Short term flow variations in Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia

Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the outlet glaciers in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. An interesting feature of this glacier is the formation of an ice dam at the glacier front, where the terminus flows across a lake, Lago Argentino. Contrasting to most of glaciers in the world, including the other Patagonian glaciers, the length of Perito Moreno Glacier has not changed for several decades. This unique behaviour shows that glacier evolution is not a simple function of a global temperature change.

We spent two weeks in this glacier from December 2008 to January 2009 to investigate short term variations in the ice flow speed. Since the flow speed of this glacier is exceptionally high (several meters per day), it is expected that details of flow speed changes in a temporal scales of a day or hours can be captured by high frequency GPS measurements. The goal of this project is to find such changes in ice dynamics to better understand the nature of the fast flowing feature and its connection to the stability of Perito Moreno Glacier.

Perito Moreno Glacier

Field activities

Life in the field

Flowers and plants