Surface energy balance of Bayi Ice Cap in the middle of Qilian Mountains, China Surface energy balance of Bayi Ice Cap in the middle of Qilian Mountains, China

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Vol15 No.6: 1229-1240

Title】Surface energy balance of Bayi Ice Cap in the middle of Qilian Mountains, China

Author】QING Wen-wu1,2*; HAN Chun-tan2; LIU Jun-feng2

Addresses】1 Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education), College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China; 2 Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China

Corresponding author】QING Wen-wu

Citation】Qing WW, Han CT, Liu JF (2018) Surface energy balance of Bayi Ice Cap in the middle of Qilian Mountains, China. Journal of Mountain Science 15(6). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4654-y

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4654-y

Abstract】Energy balance at the glacier surface is important for understanding the impacts of climate change on glaciers. Here, we analyzed the characteristics of the glacier surface energy fluxes along with their contributions to glacier melt on Bayi Ice Cap in Qilian Mountains by using a point-scale energy balance model. The half-hourly meteorological data from an automatic weather station (AWS) located on the glacier was used to drive the energy balance model. The model simulated results could accurately represent the mass-balance observations from the stake near the weather station during summer 2016. Our results showed the net radiation (86%) played an important role in the surface energy balance, and the contribution of the turbulent heat fluxes (14%) to the energy budget was relatively less important. A distinct behavior of energy balance, as compared to other continental glaciers in China (e.g., two adjacent glaciers Laohugou No. 12 Glacier and Qiyi Glacier), is the fact that a sustained period of positive turbulent latent flux exists on Bayi Ice Cap during August, causing faster melt rate in the month of August. Our study also presented the effect of frequent summer snowfall in slowing down surface melt by changing the surface albedo during the beginning of the melting season.

Keywords】Surface melting; Energy balance; Turbulent latent flux; Summer snowfall; Glacier