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The Glaciers Of Tajikistan

The high mountains of Tajikistan are a hotbed of modern glaciation. The total area of glaciers there is at least 9 thousand square kilometers, or almost 6% of the territory of the Republic. These huge accumulations of ice arose from snowfields. Seasonal annual and perennial snowfields start in the mountains from 3000-3500 m. Eternal snow at high altitudes, under the influence of its own gravity, condenses and gradually turns into firn ice, which differs from ordinary ice in its coarse grain.


Firn ice also condenses over time, becoming fine-grained and transparent. They make up the glaciers. Glaciers in the mountains of Tajikistan are formed at altitudes of 3500-5300 m. All glaciers of the Republic are divided into two types: basin (car) and valley. The first are stationary rounded clusters of ice, and the second are distinguished by their elongated shape and ability to move. The usual speed of their movement is 0.3-0.6 m per day. Modern glaciers are located mainly in the North-West of the Pamir and in the mountains of Central Tajikistan. The largest glaciers, like rivers, have their own names.

The largest glacier in Tajikistan is Fedchenko glacier, which lies in the Pamir and stretches for a distance of over 70 km.

The Grum-Grzhimailo, Garmo and Bolshoy Saukdara glaciers stand out for their size.  Each of them is more than 25 km long.

Tajikistan's glaciers play an important role in the life of the arid Central Asian region. Glaciers are one of the natural resources of Tajikistan: they contain huge reserves of water needed to feed the rivers that give life to the desert plains of Central Asia. Therefore, the study of the" growth", melting and movement of glaciers has not only scientific, but also practical interest. Meteorological stations have been set up in the mountains to monitor the state of the ice on a daily basis.

The glaciers of Tajikistan are of particular interest to tourists and fans of extreme sports.

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