Revista de geografía Norte Grande
On-line version ISSN 0718-3402
BRENNING, Alexander and AZOCAR, Guillermo F. Minería y glaciares rocosos: impactos ambientales, antecedentes políticos y legales, y perspectivas futuras. Rev. geogr. Norte Gd. [online]. 2010, n.47, pp. 143-158. ISSN 0718-3402. doi: 10.4067/S0718-34022010000300008.
The scientific and political interest in Andean rock glaciers has strongly grown in recent years due to the increasing recognition of their hydrological importance and recent impacts of mining on rock glaciers. We present a review of the scientific knowledge and political and legal context of past and current impacts on rock glaciers in Chile and, in a preliminary form, in Argentina and Peru. In these countries, 26 mining projects have already affected rock glaciers or may possibly do so in the future. Until now, the affected rock glacier area in Chile is approximately 3.3 square kilometres. We recommend broadening the current discussion about interventions of rock glaciers, which is mainly based on hydrological arguments, to take into account both long-term environmenta hazards such as the possible instability of rock glaciers with waste rock dumps, and the broad set of environmental services provided by rock glaciers.
Keywords : Rock glacier; mining; water resources; slope stability; environmental services.