Articles | Volume 14, issue 6
The Cryosphere, 14, 2005–2027, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-2005-2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 2005–2027, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-2005-2020

Research article 24 Jun 2020

Research article | 24 Jun 2020

Glacier runoff variations since 1955 in the Maipo River basin, in the semiarid Andes of central Chile

Álvaro Ayala et al.

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Cited articles

Alvarez-Garreton, C., Mendoza, P. A., Boisier, J. P., Addor, N., Galleguillos, M., Zambrano-Bigiarini, M., Lara, A., Puelma, C., Cortes, G., Garreaud, R., McPhee, J., and Ayala, A.: The CAMELS-CL dataset: catchment attributes and meteorology for large sample studies – Chile dataset, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 5817–5846, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-5817-2018, 2018. 
Ayala, A., Pellicciotti, F., MacDonell, S., McPhee, J., Vivero, S., Campos, C., and Egli, P.: Modelling the hydrological response of debris-free and debris-covered glaciers to present climatic conditions in the semiarid Andes of central Chile, Hydrol. Process., 30, 4036–4058, https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.10971, 2016. 
Ayala, A., Pellicciotti, F., Peleg, N., and Burlando, P.: Melt and surface sublimation across a glacier in a dry environment: Distributed energy-balance modelling of Juncal Norte Glacier, Chile, J. Glaciol., 63, 803–822, https://doi.org/10.1017/jog.2017.46, 2017a. 
Ayala, A., Pellicciotti, F., MacDonell, S., McPhee, J., and Burlando, P.: Patterns of glacier ablation across North-Central Chile: Identifying the limits of empirical melt models under sublimation-favorable conditions, Water Resour. Res., 53, 5601–5625, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016WR020126, 2017b. 
Bahr, D. B., Pfeffer, W. T., and Kaser, G.: A review of volume-area scaling of glaciers, Rev. Geophys., 53, 95–140, https://doi.org/10.1002/2014RG000470, 2015. 
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Short summary
We reconstruct past glacier changes (1955–2016) and estimate the committed ice loss in the Maipo River basin (semi-arid Andes of Chile), with a focus on glacier runoff. We found that glacier volume has decreased by one-fifth since 1955 and that glacier runoff shows a sequence of decreasing maxima starting in a severe drought in 1968. As meltwater originating from the Andes plays a key role in this dry region, our results can be useful for developing adaptation or mitigation strategies.