Glaciares de Chile


“Slope estimation influences on ice thickness inversion models: a case study for Monte Tronador glaciers, North Patagonian Andes”


Zorzut V., L. Ruiz, A. Rivera, P. Pitte, R. Villalba  and Medrzycka D. (2020).  Journal of Glaciology 1–10.

Resumen / Abstract.

Ice volume of glaciers is a key variable to quantify water resources in mountain regions, sea-level changed and to link surface and subglacial topography, which is a prerequisite for ice-flow modeling studies. There are several methods to infer the total volume of glaciers: so-called scaling approaches, parameterization studies, and physically models based on ice flow and mass conservation. Here we took advantage of ice thickness measurements, detailed surface elevation and ice surface velocity data for Monte Tronador glaciers to analyze the impact of surface slope calculation in the ice thickness distribution and glacier ice volume calculation using surface velocity inversion methods. The dependency of the inversion model to the way surface slope is calculated was tested using three different approaches. Although, glacier volume estimation (4.851 km3 – 4.230 km3) do not change considerable along different approaches, there are strong difference on the ice thickness distribution. Our best approach, both in terms of ice thickness distribution, time consumption and freedom from non-systematic errors was compared with recently non-calibrated published ice thickness distribution. We found that a great source of errors/discrepancy could be associated to the glacier inventory used. Finally, we discuss the impact of using a calibrated and non-calibrated volume-area scaling approach for Monte Tronador glaciers.