April 2, 2013
Krivosheina Glacier is a tidewater glacier on the northwest coast of Novaya Zemlya ending in the Barents Sea. A recent study by LEGOS (Laboratoire D’Eetudes en Geophysicque et Oceanographie Spatiales) in France highlights the changes of these glaciers from 1990-2000. They note that Krivosheina Glacier lost 3.3 square kilometers of area due to retreat in that decade. Given the recent reduction in Arctic Sea Ice in the region, these glaciers are facing dramatic climate changes. Here we examine satellite imagery from 1988, 2009 and 2011 to identify glacier change. In 1988 the glacier ended on an island, labelled Point A on each image. The north edge of the terminus turned the corner into northwest into a bay just west of Point B. The southern side of the terminus ended at the nose of a ridge just west of Point C. By 2009 a deep water channel was present between the island and the terminus. The north side of the terminus ended just south of Point B and the southern side of the terminus had retreated across the side valley to the east of Point C. By 2011 the terminus had retreated 2 km from its 1988 terminus position on the island and 1400 meters at the south side near Point C. Given that the glacier is 4.6 km wide, this retreat that averaged 1.6 km equals an area loss of 7 square kilometers since 1988. This retreat is similar to that of Nizkiy and Glazova Glacier just to the south and Roze and Sredniy Glacier on the east side of the island.