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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
22 Mar 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Pluri-decadal (1955–2014) evolution of glacier–rock glacier transitional landforms in the central Andes of Chile (30–33° S)
S. Monnier1 and C. Kinnard2 1Instituto de Geografía, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
2Département des Sciences de l’Environnement, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada
Abstract. This study deals with relationships between debris-covered glaciers and rock glaciers in the central Andes of Chile. Three glacier–rock glacier transitional landforms are investigated over the last decades in order to highlight and question the significance of their landscape evolution and dynamics. We use series of historical air photos and Geoeye satellite images together with common remote sensing operations including imagery orthorectification, digital elevation model generation, and cross-correlation image matching. At each site, the following items were monitored: rock glacier morphology, thermokarst area, horizontal surface displacements and vertical surface displacements. The evolution of the landforms is remarkable given the short time span of the study, with horizontal surface displacements up to more than 3 m yr−1 and vertical displacements up to more than ±1 m yr−1. The landforms studied reveal different evolutional significance: (i) overlap of glacier and rock glacier development; (ii) glacier–rock glacier transformation; (iii) glacier–rock glacier collision. Insights are gained for the second case: the transformation may take place by the division and mixing of the buried ice body into distinct flow lobes and/or the apparent upward progression of the rock glacier morphology by the successive incorporation of debris-covered glacier patches.

Citation: Monnier, S. and Kinnard, C.: Pluri-decadal (1955–2014) evolution of glacier–rock glacier transitional landforms in the central Andes of Chile (30–33° S), Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss.,, in review, 2016.
S. Monnier and C. Kinnard
S. Monnier and C. Kinnard


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