Summer School on Mass Balance Measurements and Analysis 2015

2-8 August 2015, Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences, Bishkek and Suyok Zpapadniy Glacier, Kyrgyzstan


Photograph by Horst Machguth


In 2015, the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) organized a Summer School on Mass Balance Measurements and Analysis. The course was restricted to about a dozen participants from Central Asia who are involved in ongoing mass balance programmes in their region. The participants are trained in both field and office work by an international team of experts in glacier monitoring and capacity building.

This summer school was carried out within the framework of the project “Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems” (CATCOS) which is led by MeteoSwiss and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The event is co-sponsored by UNESCO through its Almaty Cluster Office for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.


The summer school was held from 2-8 August 2015 in the region of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Theoretical training took place in the city of Bishkek in the Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG). Training in field work and safety aspects were done on a nearby glacier including an overnight camp stay.

Theoretical course contents were:

  • Internationally coordinated glacier monitoring and related strategies
  • Theoretical background of glacier mass balance measurements
  • From point measurements to glacier-wide mass balance
  • Uncertainties and reanalysing of glacier mass balance measurement series
  • The use of computer modelling for mass balance analysis
  • Terrestrial and space borne snowline monitoring
  • Exercises and discussion of exercises

The field work training consisted of:

  • Mountaineering equipment and safety training on clean ice
  • Construction of ablation stake and network concept, GPS survey of frontal and stake positions
  • Drilling of ablation stake with Heucke Ice Drill
  • Snow probing, digging and coring

Detailed programme (pdf)


Exercises (pdf)

Interview with Horst Machguth (link)


Summer school fees, accommodation costs and meals as well as travel costs (depending on country of origin, up to a maximum of 1000 CHF, reimbursed against receipt) are covered by the CATCOS project.

List of selected participants

More than 30 valid applications were received by the end of the application period (28 February 2015). From these, a total of 15 training positions were offered to candidates from the following Central Asian countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. During the selection process, priority was given to candidates involved with established mass balance programmes.

The following candidates were selected for participation in the WGMS Summer School 2015:

  • AF: Abeer Ahmad Sajood, Earth Science Faculty, Kabul University
  • AF: Mariam Sajood, Earth Science Faculty, Kabul University
  • IR: Sara Sheshangosht, Water Research Institude, Shahid Abbaspour St., Hakimieh, Teheran
  • IR: Neamat Karimi, Water Research Institude, Shahid Abbaspour St., Hakimieh, Teheran
  • KZ: Cherniyazova Gulshat, National Hydrometeorological Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Astana
  • KZ: Vassiliy Kapitsa, Institute of Geography, Almaty
  • KZ: Nikolay Kassatkin, Institute of Geography, Almaty
  • KG: Ruslan Kenzhebaev, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi
  • KG: Kayrat Abdyzhakypov, Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, Bishkek
  • PK: Syed Hammad Ali, Kathmandu University and Glacier Monitoring and Research Centre (Water and Power Development Authority)
  • PK: Muhammad Yasir, Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Aboottabad
  • TJ: Zemfira Lablabunova, Institute of water problems, hydropower and ecology, ASRT
  • TJ: Bibigul Yorova, Institute of water problems, hydropower and ecology, ASRT
  • UZ: Klimentiy Valiev, Uzhydromet, Tashkent
  • UZ: Yelena Smirnova, Uzhydromet, Tashkent

International teacher team

Martina Barandun, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, CH
Martin Hoelzle, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, CH
Horst Machguth, Centre for Arctic Technology, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, DK
Nico Moelg, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, CH
Victor Popovnin, Cryolithology & Glaciology Dept., Geographical Faculty, Moscow Univ., RU
Antoine Rabatel, Laboratory of Glaciology, Univ. Grenoble Ales – CNRS, FR
Ryskul Usubaliev, Central-Asian Insitute for Applied Geosciences CAIAG, Bishkek, KG
Sergiy Vorogushyn, German Research Center for Geoscience GFZ, Potsdam, DE


Questions can be sent to:


last change 15/10/2015