German geologists in the Tien Shan

The GFZ and its Global Change Observatory Central Asia

Glacier in the Tien-Shan mountains Edda Schlager
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It is located at 3, 400 meters altitude in the Tien Shan Mountains, its direct NeighborÂș is the huge Inyltschek Glacier and it will be the heart of the new Global Change Observatory of the German GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam: the Gottfried Merzbacher Research Station, which started its service this year.

Over the next few years, German scientists and their colleagues from Kyrgyzstan want to explore climate change, glacial phenomena and earthquakes. But why in Central Asia?

Around 30 scientists, alpinists and technical assistants from Germany and Kyrgyzstan took part in the "Inyltschek 2009" expedition. For three weeks they lingered on a steep, only a few hundred square meters of meadow right next to the Inyltschek Glacier. They lived in tents, and were startled by the noise at night, when another avalanche broke off in the neighboring ravine or a huge block of ice burst into pieces.

The goal of the expedition: The construction of the Gottfried Merzbacher Station, which in the coming years will serve as the basis for the Global Change Observatory (GCO), a joint project of the German GeoForschungszentrum Potsdam (GFZ) and the Central Asian Institute of Applied Geosciences (ZAIAG ) in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital.

For years, the German researchers have been working together with their colleagues in Central Asia and have initiated numerous other projects in addition to the Climate Observatory. They want to study the climatically, hydrologically and seismologically significant region more closely than before and thus better understand global relationships. display

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Edda Schlager / - Reports, analyzes and reports from Central Asia
As of: 30.10.2009