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The evolution of Fedchenko glacier in the Pamir, Tajikistan, during the past eight decades

  • Astrid Lambrecht (a1), Christoph Mayer (a1), Vladimir Aizen (a2), Dana Floricioiu (a3) and Arzhan Surazakov (a2)...

Abstract

Fedchenko glacier is by far the largest glacier in the Pamir, Tajikistan. Owing to early accurate mapping of the glacier it is possible to evaluate glacier changes over eight decades, which is an exceptionally long time period for this remote mountain region. During this time a total volume loss of 5 km3 was observed on the main trunk of the glacier, while the total area changed by only 1.4%. It is observed that the volume loss migrates from the lower parts of the glacier towards the upper ablation zone. The comparatively small change in area is a result of the supraglacial debris cover on the glacier tongue, which decouples the area loss from the volume loss to a considerable degree. The observed velocities of the glacier do not reflect the volume changes up to now because the interannual variability is larger than possible long-term changes so far. The intra-annual velocity distribution in the central ablation zone probably reflects the evolution of the basal drainage system. Based on ice thickness measurements and simple ice-dynamic assumptions, the total volume of Fedchenko glacier is 123.4 ± 8 km3.

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References

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Keywords

The evolution of Fedchenko glacier in the Pamir, Tajikistan, during the past eight decades

  • Astrid Lambrecht (a1), Christoph Mayer (a1), Vladimir Aizen (a2), Dana Floricioiu (a3) and Arzhan Surazakov (a2)...

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