In March 2015 an excursion to the Morenas Coloradas rock glacier in the Andes of Mendoza was made with the participation of 16 Students from the University of Bonn (Germany) under the direction of Dario Trombotto and Prof. Lothar Schrott (Bonn).
On behalf of the XIX Argentine Congress of Geology, held in Córdoba in 2014, and with the support of the Subcommittee of Cryospheric Sciences of the Argentine Republic (SAC) and the Argentine and South American Permafrost Association (AASP), a new special publication Lilloana (San Miguel de Tucumán) was edited by Trombotto and Ahumada. The chapters include periglacial and glacial topics like rock glaciers of the Tropical Andes of Argentina (Ana Lía Ahumada); ice studies of grain size evolution throughout the depth of a glacier (Carlos Di Prinzio, Córdoba); surface fluctuations of glaciers in the Nevado Cololo, Bolivia (Ana Maria Sanches, Centro Polar e Climático, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), among others.
Carla Tapia Baldis (PhD student, Universidad Nacional de San Juan) concluded with the periglacial and glacial geomorphology cartography at “Valle de los Glaciares de Escombros”, Rio Blanco basin (Central Andes, 31°50’S). First results concerning cryogenic altitudinal belts were already published. A regional approach about climatic parameters that control present permafrost distribution between 31°- 32°S was made. Historic climatic series from spatial gridded data are used to elaborate regional maps of temperature, solar radiation and precipitation trends, validated with local meteorological stations registers. Landforms identified as probable active-layer detachments, among other mass movement deposits, were recognized and characterized using remote sensory imagery and digital elevation models.
Figure 1. Lizoite rock glacier in Salta, Argentina (M.Martini)
During 2015 Dr. Mateo Martini and co-workers from CICTERRA (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba) continued with the dynamic and thermal monitoring of the Varas rock glacier (initiated in 2010) and obtained the first results for the Lizoite rock glacier (initiated in 2014), both located in the Cordillera Oriental of NW Argentina (22-23˚S).
Figure 2. Active layer detachment at 4100 m asl in the province of San Juan, Argentina (Tapia Baldis)
During 2015 Noelia Sileo (Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires) continued the water, ice and snow sampling in the Vallecitos river basin. New sampling points have been added to complete the whole basin monitoring program, to characterize different water origins and the hydrogeochemical composition of a typical cryogenic environment. The electric conductivity analysis in temporal series has revealed a characteristic behavior between the different sampling sites, depending mainly on their spatial and altitudinal distribution. The first isotopic results show that water samples in lower areas are enriched compared to those from higher zones indicating a dependence on values of δ18O y δ2H with altitude.
Xavier Bodin (Laboratoire EDYTEM, CNRS / Université de Savoie, Le Bourget-du-Lac, France) presented first conclusions of terrestrial photogrammetry for studying rock glacier dynamics and their interannual surface changes in the Andes at the meeting “Geomorphometry for Geosciences”, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. At the same congress and together with Lucas Ruiz (Mendoza) Bodin analysed rock glaciers with the help of high resolution Pléiades images. Bodin has a collaboration project with the Research Group of Mendoza about Geocryology studying the rock glacier of “Quebrada del Medio” also called Hans Stepanek.
Throughout 2015, PhD Student Cristian Daniel Villarroel (CONICET-UNSJ) started with field measurements of hydrological and hydrogeological processes in the upper section of the river Santa Cruz basin. This area has lots of active and inactive rock glaciers, protalus lobes and few covered glaciers. We have obtained the first results on the hydrological behavior of different streams. It has also established the geometry of the groundwater basins. Geologist Ana Forte, of the same Universidad Nacional de San Juan, is mapping periglacial geomorphology with permafrost distribution in the Cordón de la Ramada of San Juan.
A collaboration work was initiated with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma of México, UNAM (Dr. Hugo Delgado Granados, Mexico City). Dario Trombotto is mentor in the PhD work of Víctor Hugo Soto Molina about permafrost at the Citlaltépetl volcano.
In 2015 Dario Trombotto was appointed member of the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC), Project Scientific Steering Group (SSG) by the Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) for the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) at the 35th session in Geneva, Switzerland.
Figure 3. Volcán Citlaltépetl, México (Víctor Hugo Soto Molina)
Report prepared by Dario Trombotto Liaudat, Geocryology, Mendoza (dtrombot(at)mendoza-conicet.gob.ar),