Assessment of the size of very small glaciers in Khibiny mountains

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About the Authors

Marina A. Vikulina

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography,
Leninskie Gory, 1, 119991, Moscow, Russia;

Mihail V. Zimin

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography,
Leninskie Gory, 1, 119991, Moscow, Russia;

Fedor А. Romanenko

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography,
Leninskie Gory, 1, 119991, Moscow, Russia;


The presence of very small glaciation in the Khibiny mountains was discovered by V.F. Perov in 1958. Since then and until the beginning of the 21st study of glaciers in this area has not been carried out. In general, warming is recorded on the Kola Peninsula. The average annual increase in temperature is 2.3°C ± 1°C during the last 50 years, which correlates with the data of other researchers. The glaciers in the Khibiny mountains should have significantly reduced their size in this connection. In other Arctic regions degradation of glaciation is noted. Some researchers predicted to disappear of Khibiny glaciation. In order to assess the change in glacier areas, we carried out a comprehensive study of small glaciers in the Khibiny mountains. We studied dynamics of glaciers over the past 15 years using field observations and the use of GIS and remote sensing methods. In our study, we used aerial photographs of 1958, digital models built on the basis of field measurements, and satellite images for years different in meteorological parameters. Our research shows, despite the slight degradation of glaciation, this tendency is modest and glaciers’ area remains relatively stable. Our research shows that glaciers shrank significantly in the early 2000s and showed a tendency towards complete disappearance. Their area has decreased by more than two times compared to the figures obtained in 1958. This fact may be caused by the increase in snow precipitation through in recent years. After 2007, there has been an increase in snow precipitation. In subsequent years, starting in 2008, the glaciers began to regain their size. Over the past 15 years, the average area of two glaciers (No. 3 and No. 4) exceeds the size of 1958. Glaciers No. 1 and No. 2 have shrinkage.


Kola Peninsula, Khibiny mountains, very small glaciers, glacier shrinkage, satellite imagery.


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For citation: Vikulina M.A., Zimin M.V., Romanenko F.А. Assessment of the size of very small glaciers in Khibiny mountains InterCarto. InterGIS. GI support of sustainable development of territories: Proceedings of the International conference. Moscow: MSU, Faculty of Geography, 2021. V. 27. Part 1. P. 409–417. DOI: 10.35595/2414-9179-2021-1-27-409-417 (In Russian)