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The Cryosphere, 5, 539-549, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-539-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
11 Jul 2011
Favorable climatic regime for maintaining the present-day geometry of the Gregoriev Glacier, Inner Tien Shan
K. Fujita1, N. Takeuchi2, S. A. Nikitin3, A. B. Surazakov4, S. Okamoto1, V. B. Aizen4, and J. Kubota5 1Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
2Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
3Department of Glacio-Climatology, Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia
4College of Science, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA
5Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan
Abstract. We conducted 2 yr (2005–2007) of in situ meteorological and glaciological observations on the Gregoriev Glacier, a flat-top glacier within the Inner Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan. Relative carrier-phase GPS surveys reveal a vertical lowering at the summit of the glacier. Based on snow density data and an energy-mass balance model, we estimate that the annual precipitation and summer mean temperature required to maintain the glacier in the current state are 289 mm and −3.8 °C at the glacier summit (4600 m a.s.l.), respectively. The good agreement between dynamically derived precipitation and the long-term observed precipitation at a nearby station in the Tien Shan (296 mm at 3614 m a.s.l. for the period 1930–2002) suggests that the glacier has been in a near steady-state in terms of mass supply. The glacier mass-balance, reconstructed based on meteorological data from the Tien Shan station for the past 80 yr, explains the observed fluctuations in glacier extent, particularly the negative mass balance in the 1990s.

Citation: Fujita, K., Takeuchi, N., Nikitin, S. A., Surazakov, A. B., Okamoto, S., Aizen, V. B., and Kubota, J.: Favorable climatic regime for maintaining the present-day geometry of the Gregoriev Glacier, Inner Tien Shan, The Cryosphere, 5, 539-549, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-539-2011, 2011.
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