Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 16–29 | Cite as

Recent behavior and possible future evolution of the glacieret in the cirque Golemiya Kazan in the Pirin Mountains under conditions of climate warming

  • Peter NojarovEmail author
  • Emil Gachev
  • Karsten Grunewald


This research reveals relationships between climate variables and inter-annual dynamics in the area of the glacieret located in the cirque Golemiya Kazan in the Pirin Mountains. The study period is 1993–2017. The correlations are identified using statistical methods. Also, a statistical model is constructed, including some climate variables as predictors. Despite the evident decrease of the glacieret’s size in the period from the 1950s onwards, the long-term trends for the last decades have been insignificant. The main climatic factors influencing the inter-annual dynamics in the area of the glacieret are air temperature, precipitation, zonal and meridional winds and relative humidity. With respect to the dynamics in the area of the glacieret, the important trends in the different climate variables are those of the warm period air temperatures and zonal (u) wind. They also determine to a great extent its future development by acting in two opposite directions–rising temperatures in the warm period will lead to a rapid decrease of its area by the end of the melting season, while the change of wind direction from west to east in the warm period will increase its area. The influence of the zonal wind in the warm period is explained mainly by the location of the glacieret in the cirque. Generally, the glacieret is tilted downwards from west to east. Thus, westerly winds facilitate blowing away the snow from the surface of the glacieret, assisting its melting in the warm period. Easterly winds do not have such an effect. The combination of the opposite effects of these two most important climate variables leads to the most likely scenario for the future development of the glacieret, according to which by the middle of this century it is expected to turn into a semi-permanent snow patch, which disappears after some summers, and by the end of the century to completely melt every year before the end of the melting season.


Climate warming Glacieret Pirin Mountains Statistical modeling Glacieret area Projection 


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This study was funded by the research project “Current impacts of global changes on evolution of karst (based on the integrated monitoring of model karst geosystems in Bulgaria)”, Science Research Fund (Grant No. DN14/10/20.12.2017). Field studies were funded by the South-west University of Blagoevgrad (grants RP-A 10/15, RP-A 13/17) and SRF (SRF 02/70). The authors would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their useful comments/suggestions which have helped to substantially improve the manuscript. Also, the authors would like to thank Dr. Felix Pahl, Berlin, Germany for his help in improving the English language of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and GeographyBulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.South-West University “Neofit Rilski”BlagoevgradBulgaria
  3. 3.Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development01217Germany

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