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Glacier mass changes in Rongbuk catchment on Mt. Qomolangma from 1974 to 2006 based on topographic maps and ALOS PRISM data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Qinghua Ye, Tobias Bolch, Renji Naruse, Yuzhe Wang, Jibiao Zong, Zhongyan Wang, Rui Zhao, Daqing Yang, Shichang Kang

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Abstract

Elevation changes of glacier surfaces were investigated in Rongbuk Catchment (RC) on the northern slopes of Mt. Qomolangma in the central Himalayas, by comparing a digital elevation model (DEM) generated from the 2006 ALOS/PRISM imageries with the base DEM1974 derived from the 1:50,000 topographic maps. The average elevation change rate of glacier surfaces in RC was estimated at -0.47±0.23ma -1 between 1974 and 2006. Such surface lowering rates varied significantly with glaciers and altitudes. One of the notable results is that the debris-covered ice thinned much more rapidly than the exposed ice at higher altitudes. Overall, glaciers in RC have lost mass of -0.06±0.04Gta -1 during 1974-2006. Glacier imbalance constitutes about 50% or more of the Rongbuk runoff.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume530
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

    Research areas

  • ALOS/PRISM, Digital elevation model (DEM), Glacier mass changes, Mt. Qomolangma (Mt. Everest MQ), Rongbuk Catchment (RC), Topographic maps

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