Holocene history of Ullukam glacier

© 2012 г. Solomina O.N., Bushueva I.S., Kuderina T.M., Matskovsky V.V., Kudikov A.V.

Ice and Snow, #1, 2012

Using instrumental archives, aerial photographs, satellite images, old maps, descriptions of early explorers and old photographs we identified and mapped nine front positions of the Ullukam glacier (SW slope of Elbrus) for the period from the end of XIXth to the early XXIth centuries. In 1884–2009 glacier retreated by 775 m. It advanced from 1971 to 1987 (36 m). The glacier fluctuations in the previous period were reconstructed using geomorphologic data, lichenometry, modern and buried soil description and radiorarbon analyses. We identified three Little Ice Age moraines of almost equal magnitude when the Ullukam glacier was 889 m longer than in 2009. Two later advances occurred in the first third to middle of XIXth century and in 1870s The recent fluctuations of the Ullukam glacier closely correspond to the retreat two other glaciers in Elbus area. The location of the buried soil in the valley of Ullukam glacier bring evidence that the glacier have not advanced lower than 2813 m asl at least during the last four thousand years.

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