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Glacier characteristics and changes in the Sary-Jaz River Basin (Central Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan) – 1990–2010


Osmonov, Azamat; Bolch, Tobias; Xi, Chen; Kurban, Alishir; Guo, Wanqing (2013). Glacier characteristics and changes in the Sary-Jaz River Basin (Central Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan) – 1990–2010. Remote Sensing Letters, 4(8):725-734.

Abstract

The water discharge from the heavily glacierized Sary-Jaz River Basin (Eastern Kyrgyzstan) is of high importance for the very arid Tarim Basin located in Xinjiang (north-western China). We investigated glacier changes in the entire Sary-Jaz River Basin, which covers a large part of the Central Tien Shan, for the period from 1990 to 2010 based on Landsat ‘TM’/‘ETM+’data. We found 1310 glaciers (>0.1 km²), which covered 2055 ± 41.1 km² (∼18% of the entire basin) in 1990. The glaciers shrank by 77.1 ± 57.1 km² (3.7 ± 2.7%) until 2010. This is considerably lower than in most other ranges of the Tien Shan. The lowest insignificant area loss (−1.5 ± 2.7%) was found in the eastern part of the basin where the largest glaciers and highest peaks are situated. Debris-covered glaciers shrank significantly less than clean-ice glaciers of comparable size. We also identified a few advancing glaciers which show surge characteristics. Climate data from the Tien Shan weather station (3614 m asl.) close to the study region showed no significant long-term trend.

Abstract

The water discharge from the heavily glacierized Sary-Jaz River Basin (Eastern Kyrgyzstan) is of high importance for the very arid Tarim Basin located in Xinjiang (north-western China). We investigated glacier changes in the entire Sary-Jaz River Basin, which covers a large part of the Central Tien Shan, for the period from 1990 to 2010 based on Landsat ‘TM’/‘ETM+’data. We found 1310 glaciers (>0.1 km²), which covered 2055 ± 41.1 km² (∼18% of the entire basin) in 1990. The glaciers shrank by 77.1 ± 57.1 km² (3.7 ± 2.7%) until 2010. This is considerably lower than in most other ranges of the Tien Shan. The lowest insignificant area loss (−1.5 ± 2.7%) was found in the eastern part of the basin where the largest glaciers and highest peaks are situated. Debris-covered glaciers shrank significantly less than clean-ice glaciers of comparable size. We also identified a few advancing glaciers which show surge characteristics. Climate data from the Tien Shan weather station (3614 m asl.) close to the study region showed no significant long-term trend.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:20 Dec 2013 11:28
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 01:25
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:2150-704X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/2150704X.2013.789146

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