Next Article in Journal
Modeling and Analysis of an Echo Laser Pulse Waveform for the Orientation Determination of Space Debris
Previous Article in Journal
Boundary Layer Height as Estimated from Radar Wind Profilers in Four Cities in China: Relative Contributions from Aerosols and Surface Features
Previous Article in Special Issue
Glacier Mass Balance in the Nyainqentanglha Mountains between 2000 and 2017 Retrieved from ZiYuan-3 Stereo Images and the SRTM DEM
Open AccessArticle

60 Years of Glacier Elevation and Mass Changes in the Maipo River Basin, Central Andes of Chile

Institut für Geographie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, D-910158 Erlangen, Germany
Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), ETH Zurich, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
Centre for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones (CEAZA), CL-1720256 La Serena, Chile
School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics (IDYST), University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad Austral, CL-5110566 Valdivia, Chile
Dirección General de Aguas, Ministerio de Obras Públicas, CL-8340687 Santiago, Chile
Universidad de Magallanes, CL-6210427 Punta Arenas, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1658;
Received: 13 April 2020 / Revised: 11 May 2020 / Accepted: 13 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryospheric Remote Sensing III)
Glaciers in the central Andes of Chile are fundamental freshwater sources for ecosystems and communities. Overall, glaciers in this region have shown continuous recession and down-wasting, but long-term glacier mass balance studies providing precise estimates of these changes are scarce. Here, we present the first long-term (1955–2013/2015), region-specific glacier elevation and mass change estimates for the Maipo River Basin, from which the densely populated metropolitan region of Chile obtains most of its freshwater supply. We calculated glacier elevation and mass changes using historical topographic maps, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements (TanDEM-X), and airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) digital elevation models. The results indicated a mean regional glacier mass balance of −0.12 ± 0.06 m w.e.a−1, with a total mass loss of 2.43 ± 0.26 Gt for the Maipo River Basin between 1955–2013. The most negative glacier mass balance was the Olivares sub-basin, with a mean value of −0.29 ± 0.07 m w.e.a−1. We observed spatially heterogeneous glacier elevation and mass changes between 1955 and 2000, and more negative values between 2000 and 2013, with an acceleration in ice thinning rates starting in 2010, which coincides with the severe drought. Our results provide key information to improve glaciological and hydrological projections in a region where water resources are under pressure. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacier mass balance; glacier elevation changes; mountain glaciers; central Andes; LiDAR; InSAR glacier mass balance; glacier elevation changes; mountain glaciers; central Andes; LiDAR; InSAR
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Farías-Barahona, D.; Ayala, Á.; Bravo, C.; Vivero, S.; Seehaus, T.; Vijay, S.; Schaefer, M.; Buglio, F.; Casassa, G.; Braun, M.H. 60 Years of Glacier Elevation and Mass Changes in the Maipo River Basin, Central Andes of Chile. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 1658.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop