In 2010, studies of cryosphere have been were carried out by Spaniard research groups in Polar Regions of the Arctic and Antarctic and the high mountain of Andes and Africa. Also they has worked on Martian permafrost and the Iberian Peninsula (Pyrenees, Cantabrian Mountains, Sierra Nevada and Central System) where the studies have focused mainly on mountain permafrost degradation, periglacial process and their spatial distribution, and nival processes and landforms. The different working Groups collaborate with several International groups of USA, UK, Portugal, New Zealand, Argentine, Perú, Brazil, Mexico, France and Switzerland. The Spanish researches have consolidated the activity after IPY, with the continuity of groups and researches supported by National founds. During the last IPA Regional Conference (IIIEUCOP) held in Longyearbyen (Svalbard) six Spanish researchers representing to six research group participate in the meeting. It is a little but active community and we celebrate each two years a 2-3days meeting, joint to the Portuguese association. The meeting of 2011 (III IPA-Iberian Meeting) will take place in Galicia, 21-24 june, organized by Marcos Valcárcel (University of Santiago de Compostela). In 2010 two publications related to periglacial subjects has been edited in Spanish language. A monographic number of the review Cuadernos de Investigación Geográfica (Geographical Research Papers) (36-1 and 2, 2010) edited by J.M. García-Ruiz and J. Arnáez on snow at the Iberian mountains, avalanches, hydrological and geomorphological issues, (http://www.unirioja.es/servicios/sp/ej/cig/cig.shtml) with papers in English and Spanish. The monographic edited by J.J. Blanco, M.A. de Pablo and M. Ramos, Ambientes periglaciares, permafrost y variabilidad climática (Periglacial environments, permafrost and climatic variability), published by the University Press of the University of Alcalá de Henares, include the contributions made by Iberian IPA community to the II IPA-Iberian meeting.
The Research group of the Universidad de Barcelona and Universidad de Extremadura, leaded by Antonio Gómez-Ortiz, work at Sierra Nevada (37ºLN/3ºLW) studying the continuous and progressive fossil ice and relict permafrost degradation in the Corral del Veleta cirque (3150 m). Between 1998 y 2009, an important lost of ice mass have found by geomatic techniques. The ice melt is related to the temperatures increase in the active layer. The tomographics researches point out that the ice masses in the Corral del Veleta are organized in patches, not in continuous sheets as until 1998. The research group also studies the genesis and dynamic of patterned ground located on summits planes of Sierra Nevada. The main goal is establish interrelations between the morphotopographical characters, slope and thermal regimen of soils. Works to determine cold environments in altitude during Little Ige Age have been began. Complementary information on natural proxy (sedimentology and palinology) and documental sources (historical documents since X century) are been used by research.
PERMAMODEL project is primarily run by the Department of Physics of Alcalá University in collaboration with the Centro de Estudos Geograficos – University of Lisbon. This project focuses on the study of the evolution of the thermal active layer in polar permafrost and it is leaded by Dr. Miguel Ramos. The field experiments are developed in Livingston (62º39’S, 60º21’W) and Deception (62º43’S, 60º57’W) islands in the maritime Antarctic. These islands have significant areas with ice-free terrain underlain by permafrost. The location of these islands close to the mean annual temperature isotherm of -1ºC, and their position in the Antarctic Peninsula region, results in a very high sensitivity to climate change. The goal of this project is the monitoring of the temperature gradient of the active layer, as an approach for the calculation of the energy balance of the ground and therefore for the study of climate change, being complementary to the standard meteorological observations. Furthermore, monitoring of the temperature gradient and thermal fluxes of the permafrost in boreholes down to the zero annual amplitude depth, allow the application of inverse modelling techniques for the detection of climate change in decadal, and even centurial, time scales. The monitoring stations will be integrated in the international networks CALM-S (Circum-polar Active Layer Monitoring) and GTN-P (Global Terrestrial Network – Permafrost / WMO, FAO and IPA) in order to attain long-term data series (10-25 years). This action is linked to the IPY projects TST (Thermal State of Permafrost) and ANTPAS (Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Permafrost, Periglacial and Soil Environments).
The research group with members of University of Valladolid, University of Extremadura, University of Basque Country, University of Cantabria, Saint Louis University and Alfa Speleological Studies Centre, leaded by Enrique Serrano (University of Valladolid) and J.J. Sanjosé (University of Extremadura) continue works on criosphere in the northern mountains of Iberian Peninsula. A new project with eleven researchers and six research institutions, supported by National Founds (MMARM and MICINN) and the Picos de Europa National Park, is developed on the cryosphere as environmental geoindicator, slope processes related to ice and snow at the mountains of North Iberian peninsula (Pyrenees and cantabrian Mountains). The focus is to complete the systematic observations through the application of DGPS and Laser-Scanner on protalus lobe, rock glaciers, lobes, cones and ice-patches, soil thermal regimes (soils monitoring and BTS), data analysis of new mountain weather stations and geophysical techniques to relate slope geomorphological activity, thermal conditions and ice conservation and degradation. The final objective is establish cryogenic landforms and processes as geoindicators and to development methodologies for the control of geoindicators as a complementary method for monitoring Climate Change to local scales.
From the Research Group on High Mountain Physical Geography of Universidad Complutense de Madrid, leaded by Prof. David Palacios, researches on climate change and hydrological resources in the Andes, included permafrost, have been made. The project on Impact of Climate Change on solid hydrological reserves and natural risk related to tropical strato-volcanoes, is developed on the high mountains of Sud-América and Africa. The group continues studies on the distribution of permafrost in the Andes, rock glaciers and recession of glaciers, as well as the interrelation with volcanic activity. In the Iberian Peninsula, the research group works on nival and periglacial processes in the Central System.
The research group of University of Santiago de Compostela, leaded by Augusto Pérez-Alberti and Marcos Valcárcel continues its researches on different places of Andes and Iberian Peninsula. Works at Southern (Tierra de Fuego) and central Andes are focused on the active layer dynamic, thermal regime of soils and periglacial processes. At the Iberian Peninsula the research Group are working on nival processes and environments in the North-western Mountains (Cantabrian and Galician Mountains). The Research Group on Geosciences and Antarctica, leaded by Jerónimo López-Martínez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), is actively involved in the study of connections between hydrology, soils, permafrost and periglacial processes in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula developed by fieldwork including geophysical techniques and remote sensing in collaboration with Universities and Research Centres of Argentina and New Zealand.
New researches have been began by researcher collaborating with national and international groups at the Arctic and Antarctic. Marc Oliva , postdoc researcher at AntECC (The Antarctic Environments and Climate Change Research Group implemented by Centre for Geographical Studies at the University of Lisbon –Portugal- and leaded by Gonzalo Vieira), is the Spanish representative member of PYRN. From 2010 collaborate with AntECC research with a project to study sedimentological properties of natural archives (lakes, ponds, lobes) in the Antarctic islands and establish a chronostratigraphy for slope activity during the Late Holocene in the South Shetlands. The research combines monitoring of slope dynamics with a new palaeogeographical approach. The main goals are to know dynamics of Earth surface processes in an extremely sensitive climate environment, and connect the role of climate variability in slope processes with permafrost evolution. Also collaborate in the Portuguese funded Project ANAPOLIS, whose rationale is the study of High Arctic icewedge polygonal networks in order to better understand the geometric diversity of Martian polygonal networks and he has participate in the fieldwork in Antarctica. Raúl Martín (StLouis University-Madrid), working on arctic geomorphology from 2002, is carrying out new researches on nivation and periglacial processes on Little Ice Age moraine complex in Svalbard (Norway), with focus on periglacial processes and historical retreat of glaciers in Arctic environments. Field works have been developed in june 2010.
Other Spanish groups continue researcher began several years ago, and connected with IPY. The research group of University of Santiago de Compostela, leaded by Augusto Pérez-Alberti and Marcos Valcárcel continues its researches on several places of Andes and Iberian Peninsule. Works at Souther Andes (Tierra de Fuego) and central Andes, are focused on the active layer dynamic, thermal regime of soils and periglacial processes. At the Iberian Peninsula the research Group are working on nival processes and environments in the North-western mountains (Cantabrian and Galician Mountains) of Iberian Peninsula. The Research Group on Geosciences and Antarctica, leaded by Jerónimo López-Martínez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), is actively involved in the study of connections between hydrology, soils, permafrost and periglacial processes in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula developed by fieldwork including geophysical techniques and remote sensing in collaboration with Univeristies and Research Centres of Argentina and New Zealand.
Enrique Serrano (firstname.lastname@example.org)