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Inventory of glaciers in isla Riesco, Patagonia, Chile, based on aerial photography and satellite imagery

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A glacier inventory for península Córdova, isla Riesco, Chilean Patagonia (53°14' S,73°00' W), has been compiled based on stereoscopic interpretation of aerial photographs of March and December 1984 and 1:100 000 topographic maps. Three small icefields comprising 33 glacier outlets, in addition to 12 small separate glaciers, have been identified, with a total area of 57 km2. Glaciers are located on mountain peaks with a maximum altitude of 1183 m and a lowermost elevation of 100 m. All glaciers terminate on land, except for three glaciers calving into small fresh-water lakes. A Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) image of 6 October 1986 has been rectified and analyzed using a supervised classification to estimate snow- and glacier-covered surfaces. Glacier-area data derived from satellite-image analyses have been adjusted at península Córdova using photo-interpreted data, and extrapolated to estimate a glacier area of 215 ± 40 km2 for all of isla Riesco. The presence of trimlines and moraines beyond the present position of the glaciers indicates a generalized retreat from a maximum neoglacial position at península Córdova, most probably as a result of regional warming and precipitation decrease observed during the last century.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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