Skip to main content
×
Home

Changes in glacier extent and surface elevations in the Depuchangdake region of northwestern Tibet, China

  • Zhiguo Li (a1) (a2), Lide Tian (a2), Hongbo Wu (a3), Weicai Wang (a2), Shuhong Zhang (a4), Jingjing Zhang (a1) and Xuexin Li (a1)...
Abstract

Remote sensing data, including those from Landsat Thematic Mapper/Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (TM/ETM +), the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Digital Elevation Model (SRTM4.1 DEM), and the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (Glas/ICESat), show that from 1991 to 2013 the glacier area in the Depuchangdake region of northwestern Tibet decreased from 409 to 393 km2, an overall loss of 16 km2, or 3.9% of the entire 1991 glacial area. The mean glacier-thinning rate was − 0.40 ± 0.16 m equivalent height of water per year (w.e./yr), equating to a glacier mass balance of − 0.16 ± 0.07 km3 w.e./yr. Total mass loss from 2003 to 2009 was − 1.13 ± 0.46 km3. Glacier retreat likely reflects increases in annual total radiation, annual positive degree days, and maximum temperature, with concurrent increases in precipitation insufficient to replenish glacial mass loss. The rate of glacier retreat in Depuchangdake is less than that for Himalayan glaciers in Indian monsoon-dominated areas, but greater than that for Karakoram glaciers in mid-latitude westerly-dominated areas. Glacier type, climate zone, and climate change all impact on the differing degrees of long-term regional glacial change rate; however, special glacier distribution forms can sometimes lead to exceptional circumstances.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Corresponding author at: Department of Environment and Planning, Shangqiu Normal University, Shangqiu, China. E-mail address: lizhiguo999999@163.com (Z. Li).
References
Hide All
Bajracharya S.R. Maharjan S.B. Shrestha F. Guo W. Liu S.Y., Immerzeel W., Shrestha B.(2015). The glaciers of the Hindu Kush Himalayas: current status and observed changes from the 1980s to 2010. International Journal of Water Resources Development 31, 161173.
Bolch T., Kulkarni A., K""b A., Huggel C., Paul F., Cogley J.G., Frey H., Kargel J.S., Fujita K., Scheel M., Bajracharya S., Stoffel M.(2012). The state and fate of Himalayan glaciers. Science 336, 310314.
Brahmbhatt R.M., Bahuguna I.M., Rathore B.P., Singh S.K., Rajawat A.S., Shah R.D., Kargel J.S.(2015). Satellite monitoring of glaciers in the Karakoram from 1977 to 2013: an overall almost stable population of dynamic glaciers. The Cryosphere Discussions 9, 15551592.
Cao B., Pan B.T., Wang J., Shangguan D.H., Wen Z.L., Qi W.T., Cui H., Lu Y.Y.(2014). Changes in the glacier extent and surface elevation along the Ningchan and Shuiguan river source, eastern Qilian Mountains, China. Quaternary Research 81, 531537.
Chen F., Yu Z., Yang M., Ito E., Wang S., Madsen D.B., Huang X., Zhao Y., Sato T., John B., Birks H., Boomer I., Chen J., An C., W"nnemann B.(2008). Holocene moisture evolution in arid central Asia and its out-of-phase relationship with Asian monsoon history. Quaternary Science Reviews 27, 351364.
Gardelle J., Berthier E., Arnaud Y., K""b A.(2013). Region-wide glacier mass balances over the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya during 1999"2011. The Cryosphere 7, 12631286.
Gardner A.S., Moholdt G., Cogley J.G., Wouters B., Arendt A.A., Wahr J., Berthier E., Hock R., Pfeffer W.T., Kaser G., Ligtenberg S.R.M., Bolch T., Sharp M.J., Hagen J.O., van den Broeke M.R., Paul F.(2013). A reconciled estimate of glacier contributions to sea level rise: 2003 to 2009. Science 340, 852857.
Ghosh S., Pandey A.C., Nathawat M.S., Bahuguna I.M., Ajai (2014). Contrasting signals of glacier changes in Zanskar Valley, Jammu & Kashmir, India using remote sensing and GIS. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing 42, 817827.
Hewitt K. (2005). The Karakoram Anomaly? Glacier expansion and the "elevation effect", Karakoram Himalaya. Mountain Research and Development 25, 332340.
Immerzeel W.W., van Beek L.P.H., Bierkens M.F.P.(2010). Climate change will affect the Asian water towers. Science 328, 13821385.
K""b A., Berthier E., Nuth C., Gardelle J., Arnaud Y.(2012). Contrasting patterns of early twenty-first-century glacier mass change in the Himalayas. Nature 488, 495498.
Li Z.G., Yao T.D., Ye Q.H., Tian L.D., Li C.C.(2011). Monitoring glacier variations based on remote sensing in the Luozha Region, Eastern Himalayas, 1980"2007. Geographical Research 26, 836846.(in Chinese with English abstract)
Li C.X., Yang T.B., Tian H.Z.(2013). Variation of West Kunlun Mountains glacier during 1990"2011. Progress in Physical Geography 32, 548559.(in Chinese with English abstract)
Li Z.G., Fang H.Y., Tian L.D., Dai Y.F., Zong J.B.(2015a). Changes in the glacier extent and surface elevation in Xiongcaigangri region, Southern Karakoram Mountains, China. Quaternary International 371, 6775.
Li Z.G., Tian L.D., Fang H.Y., Zhang S.H., Zhang J.J., Li X.X.(2015b). Changes in glacier extent and surface elevations in the Ayilariju region, Western Himalayas, China. Environmental Earth Sciences(in press)
Ligtenberg S.R.M., Helsen M.M., van den Broeke M.R.(2011). An improved semi-empirical model for the densification of Antarctic firn. The Cryosphere 5, 809819.
Mir R.A., Jainb S.K., Sarafa A.K., Goswamic A.(2014). Glacier changes using satellite data and effect of climate in Tirungkhad basin located in western Himalaya. Geocarto International 29, 293313.
M"lg T., Maussion F., Scherer D.(2014). Mid-latitude westerlies as a driver of glacier variability in monsoonal High Asia. Nature Climate Change 4, 6873.
Neckel N., Krop"?ek J., Bolch T., Hochschild V.(2014). Glacier mass changes on the Tibetan Plateau 2003"2009 derived from ICESat laser altimetry measurements. Environmental Research Letters 9, 014009
Piao S., Ciais P., Huang Y., Shen Z.H., Peng S.S., Li J.S., Zhou L.P., Liu H.Y., Ma Y.C., Ding Y.H., Friedlingstein P., Liu C.Z., Tan K., Yu Y.Q., Zhang T.Y., Fang J.Y.(2010). The impacts of climate change on water resources and agriculture in China. Nature 467, 4351.
Qiu J. (2010). Measuring the meltdown. Nature 468, 141142.
Raup B.H., K""b A., Kargel J.S., Bishop M.P., Hamilton G., Lee E., Paul F., Rau F., Soltesz D., Khalsa S.J.S., Beedle M., Helm C.(2007). Remote sensing and GIS technology in the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space Project. Computers & Geosciences 33, 104125.
Reuter H.I., Nelson A., Jarvis A.(2007). An evaluation of void filling interpolation methods for SRTM data. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 21, 9831008.
Shi Y.F. (2008). Concise Glacier Inventory of China. Shanghai Popular Science Press, Shanghai.
Wang L., Li Z.Q., Wang F.T., Edwards R.(2014). Glacier shrinkage in the Ebinur lake basin, Tien Shan, China, during the past 40 years. Journal of Glaciology 60, 245254.
Wang W.C., Xiang Y., Gao Y., Lu A.X., Yao T.D.(2015a). Rapid expansion of glacial lakes caused by climate and glacier retreat in the Central Himalayas. Hydrological Processes 29, 859874.
Wang N.L., Wu H.B., Wu Y.W., Chen A.A.(2015b). Variations of the glacier mass balance and lake water storage in the Tarim Basin, northwest China, over the period of 2003"2009 estimated by the ICESat-GLAS data. Environmental Earth Sciences 74, 19972008.
Wiltshire A.J. Climate change implications for the glaciers of the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalayan region. The Cryosphere 8, 941958.
Wu H.B., Wang N.L., Jiang X., Guo Z.M.(2014). Variations in water level and glacier mass balance in Nam Co lake, Nyainqentanglha range, Tibetan Plateau, based on ICESat data for 2003"09. Annals of Glaciology 55, 239247.
Yang K., Wu H., Qin J., Lin C.G., Tang W.J., Chen Y.Y.(2014). Recent climate changes over the Tibetan Plateau and their impacts on energy and water cycle: a review. Global and Planetary Change 112, 7991.
Yao T.D. (2008). Map of Glaciers and Lakes on the Tibetan Plateau and the Surroundings. Xi'an Cartographic Publishing House,
Yao T.D. (2010). Glacial fluctuations and its impacts on lakes in the southern Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Science Bulletin 55, 2071
Yao T.D., Thompson L., Yang W., Yu W.Y., Gao Y., Guo X.J., Yang X.X., Duan K.Q., Zhao H.B., Xu B.Q., Pu J.C., Lu A.X., Xiang Y., Kattel D.B., Joswiak D.(2012). Different glacier status with atmospheric circulations in Tibetan Plateau and surroundings. Nature Climate Change 2, 663667.
Ye Q.H., Kang S.C., Chen F., Wang J.H.(2006). Monitoring glacier variations on Geladandong mountain, central Tibetan Plateau, from 1969 to 2002 using remote-sensing and GIS technologies. Journal of Glaciology 52, 537545.
Ye Q.H., Yao T.D., Naruse R.(2008). Glacier and lake variations in the Mapam Yumco basin, western Himalayas of the Tibetan Plateau, from 1974 to 2003 using remote sensing and GIS technologies. Journal of Glaciology 54, 933935.
Zhang Y.S., Yao T.D., Pu J.C.(1996). The characteristics of ablation on continental type glaciers in China. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology 18, 147154.(in Chinese with English abstract)
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary Materials

Li et al. supplementary material
Table S1-S5

 PDF (32 KB)
32 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 19 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 75 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 15th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.