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2020, 12 (6) Online: 31 December 2020 Previous issue Next issue
  • A review of the interaction between the cryosphere and atmosphere
  • YongJian Ding,JianPing Yang,ShengXia Wang,YaPing Chang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00329
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 329–342 Abstract ( 162) HTML ( 14) PDF (5485 KB) ( 133 )
  • The interaction between the cryosphere and atmosphere is an essential and extremely sensitive mutual action process on the earth. Due to global warming and the cryospheric melting, more and more attention has been paid to the interaction process between the cryosphere and atmosphere, especially the feedback of the cryosphere change to the atmosphere. A comprehensive review of the studies on the interaction between the cryosphere and atmosphere is conducted from two aspects: (1) effects of climate change on the cryosphere or responses of the cryosphere to climate change; and (2) feedback of the cryosphere change to the climate. The response of the cryosphere to climate change is lagging. Such a lagging and cumulative effect of temperature rise within the cryosphere have resulted in a rapid change in the cryosphere in the 21st century, and its impacts have become more significant. The feedback from cryosphere change on the climate are omnifarious. Among them, the effects of sea ice loss and snow cover change, especially the Arctic sea ice loss and the Northern Hemisphere snow cover change, are the most prominent. The Arctic amplification (AA) associated with sea ice feedback is disturbing , and the feedback generated by the effect of temperature rise on snow properties in the Northern Hemisphere is also of great concern. There are growing evidence of the impact of the Arctic cryosphere melting on mid-latitude weather and climate. Weakened storm troughs, steered jet stream and amplified planetary waves associated with energy propagation become the key to explaining the links between Arctic cryosphere change and atmospheric circulation. There is still a great deal of uncertainty about how cryosphere change affects the weather and climate through different atmospheric circulation processes at different spatial and temporal scales due to observation and simulation problems.

  • Changes in the global cryosphere and their impacts: A review and new perspective
  • ShiYin Liu,TongHua Wu,Xin Wang,XiaoDong Wu,XiaoJun Yao,Qiao Liu,Yong Zhang,JunFeng Wei,XiaoFan Zhu
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00343
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 343–354 Abstract ( 143) HTML ( 16) PDF (4554 KB) ( 169 )
  • As one of the five components of Earth's climatic system, the cryosphere has been undergoing rapid shrinking due to global warming. Studies on the formation, evolution, distribution and dynamics of cryospheric components and their interactions with the human system are of increasing importance to society. In recent decades, the mass loss of glaciers, including the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, has accelerated. The extent of sea ice and snow cover has been shrinking, and permafrost has been degrading. The main sustainable development goals in cryospheric regions have been impacted. The shrinking of the cryosphere results in sea-level rise, which is currently affecting, or is soon expected to affect, 17 coastal megacities and some small island countries. In East Asia, South Asia and North America, climate anomalies are closely related to the extent of Arctic sea ice and snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere. Increasing freshwater melting from the ice sheets and sea ice may be one reason for the slowdown in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation in the Arctic and Southern Oceans. The foundations of ports and infrastructure in the circum-Arctic permafrost regions suffer from the consequences of permafrost degradation. In high plateaus and mountainous regions, the cryosphere's shrinking has led to fluctuations in river runoff, caused water shortages and increased flooding risks in certain areas. These changes in cryospheric components have shown significant heterogeneity at different temporal and spatial scales. Our results suggest that the quantitative evaluation of future changes in the cryosphere still needs to be improved by enhancing existing observations and model simulations. Theoretical and methodological innovations are required to strengthen social economies' resilience to the impact of cryospheric change.

  • Cryosphere evapotranspiration in the Tibetan Plateau: A review
  • KunXin Wang,YinSheng Zhang,Ning Ma,YanHong Guo,YaoHui Qiang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00355
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 355–370 Abstract ( 123) HTML ( 6) PDF (3596 KB) ( 170 )
  • Land surface actual evapotranspiration is an important process that influences the Earth's energy and water cycles and determines the water and heat transfer in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system. Meanwhile, the cryosphere's hydrological process is receiving extensive attention, and its water problem needs to be understood from multiple perspectives. As the main part of the Chinese cryosphere, the Tibetan Plateau faces significant climate and environmental change. There are active interaction and pronounced feedback between the environment and ETa in the cryosphere. This article mainly focuses on the research progress of ETa in the Tibetan Plateau. It first reviews the ETa process, characteristics, and impact factors of typical underlying surfaces in the Tibetan Plateau (alpine meadows, alpine steppes, alpine wetlands, alpine forests, lakes). Then it compares the temporal and spatial variations of ETa at different scales. In addition, considering the current greening of cryosphere vegetation due to climate change, it discusses the relationship between vegetation greening and transpiration to help clarify how vegetation activities are related to the regional water cycle and surface energy budget.

  • Holocene precipitation δ18O as an indicator of temperature history in arid central Asia: an overview of recent advances
  • ZhiGuo Rao,YiPing Tian,YunXia Li,HaiChun Guo,XinZhu Zhang,Guang Han,XinPing Zhang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00371
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 371–379 Abstract ( 91) HTML ( 7) PDF (4412 KB) ( 69 )
  • Holocene δ18O records from various archives (ice cores, cave stalagmites, and peat sediments) from the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, in arid central Asia (ACA), are all derived ultimately from local precipitation δ18O (δ18Op). Nevertheless, they have been proposed as indicators of different climatic parameters, such as wetness and temperature changes. This article summarizes previously reported records of moisture sources for the Xinjiang region and the results of modern observations conducted at an ice core site and a peat site in the Altai Mountains. The findings are used to propose that the overall positive trends in Holocene δ18O records from the various archives from the Xinjiang region primarily reflect the Holocene's long-term warming trend. It is concluded that more site-specific modern observations are needed to further elucidate the environmental significance of Holocene δ18O records from this region, especially for the separation of different seasonal temperature signals present within δ18O records.

  • 60-year changes and mechanisms of Urumqi Glacier No. 1 in the eastern Tianshan of China, Central Asia
  • ZhongQin Li,HuiLin Li,ChunHai Xu,YuFeng Jia,FeiTeng Wang,PuYu Wang,XiaoYing Yue
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00380
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 380–388 Abstract ( 101) HTML ( 8) PDF (4523 KB) ( 134 )
  • Worldwide examination of glacier change is based on detailed observations from only a small number of glaciers. The ground-based detailed individual glacier monitoring is of strong need and extremely important in both regional and global scales. A long-term integrated multi-level monitoring has been carried out on Urumqi Glacier No. 1 (UG1) at the headwaters of the Urumqi River in the eastern Tianshan Mountains of Central Asia since 1959 by the Tianshan Glaciological Station, Chinese Acamedey of Sciences (CAS), and the glaciological datasets promise to be the best in China. The boundaries of all glacier zones moved up, resulting in a shrunk accumulation area. The stratigraphy features of the snowpack on the glacier were found to be significantly altered by climate warming. Mass balances of UG1 show accelerated mass loss since 1960, which were attributed to three mechanisms. The glacier has been contracting at an accelerated rate since 1962, resulting in a total reduction of 0.37 km2 or 19.3% from 1962 to 2018. Glacier runoff measured at the UG1 hydrometeorological station demonstrates a significant increase from 1959 to 2018 with a large interannual fluctuation, which is inversely correlated with the glacier's mass balance. This study analyzes on the changes in glacier zones, mass balance, area and length, and streamflow in the nival glacial catchment over the past 60 years. It provides critical insight into the processes and mechanisms of glacier recession in response to climate change. The results are not only representative of those glaciers in the Tianshan mountains, but also for the continental-type throughout the world. The direct observation data form an essential basis for evaluating mountain glacier changes and the impact of glacier shrinkage on water resources in the interior drainage rivers within the vast arid and semi-arid land in northwestern China as well as Central Asia.

  • Simulation and projection of climate change using CMIP6 Muti-models in the Belt and Road Region
  • YanRan Lü,Tong Jiang,YanJun Wang,BuDa Su,JinLong Huang,Hui Tao
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00389
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 389–403 Abstract ( 161) HTML ( 9) PDF (16086 KB) ( 114 )
  • Climate condition over a region is mostly determined by the changes in precipitation, temperature and evaporation as the key climate variables. The countries belong to the Belt and Road region are subjected to face strong changes in future climate. In this paper, we used five global climate models from the latest Sixth Phase of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) to evaluate future climate changes under seven combined scenarios of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and the Representative Concentration Pathways (SSP1-1.9, SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5, SSP3-7.0, SSP4-3.4, SSP4-6.0 and SSP5-8.5) across the Belt and Road region. This study focuses on undertaking a climate change assessment in terms of future changes in precipitation, air temperature and actual evaporation for the three distinct periods as near-term period (2021-2040), mid-term period (2041-2060) and long-term period (2081-2100). To discern spatial structure, K?ppen-Geiger Climate Classification method has been used in this study. In relative terms, the results indicate an evidence of increasing tendency in all the studied variables, where significant changes are anticipated mostly in the long-term period. In addition to, though it is projected to increase under all the SSP-RCP scenarios, greater increases will be happened under higher emission scenarios (SSP5-8.5 and SSP3-7.0). For temperature, robust increases in annual mean temperature is found to be 5.2 °C under SSP3-7.0, and highest 7.0 °C under SSP5-8.5 scenario relative to present day. The northern part especially Cold and Polar region will be even more warmer (+6.1 °C) in the long-term (2081-2100) period under SSP5-8.5. Similarly, at the end of the twenty-first century, annual mean precipitation is inclined to increase largely with a rate of 2.1% and 2.8% per decade under SSP3-7.0 and SSP5-8.5 respectively. Spatial distribution demonstrates that the largest precipitation increases are to be pronounced in the Polar and Arid regions. Precipitation is projected to increase with response to increasing warming most of the regions. Finally, the actual evaporation is projected to increase significantly with rate of 20.3% under SSP3-7.0 and greatest 27.0% for SSP5-8.5 by the end of the century. It is important to note that the changes in evaporation respond to global mean temperature rise consistently in terms of similar spatial pattern for all the scenarios where stronger increase found in the Cold and Polar regions. The increase in precipitation is overruled by enhanced evaporation over the region. However, this study reveals that the CMIP6 models can simulate temperature better than precipitation over the Belt and Road region. Findings of this study could be the reliable basis for initiating policies against further climate induced impacts in the regional scale.

  • Coupling numerical simulation with remotely sensed information for the study of frozen soil dynamics
  • HuiRan Gao,WanChang Zhang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00404
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 404–417 Abstract ( 98) HTML ( 226) PDF (10153 KB) ( 179 )
  • The acquisition of spatial-temporal information of frozen soil is fundamental for the study of frozen soil dynamics and its feedback to climate change in cold regions. With advancement of remote sensing and better understanding of frozen soil dynamics, discrimination of freeze and thaw status of surface soil based on passive microwave remote sensing and numerical simulation of frozen soil processes under water and heat transfer principles provides valuable means for regional and global frozen soil dynamic monitoring and systematic spatial-temporal responses to global change. However, as an important data source of frozen soil processes, remotely sensed information has not yet been fully utilized in the numerical simulation of frozen soil processes. Although great progress has been made in remote sensing and frozen soil physics, yet few frozen soil research has been done on the application of remotely sensed information in association with the numerical model for frozen soil process studies. In the present study, a distributed numerical model for frozen soil dynamic studies based on coupled water-heat transferring theory in association with remotely sensed frozen soil datasets was developed. In order to reduce the uncertainty of the simulation, the remotely sensed frozen soil information was used to monitor and modify relevant parameters in the process of model simulation. The remotely sensed information and numerically simulated spatial-temporal frozen soil processes were validated by in-situ field observations in cold regions near the town of Naqu on the East-Central Tibetan Plateau. The results suggest that the overall accuracy of the algorithm for discriminating freeze and thaw status of surface soil based on passive microwave remote sensing was more than 95%. These results provided an accurate initial freeze and thaw status of surface soil for coupling and calibrating the numerical model of this study. The numerically simulated frozen soil processes demonstrated good performance of the distributed numerical model based on the coupled water-heat transferring theory. The relatively larger uncertainties of the numerical model were found in alternating periods between freezing and thawing of surface soil. The average accuracy increased by about 5% after integrating remotely sensed information on the surface soil. The simulation accuracy was significantly improved, especially in transition periods between freezing and thawing of the surface soil.

  • Spatial-temporal variability of snow cover over the Amur River Basin inferred from MODIS daily snow products in recent decades
  • XiaoLin Lu,WanChang Zhang,ShuHang Wang,Bo Zhang,QuanFu Niu,JinPing Liu,Hao Chen,HuiRan Gao
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00418
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 418–429 Abstract ( 66) HTML ( 6) PDF (8111 KB) ( 62 )
  • MODIS snow products MOD10A1\MYD10A1 provided us a unique chance to investigate snow cover as well as its spatial-temporal variability in response to global changes from regional and global perspectives. By means of MODIS snow products MOD10A1\MYD10A1 derived from an extensive area of the Amur River Basin, mainly located in the Northeast part of China, some part in far east area of the former USSR and a minor part in Republic of Mongolia, the reproduced snow datasets after removal of cloud effects covering the whole watershed of the Amur River Basin were generated by using 6 different cloud-effect-removing algorithms. The accuracy of the reproduced snow products was evaluated with the time series of snow depth data observed from 2002 to 2010 within the Chinese part of the basin, and the results suggested that the accuracies for the reproduced monthly mean snow depth datasets derived from 6 different cloud-effect-removing algorithms varied from 82% to 96%, the snow classification accuracies (the harmonic mean of Recall and Precision) was higher than 80%, close to the accuracy of the original snow product under clear sky conditions when snow cover was stably accumulated. By using the reproduced snow product dataset with the best validated cloud-effect-removing algorithm newly proposed, spatial-temporal variability of snow coverage fraction (SCF), the date when snow cover started to accumulate (SCS) as well as the date when being melted off (SCM) in the Amur River Basin from 2002 to 2016 were investigated. The results indicated that the SCF characterized the significant spatial heterogeneity tended to be higher towards East and North but lower toward West and South over the Amur River Basin. The inter-annual variations of SCF showed an insignificant increase in general with slight fluctuations in majority part of the basin. Both SCS and SCM tended to be slightly linear varied and the inter-annual differences were obvious. In addition, a clear decreasing trend in snow cover is observed in the region. Trend analysis (at 10% significance level) showed that 71% of areas between 2,000 and 2,380 m a.s.l. experienced a reduction in duration and coverage of annual snow cover. Moreover, a severe snow cover reduction during recent years with sharp fluctuations was investigated. Overall spatial-temporal variability of Both SCS and SCM tended to coincide with that of SCF over the basin in general.

  • A note on the lake level variations of Nam Co, south-central Tibetan Plateau from 2005 to 2019
  • ShiQiao Zhou
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00430
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 430–435 Abstract ( 73) HTML ( 4) PDF (2762 KB) ( 62 )
  • Tibetan lake levels are sensitive to global change, and their variations have a large impact on the environment, local agriculture and animal husbandry practices. While many remote sensing data of Tibetan lake level changes have been reported, few are from in-situ measurements. This note presents the first in-situ lake level time series of the central Tibetan Plateau. Since 2005, daily lake level observations have been performed at Lake Nam Co, one of the largest on the Tibetan Plateau. The interannual lake level variations show an overall increasing trend from 2006 to 2014, a rapid decrease from 2014 to 2017, and a surge from 2017 to 2018. The annual average lake level of the hydrological year (May-April) rose 66 cm from 2006 to 2014, dropped 59 cm from 2014 to 2017, and increased 20 cm from 2017 to 2018, resulting in a net rise of 27 cm or an average rate of about 2 cm per year. Compared to the annual average lake level based on the calendar year, it is better to use the annual average lake level based on the hydrological year to determine the interannual lake level changes. As the lake level was stable in May, it is appropriate to compare May lake levels when examining interannual lake level changes with fewer data. Overall, remote sensing results agree well with the in-situ lake level observations; however, some significant deviations exist. In the comparable 2006-2009 period, the calendar-year average lake level observed in-situ rose by 10-11 cm per year, which is lower than the ICESat result of 18 cm per year.

  • Manifestations and mechanisms of mountain glacier-related hazards
  • Xin Wang,Qiao Liu,ShiYin Liu,GuangLi He
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00436
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 436–446 Abstract ( 95) HTML ( 14) PDF (2037 KB) ( 109 )
  • Mountain glacier-related hazards occur worldwide in response to increasing glacier instability and human activity intensity in modern glacierized regions. These hazards are characterized by their spatial aggregation and temporal repeatability. Comprehensive knowledge about mountain glacier-related hazards is critical for hazard assessment, mitigation, and prevention in the mountain cryosphere and downstream regions. This article systematically schematizes various mountain glacier-related hazards and analyzes their inherent associations with glacier changes. Besides, the processes, manifestations, and mechanisms of each of the glacier-related hazards are summarized. In the future, more extensive and detailed systematic surveys, for example, considering integrated ground-air-space patterns, should be undertaken for typical glacierized regions to enhance existing knowledge of such hazards. The use of coupled numerical models based on multi-source data is challenging but will be essential to improve our understanding of the complex chain of processes involved in thermal-hydrogeomorphic glacier-related hazards in the mountain cryosphere.

  • Spatial distribution of supraglacial debris thickness on glaciers of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and surroundings
  • YaJie Zheng,Yong Zhang,Ju Gu,Xin Wang,ZongLi Jiang,JunFeng Wei
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00447
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 447–460 Abstract ( 128) HTML ( 3292) PDF (6723 KB) ( 322 )
  • Debris-covered glaciers, characterized by the presence of supraglacial debris mantles in their ablation zones, are widespread in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and surroundings. For these glaciers, thin debris layers accelerate the melting of underlying ice compared to that of bare ice, while thick debris layers retard ice melting, called debris-cover effect. Knowledge about the thickness and thermal properties of debris cover on CPEC glaciers is still unclear, making it difficult to assess the regional debris-cover effect. In this study, thermal resistance of the debris layer estimated from remotely sensed data reveals that about 54.0% of CPEC glaciers are debris-covered glaciers, on which the total debris-covered area is about 5,072 km2, accounting for 14.0% of the total glacier area of the study region. We find that marked difference in the extent and thickness of debris cover is apparent from region to region, as well as the debris-cover effect. 53.3% of the total debris-covered area of the study region is concentrated in Karakoram, followed by Pamir with 30.2% of the total debris-covered area. As revealed by the thermal resistance, the debris thickness is thick in Hindu Kush on average, with the mean thermal resistance of 7.0×10-2 ((m2?K)/W), followed by Karakoram, while the thickness in western Himalaya is thin with the mean value of 2.0×10-2 ((m2?K)/W). Our findings provide a basis for better assessments of changes in debris-covered glaciers and their associated hydrological impacts in the CPEC and surroundings.

  • Zhangmu and Gyirong ports under the threat of glacial lake outburst flood
  • MiaoMiao Qi,ShiYin Liu,YongPeng Gao
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00461
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 461–476 Abstract ( 125) HTML ( 722) PDF (11802 KB) ( 209 )
  • The Himalayas are prone to glacial lake outburst floods, which can pose a severe threat to downstream villages and infrastructure. The Zhangmu and Gyirong land treaty ports are located on the China-Nepal border in the central Himalayas. In recent years, the expansion of glacial lakes has increased the threat of these two port regions. This article describes the results of mapping the glacial lakes larger than 0.01 km2 in the Zhangmu and Gyirong port regions and analyzes their change. It provides a comprehensive assessment of potentially dangerous glacial lakes and predicts the development of future glacial lakes. From 1988 to 2019, the glacial lakes in these port regions underwent "expansion", and moraine-dammed lakes show the most significant expansion trend. A total of eleven potentially dangerous glacial lakes are identified based on the assessment criteria and historical outburst events; most expanded by more than 150% from 1988 to 2019, with some by over 500%. The Cirenmaco, a moraine-dammed lake, is extremely prone to overtopping due to ice avalanches or the melting of dead ice in the dam. For other large lakes, such as the Jialongco, Gangxico and Galongco, ice avalanches may likely cause the lakes to burst besides self-destructive failure. The potential dangers of the Youmojianco glacial lakes, including lakes Nos. 9, 10 and 11, will increase in the future. In addition, the glacier-bed topography model predicts that 113 glacial lakes with a size larger than 0.01 km2, a total area of 11.88 km2 and a total volume of 6.37×109 m3 will form in the study area by the end of the 21 century. Due to global warming, the glacial lakes in the Zhangmu and Gyirong port regions will continue to grow in the short term, and hence the risk of glacial lake outburst floods will increase.

  • Thickness estimation of the Longbasaba Glacier: methods and application
  • GuangLi He,JunFeng Wei,Xin Wang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00477
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 477–490 Abstract ( 99) HTML ( 8769) PDF (4573 KB) ( 303 )
  • A total of 71,177 glaciers exist on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, according to the Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI 6.0). Despite their large number, glacier ice thickness data are relatively scarce. This study utilizes digital elevation model data and ground-penetrating radar thickness measurements to estimate the distribution and variation of ice thickness of the Longbasaba Glacier using Glacier bed Topography (GlabTop), a full-width expansion model, and the Huss and Farinotti (HF) model. Results show that the average absolute deviations of GlabTop, the full-width expansion model, and the HF model are 9.8, 15.5, and 10.9 m, respectively, indicating that GlabTop performs the best in simulating glacier thickness distribution. During 1980-2015, the Longbasaba Glacier thinned by an average of 7.9±1.3 m or 0.23±0.04 m/a, and its ice volume shrunk by 0.28±0.04 km3 with an average reduction rate of 0.0081±0.0001 km3/a. In the investigation period, the area and volume of Longbasaba Lake expanded at rates of 0.12±0.01 km2/a and 0.0132±0.0018 km3/a, respectively. This proglacial lake could potentially extend up to 5,000 m from the lake dam.

  • Glacier changes in the Qaidam Basin from 1977 to 2018
  • SuGang Zhou,XiaoJun Yao,Yuan Zhang,DaHong Zhang,Juan Liu,HongYu Duan
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00491
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 491–502 Abstract ( 108) HTML ( 9) PDF (5524 KB) ( 84 )
  • Based on Landsat MSS/TM/OLI remote sensing images, glaciers vector data in the Qaidam Basin were extracted for 1977, 2002, and 2018, and their spatial-temporal variations were analyzed. Results show that there were 2,050 glaciers covering an area of 1,693.54±40.96 km2 and having an ice volume of 108.65±2.43 km3 in the Qaidam Basin in 2018. Glaciers with areas <1.0 km2 accounted for the largest number, while glaciers with areas of 1.0-5.0 km2 accounted for the most glacierized area. In the past 50 years, the number of glaciers decreased by 177, and the glacier area and volume reduced by 338.08 km2 (-8.12 km2/a) and 19.92 km3 (-0.48 km3/a), respectively. Retreat altitudes of glaciers were concentrated at 4,900-5,600 m, 4,700-5,200 m, and 5,000-5,600 m and reduced areas accounted for 95.53%, 77.80%, and 69.19% in the Kunlun, Qilian, and Altun mountains, respectively. The area of north-oriented glaciers decreased the most (-125.43 km2), but the west- and east-oriented glaciers retreated at the fastest rate (i.e., -27.11% and -27.10%). All glaciers showed a decreasing trend in sub-regions of the Qaidam Basin from 1977 to 2018. The decreasing trend was accelerated gradually from northwest to southeast in the northern part of the basin, while glacier change was the smallest in the middle section and gradually accelerated towards both ends of the basin's southern part. The temperature had continued to rise, and the precipitation had increased slowly in the Qaidam Basin during the past 50 years. The continuous rise in air temperature was the main reason for the retreat of glaciers.

  • Characteristics and changes of permafrost along the engineering corridor of National Highway 214 in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
  • Yu Sheng,JiChun Wu,Wei Cao,JianHong Fang,AnHua Xu,ErXing Peng
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00503
  • 2020, Vol.12 (6): 503–516 Abstract ( 249) HTML ( 2116) PDF (7387 KB) ( 259 )
  • Due to a series of linear projects built along National Highway 214, the second "Permafrost Engineering Corridor" on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has formed. In this paper, by overcoming the problems of data decentralization and standard inconsistency, permafrost characteristics and changes along the engineering corridor are systematically summarized based on the survey and monitoring data. The results show that: 1) Being controlled by elevation, the permafrost is distributed in flake discontinuity with mountains as the center along the line. The total length of the road section in permafrost regions is 365 km, of which the total length of the permafrost section of National Highway 214 is 216.7 km, and the total length of the permafrost section of Gong-Yu Expressway is 197.3 km. The mean annual ground temperature (MAGT) is higher than -1.5 °C, and permafrost with MAGT lower than -1.5 °C is only distributed in the sections at Bayan Har Mountain and E'la Mountain. There are obvious differences in the distribution of ground ice in the different sections along the engineering corridor. The sections with high ice content are mainly located in Zuimatan, Duogerong Plain and the top of north and south slope of Bayan Har Mountain. The permafrost thickness is controlled by the ground temperature, and permafrost thickness increases with the decrease of the ground temperature, with the change rate of about 37 m/°C. 2) Local factors (topography, landform, vegetation and lithology) affect the degradation process of permafrost, and then affect the distribution, ground temperature, thickness and ice content of permafrost. Asphalt pavement has greatly changed the heat exchange balance of the original ground, resulting in serious degradation of the permafrost. Due to the influence of roadbed direction trend, the phenomenon of shady-sunny slope is very significant in most sections along the line. The warming range of permafrost under the roadbed is gradually smaller with the increase of depth, so the thawing settlement of the shallow section with high ice-content permafrost is more significant.