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Glacier and lake co-variations and their responses to climate change in the Mapam Yumco Basin on Tibet

YE Qing-hua 1,2,YAO Tan-dong1,3,ZHENG Hong-xing4,ZHANG Xue-qin4(1.Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes,Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research,CAS Beijing 100085,China;2.State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science,Jointly Sponsored by the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications of CAS and Beijing Normal University,Beijing 100101,China;3.State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere and Environment,CAS,Lanzhou 730000,China;4.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research,CAS,Beijing 100101,China)  
Glacier and lake variations in the Mapam Yumco Basin were studied by integrating series of spatial data from topographic maps and Landsat images in four different periods of time:1974,1990,1999 and 2003.The results indicate that glaciers and lakes in the Basin both retreated and advanced during the last 30 years.As a contribution to the studies of the impact of climate change on glaciers and lakes in high-altitude closed basins of the western Himalayas,we present spatial and temporal variations of glaciers and lakes in the Mapam Yumco Basin on the Tibetan Plateau,by means of Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing techniques.Our results show that both glacier and lake areas in the Mapam Yumco Basin decreased from 1974 to 2003.Glaciers in the basin have receded due to the warmer climate,in total by 7.53 km2(0.26 km2 a-1 or 0.25 % a-1)during 1974 2003(c.f.0.07 % a-1 nearby the Yamzhog Yumco Basin,and 0.18% a-1,the mean glacier recession rate over China since the 1960s).During the same period,lake area decreased by 34.16 km2(1.18 km2 a-1 or 4.37 % of whole lake area in the basin)in total,where decreased by 1.43 km2 a-1 on average(with lake shrinkage amounting to 1.70 km2 a-1 in some areas and lake growth to 0.27 km2 a-1 in others)during 1974-1990,by 1.55 km2 a-1(with lake shrinkage amounting to 2.15 km2 a-1 in some areas and lake growth to 0.60 km2 a-1 in others)during 1990-1999,while enlarged by 0.66 km2 a-1(with lake shrinkage amounting to 2.24 km2 a-1 and lake growth to 2.89 km2 a-1)during 1999-2003 over the past three decades.It is suggested that both enlargement and reduction of lakes were accelerated,which might be an indicator for an accelerated water cycle process over the Tibetan Plateau in a warming climate condition.
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