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Recent behaviour of Glaciar Upsala, a fast-flowing calving glacier in Lago Argentino, southern Patagonia

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Sequential optical images of high spatial resolution were used for the first time to derive surface ice velocities of Glaciar Upsala, a fast-moving fresh-water calving glacier in southern Patagonia. Cross-correlation methods applied to four Landsat ETM+ images acquired in 2000–01 yielded average velocities of around 1600 m a-1, similar to values measured in the field in November 1993. The derived velocities show almost no seasonal variation for the analyzed calving termini. During the period of satellite coverage, clear readvances were detected in the autumn–winter period, followed by recessions during summers. Between 24 April 1999 and 14 October 2001, the glacier front has been fluctuating seasonally within about 400 m, in contrast to the previous dramatic recession. During the last 2.5 years, Glaciar Upsala west terminus had a net advance of around 300 m. In addition, the available satellite images allowed us to determine recent calving speeds and confirm the improved calving-rate/water-depth relationship, recently proposed by incorporating new data from Patagonian glaciers.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-01-01

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  • 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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