Note: This data set was first published on the 1998 CAPS CD.
The text for this document was taken unchanged from that CD.

See also Description of Data Files.

IPA Global Geocryological Database

Name of data set: Rock glaciers, Zailiysiky Range, Kungei Ranges, Tienshan, Kazakhstan

Position, Type, Amount, Size, Square, Altitudinal Interval, Orientation, 1923-1994.

Details of Principal Investigators:

Aldar P. Gorbunov
Eduard V. Seversky
Sergei N. Titkov
Sergei S. Marchenko
Mikhail V. Popov


Kazakhstan Alpine Permafrost Laboratory, Institute of Geocryology,
Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences.
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 138, 480091, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Phone: +7 (3272) 611625
Fax: +7 (3272) 618102
Email: Internet>

Coverage of data set:

Study location

Northern Tien Shan, Zailiyskiy Alatau Range.

Geographic extent - Describe the corners of the box representing data coverage:

Northwestern latitude: 43 15' N
Northwestern longtitude: 76 00' E
Southeastern latitude: 42 55' N
Southeastern longtitude: 77 5' E

Period of investigation - Years covered

Inventory of rock glaciers: 1979, 1988

Summary Description

The Zailiyskiy Alatau is the northernmost parallel latitudinal range of the Northern Tien Shan. The highest point of this range is the Talgar peak (4973 m a.s.l.). The central part of the range is strongly glaciated: 380 glaciers of total area about 510 sq. km occur here. There are 504 rock glaciers in the Zailiyskiy Alatau Range. Based on the morphological signs, 429 of this number, with a total area of 49.77 sq. km, are considered to be active. The most heavily studied rock glaciers are concentrated in the central part of the northern slope of the Zailiyskiy Alatau, in the basins of the Bolshaya (Big) and Malaya (Small) Almatinka rivers. The investigations of rock glaciers of the Northern Tien Shan started in 1923 by geodetic observations of the Russian glaciologist N.N.Palgov, near the front of the Gorodetsky rock glacier (Zailiyskiy Alatau). The observations were repeated in 1946, 1960, 1977 and 1994 (Gorbunov et al., 1994). Since 1975, the investigations of rock glaciersof the Northern Tien Shan have been carried out by the Kazakhstan Alpine Permafrost Laboratory.

In order to determine regularities in the distribution of rock glaciers, an inventory using aerial photographs and maps of 1:100000 scale was carried out (Gorbunov, 1979, Titkov, 1988). The following parameters of each rock glacier were measured:

  1. Location (river basin, geographic extent).
  2. Type (morainic/lobate).
  3. Activity (active/inactive).
  4. Size (length, width), m.
  5. Square, sq. km.
  6. Orientation.
  7. Elevation of the source, m a.s.l.
  8. Elevation of the front, m a.s.l.

Current storage of data - Mark with X as many as are appropriate:

	Paper        X
	Wordprocessor file(s)
	Database     X

Datacenter (please give name of center)

Institute of Geocryology
Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Kazakhstan
Alpine Permafrost Laboratory
P.O. Box 138, 480091,
Almaty, Kazakhstan

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Gorbunov,A.P. (1979). Rock glaciers of the Zailiyskiy Alatau Range. In "Cryogenic Processes of Kazakhstan and Middle Asia". Institute of Geocryology, Yakutsk, p. 5-34 (in Russian).

Gorbunov, A.P., Seversky, E.V., Titkov, S.N. (1994). Geocryological research in the eastern part of the Northern Tien Shan. Annual report of Kazakhstan Alpine Permafrost Laboratory. Institute of Geocryology, Yakutsk, 29 p.p. (in Russian, not published).

Gorbunov, A.P. and Titkov, S.N. (1989). Rock Glaciers of the Central Asia Mountains. Institute of Geocryology, Yakutsk, 164 pp. (in Russian).

Gorbunov, A.P., Titkov, S.N. and Polyakov, V.G. (1992). Dynamics of rock glaciers of the Northern Tien Shan and the Djungar Alatau, Kazakhstan. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. Vol. 3, p. 29-39.

Titkov, S.N. (1979). Movement of rock glaciers of the Zailiyskiy Alatau Range. In "Cryogenic Processes of Kazakhstan and Middle Asia". Institute of Geocryology, Yakytsk, p. 34-42 (in Russian)

Titkov, S.N. (1988). Rock glaciers and glaciation of the Central Asia Mountains. In Permafrost: Proceedings 5th International Conference, Vol. 1. Tapir Publishers, Trondheim, p. 259-262.

Please cite these data as follows:

Grobunov, A.P. 1998. Rock glaciers, Zailiysiky Range, Kungei Ranges, Tienshan, Kazakhstan. In: International Permafrost Association, Data and Information Working Group, comp. Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System (CAPS), version 1.0. CD-ROM available from National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colorado: NSIDC, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Keywords - List up to ten keywords that describe the content of this data set.

  1. Northern Tien Shan
  2. Rock Glaciers
  3. Surface Geodetic Survey
  4. Photogrammetry
  5. Rate movement of rock glaciers
  6. Inventory of rock glaciers

Data sample:

Kazakhstan 4: Rock Glaciers. Zailiyskiy Alatau and Kungei Alatau
Ranges. INVENTORY DATA: 1. No. by the Inventory List (Name): 119
(Gorodetsky) 2. Location: Source of the Bolshaya Almatinka River,
glaciers 87
 and 88.
3. Type: Morainic X Lobate
4. Activity: Active X Inactive
5. Size (m): Length - 750 Width (mean/max) - 650/710
6. Square (sq. km): 0.48
7. Orientation: WNW
8. Elevation of the Source (m a.s.l.): 3400
9. Elevation of the Front (m a.s.l.): 3150
 Years Velocity, m/yr
 1923-1946 0.9
 1947-1960 0.8
 1961-1977 0.85
 1978-1994 0.59

Glacier, 1969-1984)
 Point No. Velocity, m/yr
 1 1.4
 2 1.46
 3 1.73
 4 0.67
 5 0.2
 6 1.46
 7 0.4
 8 0.6
 9 0.53