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Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 216;

Using ArcticDEM to Analyse the Dimensions and Dynamics of Debris-Covered Glaciers in Kamchatka, Russia

School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M15 6BH, UK
High-Mountain Geophysical Institute, 360030 Nalchik, Russia
Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth PO1 2UP, UK
Cryosphere Research Department, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-680 Poznań, Poland
Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119017 Moscow, Russia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glacial and Geomorphological Cartography)
PDF [9642 KB, uploaded 13 June 2018]


On the Kamchatka Peninsula, a number of glaciers are covered by thick volcanic debris, which makes their margins difficult to delineate from satellite imagery. Fortunately, high resolution, multi-temporal digital surface models (DSMs) covering the entire peninsula have recently become freely available (i.e., ArcticDEM). We use these DSMs to analyse the dimensions and dynamics of debris-covered glaciers in the northern Kluchevskoy Volcanic Group, central Kamchatka. This approach demonstrates that between 2012 and 2016, some of the region’s glaciers advanced despite regional and local climate warming. These glacial advances are part of a long-term trend, presumed to reflect the role of extensive supraglacial debris in limiting ice ablation, though there is also evidence for local ice melt due to supraglacial lava/debris flows. Glacier surface velocities during the period 2012–2015 were typically 5–140 m yr−1. Velocities for the major outlets of the region’s central icefield were typically higher than for other extensively debris-covered glaciers globally, likely reflecting the influence of ice supply from the high altitude Ushkovsky caldera. In all, we find ArcticDEM useful for analysing debris-covered glaciers in Kamchatka, providing important information on flow dynamics and terminus change that is difficult to derive from satellite imagery. View Full-Text
Keywords: ArcticDEM; glaciers; debris-covered; volcano; volcanic activity; Kluchevskoy; Kamchatka ArcticDEM; glaciers; debris-covered; volcano; volcanic activity; Kluchevskoy; Kamchatka

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Barr, I.D.; Dokukin, M.D.; Kougkoulos, I.; Livingstone, S.J.; Lovell, H.; Małecki, J.; Muraviev, A.Y. Using ArcticDEM to Analyse the Dimensions and Dynamics of Debris-Covered Glaciers in Kamchatka, Russia. Geosciences 2018, 8, 216.

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