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EVOLUTION OF THE ELBRUS GLACIATION SINCE THE MID XIX CENTURY UNDER CHANGING CLIMATE. KEY FINDINGS OF THE GLACIO-CARTOGRAPHICAL MONITORING

https://doi.org/10.24057/2071-9388-2010-3-2-13-31

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Abstract

Changes in the area and volume that have been occurring from the middle of the XIX century within the largest in Europe Elbrus glaciation were studied using lichenometry and digital cartography methods. There were cyclical, approximately 55 years long, frontal fluctuations of glaciers Bolshoi Azau (the largest Elbrus glacier) and Dzhankuat (which is representative of all Central Caucasus glaciation).
Quantitative data on changes in the area and volume of the Elbrus glaciation indicated that the greatest rates of its retreat coincided with the 1850–1887 period. Beginning in 1887, the area reduction was occurring practically evenly through time while the decrease in its volume has even slowed down. These facts suggest that global climate warming, which alternated with short-term cooling periods, began in the middle of the XIX century after the end of the Little Ice Age. The warming was most likely due to natural rather than anthropogenic causes.

About the Authors

Yevgeniy Zolotarev

Russian Federation
Senior scientist of the Laboratory for Remote Sensing Methods, Department of Cartography, Faculty of Geography, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University


Yevgeniy Kharkovets

Russian Federation
Research Associate of the Laboratory for Remote Sensing Methods Department of Cartography, Faculty of Geography, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University



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For citation:


Zolotarev Y., Kharkovets Y. EVOLUTION OF THE ELBRUS GLACIATION SINCE THE MID XIX CENTURY UNDER CHANGING CLIMATE. KEY FINDINGS OF THE GLACIO-CARTOGRAPHICAL MONITORING. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2010;3(2):13-31. https://doi.org/10.24057/2071-9388-2010-3-2-13-31

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