Vol16 No.11: 2663-2678
【Title】Glacier change in the Tanggula Mountains, Tibetan Plateau, in 1969-2015
【Author】DUAN Hong-yu1; YAO Xiao-jun1*; LIU Shi-yin2,3; GAO Yong-peng1; QI Miao-miao1; LIU Juan1; ZHANG Da-hong1; LI Xiao-feng1
【Addresses】1 College of Geography and Environment Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China; 2 Yunnan Key Laboratory of International Rivers and Transboundary Eco-security, Kunming 650091, China; 3 Institute of International Rivers and Eco-Security Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
【Corresponding author】YAO Xiao-jun
【Citation】Duan HY, Yao XJ, Liu SY, et al. (2019) Glacier change in the Tanggula Mountains, Tibetan Plateau, in 1969-2015. Journal of Mountain Science 16(11). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-018-5011-5
【Abstract】To improve our knowledge of glacier change in the Tanggula Mountains located in the northeast of the Tibetan Plateau, we delineated outlines of the glaciers in 1991 and 2015 using Landsat TM/OLI images and compared them with the reported glacier data in the First Chinese Glacier Inventory in 1969 and the Second Chinese Glacier Inventory in 2007. These comparisons showed that the glacier area and ice volume decreased by 524.8 km2 and 37 km3, respectively. The majority of the glacier area loss was concentrated in the area class of 1-5 km2, between 5300 m and 5500 m in elevation, on north and east facing slopes and in the Dam Qu River basin. These glacier changes exhibited spatial and temporal differences. The glacier retreat rate gradually increased from 1969 to 2015, and the rate in the east was higher than that in the west. From 1969 to 2015, the warming rate in the Tanggula Mountains was 0.38°C/10a, while the annual precipitation only increased by 0.4%. The slight increase in the amount of precipitation made a limited contribution to glacier change, while the change in temperature led to noticeable shrinkage of the glaciers. Contrary to the retreat or stagnation of most glaciers in the study area, there were 10 glaciers that experienced clear advance in 1986-2015 with noticeable increases in both area and length. Whether or not these 10 glaciers are surge glaciers requires further study.
【Keywords】Glacier change; Glacier inventory; Advancing glaciers; Climate change; Tanggula Mountains; Tibetan Plateau