Glacier variations over the past centuries are still poorly documented on the southern slope of the Greater Caucasus. In this paper, the change of Chalaati Glacier in the Georgian Caucasus from its maximum extent during the Little Ice Age has been studied. For the first time in the history of glaciological studies of the Georgian Caucasus, 10Be in situ Cosmic Ray Exposure (CRE) dating was applied. The age of moraines was determined by tree-ring analysis. Lichenometry was also used as a supplementary tool to determine the relative ages of glacial landforms. In addition, the large-scale topographical maps (1887, 1960) were used along with the satellite imagery - Corona, Landsat 5 TM, and Sentinel 2B. Repeated photographs were used to identify the glacier extent in the late XIX and early XX centuries. 10Be CRE ages from the oldest lateral moraine of the Chalaati Glacier suggest that the onset of the Little Ice Age occurred ~0.73±0.04 kyr ago (CE ~1250-1330), while the dendrochronology and lichenometry measurements show that the Chalaati Glacier reached its secondary maximum extent again about CE ~1810. From that time through 2018 the glacier area decreased from 14.9±1.5 km2 to 9.9±0.5 km2 (33.8±7.4% or ~0.16% yr-1), while its length retreated by ~2280 m. The retreat rate was uneven: it peaked between 1940 and 1971 (~22.9 m yr-1), while the rate was slowest in 1910-1930 (~4.0 m yr-1). The terminus elevation rose from ~1620 m to ~1980 m above sea level in ~1810-2018.
On the basis of dendrochronological, lichenometric and historical data with the use of Earth remote sensing materials, the evolution of the Donguz-Orun Glacier has been reconstructed over the past centuries. In this work we used aerial photographs of 1957, 1965, 1981, 1987, satellite image of 2009, as well as descriptions, photographs, maps and plans of the glacier of the 19th and 20th centuries, data of instrumental measurements of the glacier end position in the second half of the 20th – early 21st centuries, dendrochronological dating of pine on the front part of the valley, and juniper to date coastal moraines, and the results of lichenometry studies. It has been established that the Donguz-Orun Glacier in the past had several clearly marked advances about 100, 200 and more than 350 years ago, which are expressed in relief in the form of uneven-aged coastal moraines. Despite the fact that the Donguz-Orun Glacier differs from many mountain-valley glaciers of the Caucasus primarily by its predominantly avalanche feeding and a moraine cover, almost entirely covering its surface, the main periods of its advances are consistent with the known large fluctuations of mountain glaciers during the Little Ice Age in the early 20th, early 19th, and, probably, in the middle of the 17th century. However, unlike most other Caucasian glaciers, the Donguz-Orun Glacier advanced in the 1970s–2000s. The scale of its degradation from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 21st century is also uncharacteristic for the Caucasus: the reduction in the length for longer than a century period is only about 100 m.
The Kolka Glacier, which rushed down the Genaldon valley on September 20, 2002 (North Ossetia), is now recovering after this catastrophe. One of the most important ways to predict a new disaster is to determine the rate of ice accumulation of the new glacier and to monitor the glacier volume regularly, since its trigger mechanisms have not yet been fully studied. Recent changes of the Kolka Glacier were investigated by means of ground stereoscopic photography. The field works were carried out in 2014, 2016 and 2017. Shooting was made manually with a digital camera Canon 5D Mark II (without using a tripod) at arbitrary points, the distance between which did not exceed 100 m. The reference points were placed on the elevated relief forms on the glacier surface and coordinated by a differential GNSS receiver in the "fast static" mode. Laboratory processing of the photos was performed using Agisoft Photoscan software in automatic mode, except for the procedure of identification of reference points on stereo images. The processing made possible to obtain digital models of the glacier surface in GeoTIFF format, the vertical error of which amounted to 0.7 m, while the horizontal one – 2.3 m. In 2014–2017, the maximal increase in height of the surface (up to 30 m) was recorded in the low part of the glacier tongue that was the result of advancing of the Kolka front along the ice-free surface. Mean annual increase in the surface elevation was equal to 2.2 m/year. Lowering of the surface in some areas may be explained by the slowing-down of the glacier flow rate, which led to the appearance of thermokarst. The glacier volume increased by 7.4±0.7 million m3. As a result, the glacier tongue advanced by 50–70 m. Average over 2014–2017 increasing in the surface elevation (2.2 m/year) was slightly smaller than in 2004–2014 (3 m/year). Quick growth of the Kolka Gacier contrasts sharply with decreasing of volume of the representative Caucasus, Djankuat and Garabashi, over the same period.
The glaciers and ice caps in the Arctic are experiencing noticeable changes which are manifested, in particular, in the intensification of their dynamic instability. In this paper we present data on a large- scale surge in the Western basin of the Vavilov ice dome on the archipelago Severnaya Zemlya, derived from satellite images and supplemented by airborne RES-2014 and available publications. Analysis of 28 space images of 1963–2017 demonstrated that the surge developed over the whole period. In the first decade (1963–1973), the advance was very slow – from 2–5 to 12 m/year. Since the 1980-ies, the ice movement began to accelerate from tens to a hundred of meters per a year in the 2000-ies. The sudden change happened in the year 2012 when the surge front began to move already at speeds of about 0.5 km/year. In 2015, the volume of advanced part reached almost 4 km3. Maximal speed 9.2 km/year was recorded in 2016. From 1963 to 2017, the edge of the glacier advanced by 11.7 km, and its area increased by 134.1 km2 (by 47% relative to the basin area of 1963), that caused spread- ing of crevasse zone up the glacier. Surface speeds reached a maximum of 25.4 m/day in 2016 and decreased to 7.6 m/day in 2017. The authors suggest that the initial activation of the southern and western edges of the ice dome could be a reaction to the climate signal, possibly occurred several cen- turies ago. The ice crevassing and cryo-hydrological warming of ice, enhanced by positive feedback, resulted in instability of the glacier and the displacement of the edge of the ice belt containing moraine and frozen to the bed, which transformed into a catastrophic movement. The surge was facilitated by change of bedrock conditions as the ice lobe progressed offshore from permafrost coastal zone to the area of loose marine bottom sediments with low shear strength. The surge seems to be also stimulated by anomalously warm summer of 2012.