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Variations of Glaciers in the Yeniugou Watershed of Heihe River Basin from 1956 to 2003

YANG Yong,CHEN Ren-sheng,JI Xi-bin (Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou Gansu 730000,China)  
Based on the glacier data in three periods-Glacier Inventory of China(Qilian Mountains) in 1956,topographic maps of 1∶50000 in 1970/1973 and the ASTER remote sensing images in 2003,variations of the glaciers in Yeniugou River watershed, source of the Heihe River,from 1956 to 1970/1973,and from 1970/1973 to 2003 are analyzed.The results indicate that the glacier area had decreased by about 9.29% from 1956 to 1970/1973 and 18.23% from 1970/1973 to 2003.The averaged declining rate was about 0.54% per year from 1956 to 1970/1973 and 0.60% per year from 1970/1973 to 2003.The number of glaciers in theYeniugou River basin had decreased from 165 in 1956 to 144 in 2003.Glacier volume had decreased about 229 million cubic meters from 1956 to 1970/1973 and 419 million cubic meters from 1970/1973 to 2003.The averaged loss rate was about 13 million cubic metersper year from 1956 to 1970/1973 and 14 million cubic metersper year from 1970/1973 to 2003.The glacier variation rate from 1956 to 2003 was inversely proportional to the glacier area.Annual mean temperature increased in the Yeniugou River basin from 1956 to 2003,and the increasing rate was faster in 1970/1973-2003 than that from 1956 to 1970/1973,which agreed with the retreating features of the glaciers.Because glacier area in this watershed is fewer,the effect of glacier decreasing on runoff in Yeniugou River watershed is relatively small.
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