Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2017, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (5): 425-431.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2017.00425

• ARTICLES •    

The temporal and spatial variation of positive degree-day factors on the Koxkar Glacier over the south slope of the Tianshan Mountains, China, from 2005 to 2010

Min Xu1, HaiDong Han1, ShiChang Kang1,2   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China;
    2. CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2017-01-05 Revised:2017-05-08 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: ShiChang Kang,
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41501073, 41471060, 41421061), the project of State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science (SKLCS-ZZ-2017), and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2015M580893, 2016T90966). The authors would like to thank the workers who helped to observe in the field, and the editors and anonymous reviewers for their crucial comments, which improved the quality of this paper.

Abstract: The degree-day model is one important method to estimate glacier melt, which is based on the specific relationship between glacial melting and the sum of daily mean temperatures above the melting point. According to the observation data on the Koxkar Glacier (KG) from 2005 to 2010, we analyzed the temporal and spatial variation of degree-day factors (DDF) and its influential factors. The results indicate that the average value of DDF was 7.2~10.4 mm/(℃·d) on the KG from 2005 to 2010. It showed a decreasing trend between 3,700 m and 4,200 m, and the deceasing trend was more obvious in the upper part of the KG. On a spatial scale, the DDF increased evidently with increasing altitude. The DDF ranged from 3.6 to 9.3 mm/(℃·d) at 3,700 m a.s.l., with the average value of 9.3 mm/(℃·d). It varied from 6.9 to 13.0 mm/(℃·d) at 4,000 m a.s.l., with the average value of 10.2 mm/(℃·d). During the period of ablation, the fluctuation of DDF was not significant at the lower altitude (3,700 m a.s.l.), but it decreased at the higher altitudes (4,000 m a.s.l. and 4,200 m a.s.l.). The debris changes the transmission of heat, which accelerates the melting of a glacier; and the DDF showed high value. This paper will provide the reference for temporal-spatial parameterization schemes of DDF on Tuomuer glaciers of the Tianshan Mountains.

Key words: degree-day factor, temporal and spatial variation, glacier ablation, Koxkar Glacier

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