Meteorological, Chemical, And Isotopic Characteristics Of Precipitation Events On The Quelccaya Icecap, Peru: 2014-2016

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Eric Burton (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Baker Perry

Abstract: The Quelccaya Icecap, located in the Cordillera Vilcanota of Southern Peru, is the source of ice cores dating back almost 2,000 years. These are a critical paleoclimatic record for the tropics, where a large part of the world’s population is located. However, the record is complex, and most now believe that the annual layers of the Quelccaya Icecap reveal more about precipitation variability than temperature. The aim of this research is to improve scientific understanding of current precipitation patterns and their effects on the icecap in order to fully resolve this record. A meteorological station installed at 5,650 m in 2014, near the summit of the Icecap, provides meteorological data including snow depth, liquid equivalent precipitation, precipitation type and intensity, and wind speed and direction. NOAA’s HYSPLIT Model was used to run 72-hour backward air trajectories for each precipitation event using GDAS data with half-degree resolution. Isotopic and chemical analysis was performed on the 2016 snowpack yielding stable oxygen isotope ratios and trace element concentrations. The isotopes were used to date the snowpack, and the resulting age model was compared to isotopic measurements from citizen scientists. Trace elements were used make general inferences about regional processes.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Burton, E. (2017). "Meteorological, Chemical, And Isotopic Characteristics Of Precipitation Events On The Quelccaya Icecap, Peru: 2014-2016." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
Andes, Quelccaya Icecap, Climate-Glacier Interactions, Isotopes

Email this document to