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Article

Icings of the Kunlun Mountains on the Northern Margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Western China: Origins, Hydrology and Distribution

1
State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soils Engineering, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 W. Donggang Rd., Lanzhou 730000, China
2
Melnikov Permafrost Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), 36 Merzlotnaya St., 677010 Yakutsk, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Wojciech Dobinski, Mauro Guglielmin and Dongliang Luo
Water 2022, 14(15), 2396; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152396
Received: 27 April 2022 / Revised: 16 July 2022 / Accepted: 28 July 2022 / Published: 2 August 2022
Icing/Aufeis processes are a typical feature of permafrost hydrology in mountainous regions. Regional databases of Aufeis have been compiled since the 2010. In this study, we attempted to create an initial Aufeis database for the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) to evaluate the patterns of the icing processes in the arid and high mountain regions at low latitudes. In this article, the icings/Aufeis in the Kunlun Mountains on the northern edge of the QTP were investigated. A total of 65 Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager images for 2017–2020 of the key sites were acquired. Icings occur at elevations of 2500–5400 m a. s. l. More than 1600 Aufeis were identified with a total ice-surface area of 2670 km2. About 88% of these areas are related to a gigantic Aufeis (tarin) field. Artesian aquifers related to the active faults play an important role in feeding the Aufeis in the Kunlun Mountains. About 120 Aufeis fed on glacier-melt have formed in the West Kunlun Mountains. Icing development was found to vary with the order of river channels and more than half of all of the identified Aufeis are located along first- and second-order river channels. The significance of Aufeis at the QTP related to as an indicator of climate change, and a volume of surface and ground waters conserved into Aufeis should take into consideration of river runoff estimation of the region. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater icing; Aufeis; permafrost; remote sensing; the Kunlun Mountain; Landsat-8 image groundwater icing; Aufeis; permafrost; remote sensing; the Kunlun Mountain; Landsat-8 image
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gagarin, L.; Wu, Q.; Cao, W.; Jiang, G. Icings of the Kunlun Mountains on the Northern Margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Western China: Origins, Hydrology and Distribution. Water 2022, 14, 2396. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152396

AMA Style

Gagarin L, Wu Q, Cao W, Jiang G. Icings of the Kunlun Mountains on the Northern Margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Western China: Origins, Hydrology and Distribution. Water. 2022; 14(15):2396. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152396

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gagarin, Leonid, Qingbai Wu, Wei Cao, and Guanli Jiang. 2022. "Icings of the Kunlun Mountains on the Northern Margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Western China: Origins, Hydrology and Distribution" Water 14, no. 15: 2396. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152396

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