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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-312
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-312
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  28 Jan 2020

28 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Modelling the evolution of Djankuat Glacier, North Caucasus, from 1752 until 2100 AD

Yoni Verhaegen1, Philippe Huybrechts1, Oleg Rybak1,2,3, and Victor V. Popovnin4 Yoni Verhaegen et al.
  • 1Earth System Science and Department of Geography, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B−1050 Brussels, Belgium
  • 2Water Problems Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Gubkina Str. 3, 119333 Moscow, Russia
  • 3Sochi Research Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Theatralnaya Str., 8-a, 354000 Sochi, Russia
  • 4Department of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1 Leninskie Gory, 119991 Moscow, Russia

Abstract. We use a numerical 1.5D model to simulate the behaviour of the Djankuat Glacier, a WGMS reference glacier situated in the North Caucasus (Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Russian Federation), in response to past, present and future climate conditions (1752–2100 AD). The model consists of a coupled ice flow−mass balance model that also takes into account the evolution of a supraglacial debris cover. After simulation of the past retreat by applying a dynamic calibration procedure, the model was forced with climatic data for the future period under different scenarios regarding temperature, precipitation and debris input. The main results show that the glacier length and surface area have decreased by 1.4 km and 1.6 km2 respectively between the initial state in 1752 AD and present-day conditions. Some minor stabilization and/or readvancements of the glacier have occurred, but the general trend shows an almost continuous retreat since the 1850s. Future projections exhibit a further decline of the glacier. Under constant present-day climate conditions, its length and surface area will further shrink by ca. 50 % by 2100 AD. However, even under the most extreme RCP 8.5 scenario, the glacier will not have disappeared completely. The presence of an increasingly widespread supraglacial debris cover is shown to significantly delay glacier retreat, depending on the interaction between the prevailing climatic conditions, the debris input location, the debris mass flux magnitude and the time of release of debris sources from the surrounding topography.

Yoni Verhaegen et al.

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Yoni Verhaegen et al.

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Short summary
We use a numerical 1.5D model to simulate the behaviour of the Djankuat Glacier, a WGMS reference glacier situated in the North Caucasus (Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Russian Federation), in response to past, present and future climate conditions (1752–2100 AD). In particular, we adapt a sophisticated and physically based debris model to look at the impact of a debris cover on the glacier’s evolution, which has not been previously applied.
We use a numerical 1.5D model to simulate the behaviour of the Djankuat Glacier, a WGMS...
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