October 5, 2018
Inostrantseva Glacier, Novaya Zemlya Retreat Drives Separation
Posted by Mauri Pelto
Inostrantseva Glacier (I) and Pavlova Glacier (P), Novaya Zemlya in 1995 and 2017 Landsat images. Red arrow indicates the 1995 terminus, yellow arrow the 2017 terminus and purple dots the snowline.
Inostrantseva Glacier is on the west coast of Northern Noyaya Zemlya terminating in Inostrantseva Bay along with Pavlova Glacier. Carr et al (2017) examined Novaya Zemlya glacier retreat between 1973/76 and 2015, finding that between 2000 and 2013, retreat rates were significantly higher on marine-terminating outlet glaciers than during the previous 27 years. Here we examine changes in Inostrantseva Glacier from 1995-2018 using Landsat imagery.
In 1995 the glacier terminated at the red arrow, just beyond the junction with a tributary joining from the west. The snowline is at 400-450 m, with the divide of the icefield at ~600 m. Pavlova Glacier terminus is at outer margin of its embayment. In 2000 there is limited terminus change, and the snowline in this July image is at 250-300 m. By 2013 Inostrantseva Glacier has separated has separated from the western tributary and has retreated 2800 m since 2000. The snowline is at 350-400 m. Pavlova Glacier has retreated creating an embayment that is 1.5-2.0 km long. In 2017 the terminus has retreated 2800-3000 m since 1995. The snowline is at 300 m. In 2018 there is not a clear view of the terminus of the Inostrantseva Glacier, what is noteworthy is that the melt zone/snow line for the first time I have seen crosses the entire icefield, being higher than the divide at 600 m. On August 8, there is still some snowpack remaining along the divide. By August 31 the melt zone extends across the entire icefield. The high snowline indicates 2018 will be a year of significant mass loss on this portion of the Novaya Zemlya ice cap. Pelto (2017) and Carr et al (2017) discuss the role reduced Barents Sea Ice duration played in the retreat. Carr et al (2017) indicate the fastest retreat of Inostrantseva was from 2005-2010. The retreat here is similar to that of other nearby Novaya Zemlya glaciers such as Vera Glacier, Mack and Velkena Glacier or Chernysheva Glacier.
Inostrantseva Glacier (I) , Novaya Zemlya 8/8/2018 and 8/31/2018 Landsat images. Red arrow indicates the 1995 terminus, yellow arrow the 2017 terminus and purple dots the snowline. Note the east margin of the icefield is shown and that the snowline/melt zone extends across the entire icefield.
Inostrantseva Glacier (I) and Pavlova Glacier (P), Novaya Zemlya in 2000 and 2013 Landsat images. Red arrow indicates the 1995 terminus, yellow arrow the 2017 terminus and purple dots the snowline.