The laboratory for monitoring of the dynamics of snow and ice
The laboratory for monitoring of the dynamics of snow and ice resources as independent research department in the structure of the CARGC was established in 2021. Glaciological research began in the Sector of Geography in 1939 under the leadership of N.N. Palgov. Glaciological research developed especially intensively during the period of the International Geophysical Year (1957-59), International Hydrological Decade - (1965-74) and Intergovernmental Hydrological Program - IHP, when complex glacial-hydro-climatic studies in all mountain-glacial regions of Kazakhstan. In 1963 started works for producing Inventories of Glaciers of the USSR and international program "Fluctuations of the Glacier Regime". In 1965-1974 scientists of the Sector of Geography of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR participated in the MHD program. In the 1980s, about 80 glaciological maps were produced for the Atlas of the Snow and Ice Resources of the World. All mountainous regions of Kazakhstan were covered by glaciological studies at different times. The most studied areas are Zhetysu (Dzhungarskiy) and Ile (Zailiyskiy) Alatau. In these areas are located the reference glaciers of the World Glacier Monitoring Service - Shumskiy and Tuiyksu (Tuyuksu).
Since the 1970s, the Laboratory of Snow Cover and Avalanches under the leadership of I.V. Severskiy studied the conditions for the formation of avalanches in the mountainous regions of Kazakhstan and developed methods for assessing and mapping of avalanche danger. Since 2004, these research directions have been combined in the laboratory of glaciology.
- monitoring of the development of the cryosphere components of the runoff formation zone (snow cover, glaciers, ground ice);
- produce of new inventories of glaciers of control basins;
- study of climatic conditions of glacier evolution, ablation and runoff;
- assessment of current and forecast changes of glacial systems of transboundary basins and impact to the river runoff;
- assessment of climate-related changes in the temperature regime of permafrost;
- analysis of the current conditions and changes in the characteristics of snow cover in conditions of changing climate;
- assessment of climatic risks of the cold season in the mountainous environment;
- study of the dynamics of snow cover using remote sensing data;
- study of the laws of formation, distribution and dynamics of glacial lakes in the context of mudflow hazard in mountainous areas
Currently, the laboratory employs 14 employees, including 4 candidates of geographical sciences, 1 senior research worker, 2 research workers, 2 junior research workers, 3 leading engineers and 2 engineers.
- the conditions for the formation of avalanches were studied and methods for assessing of the snow mass of mountainous regions of Kazakhstan were developed;
- the dynamics of glaciation of the mountains of the region was studied based on the analysis of remote sensing data;
- changes of climatic characteristics and snow mass in the zone of formation of the runoff of large rivers of Kazakhstan have been studied;
- the conditions of formation and dynamics of glacial lakes in mountainous regions of Kazakhstan have been studied;
- maps of hazard and risk of snowfalls and snow loads were made for the Atlas of natural and anthropogenic hazards and risks of emergency situations in the Republic of Kazakhstan
Expeditionary and field research
The experimental base of the laboratory consists of 3 mountain stations in the Northern Tien Shan with a complex of year-round observations: glaciological "Tuiyksu Glacier" in the basin of Kishi Almaty river at the altitude of 3500 m; hydrophysical "Big Almaty Lake" and geocryological "Zhosaly-Kezen" in the basin of Ulken Almaty river at the altitude of 2500 and 3400 m respectively. At the Tuiyksu Glacier station the year-round observations of the components of the mass balance of the Tuiyksu glacier are conducted. The observations data is annually submitted to the World Glacier Monitoring Service. At the Zhosaly-Kezen station the monitoring of the temperature regime of permafrost grounds is carried out and the impact of climatic changes on their condition is studied. Field work includes the study of snow mass on the glacier and test sites, drilling and installation of accumulation-ablation stakes on glaciers, geodetic works, aerovisual and bathymetric surveys of glacial lakes.
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