Fedchenko Glacier

fadchenko glacier map

Fedchenko Glacier is the largest glacier in the world outside of the polar regions. It is located in Pamir Mountains, of north-central Gorno-Badakhshan province, Tajikistan.  The glacier is long and narrow currently exceeding 77 km long, 1700 to 3100 km wide, and occupies around 992 square kilometers.[1]

When the Fedchenko Glacier melts, the water flows into the Muksu, Vakhsh, and Amu Darya rivers. From there, the water flows to the Aral Sea, which is about 1,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) away. In the dry center of Eurasia, where snow and glaciers cover the mountains, they act as water towers for the area. It provides food for cities and factories along the rivers. So, changes in the Fedchenko basin’s glaciers have a big effect on the environment, farming, and economic growth in these areas.

Glaciers react to climate by changing in area. This can be easily detected from satellite images. The maps that are used in this analysis were converted from satellite images using Arc GIS tools and they explain difference in the glacier basin over the last two decades. The red color on the map shows snow and glacier, the yellow water and the green shows the vegetation. The maps indicate gradual changes in the glacial area showing that it is retreating. Comparing the first map which shows Fedchenko in 2000 and the last in 2020 we can see a significant area loss of Fedchenko indicating that it has retreated faster than usual.


[1] NASA Earth Observatory, 2022. Fedchenko Glacier retrieved from:


No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.