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Successful approval of the DFG project HyPerm 2021

Spatial occurence and hydrological significance of Andean permafrost (Agua Negra, San Juan, Argentina) (HyPerm) (funded by DFG, project start: 08/2021)

See projection description on GEPRIS!

The semiarid Andean cryosphere is an important hydrological reservoir that controls runoff and groundwater recharge through glacier melt, precipitation, snowmelt (including perennial snowfields), and water releases from the active layer in the extensive permafrost regions. However, in numerous studies on mountain systems and processes the hydrological influence of permafrost is still insufficiently represented. Thus, the main objective of this project is to study the spatial distribution, geomorphic characteristics and hydrological significance of Andean mountain permafrost in blockslopes, and taluses (including protalus ramparts). Findings from our previous DFG project (PermArg) on rock glaciers will be integrated and extended through mapping, statistical modelling, soil temperature monitoring, and geophysical surveys (incl. four-phase modelling) on so far overlooked blockslopes and taluses. Furthermore, we will continuously measure the discharge at six gauging stations for hydrograph separations (incl. water sampling for further hydrochemical analysis and mixing models; see work programme of complementary project “Source, dynamics and hydrological significance of water reservoirs of a High Andean Permafrost Environment”/HyRes). We hypothesize that a significant part of the (seasonally) thawing active layer of these periglacial landforms (taluses, blockslopes, rock glaciers) contributes to the overall discharge and groundwater recharge. Our findings will significantly improve our knowledge regarding the occurrence and hydrological importance of permafrost in the semiarid Andes.


The upper Agua Negra catchment (ANC) with the             Blockslopes and taluses in the Upper ANC, view to SW
small Agua Negra glacier 
in the background, view
to NE

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