Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 343–350 | Cite as

Thinning and shrinkage of Laohugou No. 12 glacier in the Western Qilian Mountains, China, from 1957 to 2007

  • Yingsong ZhangEmail author
  • Shiyin Liu
  • Donghui Shangguan
  • Jing Li
  • Jingdong Zhao


Landsat images, real-time kinematic GPS measurements, and topographic maps were used to determine changes in ice elevation, volume, and areal extent of the Laohugou No. 12 glacier (Qilian Mountains, China) between 1957 and 2007. The glacier experienced significant thinning and areal shrinkage in the ablation zone, but slight thickening in part of the accumulation zone. Elevation decreased by 18.6±5.4 m between 1957 and 2007 in the regions covered by the GPS measurements. The total volume loss for the entire glacier was estimated to be 0.218 km3 using a third-order polynomial fit method. The area diminished by 0.28 km2 between 1957 and 1994, 0.26 km2 between 1994 and 2000, and 0.28 km2 between 2000 and 2007, suggesting that the rate of loss in glacial coverage has increased since the mid-1990s. Significant increases in annual mean air temperature may have contributed to shrinkage and thinning of the glacier.


Glacier RTK-GPS Volume loss Qilian Mountain 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yingsong Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shiyin Liu
    • 1
  • Donghui Shangguan
    • 1
  • Jing Li
    • 1
  • Jingdong Zhao
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric ScienceCold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteLanzhouChina

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