Evaluating the impact of the Central Chile Mega Drought on debris cover, broadband albedo, and surface drainage system of a Dry Andes glacier

Podgorski, Julian; Petlicki, Michal; Fernandez, Alfonso; Urrutia, Roberto; Kinnard, Christophe


In recent years, Chile has experienced an extraordinary drought that has had significant impacts on both the livelihoods of people and the environment, including the Andean glaciers. This study focuses on analyzing the surface processes of Universidad Glacier, a benchmark glacier for the Dry Andes. Multiple remote sensing datasets are used alongside a novel spectral index designed for mapping of rock material located on the glacier's surface. Our findings highlight the precarious state of the glacier, which serves as a crucial water source for the region. The glacier exhibits locally varied debris accumulation and margin retreat. The most significant impacts are observed on the tongue and secondary accumulation cirques, with the latter at risk of disappearing. The debris cover on the tongue is expanding, reaching higher elevations, and is accompanied by glacier retreat, especially at higher altitudes. The equilibrium line is rapidly shifting upglacier, although the mid-season snow cover still frequently reaches the 2013 equilibrium line, even in 2020. Changes in stream density on the glacier tongue indicate an increased water supply in this area, likely due to enhanced melting of glacial ice. These observed processes align well with meteorological data obtained from reanalysis products. The behavior of dust and debris is influenced by precipitation amount, while the rate of retreat is linked to air temperature.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:001088888300001 Not found in local WOS DB
Volumen: 905
Editorial: Elsevier
Fecha de publicación: 2023


Notas: ISI