New insights into the decadal variability in glacier volume of a tropical ice cap, Antisana (0°29′ S, 78°09′ W), explained by the morpho-topographic and climatic context

Rubén Basantes-Serrano, Antoine Rabatel, Bernard Francou, Christian Vincent, Alvaro Soruco, Thomas Condom, Jean Carlo Ruíz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present a comprehensive study of the evolution of the glaciers on the Antisana ice cap (tropical Andes) over the period 1956-2016. Based on geodetic observations of aerial photographs and high-resolution satellite images, we explore the effects of morpho-topographic and climate variables on glacier volumes. Contrasting behaviour was observed over the whole period, with two periods of strong mass loss, 1956-1964 (-0.72 m w.e. yr-1) and 1979-1997 (-0.82 m w.e. yr-1), and two periods with slight mass loss, 1965-1978 (0.10 m w.e. yr-1) and 1998-2016 (-0.26 m w.e. yr-1). There was a 42 % reduction in the total surface area of the ice cap. Individually, glacier responses were modulated by morpho-topographic variables (e.g. maximum and median altitude and surface area), particularly in the case of the small tongues located at low elevations (Glacier 1, 5 and 16) which have been undergoing accelerated disintegration since the 1990s and will likely disappear in the coming years. Moreover, thanks to the availability of aerial data, a surging event was detected on the Antisana Glacier 8 (G8) in the 2009-2011 period; such an event is extremely rare in this region and deserves a dedicated study. Despite the effect of the complex topography, glaciers have reacted in agreement with changes in climate forcing, with a stepwise transition towards warmer and alternating wet-dry conditions since the mid-1970s. Long-term decadal variability is consistent with the warm-cold conditions observed in the Pacific Ocean represented by the Southern Oscillation index.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4659-4677
Number of pages19
JournalCryosphere
Volume16
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam and the Laboratoire Mixte International GREAT-ICE ( http://www.great-ice.ird.fr/ , last access: 30 July 2019) led by the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD). We acknowledge the Service National d'Observation GLACIOCLIM ( http://glacioclim.osug.fr/ , last access: 30 July 2019) and the contribution of the Labex OSUG@2020 (Investissements d'Avenir – ANR10 LABX56). Special thanks to the institutions that provided access to the aerial photographs and meteorological observations: the Ministerio del Ambiente, Agua y Transición Ecológica (MAE), the Empresa Pública Metropolitana de Agua Potable y Saneamiento de Quito (EPMAPS) and the Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (INAMHI). We acknowledge Etienne Berthier (CNRS, LEGOS) for the Pléiades Glacier Observatory initiative via the French Space Agency (CNES) ISIS programme, which facilitated access to Pléiades data. ERA5 reanalysis data were acquired through the Copernicus Climate Change Service implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Comments and suggestions from the two anonymous reviewers and editors helped improve the manuscript.

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam and the Laboratoire Mixte International GREAT-ICE (http://www.great-ice.ird.fr/, last access: 30 July 2019) led by the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD). We acknowledge the Service National d'Observation GLACIOCLIM (http://glacioclim.osug.fr/, last access: 30 July 2019) and the contribution of the Labex OSUG@2020 (Investissements d'Avenir - ANR10 LABX56). Special thanks to the institutions that provided access to the aerial photographs and meteorological observations: the Ministerio del Ambiente, Agua y Transición Ecológica (MAE), the Empresa Pública Metropolitana de Agua Potable y Saneamiento de Quito (EPMAPS) and the Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (INAMHI). We acknowledge Etienne Berthier (CNRS, LEGOS) for the Pléiades Glacier Observatory initiative via the French Space Agency (CNES) ISIS programme, which facilitated access to Pléiades data. ERA5 reanalysis data were acquired through the Copernicus Climate Change Service implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Comments and suggestions from the two anonymous reviewers and editors helped improve the manuscript. Financial support. This study was funded by the Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam and the Service National d'Observation GLACIOCLIM (http://glacioclim.osug.fr/, last access: 30 July 2019) through the Laboratoire Mixte International GREAT-ICE led by the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Rubén Basantes-Serrano et al.

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