Hagg, Wilfried; Mayer, Christoph; Lambrecht, Astrid; Helm, Achim; Michailjlow, W.
Glaciological results of the 2005 expedition to Inylchek Glacier, Central Tian Shan.
In: Geography, Environment, Sustainability, Vol. 1: pp. 38-45
Like many other glaciers in Central Asia, Southern Inylchek glacier in the Kyrgyz Tian Shan is covered by supraglacial moraine, which drastically influences melt rates and complicates the estimation of ablation. The quantification of sub-debris melt from simple parameters is still an unsolved problem, but also essential to predict future yield from high mountains. Snow cover and glacier ice are the main water storages for the surrounding arid lowlands and a better understanding of ablation processes is the prerequisite for a sustainable water resources management. Another interesting feature of Southern Inylchek glacier is the existence of an ice dammed lake in a tributary valley, which is drained regularly by outburst floods. Improvements in predicting these floods would lower the risk potential for the downstream population. The main objectives of a group of glaciologists which participated in an expedition to the glacier in 2005 were to investigate melt rates on debris covered glacier parts and to quantify the ice flux into the glacier lake. The results of their field experiments are reported in this paper.