CryoSat-2 swath radar altimetry is employed successfully to map elevation change over the Patagonian Ice Fields at sub-kilometer spatial resolution. Despite the challenging topography, similar to that of mountain glaciers, the technique can be used to observe changes over individual glaciers or catchments with an area as small as 300 km2.

Between April 2011 and March 2017, the Ice Fields lost mass at a combined rate of 21.29 ± 1.98 Gt a−1 (equivalent to 0.059 ± 0.005 mm a−1 eustatic sea level rise), an increase of 24% and 42% when compared to the periods 2000–2012/14 and 1975–2000, respectively.

Heterogeneous and rapid ice loss over the Patagonian Ice Fields