ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2022, Vol. 19, No. 5, pp. 246-263

The drying dynamics of the Western Large Aral Sea from satellite data (2002–2021)

A.I. Ginzburg 1 , A.G. Kostianoy 1, 2 , N.A. Sheremet 1 , A.S. Izhitskiy 1 , D.M. Soloviev 3 
1 Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS, Moscow, Russia
2 Moscow Witte University, Moscow, Russia
3 Marine Hydrophysical Institute RAS, Sevastopol, Russia
Accepted: 19.10.2022
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2022-19-5-246-263
The dynamics of changes in the morphometric parameters of the western basin over the years after the division of the Large Aral Sea into western and eastern basins (since 2002) has been traced by the results of estimating its area using MODIS-Terra, -Aqua satellite images (2003–2021), analyzing the data bases HYDROWEB, Legos (sea level, area, volume) (2010–2021) and information from known publications (2002–2018). From 2003 to 2021, the level of the Western Aral basin has decreased by 10.5 m (from 30.5 to 20 m), its area has decreased 2.3 times (from 5429 to approximately 2300 km2); the volume of the basin from 2007 (57.22 km3) to 2021 (32.59 km3) decreased 1.8 times. Over the past 10 years (2011–2021), the average rates of the sea level decline and reduction in area and volume were approximately 0.8 m/year, 170 km2/year and 2.4 km3/year, respectively. With an increase in the salinity of the waters of the western basin from 82 ‰ in 2003 to 140–150 ‰ in 2019 and associated decrease in freezing temperature, a decrease in the area of ice cover is observed, with the absence of such since the winter of 2018/2019. The warming of the western basin and the shift of the spring and autumn temperature phases of the temperature seasonal cycle towards an earlier onset continued. The annual range of average monthly water temperatures reached about 32 °C in 2018.
Keywords: shallowing of the Aral Sea, western basin of the Large Aral Sea, morphometric parameters of the western basin, ice regime, phase shift of the seasonal temperature cycle, satellite data
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