Glaciares de Chile


"Mass balance investigations at Glaciar Chico, Southern Patagonia Icefield Chile"

Rivera, A (2004) : «Mass balance investigations at Glaciar Chico, Southern Patagonia Icefield Chile» PhD thesis, University of Bristol, UK, 303 pp.

Resumen / Abstract.

The Southern Patagonia Icefield (SPI) is the largest temperate ice mass at mid-latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, and an area where most glaciers have been retreating during the last 50 years. Based on field data, vertical aerial photographs and satellite images, the changes experienced by Glaciar Chico, are presented. These glacier variations are compared to climatic changes recorded in Patagonia during recent decades through modelling of the glacier mass balance, using a degree-day factor model forced with climatic and field data. The main aim of this work is to analyse the mass balance of Glaciar Chico, in order to distinguish climatically driven glacier behaviour from that which could be related to ice dynamics. Between the end of the Little Ice Age and the middle of the 20th Century the glacier retreated at relatively low rates, but in recent decades there has been an acceleration in the rate of ice thinning and area loss of up to 0.33 ± 0.22 km² a-1. In total, the volume lost due to frontal retreat and area change between 1975 and 2001 is -1.73 ± 1.43 km³ water equivalent (w. eq.).