A proposal for global change research with the following objectives was prepared and submitted to the Inter-American Institute for Global Research (IAI) :

  • Search for evidence of global change in Andean permafrost
  • Study the structure and composition of cryogenic mesoforms
  • Identify regional and bihemispherical palaeoclimatic evidence of permafrost.
  • Investigate the relation between cryogenic subsoils and discharge of mountain rivers

It is proposed that two boreholes near Mendoza and two in the Andes on the Chile-Bolivia border be cored and  instrumented. The exact sites will be chosen on the basis of accessibility within the area of permafrost. The drillholes will be at least 20 m deep and instrumented with thermistor cables. The cores will be described and the ice content/moisture content noted and measured. Standard instrumentation used in North America will ensure that the results are obtained by comparable methods in both hemispheres. Each site will be equipped with an automatic weather station and data loggers capable of operating for one to two years. The data will become part of the IPA Global Geocryological Database (GGD), and sites will be integrated into the proposed Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) cryosphere measurement program and the Circumpolar
Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) program. If successful, the proposal will enable us to expand the network for monitoring
mountain permafrost temperatures to both North and South America.

Submitted by Dario Trombotto (dtrombi@raiz.uncu.edu.ar) and Stuart Harris (harris@acs.ucalgary.ca)