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Puruogangri Ice Field and Its Variations Since the Little Ice Age of the Northern Tibetan Plateau

PU Jian-chen,YAO Tan-dong,WANG Ning-lian,DING Liang-fu,ZHANG Qi-hua (Key Laboratory of Ice Core and Cold Regions Environment, CAREERI, CAS, Lanzhou Gansu 730000, China)  
Puruogangri ice field is the largest ice field in the Northern Tibet Plateau composed of several ice caps, with an area of about 422^58 km 2 and a volume of 52^5153 km 3, %ELA% ranging from {5 620} to {5 860} m a.s.l. More than 50 ice tongues with different lengths extend around to wide and shallow valleys, of which the longest one has a wide terminus reaching the foothill, In the area with lower tongues, there are many ice pyramids, mainly in an initial stage and with connected bases. Since the Little Ice Age the ice field has trended to retreat. There are three moraines around the tongues in the north and southeast. They belong to three cold periods when glacier advanced. At those time, less advance presented in the west. From the Little Ice Age up to now, glacier area decreases 24^20 km 2, 5^7% of the original area, equivalent to 3^6583 km 3 of ice loss. In the west it is found that the glacier retreated by 20 m from the post Little Ice Age to the 1970 s, and 40~50 m from the 1970 s to the end of the 1990 s, with an average rate of 1^5~1^9 m5a+{-1}. It retreated 4~5 m from September 1999 to October 2000, showing an intensified retreating. However, the Puruogangri Ice Field is relatively stable as compared with other glaciers.
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