Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 313–329 | Cite as

Regimes of runoff components on the debris-covered Koxkar glacier in western China

  • Hai-dong HanEmail author
  • Yong-jian Ding
  • Shi-yin Liu
  • Jian Wang


By using a degree-day based distributed hydrological model, regimes of glacial runoff from the Koxkar glacier during 2007–2011 are simulated, and variations and characteristics of major hydrological components are discussed. The results show that the meltwater runoff contributes 67.4%, of the proglacial discharge, out of which snowmelt, clean ice melting, buried-ice ablation and ice-cliff backwasting account for 22.4%, 21.9%, 17.9% and 5.3% of the total melt runoff, respectively. Rainfall runoff is significant in mid-latitude glacierized mountain areas like Tianshan and Karakorum. In the Koxkar glacier catchment, about 11.5% of stream water is initiated from liquid precipitation. Spatial distributions for each glacial runoff component reveal the importance of climatic gradients, local topography and morphology on glacial runoff generation, and temporal variations of these components is closely related to the annual cycle of catchment meteorology and glacier storage. Four stages are recognized in the seasonal variations of glacier storage, reflecting changes in meltwater yields, meteorological conditions and drainage systems in the annual hydrological cycle.


Debris cover Meltwater Glacier Koxkar Runoff 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hai-dong Han
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yong-jian Ding
    • 1
  • Shi-yin Liu
    • 1
  • Jian Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina

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