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Mountain glaciers of southeast Siberia: current state and changes since the Little Ice Age

  • E.Yu. Osipov (a1) and O.P. Osipova (a2)
Abstract

Contemporary glaciers of southeast Siberia are located on three high-mountain ridges (east Sayan, Baikalsky and Kodar). In this study, we present an updated glacier inventory based on high- to middle-resolution satellite imagery and field investigations. The inventory includes 51 glaciers with a total area of - 15 km2. Areas of individual glaciers vary from 0.06 to 1.33 km2, lengths from 130 to 2010 m and elevations from 1796 to 3490 m. The recent ice maximum extents (Little Ice Age) have been delineated from terminal moraines. On average, debris-free surface area shrunk by 59% between 1850 and 2006/11 (0.37% a–1), by 44% between 1850 and 2001/02 (0.29% a–1) and by 27% between 2001/02 and 2006/11 (3.39% a–1). The Kodar glaciers have experienced the largest area shrinkage, while the area loss on Baikalsky ridge was more moderate. Glacier changes are mainly related to regional summer temperature increase (by 1.7-2.6C from 1970 to 2010). There are some differences in glacier response due to different spatial patterns of snow accumulation, local topography (e.g. glacier elevation, slope) and geological activity. The studied glaciers (especially of Kodar ridge) are the most sensitive in Siberia to climate change since the late 20th century.

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References
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Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
  • EISSN: 1727-5644
  • URL: /core/journals/annals-of-glaciology
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