Fedchenko Glacier

Fedchenko Glacier

The Fedchenko Glacier (Russian Федченко, also transliterated Fedcenko) is a large glacier in the Pamir Mountains of central Tajikistan. The glacier is long and narrow, currently extending for 77 km (47 miles) and covering over 700 km² (270 mi²). It is the longest glacier in the world outside of the polar regions. [ In the Karakoram Mountains, Siachen Glacier is 70 km long, Biafo Glacier is 63 km long, and Baltura and Baltoro are 57 km long. TheBruggen or Pio XI Glacier in southern Chile is 64 km long. Kyrgyzstan's South Inylchek (Enylchek) Glacier is 62 km in length. Measurements are from recent imagery, generally with Russian 1:200,000 scale topographic mapping for reference as well as the 1990 "Orographic Sketch
] The maximum thickness of the glacier is 1,000 meters (3,280 ft), and the volume of the Fedchenko and its dozens of tributaries is estimated at 144 km³ (35 mi³) - about a third the volume of Lake Erie.

The glacier follows a generally northward path to the east of the 6,595 meter (21,637 ft) Garmo Peak. The glacier begins at an elevation of 6,200 meters (20,340 ft) above sea level, and eventually melts and empties into the Balandkiik River near the border with Kyrgyzstan at an elevation of 2,909 meters (9,544 ft). Its waters eventually feed into the Muksu, Vakhsh, and Amu Darya rivers.

The glacier was discovered in 1878 but not fully explored until 1928. It is named after Alexei Pavlovich Fedchenko, a Russian explorer (but not discoverer of the glacier).

The Tajik government has recently expressed concerns that the Fedchenko and other Pamir glaciers have been shrinking due to global warming, and that continuing temperature increases could endanger that nation's water supply and extensive hydroelectric power infrastructure, both of which are driven almost entirely by glacier melt.


ee also

* List of glaciers

External links

* [http://enrin.grida.no/htmls/tadjik/vitalgraphics/eng/html/u4.htm Map of glaciation in the Pamir Mountains]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?q=tajikistan&ll=38.8,72.350464&spn=0.507324,2.045654&t=h&hl=en Google Maps satellite photo of Fedchenco Glacier] (solid white line running approximately vertically in center of image)
* [http://weather.cnn.com/weather/forecast.jsp?locCode=TJ05 Current weather and 5-day forecast] , from CNN


* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9033891 "Fedchenko Glacier"] . Encyclopædia Britannica online edition. Retrieved December 8, 2005.
* [http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/tainc1.pdf "The First National Communication of the Republic of Tajikistan under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] . Repeblic of Tajikistan Ministry for Nature Protection. Dushanbe: 2002.
* [http://enrin.grida.no/htmls/tadjik/vitalgraphics/eng/html/uyazv.htm "Tajikistan 2002: Vital Maps and Graphics on Climate Change"] . Tajikistan Met Service. Retrieved August 18, 2005.
* [http://countrystudies.us/tajikistan/14.htm "Tajikistan - Topography and Drainage"] . U.S. Department of the Army. Published by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. Online version retrieved December 8, 2005.

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