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Three-Dimensional Glacier Changes in Geladandong Peak Region in the Central Tibetan Plateau

1
College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Yancheng Teachers University, Yancheng 224002, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences (SKLCS), Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(12), 1749; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121749
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 24 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions)
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Abstract

In this study, contour lines from the topographic maps at a 1:100,000 scale (mapped in 1968), Landsat MSS/TM/OLI images, ASTER images and SPOT 6-7 stereo image pairs were used to study changes in glacier length, area and surface elevation. We summarized the results using the following three conclusions: (1) During the period from 1973 to 2013, glaciers retreated by 412 ± 32 m at a mean retraction rate of 10.3 ± 0.8 m·year−1 and the relative retreat was 5.6 ± 0.4%. The glacier area shrank by 7.5 ± 3.4%, which was larger than the glacier length. In the periods of 1968–2000, 2000–2005 and 2000–2013, the glacier surface elevation change rates were −7.7 ± 1.4 m (−0.24 ± 0.04 m·year−1), −1.9 ± 1.5 m (−0.38 ± 0.25 m·year−1) and −5.0 ± 1.4 m (−0.38 ± 0.11 m·year−1), respectively. The changes in the glacier area and thickness exhibited similar trends, both showing a significant increasing reduction after 2000. (2) Eleven glaciers were identified as surging glaciers. Changes of the mass balance in surging glaciers were stronger than in non-surging glaciers between 1968 and 2013. Changes of area in surging glaciers were weaker than in non-surging glaciers. (3) Increasing temperature was the major cause of glacier thickness reduction and area shrinkage. The increase in precipitation, to a certain extent, inhibited glacial ablation but it did not change the status of the shrinkage in the glacial area and the reduction in the glacier thickness. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface elevation changes; glacier fluctuations; remote sensing surface elevation changes; glacier fluctuations; remote sensing
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Xu, J.; Shangguan, D.; Wang, J. Three-Dimensional Glacier Changes in Geladandong Peak Region in the Central Tibetan Plateau. Water 2018, 10, 1749.

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