Qori Kalis Glacier
Quelccaya Ice Cap indicating Qori Kalis Glacier.jpg
Quelccaya Ice Cap indicating Qori Kalis Glacier and lake on 2010 25 09
Map showing the location of Qori Kalis Glacier
Map showing the location of Qori Kalis Glacier
Location of Qori Kalis Glacier within Peru
TypeMountain glacier
LocationPeru
Coordinates13°54′19″S 70°50′05″W / 13.905332°S 70.834809°W / -13.905332; -70.834809Coordinates: 13°54′19″S 70°50′05″W / 13.905332°S 70.834809°W / -13.905332; -70.834809
StatusRetreating

The Qori Kalis Glacier is a tropical glacier located in the Cordillera Oriental section of the Andes mountains of Peru. It is one of the few tropical glaciers left in the world, and is the main outlet of the Quelccaya Ice Cap.[1]

This glacier has lost nearly half of its length since measurements began in 1963 by the Peruvian hydro-electric company Electroperú. Around 2007, the glacier had been retreating at a rate of 600 feet per year.[2]

From 1963 to 1978 it retreated at a rate of approximately 6 metres per year. Between 1991 and 2005, it has retreated at around 60 metres per year. It is the largest of all of the tongues of the Quelccaya Ice Cap, many of which are in retreat.[3]

Testing shows that the Qori Kalis Glacier advanced to its greatest length around 520 years ago and then began to retreat. It has advanced to small degrees from time to time since then.[4]

Lake

Qori Kalis Glacier at left centre in this 1975-2000 Landsat false-colour animation

Beginning in 1991, a proglacial lake started to form where the glacier once existed. The lake is extremely deep, and is contained in a natural valley which acts as a dam.[5] In 2004, the lake had reached a depth of 80 meters.[6]

In March 2006, a large portion of the glacier detached and fell into the lake. This resulted in a large wave of water surging into the valley below. The risk of such events are monitored because of the risk of flash flooding towns and even cities below.[7]

References

  1. ^ "Geotimes - April 2007 - Ancient glaciers melting quickly". geotimes.org. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  2. ^ "As a glacier melts, so does a Peruvian water supply". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Peruvian Glacier May Vanish In Five Years". osu.edu. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Research shows temperature, not snowfall, driving tropical glacier size". phys.org. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  5. ^ "ARC: Adopt A Glacier - Qori Kalis Glacier". nsidc.org. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Ice and Climate". acs.org. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Tropical Climate History...Shrinking : Image of the Day". nasa.gov. Retrieved 12 December 2014.