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Water 2017, 9(2), 100; doi:10.3390/w9020100

Modeling Glacier Mass Balance and Runoff in the Koxkar River Basin on the South Slope of the Tianshan Mountains, China, from 1959 to 2009

1
State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 22 January 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Warming Impacts on Mountain Glaciers and Communities)
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Abstract

Water resources provided by alpine glaciers are an important pillar for people in the arid regions of west China. In this study, the Hydrologiska Byrans Vattenavdelning (HBV) light model was applied to simulate glacier mass balance (GMB) and runoff in the Koxkar River Basin (KRB) on the south slope of Mount Tumur, in the western Tianshan Mountains. Daily temperature and precipitation were calculated by multiple linear regressions and gradient-inverse distance weighting, respectively, based on in-situ observed data by automatic weather stations (AWSs) in the Koxkar River Basin (KRB; 2007–2009) and four meteorological stations neighboring the basin (1959–2009). Observed daily air temperature and precipitation were input into HBV model. The runoff data in 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 were used to calibrate and validate the model in 2009/2010 and 2010/2011. Generally, the model simulated runoff very well. The annual glacier mass balance and runoff were calculated by the HBV model and were driven by interpolated meteorological data between 1959 and 2009. The calculated glacier mass balances were reasonable, and were compared with nearby glaciers. The results indicate the decreasing trend of mass balance in the Koxkar Glacier, with an average value of ablation of −370.4 mm·a−1 between 1959 and 2009. The annual runoff showed an increasing trend (5.51 mm·a−1). Further analysis showed that the runoff is more sensitive to temperature than precipitation in KRB. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacier mass balance; runoff; Tianshan Mountains; Koxkar River Basin; Hydrologiska Byrans Vattenavdelning (HBV) model; interpolation glacier mass balance; runoff; Tianshan Mountains; Koxkar River Basin; Hydrologiska Byrans Vattenavdelning (HBV) model; interpolation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Xu, M.; Han, H.; Kang, S. Modeling Glacier Mass Balance and Runoff in the Koxkar River Basin on the South Slope of the Tianshan Mountains, China, from 1959 to 2009. Water 2017, 9, 100.

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