Shrinkage of Tropical Glaciers in Peru

Student: Ashley McCracken
Mentor: Nathan Rowley (OWU Department of Geology-Geography)

Over the past few decades, global atmospheric temperatures have increased at an alarming rate, which has a significant impact on glaciated regions of the world. Tropical glaciers represent 1/6th of all the glaciers in the world and provide key water sources for many millions of inhabitants, including the Andes region of South America. Increasing temperatures and humidity due to anthropogenic climate change means there will be more rain and less snow, causing glaciers in the tropics to shrink – without the key inter-seasonal snow accumulation, many are expected to disappear within the next 60 years. Advances in satellite imagery allow us to study the shrinking glaciers remotely. We use GIS software (ArcGIS) and satellite imagery (Landsat missions) over the past 20 years to delineate glacial areas change over time – affording us the opportunity to generate a first-attempt trend in glacier size. We use acquired satellite imagery from the Landsat missions at regular intervals beginning in 1985. Our preliminary results reveal an overall decrease in glaciated area over the past few decades.

More information about this project in Digital Commons @ OWU

Contact Info


Merrick Hall
65 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3075

OWU Connection Programs
Merrick Hall