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Study on the Fluctuations of Typical Glaciers and Lakes in the Tibetan Plateau Using Remote Sensing

LU An-xin~1,2, YAO Tan-dong~2,1, WANG Li-hong~1, LIU Shi-yin~1,2, GUO Zhi-long~1(1.Key Laboratory of Cryosphere and Environment Jointly Established by CAREERI, ITP,CAS and CAMS,CMA,Cold andArid Regions Environmental Engineering Research Institute,CAS,Lanzhou Gansu 730000,China;2.Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100029,China)  
Glaciers and lakes on the Tibetan Plateau play an important role in the earth's climatic system.The remote sensing techniques and the Geographic Information System technology is an efficient tool to analyze the status and fluctuations of glaciers and lakes.In this paper,the variations of typical glaciers and lakes throughout the Tibetan Plateau were investigated by analyzing the datasets from aerial photos,satellite images,topographical and the derived digital elevation models during the period of 1960-2000.The results show that variation of lake area depends clearly on local climate change.Over the past 30 years,the most of lakes in the middle Tibetan Plateau,such as the Seling Lake and Nam Lake,expanded and glaciers around the lakes retreated dramatically.It is inferred that the increasing of precipitation,decreasing of potential evaportranspiration and runoff from glacier melting are responsible mainly for the lake expanding.However,the lakes in the head regions of the Yellow River in the northeastern plateau shrunk in the period of 1960-2000 despite of glacier retreating.In the source regions of the Yellow River,the changing trend of precipitation,although positive,is not significant while temperature increased apparently,indicating water loss of the lakes enhanced through increasing of evaportranspiration and thus lakes shrunk in the past 30 years.It is also argued that ecosystem regression resulted from human activity in the regions played an important role in the lake shrinking.
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