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The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a correlation between the El Ni~no Southern Oscillation, sea surface temperatures (SST) and the climate of the Rio Santa Basin. This study is an important step in understanding the dynamics of the glaciers as a critical control on hydrological features in alpine Andes Valleys. Temperature and precipitation measurements pulled from ground based weather stations in the Rio Santa drainage basin were aggregated, synchronized, and correlated with the changes in the Pacific ocean SST o the coast of Peru and into the central Pacific. The expectation is that we will see a significant correlation between the changing temperatures in the ocean in response to the ENSO events and the measurable changes in the valley but with a dependence on elevation as we rise from sea level to 4500 meters. The anticipated outcome would mean that changes in the ocean can aect long term and short-term atmospheric processes and mass balance of glaciers. Glaciers are critical for water resources of the Peruvian Andes, supplying agricultural, hydroelectric and everyday needs of hundreds of thousands of natives of Peru. These people rely on the steady flow of water from the mountain glaciers, especially during the 6-month dry season.



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Robert Hellstrom, Thesis Advisor

Dr. Thomas Kling, Committee Member

Dr. Jeffrey Williams, Committee Member

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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