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Modelling the glacier-hydrology of the Rio Santa catchment in the Peruvian Andes

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Dr. Catriona Fyffe

Northumbria University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK


Fellowship Period: 10.2021-01.2022

I am a glacier-hydrologist with interests ranging from understanding the glacier surface energy balance to catchment scale modelling of glaciated catchments. Currently I am working as a research fellow within the join UK-Peruvian projects PeruGROWS and PEGASUS which involve glacier-hydrological modelling of the Rio Santa and Vilcanota catchments. I also specialise in understanding the impact of supraglacial debris on glacier melt and runoff and work to improve the representation of these impacts in models.


Activities within WSL Fellowship

Glacier melt is a significant contribution to runoff in the Rio Santa catchment (Cordillera Blanca), especially in the dry season. To fully understand how water resources are impacted by glacier recession, it is necessary to employ glacier-hydrological modelling (TOPKAPI-ETH). However, the robust calibration and validation of glacier-hydrological models is challenging and benefits from the use of ground and remotely sensed data. While at WSL I worked closely with Francesca Pellicciotti’s HIMAL group to combine the group’s expertise in glacier and snow remote sensing (Evan Miles) and glacier meteorology (Tom Shaw) with my modelling work to ensure the model was able to replicate well the glacier and snow processes. I presented this work at an FE-seminar. Two of the Peruvian partners from the PeruGROWS project (Edwin Loarte and Katy Medina) also visited WSL, which facilitated our collaboration on the new SNF funded project PASTURE. I was also involved in the group’s Tethys-Chloris modelling, including of Langtang Glacier (Pascal Buri) and the Extremes project EMERGE, for which I was delighted to be able to join the launch event and meet researchers from across WSL.


Cooperation within WSL


Cooperation outside of WSL


Edwin Loarte, INAIGEM, Huaraz, Peru

Katy Medina, INAIGEM, Huaraz Peru