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Earth’s Cryosphere

2022 year, number 1


R.A. Chernov1, K.V. Romashova2
1Institute of Geography, RAS, Staromonetniy per. 29, Moscow, 119017, Russia
2Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Bering str. 38, Saint Petersburg, 199397, Russia
Keywords: glacial lakes, ice-contact lake, glacier retreat, lake area, Svalbard


The current state and the quantitative estimates of glacial lakes on Svalbard are presented. These lakes were formed in depressions under modern recession of glaciation of the archipelago. Based on Norwegian aerial photography 2008-2012 and mosaics of Maxar Vivid 2013-2019 images of Svalbard area, 629 new glacial lakes have been identified. These lakes are located on deglaciated areas. A map of new lakes and their distribution by territory and altitudes are presented. Most of glacial lakes are located in western and southern parts of Svalbard, where large-scale glacier retreat has been noted. At the same time, new glacial lakes are formed mostly in the northern and eastern parts of the archipelago where most of the lakes have ice coasts. The total length of ice coasts of 306 lakes was (233.8 ± 0.6) km in 2008-2019, which is comparable to the length of the fronts of the outlet glaciers of Svalbard. The total area of glacial lakes is (173.1 ± 0.7) km², and their total water volume ranges from 2.1 to (2.3 ± 0.1) km³.