Lake-level variations and tides in Lago Argentino, Patagonia: insights from pressure tide gauge records

Submitted: 12 February 2015
Accepted: 30 July 2015
Published: 12 August 2015
Abstract Views: 4448
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Based on precise pressure tide gauge observations lake-level records are derived for two sites in Lago Argentino, southern Patagonia, of 2.5 and 1 years of duration. Applying the tools of time series analysis, the principal processes affecting the lake level are identified and quantified. Lake-level changes reflecting variations in lake volume are dominated by a seasonal cycle of 1.2 m in amplitude. Lake-volume changes occur in addition with a daily period in response to melt water influx from surrounding glaciers. Sporadic lake-volume jumps are caused by bursting of the ice dam of Perito Moreno glacier. Water movements in Lago Argentino are dominated by surface seiches reaching 20 cm in amplitude. Lake tides reach a maximum amplitude of 3 mm. The comparison of the tidal signal extracted from the lake-level observations with a model composed of the contributions of body tide and ocean tidal loading indicates a phase shift of 23° which is most likely explained by an 1 hour phase lag of global ocean tide models in the region of the highly fragmented Pacific coast. The comparison of the obtained results with those of a previous study of Lago Fagnano, Tierra del Fuego, allows to relate differences in the hydrological and hydrodynamic processes between both lakes to morphological properties. This leads to a tentative prediction of the lake-level variability to be expected from other great Patagonian lakes. The presented geodetic results shall serve as a starting point for a detailed limnological investigation of these aquatic ecosystems.

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Supporting Agencies

German Research Foundation DFG, Subsecretaría de Recursos Hídricos, Buenos Aires, Servicio Meteorológico Nacional, Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Prefectura Naval Lago Argentino, El Calafate
Andreas Richter, Technische Universität Dresden

Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, La Plata, Argentina; CONICET, Argentina;

Institut für Planetare Geodäsie, Germany

Eric Marderwald, Universidad Nacional de La Plata
acultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas; CONICET
Luciano Mendoza, Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas; CONICET
Raúl Perdomo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas
Mirko Scheinert, Technische Universität Dresden
Institut für Planetare Geodäsie
Martin Horwath, Technische Universität Dresden
Institut für Planetare Geodäsie
Reinhard Dietrich, Technische Universität Dresden
Institut für Planetare Geodäsie

How to Cite

Richter, Andreas, Eric Marderwald, José L. Hormaechea, Luciano Mendoza, Raúl Perdomo, Gerardo Connon, Mirko Scheinert, Martin Horwath, and Reinhard Dietrich. 2015. “Lake-Level Variations and Tides in Lago Argentino, Patagonia: Insights from Pressure Tide Gauge Records”. Journal of Limnology 75 (1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jlimnol.2015.1189.

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