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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-62
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-62
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 10 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 10 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Daily water-level variations of supraglacial lakes in the southern Inylchek Glacier, Central Asia

Naoki Sakurai1, Chiyuki Narama2, Mirlan Daiyrov3, Muhammed Esenamanov3, Zarylbek Usekov3, and Hiroshi Inoue4 Naoki Sakurai et al.
  • 1Niigata University, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Niigata, Japan
  • 2Niigata University, Program of Field Environmental Research, Niigata, Japan
  • 3Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG), Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • 4National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED), Tsukuba, Japan

Abstract. To better understand the storage in and drainage through supraglacial lakes and englacial conduits, we investigated the daily water-level variations of supraglacial lakes on the southern Inylchek Glacier in Kyrgyzstan. To examine these variations, we used daily aerial digital images over three years (22 July–15 August 2017, 8–29 July 2018, and 12–19 July 2019) from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that were converted to digital surface models (DSMs) and ortho-images. Our main results are as follows. 1) When one lake drained, the water levels of other lakes might simultaneously increase, indicating that drainage water is shared with several lakes through a main englacial conduit. In one drainage event, a branch englacial conduit clearly connected to a main englacial conduit. 2) Sometimes, several lakes discharged simultaneously, indicating that several lakes had connected to a main englacial conduit that had opened. Such a case can cause larger-scale drainage than that from the opening of a branch englacial conduit. 3) Several lakes discharged twice in the same year, each time through a different conduit, indicating that the main englacial conduit can be abandoned and reused. 4) In some lakes, the water level gradually increased with nearly the same increase rate just before drainage. Such an increase may be an indicator of imminent lake drainage.

Naoki Sakurai et al.

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Naoki Sakurai et al.

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Short summary
To better understand the storage in and drainage through supraglacial lakes and englacial conduits, we investigated the daily water-level variations of supraglacial lakes on the southern Inylchek Glacier in 2017, 2018, and 2019, using daily aerial digital images in 2017–2019 from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). We observed the simultaneous drainage of five lakes, and argued that each lake must have been connected to the same main englacial conduit via a branch englacial conduit.
To better understand the storage in and drainage through supraglacial lakes and englacial...
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