The activities of 1997 concluded in December with two important events. The first was the donation of Arturo Corte’s library to the Argentine Institute for Snow, Glaciology and Environmental Sciences (IANIGLA), which is part of the Geocryology Unit of Mendoza, a regional research center of CONICET. The Library of Ice and Snow, with over 10,000 items on mainly present-day and Pleistocene periglacial processes, is of great importance in South America.
The second event was completion of the book: IANIGLA: 25 Years of Basic and Applied Research on Environmental Sciences, edited by D. Trombotto and R. Villalba and dedicated to Arturo Corte, as the pioneer of environmental studies in Argentina and South America, who recently retired. The book consists of 45 bilingual (Spanish and English) scientific publications, seven of which are dedicated to geocryology and several others of which indirectly concern this field. Publication is awaiting financial arrangements.
The Geocryology Unit of Mendoza submitted a proposal to CONICET to perform tasks of climatic and cryogenic research on the permafrost conditions of the Morenas Coloradas rock glacier. Researchers of various institutions participate in this project: Trombotto from IANIGLA, Ahumada from the University of Tucumn, and Aristarain from the Argentine Antarctic Institute–Legan.
Once again a reunion will be held of the Argentine Group of Geomorphologists together with CONICET and the Argentine Agency of Scientific Promotion. Simultaneously the Argentine Permafrost Association is planning to meet. On this occasion a visit to the periglacial morphology of the Volcano Maipo and Laguna del Diamante region will be proposed.
This year Lucìa Arena, Ice Physicist from the University of Curdoba, is doing research as a guest at the Regional Research Center of Mendoza (CRICYT). Her knowledge of and experience with experimental ice growth and its application to atmospheric, cryogenic and paleoclimatic studies are being utilized. Arena is studying the sequences of ice cores extracted from the Antarctic and may give an introductory course on ice physics in Mendoza. In addition, the Geocryology Unit of Mendoza will receive a delegation of students from the University of Bamberg (Germany) in October. They will visit IANIGLA and the Andean Cordillera. Two students from the University of Bonn who are particularly interested in geocryology will stay at IANIGLA.
The PROGEBA (a research program of Bariloche) is participating as an active member of the paleoclimatic community by developing and collaborating in projects focusing on the landscape and biotic transformation as a response to climatic change. Through the recovery of continuous sequences of sediments from deep lakes, high resolution records including geochemical, paleomagnetic and micro-fossil data are being obtained. The recovered information will be entered into data banks for the understanding and prediction of global climatic trends.
In recent work at the University of Essen (Germany), G. Schellmann has found and registered a new till east of Condor Cliff (approximately 50°11′S, 70°51′W) in South Patagonia, which so far has been considered the limit of the extra-Andean glaciations in the valley of the Santa Cruz river. This confirms the previously assumed age of 2.7–3.5 million years, as suggested by Mercer. This important contribution also quotes an ESR dating of a level of marine shells in Puerto San Julin of 100–120 thousand years, below ice-wedge casts that represent the Pleniglacial (Finiglacial). These pseudomorphs display characteristics very similar to those found by Trombotto at 46°S, and confirm the cryostratigraphical position suggested for the latest generation of ice-wedge casts in South Patagonia.
Dario Trombotto (firstname.lastname@example.org)