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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-306
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-306
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  12 Nov 2020

12 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Active and inactive Andean rock glacier geophysical signatures by comparing 2D joint inversion routines of electrical resistivity and refraction seismic tomography

Giulia de Pasquale1, Rémi Valois2, Nicole Schaffer1, and Shelley MacDonell1 Giulia de Pasquale et al.
  • 1Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas – CEAZA, Raúl Bitrán 1305, La Serena, Chile
  • 2Environnement Méditerranéen et Modélisation des Agro-Hydrosystèmes, Université de Avignon - EMMAH, Domaine Saint-Paul, Site Agroparc 228, Avignon, France

Abstract. In semi-arid Chile, rock glaciers cover a surface area that is four-times larger than that occupied by glaciers. For this reason, their role in freshwater production, transfer and storage is likely to be of primary importance, especially in this area of increasing human pressure and high rainfall variability. To understand their hydrological role now and in the future it is necessary to characterize their internal structure (e.g., internal boundaries, ice, air, water and rock content). In this paper, we present the results and interpretations of electrical resistivity and refraction seismic tomography profiles on an active (El Ternero) and inactive (El Jote) rock glacier in the Chilean Andes. These are the first in situ measurements in Estero Derecho: a natural reserve at the headwaters of the Elqui River, where the two rock glaciers are located. Within our study, we highlight the strong differences in the geophysical responses between active and inactive rock glaciers through the analysis and comparison of three different inversion schemes: individual dataset inversion, structural and petrophysical joint inversion. Moreover, we propose a diagnostic model representation for the differentiation between active and inactive rock glaciers.

Giulia de Pasquale et al.

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Short summary
We presented a geophysical study of one active and one inactive rock glacier in semi-arid Chile. The interpretation of the collected data through different methods identifies geophysical signature differences between the two rock glaciers and characterizes their subsurface structure and composition. This is of great importance because of rock glaciers relevant role in freshwater production, transfer and storage, especially in this area of increasing human pressure and high rainfall variability.
We presented a geophysical study of one active and one inactive rock glacier in semi-arid Chile....
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