Ice Dynamics and Morphological Changes During Proglacial Lake Development at Exploradores Glacier, Patagonia

Irarrazaval, Inigo, Dussaillant, Alejandro, Vivero, Sebastián, Iribarren-Anacona, Pablo and Mariethoz, Gregoire (2022) Ice Dynamics and Morphological Changes During Proglacial Lake Development at Exploradores Glacier, Patagonia. Frontiers in Earth Science, 10 , 791487. pp. 1-17. ISSN 2296-6463 [Article] (doi:10.3389/feart.2022.791487)

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Proglacial lakes are ubiquitous features formed during deglaciarization and are currently increasing in number in Patagonia and elsewhere. Proglacial lakes can affect glacier dynamics, catchment hydrology and have the potential to cause glacial lake outburst floods. Therefore, monitoring the onset and development of proglacial lake formation is relevant to understand glacial processes and anticipate glacier response to climate change. In this study, we integrate geomorphological and ice-dynamic information to assess proglacial lake development in Exploradores Glacier, Chilean Patagonia. We monitor recent spatial and temporal changes in the lower trunk of Exploradores Glacier (10 km2) to provide a 20-year observation record by combining eight uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV) surveys between 2019 and 2020, with high-medium resolution satellite imagery (Rapid Eye and Landsat) between 2000 and 2018. We use feature tracking techniques, digital surface elevation model analysis and field data to create a multi-temporal scale (inter-annual and seasonal) and a multi-spatial (cm to km) data set. Our analysis shows that surface velocity overall trend has not changed over the last 20 years and that surface velocity near the terminus is significant (>10 m a−1). Moreover, an exceptional advance over moraine deposits was detected. We also found low downwasting rates (<0.5 m a−1) close to the glacier terminus which are attributed to sufficient ice flux and the insulation effect of the debris-covered surface. However, hundreds of supraglacial ponds were observed and are currently coalescing and expanding by ice-cliff backwasting favoring glacier disintegration. Lastly, it was found that calving losses at the east marginal lake equaled ice-flux input into the lake for the UAV monitored period. This study contributes to a better understanding of glacial lake dynamics during proglacial lake development, and our results may help ice modelling efforts to predict glacier response to future climate scenarios.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Earth Science, Patagonia, proglacial lakes, supraglacial ponds, ice-cliff backwasting, aerial vehicle, Exploradores Glacier
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 35006
Notes on copyright: Copyright © 2022 Irarrazaval, Dussaillant, Vivero, Iribarren-Anacona and Mariethoz. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2022 09:10
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 09:10

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