Evaluating glacier volume changes since the Little Ice Age maximum and consequences for stream flow by integrating models of glacier flow and hydrology in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Monday, 15 December 2014
Kyung In Huh, Ohio State University-Byrd Polar Research Center, Columbus, OH, United States, Bryan G Mark, OSU-Byrd Polar Rsrch Ctr, Columbus, OH, United States, Michel Baraer, Ecole de Technologie Superieur, Montreal, QC, Canada and Yushin Ahn, Michigan Technological University, school of technology, Houghton, MI, United States
Assessing the historical contribution of glacier ice volume loss to stream flow based on reconstructed volume changes through Little Ice Age (LIA) can be directly related to the understanding of glacier-hydrology in the current epoch of rapid glacier ice loss that has disquieting implications for water resources in the Cordillera Blanca of the Peruvian Andes. However, the accurate prediction of the future glacial meltwater availability for the increasing regional Andean society needs more extensive quantitative estimation from long-term glacial meltwater of reconstructed glacial volume.

Modeling LIA paleoglaciers using a cellular automata glacier flow model in different catchments of the Cordillera Blanca allows us to reconstruct glacier volume and its change from likely combinations of climatic control variables and time.

We compute the rate and magnitude of glacier volume changes for Yanamarey and Queshque glaciers between the LIA and modern defined by 2011 Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Global Digital Elevation Model Version 2 (GDEM V2) from the Cordillera Blanca.

Also, we employ a recently demonstrated hydrological stream model (Baraer et al., 2012) for integrating the reconstructed glacier volume and its change to calculate glacier contribution to meltwater runoff as a function of glacier loss rate in the Yanamarey and the Queshque catchments, and reconstruct long-term glacier significance to stream flow.