser, G. and Osmaston, H.. 2002.Tropical glaciers. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Kaser, G., Ames, A. and Zamora, M.. 1990. Glacier fluctuations and climate in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Ann. Glaciol., 14, 136140.
Kuhn, M. and Batlogg, N.. 1998. Glacier runoff in Alpine headwaters in a changing climate. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 248 (Symposium at Meran/Merano 1998 — Hydrology, Water Resources and Ecology in Headwaters), 7988.
Mosley, M. P. and McKerchar, A. I.. 1993. Streamflow. In Maidment, D. R., ed. Handbook of Hydrology. NewYork, etc., McGraw-Hill Inc, 8.18.39.
Oerlemans, J. 1994. Quantifying global warming from the retreat of glaciers. Science, 264(5156), 243245.
Östling, M. and Hooke, R.LeB.. 1986.Water storage in Storglaciären, Kebnekaise, Sweden. Geogr. Ann., 68A(4), 279290.
Piper, A. M. 1944. A graphic procedure in the geochemical interpretation of water analyses. AGU Trans., 25, 914923.
Ribstein, P., Tiriau, E., Francou, B. and Saravia, R.. 1995.Tropical climate and glacier hydrology: a case study in Bolivia. J. Hydrol., 165(1–4), 221234.
Röthlisberger, H. and Lang, H.. 1987. Glacial hydrology. In Gurnell, A. M. and Clark, M. J., eds. Glacio-fluvial sediment transfer: an alpine perspective. Chichester, etc., JohnWiley and Sons, 207284.
Sharp, M., Brown, G. H., Tranter, M., Willis, I. C. and Hubbard, B.. 1995. Comments on the use of chemically based mixing models in glacier hydrology. J. Glaciol., 41(138), 241246.
Stichler, W. and Schotterer, U.. 2000. From accumulation to discharge: modification of stable isotopes during glacial and post-glacial processes. Hydrol. Processes, 14(8), 14231438.
Tangborn, W.V., Krimmel, R. M. and Meier, M. F.. 1975. A comparison of glacier mass balance by glaciological, hydrological and mapping methods, South Cascade Glacier, Washington. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 104 (Symposium at Moscow1971 — Snow and Ice ), 185196.
Thompson, L. G. 2000. Ice core evidence for climate change in the Tropics: implications for our future. Quat. Sci. Rev., 19(1–5), 1935.
Vuille, M. and Bradley, R. S.. 2000. Mean annual temperature trends and their vertical structure in the tropical Andes. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27(23), 38853888.
Wagnon, P., Ribstein, P., Francou, B. and Pouyaud, B.. 1999. Annual cycle of the energy balance of Zongo Glacier, Cordillera Real, Bolivia. J. Geophys. Res., 104(D4), 39073923.
Wagnon, P., Ribstein, P., Francou, B. and Sicart, J. E.. 2001. Anomalous heat and mass budget of Glaciar Zongo, Bolivia, during the 1997/98 El Niμo year. J. Glaciol., 47(156), 2128.
Wilson, J., Reyes, L. and Garayar, J.. 1967. Geología de los cuadrangulous de Mollebamba, Tayabamba, Huaylas, Pomebamba, Carhuaz u Huari. Serv. Geol. Minería Bol. 16, 95.
Young, G. J. 1982. Hydrological relationships in a glacierized mountain basin. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 138 (Symposium at Exeter 1982 — Hydrological Aspects of Alpine and High Mountain Areas), 5159.

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed