Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Accumulation update for 2012 - 2013

Accumulation on Quelccaya began in earnest during mid-November this year, which is relatively late. Two earlier snowfall events - in late September and early November - were followed by settling and ablation. Although these events contributed mass, they did not result in a surface height increase.

With a relatively prolonged 2012 dry season, and possibly melting of these two early snowfall events, the mid-November commencement of accumulation should be easily recognizable in the snowpack during 2013 fieldwork.

For the current accumulation season through yesterday, snow depth on the glacier is now at 1 meter. This is about the average for mid-January. With ENSO-neutral conditions in the tropical Pacific predicted to continue into the dry season at Quelccaya, another meter of accumulation is likely by early April.