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Water 2018, 10(8), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081050

Seasonal Variation of Drainage System in the Lower Ablation Area of a Monsoonal Temperate Debris-Covered Glacier in Mt. Gongga, South-Eastern Tibet

1
Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
2
Institute of International Rivers and Eco-security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
3
Administration Bureau of Hailuogou in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan 626102, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 29 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Abstract

Seasonal evolution of the subglacial drainage system in the lower ablation area of the Hailuogou glacier ice tongue were revealed by repeated dye tracer (Rhodamine WT) experiments during the 2009 ablation season. Between April and October, 18 dye tracer experiments were conducted by injecting the tracer at one location of the lower ablation area of the Hailuogou Glacier to diagnose the seasonal variation of the subglacial drainage system of this section of glacier ice tongue. Using a simple advection-dispersion model (ADM), the flow velocity, hydrodynamic dispersion coefficient, and degree of tracer spreading were deduced. Tracer transit velocity through the tested subglacial channel varied from 0.148 to 0.555 m s−1 during the 2009 ablation season. Dispersivity showed a relatively high value than that found at other glaciers, which varied between 27.05 and 287.49 m2 s−1. Seasonal changes of these indexes indicated that the subglacial drainage system of the lower ablation area of the Hailougou Glacier is a relatively stable existing system in the case of its longitudinal shape, whereas its hydraulic efficiency is low in the early and late ablation seasons and high during the middle of summer due to subglacial channel expansion. View Full-Text
Keywords: subglacial drainage system; temperate glacier; debris-covered glacier; glacial hydrology subglacial drainage system; temperate glacier; debris-covered glacier; glacial hydrology
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Liu, Q.; Liu, S.; Cao, W. Seasonal Variation of Drainage System in the Lower Ablation Area of a Monsoonal Temperate Debris-Covered Glacier in Mt. Gongga, South-Eastern Tibet. Water 2018, 10, 1050.

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