Variations in Hydrological Parameters of the Zeravshan River and Its Tributaries Depending on Meteorological Conditions

P. I. Normatov, R. Armstrong, and I. Sh. Normatov

According to the data of the Agency for Hydrometeorology of the Republic of Tajikistan, the volume of the Zeravshan glacier significantly reduced in 1927–1991 (by more than 2 km3), and its further degradation by 30–35% is expected by 2050. To monitor the meteorological conditions in the Zeravshan River basin, in particular, the area of the Zeravshan glacier, air temperature variations in 1931–1961 and 1981–2011 are analyzed. It was found that the period of 1931–1961 is characterized by stable air temperature and its significant rise began in 1981. The trend towards the decrease in water discharge of the Zeravshan River is observed in 1931–1961. It is demonstrated that the average long- term runoff decreased from 6.08 km3 in 1931–1961 to 5.36 km3 in 1981–2011. The similar measure- ments were carried out in the basin of the Yaghnob River being the tributary of the Zeravshan River. It was revealed that the difference in average long-term runoff between the periods of 1931–1961 and 1981–2011 is insignificant and makes up not more than 2%. Besides, it was found that the results of meteorological observations in 1931–1961 do not agree with the real picture of the Zeravshan glacier degradation.

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