Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Accelerated glacier melt in the Ecuadorian Andes

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Ecuadorian Andes

Geography lecturers from Oxford Brookes University have been awarded funding to carry out a research project investigating glacial movement on an active ice cap on an Ecuadorian volcano.

Dr Joseph Williams and Dr Wesley Fraser aim to assess the effect that newly exposed terrain has on the human and physical geography of the surrounding area. This includes assessing the the impact on water resources, vegetation dynamics and sediment transport regimes.

"Mountain regions are highly sensitive and act as early warning indicators for climate warming. In the tropical Andes, glacier retreat has accelerated since 1970 and this is having significant impacts on a range of both physical and human systems. This research will help to identify some of the changes occurring and explore what consequences these may have on local societies in glacier-fed catchments” said Dr Joseph Williams, Lecturer in Physical and Environmental Geography.

The research is funded by a c. £14,000 grant from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). It is due to take place in June/July 2018 and will involve onsite field work on Volcán Cayambe in Ecuador.