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Article

Glacier Changes in the Semi-Arid Huasco Valley, Chile, between 1986 and 2016

1
Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE), Heidelberg University, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2
Department of Geography, South Asia Institute (SAI), Heidelberg University, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110429
Received: 30 July 2020 / Revised: 23 October 2020 / Accepted: 26 October 2020 / Published: 29 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Variability and Landscape Dynamics in Mountain Ecosystems)
In the semi-arid and arid regions of the Chilean Andes, meltwater from the cryosphere is a key resource for the local economy and population. In this setting, climate change and economic activities foster water scarcity and resource conflicts. The study presents a detailed glacier and rock glacier inventory for the Huasco valley (28–29° S) in northern Chile based on a multi-temporal remote sensing approach. The results indicate a glacier-covered area of 16.35 ± 3.06 km2 (n = 167) and, additionally, 50 rock glaciers covering an area of about 8.6 km2 in 2016. About 81% of the ice-bodies are smaller than 0.1 km2, and only four glaciers are larger than 1 km2. The change analysis reveals a more or less stable period between 1986 and 2000 and a drastic decline in the glacier-covered area by about 35% between 2000 and 2016. The detailed assessment of six subregions indicates a more pronounced glacier decrease in the vicinity of the Pascua Lama mining project. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacier change; Chilean Andes; water resources; Pascua Lama; Norte Chico glacier change; Chilean Andes; water resources; Pascua Lama; Norte Chico
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hess, K.; Schmidt, S.; Nüsser, M.; Zang, C.; Dame, J. Glacier Changes in the Semi-Arid Huasco Valley, Chile, between 1986 and 2016. Geosciences 2020, 10, 429. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110429

AMA Style

Hess K, Schmidt S, Nüsser M, Zang C, Dame J. Glacier Changes in the Semi-Arid Huasco Valley, Chile, between 1986 and 2016. Geosciences. 2020; 10(11):429. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110429

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hess, Katharina, Susanne Schmidt, Marcus Nüsser, Carina Zang, and Juliane Dame. 2020. "Glacier Changes in the Semi-Arid Huasco Valley, Chile, between 1986 and 2016" Geosciences 10, no. 11: 429. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110429

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