Changes of Marukh glacier from 1967 to 2011

S.S. Kutuzov (1), I.I. Lavrentiev (1), Yu.Ya. Macheret (1), D.A. Petrakov (2).

(1) Institute of Geography RAS, (2) Lomonosov Moscow State University


Ice and Snow, №1, 2012, p. 123-127




Field studies have been carried out at Marukh glacier located in western part of the Northern Caucasus in summer 2011. The studies included ground–based radio–echo sounding measurements at a frequency of 20 MHz and glacier surface elevation survey using a dual frequency differential GPS receiver (Fig. 1). Volume and surface area changes of the glacier for the period 1945–2011 have been estimated using aerial photo, satellite images and topographic maps analysis. It is founded that Marukh glacier is retreating and has reduced its surface area by 17% for the past 66 years. Glacier volume is 0,273 km3 in 2011 and has decreased by 0,06 km3 since 1967 (Fig. 2).



Fig. 1. Ground based radar (1) and DGPS (2) profiles at the Marukh glacier and at it’s separated part (Marushonok glacier) are shown. Marukh glacier boundary of 2011 is also shown (3). EROS–B 14.09.2011 г. used as a background.



Fig. 2. (a) Ice thickness of Marukh and Marushonok glaciers by radio–echo sounding data of 2011; (б) Glacier outlines in 1945–2011 and surface elevation changes in 1967–2011.


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