Updated inventory for three glaciers coverage in Ecuador

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Bolívar Ernesto Cáceres, Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología, Estudios, Quito, Ecuador
The first systematic inventory of glacier coverage in Ecuador was performed in the early nineties. It is important to update the knowledge on the evolution and recent relationship with climatic conditions along the Tropical Andes and the risk associated with potential eruptions which will affect the ice covers. This study was conducted to update the information related to glacier coverage on three Ecuadorian volcanoes (Cotopaxi, Antisana, and Chimborazo). It was determined that the glacier coverage reduced by around 37% in average over 40 years. The Ecuadorean glacier coverage measured in 1997 corresponded to 60 km2. Using the data obtained for Cotopaxi, which has been studied in detail, a projection on the glacier coverage to the year 2010 was performed and a value of 48 Km2 was obtained. This evaluation should be confirmed with future studies which include other glaciers such as Cayambe and Altar. Actualy this work is in progress.