Glaciares de Chile


"A potential high-elevation ice core site at the Southern Patagonian Icefield"

Schwikowski, M.S .Brütsch, G. Casassa & A. Rivera (2006) : «A potential high-elevation ice core site at the Southern Patagonian Icefield» Annals of Glaciology, 43, 8 – 13.

Resumen / Abstract.

The Patagonia icefields constitute a unique location in the Southern Hemisphere for obtaining non-polar paleo-records from ice cores south of 45° S. Nevertheless, no ice-core record with meaningful paleoclimate information has yet been obtained from Patagonia. This deficiency is due to extremely harsh field conditions, and to the fact that the main plateaus of both Hielo Patagónico Norte (HPN; northern Patagonia icefield) and Hielo Patagónico Sur (HPS; southern Patagonia icefield) are strongly affected by meltwater percolation. In order to explore the suitability of high-elevation glacier sites at HPS as paleoclimate archives, three shallow firn cores were retrieved covering the altitude range 1543–2300ma.s.l. The glaciochemical records from the two lower sites confirm the presence of superimposed ice, a clear sign of meltwater formation and percolation. In the core from 2300 m, the glaciochemical signature appears to be preserved, indicating that no significant melting occurred. Although there might be problems associated with wind erosion and extreme melt events, there is good potential for well-preserved paleo-records within glaciers in the Patagonia icefields located higher than 2300 m.