Friday, June 15, 2018

June snow

Several snowfall events during the first half of June have kept the landscape snowy at Quelccaya this year. In the 14 June image above (ESA Sentinel-2, bands 4,3,2) lingering snow is visible below 4,900 m in shaded locations.

Typically the dry season is underway by mid-June, often with snow only on the glacier. This year, the relatively-bright fresh snow is keeping the albedo low, reducing energy input and ablation of the glacier surface.

Despite the current situation, evidence indicates that recession of the ice margin is accelerating. Planning is underway for fieldwork in the next few months, when snowcover on the glacier will be measured and AWS data since July 2017 will be recovered. We're anxious to document 2017-18 La Niña accumulation!