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Journal Article

Reconstructed Centennial Mass Balance Change for Golubin Glacier, Northern Tien Shan


Azisov,  Erlan
External Organizations;

Hoelzle,  Martin
External Organizations;


Vorogushyn,  S.
4.4 Hydrology, 4.0 Geosystems, Departments, GFZ Publication Database, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum;

Saks,  Tomas
External Organizations;

Usubaliev,  Ryskul
External Organizations;

Esenaman uulu,  Mukhammed
External Organizations;

Barandun,  Martina
External Organizations;

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Azisov, E., Hoelzle, M., Vorogushyn, S., Saks, T., Usubaliev, R., Esenaman uulu, M., Barandun, M. (2022): Reconstructed Centennial Mass Balance Change for Golubin Glacier, Northern Tien Shan. - Atmosphere, 13, 6, 954.

Cite as: https://gfzpublic.gfz-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_5012042
Mass balance measurements for Golubin glacier in Northern Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan, have been discontinuous over the last century, with significant data gaps. We provide a unique over 100-year-long mass balance series on daily resolution. We applied a temperature index model calibrated with glaciological measurements and validated with secular mass balances derived from independent length change observations. A comparison with other recent geodetic studies reveals good agreement. Golubin lost −0.16 ± 0.45 m w.e. a−1 from 1900/1901 to 2020/2021. From the long-term mass balance time series, we identify a shift to a more negative/less positive regime with time, with a steepening of the ablation and accumulation gradients, especially for the past two decades. We observe a parallel shift of the mass balance gradient accompanied by a rotation of the ablation gradient due to increased ablation at the glacier tongue and accumulation above the equilibrium line altitude. This tendency is believed to intensify in the future, affecting glaciers’ mass balance sensitivity to changes in atmospheric conditions and year-to-year variability and resulting in irregular melt water release feeding the rivers that provide water to Bishkek. These kinds of datasets are sparse for Tien Shan and, yet, indispensable to enhancing our understanding of glacier changes in High Mountain Asia.