Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 1861–1870 | Cite as

Glacier volume estimation from ice-thickness data, applied to the Muz Taw glacier, Sawir Mountains, China

  • Huai BaojuanEmail author
  • Li Zhongqin
  • Wang Feiteng
  • Wang Wenbin
  • Wang Puyu
  • Li Kaiming
Original Article


In this work, ground penetrating radar (GPR) data, global position system (GPS) data, Landsat remote sensing images and digital elevation model (DEM) SRTM were used to study the Muz Taw glacier in the Sawir Mountains. By a variety of interpolation methods, spatial pattern of thickness of the Muz Taw glacier was obtained. The results show that there are obvious differences between the available GPR transverse profiles. The lower transverse profile has typical “U”-type topographic feature, the maximum glacier thickness is up to 116.4 m; glacier thickness distribution in the higher profile is relatively flat, with an average about 70–90 m. The longitudinal profile forms a ladder-like distribution, which in the middle of the ice bedrock topography has obvious depression. The average longitudinal ice thickness is about 80.89 m; the maximum ice thickness is up to 122.61 m. In addition, the preliminary estimation of the average thickness and total terminus ice volume were approximately 60.5 m and 0.195 km3, respectively.


Ice thickness spatial distribution Ice volume Bedrock topographic map GPR data Muz Taw glacier Sawir Mountains 



Thanks are given to Chinese Tianshan Glaciological Station for field data collection. This work was supported by National Basic Research Program of China (2013CBA01801); National Natural Science Foundation of China (41471058); Funds for Creative Research Groups of China (41121001); Project for Incubation of Specialists in Glaciology and Geocryology of National Natural Science Foundation of China (J1210003/J0109). We are very grateful to USGS (US Geological Survey, for the Landsat image data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huai Baojuan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Li Zhongqin
    • 1
    • 3
  • Wang Feiteng
    • 1
  • Wang Wenbin
    • 1
  • Wang Puyu
    • 1
  • Li Kaiming
    • 4
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Science, Cold and Arid Region Environment and Engineering Research Institute/Tianshan Glaciological StationChinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)LanzhouChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Geography and Environment College of Northwest Normal UniversityLanzhouChina
  4. 4.School of Urban Economics and Tourism CultureLanzhou City UniversityLanzhouChina

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