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Retreat of Glaciar Tyndall, Patagonia, over the last half-century

  • Charles Raymond (a1), Thomas A. Neumann (a2), Eric Rignot (a3), Keith Echelmeyer (a4), Andrés Rivera (a5) (a6) and Gino Casassa (a5)...

Abstract

We report measurements of ice surface elevation, ice thickness and surface area for Glaciar Tyndall, Patagonia, made in 1999–2002. The measurements, together with previously published observations, show acceleration over the last few decades of the rates of thinning and retreat of the main calving front. The acceleration of shrinkage appears to be driven by a combination of climate and feedback processes, the dominant feedback being increased melting associated with lowering of the glacier surface (elevation feedback). The melting capacity in the main terminus lake is now too small to be a major factor accelerating the retreat. The glacier bed has low slope and remains below the elevation of the lake spillway for >14 km upstream from the 2000 calving front, indicating the potential for extensive retreat under the influence of strong elevation feedback and increasing interaction with the lake as it enlarges.

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