Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Present Glaciers of Tavan Bogd Mountain Massif and Their Changes Since the LIA

Version 1 : Received: 17 August 2018 / Approved: 18 August 2018 / Online: 18 August 2018 (08:38:09 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Ganyushkin, D.A.; Chistyakov, K.V.; Volkov, I.V.; Bantcev, D.V.; Kunaeva, E.P.; Andreeva, T.A.; Terekhov, A.V.; Otgonbayar, D. Present Glaciers of Tavan Bogd Massif in the Altai Mountains, Central Asia, and Their Changes since the Little Ice Age. Geosciences 2018, 8, 414. Ganyushkin, D.A.; Chistyakov, K.V.; Volkov, I.V.; Bantcev, D.V.; Kunaeva, E.P.; Andreeva, T.A.; Terekhov, A.V.; Otgonbayar, D. Present Glaciers of Tavan Bogd Massif in the Altai Mountains, Central Asia, and Their Changes since the Little Ice Age. Geosciences 2018, 8, 414.

Journal reference: Geosciences 2018, 8, 414
DOI: 10.3390/geosciences8110414

Abstract

The study is based on the results of long-term field studies, satellite and aerial data analysis. In the maximum of the Little Ice Age (LIA) 243 glaciers with a total area of 353.4 km2 were reconstructed. By the results of interpretation of Corona images by 1968 the number of glaciers increased (236), the total area reduced to 242 km2. In 2010 glaciation was represented by 237 glaciers with a total area of 201 km2. Thus, from the maximum of the LIA, the glaciation of the Tavan-Bogd mountains decreased by 43%, which is somewhat less than the neighboring glacial centers (Ikh-Turgen, Tsambagarav, Tsengel-Khayrkhan and Mongun-Taiga mountains). The probable cause is the predominance of larger glaciers relatively resistant to warming and higher altitudes. The effect of glacier size on their stability is supported by differences in the relative shrinkage of glaciers in different parts of the Tavan-Bogdo-Ola massif: the smallest decline occurred in the basins of the Tsagan-Gol (31.7%) and Sangadir (36.4%) rivers where the largest glaciers are located. On the contrary, on the lower periphery of the massif, where small glaciers predominate, the relative reduction was large (74-79%). On the background of the general retreat trend large valleys glaciers retreated faster in 1968-1977 and after 2010. In 1990-s the retreat was slow. After 2010 the glacial retreat was extremely fast. The retreat of glaciers in the last 50-60 years was caused by a trend towards a decrease in the amount of precipitation until the mid-1970s and a sharp warming in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Subject Areas

Inner Asia; Altai; glaciers; shrinkage; LIA; present dynamics

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