Recent changes of glacier coverage in the western Terskey-Alatoo range, Kyrgyz Republic, using Corona and Landsat
Abstract:Corona images from 1971 and a Landsat image from 2002 are used to assess glacier variations in the last 30 years in the western Terskey-Alatoo range (a part of the Tien Shan), in the northeast of the Kyrgyz Republic. The glaciers have shrunk during this period. The 269 mountain glaciers measured in the study area had an original combined area of 245 km2, which has decreased 18.4 km2, representing a loss of 8% of the original glacier coverage in 1971. Individual glaciers covering <1 km2 account for 28% of the combined glacial coverage, but loss from these small glaciers represents 38% of the total decrease in area. The relative change of area is larger for small-scale glaciers, and its contribution to shrinkage of glacier area is high. This shrinkage has been linked to climate changes as recorded at local stations. Many small-scale glaciers are distributed around Issyk-Kul lake, and rapid glacier reduction is expected in this area in the future.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2006
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