Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 882–893 | Cite as

The glacier area changes in the Qangtang Plateau based on the multi-temporal grid method and its sensitivity to climate change

  • Liping Wang
  • Zichu XieEmail author
  • Xin Wang
  • Shiyin Liu
  • Liangfu Ding
  • Donghui Shangguan


Glacier area changes in the Qangtang Plateau are analyzed during 1970–2000 using air photos, relevant photogrammetric maps and satellite images based on the multi-temporal grid method. The results indicate that the melting of glaciers accelerated, only a few of glaciers in an advancing state during 1970–2000 in the whole Qangtang Plateau. However, the glaciers seemed still more stable in the study area than in most areas of western China. We estimate that glacier retreat was likely due to air temperature warming during 1970–2000 in the Qangtang Plateau. Furthermore, the functional model of glacier system is applied to study climate sensitivity of glacier area changes, which indicates that glacier lifespan mainly depends on the heating rate, secondly the precipitation, and precipitation increasing can slow down glacier retreat and make glacier lifespan prolonged.


The Qangtang Plateau Glacier change Multi-temporal Climate change Functional model of glacier system Simulation 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liping Wang
    • 1
  • Zichu Xie
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xin Wang
    • 3
  • Shiyin Liu
    • 2
  • Liangfu Ding
    • 2
  • Donghui Shangguan
    • 2
  1. 1.The College of Resources and Environmental ScienceHunan Normal UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of GeographyHunan University of Science and TechnologyXiangtanChina

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