The Argentina Committee for the IPA has 28 members. In 1994, the Adhering Body was able to pay its dues to the IPA for the first time. At a 23-27 November 1992 meeting on Geocryology and Paleoclimates of Northern Patagonia in Puerto Madryn, a series of papers was presented on basic and applied research, including some dealing with road construction in Patagonia. Members of this Argentina Committee presented papers at the XII Argentina Geological Congress in Mendoza, 15-20 October 1993, and the Symposium and Workshop on High Latitude Processes in Buenos Aires, 13-17 December 1993. A.E. Corte completed the Spanish contribution to the IPA multi-language index of terms.
Members of the Argentina PA Committee completed a several year program on the significance of active layer freezing and thawing and permafrost behavior on the hydrology of the Central Andes. Work on a periglacial basin originally started in 1982, but most ofthe activities have been since 1990. Meteorological stations at 1450, 2240, 2505 and 3565 meters indicate a lapse rate of 0.6°C/100 m, with precipitation increasing 17mm/100 m. During the last 13 years, the annual mean temperature of the Aquaditas underwent a clear increase. Glacier ice has diminished significantly. Discontinuous permafrost occurs above the 3000-3500 m zone and occupies 77% of the study area. Geophysical and temperature soundings in this zone indicate the active layer is about 2 m thick and the permafrost is 72 m thick. Below the sporadic permafrost zone, 17% of the area has seasonal frost. Mean annual flow of the Rio Blanca in 1992 was 500 L/s. It is estimated that the flow from the nearby Argostura basin must be equal or greater. Permafrost aquifers and residual flow produce significant winter flows. Rock glaciers and covered glaciers yield clear discharge. Winter flows have a higher solute concentration. Total solutes are greater in discharge from metamorphic areas than volcanic areas.
The final report for IGCP Project 297; Geocryology of the Americas, has been prepared. Some results of the project were published in eight reports in Volumes 1 and 2 of the Sixth ICOP. These and other papers in 1993 included the following topics: geochemistry and geocryology, periglacial hydrology, ice wedges, freezing point depression effects on calcium carbonate, regional geocryology, cryogenic weathering, geophysical investigations, palsa-like mounds, and cryogenic soils.
Submitted by A.E. Corte