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School of Geography

Claudio Bravo L. Claudio Bravo L.

Contact details

School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK



Project Title

Response of the Patagonian glaciers to present and future atmospheric changes


Glaciers in the Chilean Andes have shown significant frontal retreats, area shrinkage and ice thinning since the Little Ice Age (LIA). This deglaciation has shown an accelerating trend in recent decades mainly in response to high altitude atmospheric warming and inter annual and decadal precipitations variability that is driven largely by the different phases of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. An important region with a great accumulation of glaciers is Patagonia, where the glaciers are currently shrinking rapidly. With the actual glacier shrinkage observed in the last decades as a fact, we need to modelled the future response of glaciers, considered last IPCC (2013) report indicates increased warming and less precipitation for Chile for the present century.

This project will make use simulations over Patagonia region, specifically the northern part of the South Patagonian Icefield, to drive a bespoke and dynamic glacier model that accurately simulates the variability in mass balance and surface energy balance. By using multiple climate simulations, and by varying the terrain and surface characteristic data on which the glacier model is built, it will thus be possible to test the glacier model sensitivity to these inputs and, ultimately, better quantify uncertainty in predictions of future glacier recession in the region.


Integrate recent advances in both atmospheric and glacier modelling to produce more detailed and accurate predictions of glacier response to current and future climate change.

Use novel high-resolution atmospheric simulations to validate and downscale coarser climate simulations of temperature and precipitation.

Feed these refined climate inputs into a 3-D glacier energy and mass balance model simulating glacier volume and runoff changes, constrained and validated by critical field observations.

Test the glacier model sensitivity to the various model inputs in order to quantify uncertainty in glacier changes under future climate scenarios.


Dr Duncan Quincey

Dr Andrew Ross (School of Earth and Environment)

Research affiliations

River Basin Processes and Management



CONICYT (National Office of Science and Technology of Chile)     


Leeds for Life Conference Award 2018

PhD International grant, National Office of Science and Technology of Chile (CONICYT), 2016.

Short research stay at University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). ACCION project.

Short research stay at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Universidad de Chile grant for postgraduate students.

MSc. National grant, National Office of Science and Technology of Chile (CONICYT), 2012.

Short Curriculum Vitae


Geography, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

2008-2010 and 2014-2016

Assistant Research, Glaciology Lab. Centro de Estudios Científicos (CECs), Valdivia, Chile.


MSc Geophysics (Atmospheric Sciences), Universidad de Chile, Santiago.


Bravo, C., T. Loriaux, A. Rivera and B.W. Brock. 2017. Assessing glacier melt contribution to streamflow at Universidad Glacier, central Andes of Chile. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci, 21, 3249-3266,

Rivera, A., C. Bravo and G. Boub. 2017. Climate change and land ice. In: The International Encyclopedia of Geography. Edited by D. Richardson, N. Castree, M. F. Goodchild, A. Kobayashi, W. Liu, and R.A. Marston. 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.DOI: 10.1002/9781118786352.wbieg0538

Wilson, R., S. Mernild, J. Malmros, C. Bravo and D. Carrión. 2016. Surface velocity fluctuations for Glaciar Universidad, central Chile, between 1967 and 2015. Journal of Glaciology, DOI:

Bravo, C., M. Rojas, B. M. Anderson, A. N. Mackintosh, E. Sagredo and P.I. Moreno. 2015. Modelled glacier equilibrium line altitudes during the mid-Holocene in the southern mid-latitudes. Climate of the Past 11, 1575 - 1586.

Bown, F., A. Rivera, P. Zenteno, C. Bravo and F. Cackwell. 2015. First glacier inventory of Isla de Tierra del Fuego and adjacent Islands in Southern Chile, and recent glacier variations. In: Kargel, J., G. Leonard & A. Kääb, (eds.), Global Land Ice Measurements from Space, Springer Praxis Books, pp: 661 – 674.   

Falaschi, D., C. Bravo, M. Masiokas, R. Villalba and A. Rivera. 2013. First glacier inventory and recent changes in glacier area in the Monte San Lorenzo region (47°S), southern Patagonia Andes, South America. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 45 (1), 19 - 28.

Rivera, A., M. Koppes, C. Bravo and J.C. Aravena. 2012. Little ice age advance and retreat of Glaciar Jorge Montt, Chilean Patagonia. Climate of the Past 8, 403 - 414.

Rivera, A., J. Corripio, C. Bravo and S. Cisternas. 2012. Glaciar Jorge Montt dynamics derived from photos obtained by fixed cameras and satellite image feature tracking. Annals of Glaciology 53 (60), 147 - 155.

Rivera, A., F. Bown, A. Wendt and C. Bravo. 2012. Recent glacier changes in southern Chile and in Antarctic Peninsula. Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia 40 (1): 39 – 44.

Rivera, A., F. Cakwell, C. Rada and C. Bravo. 2011. Hypsometry. In: Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers (Eds.) Singh, V.P., Haritashya, U.K. and Singh, P. pp . 551 – 554.

Wendt, J., A. Rivera, F. Bown, A. Wendt, R. Zamora, G. Casassa and C. Bravo. 2010. Recent ice elevation change of Fleming Glacier in response to the removal of Wordie ice shelf, Antartic Peninsula. Annals of Glaciology  51(55), 97 - 102.

Short courses 

  1. 1st International ACCION/UNESCO Climate School. SENAMHI, Lima, Peru. University at Albany, UNESCO, SENAMHI-Lima, IGP and Universidad de Chile.

  1. International course in permafrost and periglacial environments. Engineering School, Universidad Católica, Santiago, Chile.

  1. Workshop Monitoring Andean glaciers: field techniques, data analysis and concepts. CECs and University at Albany. Valdivia, Chile.



Bravo, C., D. Quincey, A. Ross, B. Brock, A. Rivera, E. Miles and A. Silva. 2018. Spatial differences of air temperature, lapse rates and ablation sensitivityon the South Patagonian Icefield. EGU 2018. 8-13 April, Vienna, Austria.

Bravo, C., D. Quincey, A. Ross and A. Rivera. 2017. Air temperature differences and melt estimated from a weather station network in the South Patagonian Icefield. Climate Impacts on Glaciers and Biosphere in Fuego-Patagonia, July 14th to July 19th, Berlin. Oral and poster.

Bravo C. 2015. Modelled equilibrium line altitude for mid-latitude glaciers in the Southern Hemisphere. PAGES South America Paleoscience Symposium. 22 -23 January, Las Cruces, Chile. Oral.

Bravo. C and M. Rojas. 2014. Paleoclimate conditions and glacier response to changes in Earth orbital parameters during the Holocene in Patagonia. 3rd International Symposium Climate change and human impact in Central and South America over the last 2000 years. Observations and Models. Medellin – Colombia, 9 -11 July. Poster.

Bravo, C. and R. Garreaud. 2012. Seasonal variation of the snow pack over Subtropical Andes, contribution to streamflow and relationship with meteorological variables In: CongreMet XI (Argentine meteorology congress). Mendoza, Argentina, 28 May -1 June. Oral.

Bravo, C. and R. Garreaud,  2011. El régimen nival en cuencas andinas de Chile central. 2nd Congreso de Oceanografía Física, Meteorología y Clima del Pacifico Sudoriental. La Serena, Chile, 5-7 October. Poster.

Bravo, C., A. Rivera and J.C. Aravena. 2010. Recent fluctuations and glacier inventory of Monte San Lorenzo and adjacent mountains in Patagonia. 2nd International Symposium, Reconstructing climate variations in South America and the Antarctic Peninsula over the last 2000 years. Valdivia, 27-30 October. Poster.

Bravo, C., A. Rivera, A. Wendt, P. Zenteno, R. Zamora and F. Bown. 2010. Recent scientific expeditions to Fleming Glacier, Antarctic Peninsula. In International Glaciological Conference Ice and Climate Change: A View from the South Valdivia, Chile, 1-3 February. Poster.