Photo Friday: Turkey’s Glaciers

The Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured in 2012 the image below of glaciers near Turkey’s Mount Uludoruk, the nation’s second tallest mountain. With a height of 4,135 meters (13,566 feet), Uludoruk trails only Mount Ararat.

Uludoruk’s glaciers are located within cirques that are etched into the sides of steep ridges. “The features form when snow piles up in a depression, accumulates into a glacier, and broadens as it spills down the slopes into adjacent valleys,” according to NASA’s Earth Observatory.

An image taken by NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite of Turkey’s Mount Uludoruk (Source: NASA)
A close up of the above image of Turkey’s Mount Uludoruk (Source: NASA)

About two-thirds of Turkey’s glaciers lie within the Taurus Mountains, which stretches from the Mediterranean coast to the border between Iraq and Iran.

Turkey receives most of its precipitation in winter, and because of irregular topography, regions vary greatly in weather and climate. In recent decades, however, Turkey has received less annual winter rainfall in the western region. This is where many of the country’s largest glaciers reside. Summer temperature also continue to rise with global warming. These might have been major contributing factors to glacier shrinkage. Turkey has also experienced significant drought periods in the last few years, with rainfall far below annual average levels.

A 2015 study estimated that Turkey’s glaciers have shrunk by half since the 1970s.

NASA Earth Observatory map by Joshua Stevens, using data from a 2015 paper by Yavaşlı, Tucker and Melocikc. NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the US Geological Survey (Source: NASA)
A 2007 image of Mount Suphan (Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Evgeny Genkin)
A 2016 image of Turkey’s Mount Erciyes (Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Carole Raddato)

Read more on GlacierHub:

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