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Glacier mass loss induced the rapid growth of Linggo Co on the central Tibetan Plateau

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Remote-sensing and GIS techniques in conjunction with field investigations show how glacier mass loss has led to the rapid growth of Linggo Co, a glacier-fed lake on the central Tibetan Plateau, which has expanded by 21.3% in area between 1974 and 2010, with a lake-level rise of ∼11.2 m. The lake volume of Linggo Co increased at a rate of 0.02 × 106, 42.67 × 106 and 65.8 × 106 m3 a−1 during the periods 1974–92, 1992–99 and 1999–2010, respectively. Other non-glacier-fed lakes in the vicinity (i.e. Longwei Co, Amur Co and Darngo Co Ngion) shrank considerably from the early 1970s to 1992 and then expanded from 1992 to 2010. Despite being in the same climate region, Linggo Co and the non-glacier-fed lakes have differed in response to climate change. The glaciers in the catchment of Linggo Co retreated by 2.4% in area between 1974 and 2007, and their mean thickness decreased by 6.19 ± 1.91 m between 1974 and 2000, with an associated glacier meltwater runoff of (7.52 ± 2.32) × 108 m3. The results indicate that glacier mass loss had a significant impact on the growth of Linggo Co over the past 40 years.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-02-01

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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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