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Variations of Glaciar Coronas, Pyrenees, Spain, during the 20th century

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Glaciar Coronas is one of the small cirque glaciers located in the Maladeta Range, central Spanish Pyrenees. The ice extends from 3220 to 3065 m a.s.l. Using early and modern photographs and aerial photographs, we study the evolution of the glacier during the 20th century, with particular focus on evaluating the variations in area, ice thickness and the withdrawal of the ice front.This information is compared with some basic climatic data (quarterly and annual evolution of temperatures and precipitation) recorded in the nearby Seira observatory.The results show that ice wastage, clearly associated with the main regional climatic evolution, has been dominant during the 20th century at Glaciar Coronas, but the rate has varied and has not been continuous. Three periods have been detected: (1) 1920s-early 1960s: ice depletion period; (2) early 1960s-mid-1980s: stabilization of the deglaciation process; (3) mid-1980s-1998: marked ice depletion period. The study shows a decrease in area of Glaciar Coronas from 19ha in 1928 to 2.4 ha in 1998.The decrease in length from 1928 to 1998 has been 325 m.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2003

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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