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Recent retreat of the Elbrus glacier system



The glacier system covering Europe's highest mountain, Elbrus, has exhibited an accelerated retreat since 1980. Some studies have related this retreat to a significant summer temperature increasing trend. Relief- and aspect-related parameters for the glacierized area have an important impact on glacier changes. In this paper, the changes in glacier area are identified, quantified and correlated with relief parameters for the period 1985–2007. Spatial analysis was performed using the GLAM-CD (Glacier Mapper – Change Detector) algorithm. The input data for this algorithm were Landsat 5 images, the Aster Global Digital Elevation and the glacier outlines from the GLIMS project (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space). Regression analyses between glacier area losses and relief-related parameters indicate a significant positive relation with the altitude and a significant negative relation with the glacier surface area. In this context, we used a correlated component regression to model these relations. The model explains >50% of the total variation.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence: Iulian-Horia Holobâcă <>


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Recent retreat of the Elbrus glacier system



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