We present geodetic mass-balance estimates for ten glaciers (22.6 ± 1.1 km2) around Volcán Domuyo between 1962 and 2020 (and 46 glaciers covering 29 ± 1.5 km2 between 1984 and 2020), derived from airborne, ASTER and Pléiades imagery. Overall, we find a slightly negative mass balance (−0.15 ± 0.09 m w.e. a–1) for the entire 1962–2020 time span. A closer inspection of sub-periods reveals, however, an increasingly negative mass balance with time. The Domuyo glaciers shifted from a moderately positive mass balance of +0.28 ± 0.13 m w.e. a–1 between 1962 and 1984, to a strongly negative mass balance of −0.99 ± 0.19 m w.e. a–1 between 2012 and 2020. An increase in summer temperatures and a decrease in winter precipitation during the last four decades are likely drivers of the observed glacier changes. We support this finding by implementing a minimal glacier model, relying solely on monthly precipitation and air temperatures. The massbalance evolution detected in Volcán Domuyo is consistent with other sites spread across the Central Andes, suggesting rapidly increasing glacier wastage impacts are occurring at a geographically wider scale.
Reference: Falaschi, D., Berthier, E., Belart, J. M. C., Bravo, C., Castro, M., Durand, M., Villalba, R. (2022): Increased mass loss of glaciers in Volcán Domuyo (Argentinian Andes) between 1962 and 2020, revealed by aerial photos and satellite stereo imagery. Journal of Glaciology, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1017/jog.2022.43