Modeling of Climate Change, Dynamics and Discharge of Glaciers in the Caucasus


During the years of 2007-2008 the Vakhushti Bagrationi Institute of Geography participated in the International grant of the INTAS ”Modeling of Climate Change, Dynamics and Discharge of Glaciers in the Caucasus”. The scientific researchers from the University of Reading of Great Britain, Academy of Bavaria of Germany and the Lomonosov Moscow State University of Russian Federation took part in the grant. The Project Manager was Mr. Ramin Gobejishvili, a Full Professor, Doctor of Geographical Sciences. From Georgian side participated Alexander Javakhishvili, David Svanadze and Nino Lomidze. On basis of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Institute of Geography and Tbilisi State University, the students of Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees participated actively as well.


Within the project the Georgian side got the unique automated meteorological station.



It was installed in the tongue of the glacier at a height of 2850 m above sea level and the recording of climatic elements were being conducted in the automated regime once per 15 minutes during the summer months. By means of the equipment the observations were being carried out on the climatic elements as follows: air temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed and direction, solar radiation. The equipment was measuring the snow and ice melting speeds hourly.


Air temperature measuring device was installed in Zopkhito gorge at different heights (1950 m, 2500 m and 2850 m) by means of which the air temperature was being measured synchronously in automated regime.


In the years of 2007 and 2008 within the above mentioned Project, during the summer period (May 15 – September 1) the complex glaciogeomorphological expedition was carried out in the upper stream of the Rioni River basin, in the glacier of Zopkhito, the Caucasus of Racha. During the expedition the hydrological observation post was arranged in the gorge of the river of Zopkhitura in parallel with the climatic observations, where the water levels and water discharge measurements were being conducted. Within the Project, before starting the period of ablation (early in May) the planning of snow mass accumulated on the surface of glacier was conducted by means of snow measuring devices as well as the research of snow density in snow sections.


In connection with the consideration of expedition results within the Project the Georgian scientists (Ramin Gobejishvili) and the junior scientific researchers (David Svanadze and Nino Lomidze) participated in the Conferences and Workshops held in London (Great Britain) and Munich (Germany). In 2008 (May-June-July) colleagues from the Russian Federation and Germany participated in the glaciological expedition of Racha.


Detailed analysis and scientific results will be reflected in joint articles, which will be published shortly in the scientific journals and proceedings of Great Britain, Germany, Russian Federation and Georgia