Goals of scientific projects : 

  Protect nature from science by minimizing or preventing any scientific interventions in the PPA ;

  Improve knowledge and understanding of how to help the land and wildlife to cope with changes and to survive decently ;

  1. Recognizes the uniqueness of the location for glaciological research (because of its proximity to the ice field) and

     atmospheric monitoring.

When initiating a project, a primary concern is:  “What are the benefits for the ecosystem?”.


I. The Geodesy and Geodynamics Group at Ohio State University in the USA has been using GPS geodesy to measure crustal displacements in Chilean Patagonia since 1994. Their partners in this project include the Instituto Geográfico Militar de Chile, the Universidad de Concepción, and the University of Memphis which works mostly in Argentine Patagonia with local partners. The main focus of this geophysical project is to infer present and past changes in ice mass within the Patagonian Icefields and so study climate change over a range of timescales. Contemporary ice mass changes driven by modern climate change produce instantaneous elastic deformation of the solid earth, and by measuring this 'elastic rebound' they can, in effect, weigh the ice sheets. This investigation is pursued using a limited number of continuously operating GPS stations, such as that in Valle Leones, and larger numbers of survey GPS stations visited perhaps once every three years for a few days at a time.  On the western side of the Patagonian ice fields much of the fieldwork is performed using boats. The research group performs similar climate change/crustal motion research in Greenland and Antarctica.

It’s one of more than a dozen marks in Chilean Patagonia that are measured by IGM. They show that all the stations close to the ice are moving upwards. It is believed that this is the sign of solid earth 'rebounding' as ice loads decrease. Based on the pattern see so far, the marker PDGL moves upwards by at least 2 cm/yr, and faster rates of uplift would not be surprising.

For further information contact

Mike Bevis: mbevis (at)

II. In cooperation with Chilean universities - compilation of elements to be considered in a baseline study for an ecosystem restoration and/or conservation activities, including the assessment of the progress of these activities:  works of interns.

III. Monitoring  of climatic conditions in valley Leones: weather station in valley Leones. Important for monitoring of weather conditions for reforestation and tree growth.

IV. Monitoring of presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the air. Information on POPs. Booklet on POPs:  UNEP-POPS-PAWA-GUID-RIDDING.En.pdf.