Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 501–512 | Cite as

Surface mass balance on Glacier No. 31 in the Suntar–Khayata Range, eastern Siberia, from 1951 to 2014

  • Yong Zhang
  • Hiroyuki Enomoto
  • Tetsuo Ohata
  • Tsutomu Kadota
  • Tatsuo Shirakawa
  • Nozomu Takeuchi


This study presents a 64-year (1951–2014) reconstruction of the surface mass balance of Glacier No. 31, located in the Suntar-Khayata Range of the eastern Siberia, where the ablation zone is characterized by the extensive dark ice surface. We use a temperature index-based glacier mass-balance model, which computes all major components of glacier mass budget and is forced by daily air temperature and precipitation from a nearby meteorological station. The glacier shows a mean annual mass balance of–0.35 m w.e.a–1 during the past 64 years, with an acceleration of–0.50 m w.e. a–1 during the recent years. A cumulative mass loss of the glacier is ~22.3 m w.e. over the study period, about 56% of which is observed during 1991–2014. In addition to the contribution of temperature rise and precipitation decrease to recent mass loss of the glacier, an experimental analysis, in which the clean and dark ice surfaces are respectively assumed to cover the entire ablation zone, indicates that dark ice surface, caused by insoluble impurities consisting of mineral dusts, cryoconite granules, and ice algae, plays a crucial role in the changing mass balance through enhancing melt rates in the ablation zone of the glacier.


Mass balance Dark ice surface Glacier No. 31 Suntar-Khayata Range Siberia 


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This work was supported by the National Basic Work Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST) (Grant No. 2013FY111400), the Major Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. KZZD-EW-12-1), and MEXT through the Green Network of Excellence (GRENE) Arctic Climate Change Research Project. We thank Arctic Data Archive System of National Institute of Polar Research, and the U.S. Geological Survey of Earth Resources Observation & Science Center for providing meteorological data and Landsat satellite image for this study, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong Zhang
    • 1
  • Hiroyuki Enomoto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tetsuo Ohata
    • 1
  • Tsutomu Kadota
    • 3
  • Tatsuo Shirakawa
    • 4
  • Nozomu Takeuchi
    • 5
  1. 1.Arctic Environment Research CenterNational Institute of Polar ResearchTokyoJapan
  2. 2.The Graduate University for Advanced StudiesTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Japan Agency for Marin-Earth Science and TechnologyYokohamaJapan
  4. 4.Kitami Institute of TechnologyKitamiJapan
  5. 5.Department of Earth Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceChiba UniversityChibaJapan

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