Journal of Central South University

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1454–1464 | Cite as

Changes in permafrost environments caused by construction and maintenance of Qinghai-Tibet Highway

  • Zhan-ju Lin (林战举)Email author
  • Fu-jun Niu (牛富俊)
  • Jing Luo (罗京)
  • Jia-hao Lu (鲁嘉濠)
  • Hua Liu (刘华)


The sideward permafrost along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway (QTH) contains massive ground-ice and is at a relatively high temperature. Under the influence of the steady increase of human activities, the permafrost environment has been changed greatly for a long time. At present, the permafrost becomes warm and rapidly degenerates, including the decline of the permafrost table, rising of the ground temperature, shortening of the length of frozen section, and extension of range of melting region. Some thaw hazards (e.g. thaw slumping and thermokarst pond) have widely occurred along both sides of the roadbed. In addition, due to the incomplete construction management, the vegetation adjacent to the highway is seriously damaged or eradicated, resulting in the land desertification and ecosystem out of balance. The dust, waste and garbage brought by drivers, passengers, maintenance workers, and transportations may also pollute the permafrost environment.

Key words

permafrost environment Qinghai-Tibet Highway thermokarst pond thaw slumping permafrost degradation 


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Copyright information

© Central South University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhan-ju Lin (林战举)
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fu-jun Niu (牛富俊)
    • 1
  • Jing Luo (罗京)
    • 1
  • Jia-hao Lu (鲁嘉濠)
    • 1
  • Hua Liu (刘华)
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina

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