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Modern and last glacial maximum (LGM) snowlines in the central Andes (5-23S) have been mapped using remote sensing techniques and geographical information system technology. The general configuration of the snowline during the LGM was similar to present with the snowline rising from east to west in response to decreasing precipitation. LGM snowline depression in the region deviates considerably from the 1000m depression often assumed for low latitudes. A snowline depression model (Kuhn, 1989) was used to investigate the temperature and precipitation changes necessary to cause the observed LGM snowline depression. Increased precipitation during the LGM is required to explain a portion of the observed 800-1200 m depression in the western Cordillera. Snowline depression of 1200 m along the eastern Andean slopes is the best proxy for the temperature depression experienced in the region during the LGM and can be explained by a cooling of approximately 5 to 7.5C.
Bulletin - Institut Francais d'Etudes Andines
author list (cited authors)
Klein, A. G., Isacks, B. L., & Bloom, A. L.