Field researches of department of glaciology in 2018

Field researches within the framework of the program: «Transboundary river basins of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the people's Republic of China: scientific and applied bases of sustainable water supply to the population and economy in the conditions of climate change and economic activity for the period up to 2050», according to the calendar plan for sub-program 2 «Snow-ice resources as a base for formation of water-resources potential in transboundary basins of rivers Ile and Yertis» and grant project "Evolution of snow resources of zone of formation of rivers runoff of Balkash-Alakol basin in conditions of changing climate as a factor of water security and sustainable development" were carried out by department of glaciology in the mode of year-round monitoring of studied processes on the base of three research stations of Institute of geography on Northern Tien-Shan:

- two stations in Ulken Almaty river basin – hydrophysical, located  at the Big Almaty Lake (2500 m a.s.l.) and geocryological located at the pass Zhosaly-Kezen (3400 m a.s.l.).


Base of field researches at the stations in Ulken Almaty river basin (Big Almaty Lake and Zhosaly-Kezen) beside hydrometeorological monitoring there was made also monitoring of temperature of soils and grounds at the fixed depth in 32 boreholes, distributed by the territory of the basin, taking into account differences by absolute height, slopes exposition, type of vegetation and mechanical composition of grounds. There was also conducted monitoring of snow cover on the sites of created snow measurements net with the measurements of snow density in the period of snow maximum, monitoring of conditions of rock glacier Gorodetskiy and natural dangerous processes (mudflows, avalanches, cryogenic processes).

- glaciological «Tuiyksu glacier» in Kishi Almaty river basin (3500 m a.s.l.).

At glaciological station «Tuiyksu glacier» there was carried out complex of glaciological-climatic researches.


Year-round researches on the base of 3 high-mountain stations

Year-round monitoring consists of:

  • Climate monitoring;
  • Complex of glaciological monitoring with the measurements of components of Tuiyksu glacier mass balance (sums of precipitation by the net of precipitation gages, mode of ice and snow melting by 115 sticks evenly distributed in zone of glacier ablation, measurements of snow cover density in 5 holes distributed by the length of glacier;
  • Monitoring of condition of glacier lakes and dangerous processes (mudflows, snow avalanches, water-snow flows).


Installation of automatic meteorological station Campbell CR-3000 on the glacier Tuiyksu together with Professor of Reading University (UK) Shahgedanova Maria


Drilling works. Installation of sticks on Tuiyksu glacier


Determination of snow cover height in zone of runoff formation by accumulation sticks. Receiving and developing data from meteorological station (installed on Tuiyksu glacier in 2018)


Theodolite survey on Tuiyksu glacier. Works with 3D terrestrial laser scanner

Field studies were carried out in the mountains of Northern Tien-Shan and Zhetysu (Djungarskiy) Alatau with the target of studying high-mountain lakes for determination of degree of their danger.


Bathymetric works on high-mountain lakes of Ile and Zhetysu Alatau

During studied period there were conducted 5 aero-visual surveys together with State Agency «Kazselezashchita» of the Committee for emergency situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan


Aero-visual surveys of high-mountain lakes subjected to outburst danger in Ile and Zhetysu Alatau

Determination of main parameters of landslide, occurred on 17 April 2018 and blocked the road to popular touristic object «Kolsai lakes».


3D terrestrial laser scanner survey for DEM on 22.04.2018

In 2018 started sampling of glacier water for isotopic analysis for determination of share of glacier runoff in total runoff of Ulken and Kishi Almaty rivers basins.


Sampling of water for isotopic analysis in upper reaches of Ulken Almaty river basin


Survey trips to middle mountain zone of Ile Alatau (Assy, Shamalgan, Kaskelen rivers basins) for determination of potential sites for automatic meteorological stations installation

Department of glaciology is also studying changes of climate and runoff of mountain rivers for water supply of agriculture of piedmont territories of Ile Alatau.


Change of soils moisture and main phenological indicators of agricultural plants. Downloading data from automatic meteorological station installed on the territory of Agrobiocenter of al-Farabi National University

Results of field researches:

  • There was formed data base of meteorological parameters of glacial-nival zone (data of automatic meteorological stations);
  • There was determined maximal snow-water equivalent in zones of runoff formation, winter mass balance of Tuiyksu glacier was calculated;
  • There were determined main morphometric parameters and degree of danger of high-mountain lakes;
  • By the results of made aero-visual surveys together with State Agency «Kazselezashchita» of the Committee for emergency situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan there were planned field works on the high-mountain lakes;
  • There was continued year-round monitoring at the mountain stations with formation of unified data base;
  • There were received agro-climatic parameters from the test sites for the modeling of crop yield (model SALMED).