November 4, 2011

Retreat of Roze and Sredniy Glacier and New Island Formation Novaya Zemyla

Posted by Mauri Pelto

The glaciers of northern Novaya Zemyla, Russia receive little attention. There remoteness and lack of importance as a water resource being the key reasons. A recent map produced by LEGOS (Laboratoire D’Eetudes en Geophysicque et Oceanographie Spatiales) in France highlights the changes of these glaciers from 1990-2000. The Roze Glacier and Sredniy glacier are the two northern most glaciers that reach tidewater on the east coast. Roze glaciers is noted by LEGOS (Alexei Kouarev, Frédérique Rémy and Benoit Legresy) as having lost 6.5 square kilometers of area from 1990-2000. Sredniy Glacier lost 1.35 square kilometers. In this post we examine the changes from 1989 to 2011 and zoom in the retreat from 2006 to 2011 using Landsat images. The first image is from 2006 and illustrates the snowline at 900 feet and the tidewater termini. he second image is a comparison of 1989 to 2011. In 1989 the Sredniy has quite a broad tidewater terminus compared to 2011. The Roze Glacier protruded beyond the coastline in 1989, by 2011 it is retreating into and expanding bay. on the northeast side a new peninsulas has been exposed. This is not the only new island as Krivosheina Glacier on the northwest coast has retreated exposing a new island as well. . A closeup pairing of a 2006 (left) and 2011(right) image indicate that Sredniy Glacier retreat is exposing a new island (red arrow) and a new cape is also evident green arrow). On Roze Glacier the combined 2006-2011 image illustrates the retreat on the northeast side of the terminus (red arrow), and the increasing distance from the terminus to a small island (green arrow).