Glacial evolution in the Ayilariju region, Western Himalaya, China: 1980–2011

  • Zhiguo Li
  • Lide Tian
  • Haiyan Fang
  • Shuhong Zhang
  • Jingjing Zhang
  • Xuexin Li
Original Article

Abstract

Changes in glacial geometries (extent and surface elevations) in the Ayilariju region of Western Himalaya, China, were investigated using topographical maps and data from the Landsat Thematic Mapper/Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus, the Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT4), the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission 4.1 digital elevation model, and geographical information system techniques. The results showed that the total glaciated area decreased from 190.37 to 162.52 km2 (14.6 % of the 1980 glaciated area) from 1980 to 2011. Furthermore, total glacial mass loss of studied region was estimated to be 2.570 ± 0.327 km3 between 1980 and 2000. Further investigation on meteorological data indicated that increases of temperature and total radiation were the primary causes of accelerated glacial melting. Reduced wind speed and slight decreases in precipitation triggered by weakening of the South Asian summer monsoon due to warming, may also have contributed to glacial shrinkage. The rate of glacial retreat in the studied region is lower than that in the southern Himalayan region, but larger than that in the Karakoram, primarily because Ayilariju glaciers were located on the margin of the Indian monsoon dominated region.

Keywords

Glacial evolution Remote sensing Western Himalaya Ayilariju region 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhiguo Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lide Tian
    • 2
  • Haiyan Fang
    • 3
  • Shuhong Zhang
    • 4
  • Jingjing Zhang
    • 1
  • Xuexin Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Environment and Planning CollegeShangqiu Normal UniversityShangqiuChina
  2. 2.Institute of Tibetan Plateau ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Life Science CollegeShangqiu Normal UniversityShangqiuChina

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