Kuh-E Myana Glacier Retreat, Afghanistan

Kuh-E Myana Glacier is in Hindu Kush Range in Badakhshan Province of northeast Afghanistan.  This region of the Hindu Kush has not been the focus of detailed glacier study. Northeast of Takhar Province in the Wakhan Corridor a group of glaciers was examined by Umesh Haritashya and others (2009) and found 28 of thirty had retreated. Examples are Zemestan Glacier and Tchap Dara Valley. The Hindu Kush follows the pattern of the high mountains of central Asia including the Himalaya
Kuh E Myana map
kuhemyana ge
2004 Google Earth image
Here we examine the changes of the glacier from 1998-2014 using Landsat imagery.  In 1998 the glacier ended in a small proglacial lake, red arrow.  A nunatak is at Point A. In 2002 the glacier still reaches the edge of the proglacial lake.  A small niche glacier is indicated by the yellow arrow.  The 2004 Google Earth image indicates an expansion of the proglacial lake, and that the glacier terminus is quite thin.  By 2014 the glacier has retreated 250 from the proglacial lake, red arrow. The majority of this retreat has occurred in the last decade. The glacier has retreated 1200 m from the Little Ice Age moraines to the 2004 terminus, green arrows on 2004 terminus image.  The retreat since 2004 is much faster than the overall retreat. The nunatak at Point A has expanded.  The niche glacier at the yellow arrow has developed a pair of substantial bedrock gaps as the thinning glacier disappears. kuhemyana 1998
1998 Landsat image
kuhemyana 2002
2002 Landsat image
kuhemyana terminus
2004 Google Earth Image
kuhemyana 2014
2014 Landsat image


Cortaderal Glacier Retreat, Chile

Cortaderal Glacier is in central Chile on the south slope of Paloma a stratovolcano. The glacier feeds the Cortaderal River which joins the Cachapoal River. Pacific Hydro has opened a new hydropower plant at Chacayes that is fed by this and other glaciers. It is a 111 MW run of river project with water taken out at a small dam run through a canal a small reservoir and back into the river. There is an older Coya Hydropower Plant a short distance downstream. Pacific Hydro plans to add several more plants in the area.  Continued glacier retreat in the regions will lead to further glacier runoff declines during the melt season.cortaderal ge 2007
Cortaderal Glacier Google Earth image

chacayes intake
Chacayes Hydropower intake and canal

chacayes canal
Chacayes Hydropower Canal and Reservoir

coya hydro
Coya Hydropower Plant
La Quesne et al (2009) reported a that Cortaderal Glacier retreated 110 m from 1970-2000 and 450 m from 2000-2007. Here we use satellite imagery from 1990-2014 to observe this retreat and more recent changes. In each image the red arrow is the 1990 terminus the 2014 is marked by a yellow arrow and the purple arrow a smaller side glacier feeding a secondary terminus. In 1990 the glacier after descending turned north in the main river valley and extended 1 km north. The side glacier has a significant width of 300 m. By 2000 the glacier had retreated 300 m and with a high snowline the connection to the secondary terminus at the purple arrow is narrowing but still significant. In 2003 further change is hard to discern. In 2013 substantial further retreat has occurred, the snowline is high at 3800 m and the secondary terminus connection is nearly gone. By 2014 the retreat since 1990 is 800 to 900 m, the snowline is at 3700 m and the secondary terminus connection is to narrow to actually feed glacier ice.  The retreat here is similar to that of nearby Glaciar del Humo, Argentina.  The Laboratorio de Glaciologia in Valdivia, Chile, Rivera et al (2002), has noted the extensive retreat of the Central Chile glaciers over the last four decades.
cortaderal 1990
1990 Landsat image
cortaderal 2000
2000 Landsat image
cortaderal 2003
2003 Landsat image
cortaderal 2013
2013 Landsat image
cortaderal 2014 2014 Landsat image