Can the mass balance of the entire glacier area of the Tien Shan be estimated?

M.B. Dyurgerov, M.G. Kunakhovitch, V.N. Mikhalenko, A. M. Sokalskaya, V. A. Kuzmichenok
1992 Annals of Glaciology  
The total area of glacierization of the Tien Shan in the boundary area of the USSR is about 8000 km2. The computation of mass balance was determined for this area in 12 river basins.In computation procedure, the vertical profile of snow accumulation in these regions and exponential dependence of variation of ablation with altitude are used. Thus the mass balance in each basin,bn, was calculated on the basis of these curves and represented in its relation with the equilibrium line altitude
more » ... line altitude (ELA). It is shown that the relation ELA =f(bn) is linear when the range ofbnvalues is close to zero, and in all altitude intervals this relation can be described by hypsographic curves, in all basinsbnpositive up to an ELA elevation of 3450 to 3500 m a.s.l. For average annual altitude of ELA,bnis negative for all regions. So the glaciers of these mountains add about 4 km3of water to the total annual runoff.
doi:10.1017/s0260305500005024 fatcat:zx7sjpradjdwfp4uuapmy4ywda