Glacier Mass Balance and Climate in the South American Andes

An example from the tropics and a long-term and large scale concept for the Southern Patagonia Icefield
  • Georg KaserEmail author
Part of the Series of the Centro de Estudios Científicos book series (SCEC)


The spatial distribution of the energy balance and the rotation of the Earth cause zonal atmospheric circulation patterns. The South American Andes are an almost uninterrupted N-S stretching barrier to these main currents, reaching from the tropics into the trade winds, the westerlies and the subantarctic circulation patterns and causing more or less sharp climate contrasts. Consequently, glacier mass balance regimes vary within short E-W distances and the related glacier fluctuations provide a highly informative tool for studying present and past atmospheric circulation systems. First studies on this matter from the Cordillera Blanca, Perú, show the possibilities of climate-glacier studies in the Andes. In addition, the present paper proposes the design of a large scale and long-term mass balance program on the Southern Patagonia Icefield.


Trade Wind Atmospheric Moisture Glacier Mass Balance Equilibrium Line Altitude Outlet Glacier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für GeographieUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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