delware environmental institute

UDaily: Moving mountains Research in the Andes examines rock glacier dynamics for mining industry

UDaily: Moving mountains  Research in the Andes examines rock glacier dynamics for mining industry

When it comes to mining for copper and gold, prospectors will move mountains to make it happen. As in, physically dig up the rock, extract the precious metals and move the debris elsewhere. 

In the chilly high altitudes of the Andes Mountains, however, what may look like part of a mountain can in fact be a huge, frozen block of rock fragments and ice. When some of that ice melts in the spring, these so-called “rock glaciers” become a valuable source of water for local populations.