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Multi-decadal ice-velocity and elevation changes of a monsoonal maritime glacier: Hailuogou glacier, China

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Digital elevation models (DEMs) of the ablation area of Hailuogou glacier, China, produced from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data obtained in 2009, differential GPS (DGPS) data surveyed in 2008 and aerial photographs acquired in 1966 and 1989 are differenced to estimate long- and short-term glacier surface elevation change (dh/dt). The mean dh/dt of the ablation area over 43 years (1966–2009) is –1.1 ± 0.4 m a–1. Since 1989 the thinning has accelerated significantly. Ice velocities measured by DGPS at 28 fixed stakes implanted in the ablation area increase with distance from the glacier terminus, ranging from 41.0 m a–1 approaching the glacier terminus to a maximum of 205.0 m a–1 at the base of an icefall. Our results reveal that the overall average ice velocity in the ablation area has undergone significant temporal variability over the past several decades. Changes in glacier surface elevation in the ablation area result from the combined effects of climate change and glacier dynamics, which are driven by different factors for different regions and periods.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-04-01

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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