Levan Tielidze

Head and shoulders shot of PhD student Levan


Phone: 04 463 5233 x 6477
Email: levan.tielidze@vuw.ac.nz
Office: CO 524


BSc Tbilisi State University, Georgia (2007); MSc (Hons) Tbilisi State University, Georgia (2009)
PhD Candidate in Glaciology

View CV here

PhD thesis


Glacial History of the Ahuriri River valley, Southern Alps, New Zealand


Project aim and description

Mountain glaciers are sensitive to variations in temperature and precipitation – thus records of their past changes yield important data concerning the timing and magnitude of past climate change. After the peak of the last glaciation (about 20,000 years ago), mountain glaciers began to retreat significantly with slight advancement phases from time to time. On the scale of several millennia, we have only very indirect observations of glacier retreat and advance based on the positions of glacial moraines. Well preserved moraines provide a good opportunity to develop an improved understanding of ice ages and glacial-interglacial transitions. Dating of the moraines using cosmogenic exposure techniques such as 10Be is providing exciting and important information on the duration, timing, and scale of the Late Quaternary glaciation (Last Glacial Maximum in particular), as well as providing additional information about the past climate.

Some valleys in South Island, New Zealand already have a number of well-dated glacier records. However, understanding of the precise timing of old glacial events in many valleys still remains poor.

The main objectives of this study are:

i) Constrain the timing and extent of late Quaternary glaciation in the Ahuriri River valley, Southern Alps, New Zealand;

ii) Investigate the extent and drivers of glaciation in this valley using geomorphological mapping;

iii) Investigate climactic implications using the numerical glacier modelling.



Tielidze, L., Eaves, S., Norton, K., Mackintosh, A. (2021). Glacial geomorphology of the Ahuriri River valley, central Southern Alps, New Zealand. Journal of Maps  17:2, 73-86. doi:10.1080/17445647.2021.1876777


Khedim, N., Cécillon, L., Poulenard, J., Barré, P., Baudin, F., Marta, S., Rabatel, A., Dentant, C., Cauvy‐Fraunié, S., Anthelme, F., Gielly, L., Ambrosini, R., Franzetti, A., Azzoni, R. S., Caccianiga, M. S., Compostella, C., Clague, J., Tielidze, L., Messager, E., Choler, P. and Ficetola, G. F. (2020). Topsoil organic matter build‐up in glacier forelands around the world. Global Change Biology 2021;00:1–16. doi:10.1111/gcb.15496.

Tielidze, L. , Bolch, T., Wheate, R., Kutuzov, S., Lavrentiev, I., and Zemp, M. (2020) Supra-glacial debris cover changes in the Greater Caucasus from 1986 to 2014. The Cryosphere 14, 585–598. doi:10.5194/tc-14-585-2020, 2020

Tielidze L. G. , Solomina O. N., Jomelli V., Dolgova E. A., Bushueva I. S., Mikhalenko V. N., Braucher R., and ASTER Team (2020) Change of Chalaati Glacier (Georgian Caucasus) since the Little Ice Age based on dendrochronological and Beryllium-10 data. Ice and Snow 60(3): 453-470. doi:10.31857/S2076673420030052

Tielidze L. G. , Svanadze D., Gadrani L., Asanidze L., Wheate R. D., and Hamilton †G. S. (2020). A 54-year record of changes at Chalaati and Zopkhito glaciers, Georgian Caucasus, observed from archival maps, satellite imagery, drone survey and ground-based investigation. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin 69(2), 175-189. doi:10.15201/hungeobull.69.2.6


Tielidze, L. , Kumladze R., Wheate, R., and Gamkrelidze, M., (2019) The Devdoraki Glacier Catastrophes, Georgian Caucasus. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin 68(1), 21-35. doi.org/10.15201/hungeobull.68.1.2.

Zemp, M., Sajood, A.A., Pitte, P., van Ommen, T., Fischer, A., Soruco, A., Thomson, L., Schaefer, M., Li, Z., Ceballos Lievano, J.L., Cáceres Correa, B.E., Vincent, C., Tielidze, L., Braun, L.N., Ahlstrøm, A.P., Hannesdóttir, H., Dobhal, D.P., Karimi, N., Baroni, C., Fujita, K., Severskiy, I., Prinz, R., Usubaliev, R., Delgado-Granados, H., Demberel, O., Joshi, S.P., Anderson, B., Ove Hagen, J., Dávila Roller, L.R., Gadek, B., Popovnin, V.V., Cobos, G., Holmlund, P., Huss, M., Kayumov, A., Lea, J.M., Pelto, M, and Yakovlev, A. (2019). Glacier monitoring tracks progress in limiting climate change. Nature 576: 39. doi:10.1038/d41586-019-03700-3


Tielidze, L. , and Wheate, R. (2018) The Greater Caucasus Glacier Inventory (Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan). The Cryosphere 12, 81-94. doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-81-2018, 2018.


Tielidze, L. (2017) Glaciers of Georgia. Monograph. Geography of the Physical Environment book series. Springer International Publishing. doi.10.1007/978-3-319-50571-8


Tielidze, L. (2016) Glacier change over the last century, Caucasus Mountains, Georgia, observed from old topographical maps, Landsat and ASTER satellite imagery. The Cryosphere 10, 713-725. doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-713-2016, 2016

Kutuzov, S., Mikhalenko, V., Grachev, A., Ginot, P., Lavrentiev, I. Kozachek, A., Krupskaya, V., Ekaykin, A., Tielidze, L. , and Toropov, P. (2016) First geophysical and shallow ice core investigation of the Kazbek plateau glacier, Caucasus Mountains. Environ Earth Sciences 75: 1488. doi.org/10.1007/s12665-016-6295-9


Popovnin, V., Rezepkin, A., and Tielidze, L. (2015) Superficial moraine expansion on the Djankuat Glacier snout over the direct glaciological monitoring period. Earth Cryosphere, Vol. XIX, No. 1, p. 89-98. SemanticScholar


Gobejishvili, R., Lomidze, N., and Tielidze, L. (2011) Late Pleistocene (Wurm) Glaciations of the Caucasus. Quaternary glaciations-extend and chronology: A Closer Look. Developments in Quaternary Science Vol. 15, 141-147. doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-53447-7.00012-X