Advances in Earth Science ›› 2008, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (9): 942-951. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2008.09.0942

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Daily Glacier Runoff Estimation Methods—A Case Study of Koxkar Glacier

Chen Rensheng,Liu Shiyin,Kang Ersi,Han Haidong,Qing Wenwu,Wang Jian   

  1. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2008-04-11 Revised:2008-06-25 Online:2008-09-10 Published:2008-09-10

Chen Rensheng,Liu Shiyin,Kang Ersi,Han Haidong,Qing Wenwu,Wang Jian. Daily Glacier Runoff Estimation Methods—A Case Study of Koxkar Glacier[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2008, 23(9): 942-951.

Using hydrometeorological data from June 1, 2005 to May 31, 2006 obtained by several automatic stations of Koxkar Glacier (total drainage area is 117.6km2 among which 83.6km2 is covered glacier), and combining it with 1:50 000 topographic map, TM, FY-2C and NCEP/NCAR data, the authors have created total 10 different distributed runoff models with 60m×60m spatial resolution and 1d time-step. All the models simulate the daily mean runoff well, and they are better than the statistical models. Using FY-2C total cloud cover data and solar radiation parameterized methods could calculate the solar radiation well in China, and it may use global radiation to estimate glacier runoff in some period well. In a year, the relationship between air temperature and glacier runoff is exponential, while in the ablation season, it is linear. That is, the degree-day method is more suitable in the ablation season. In such large glacier basin (glacier coverage is about 71%) as Koxkar watershed, the precipitation measurements neglected in the past in China is very important. With direct or global radiation being added, the temperature-index ice melting model will simulate the glacier runoff better. The authors also for the first time have given 3 simple energy-balanced models in China to estimate the glacier runoff, and the models all estimate the daily mean runoff well. In the Koxkar glacier watershed, improvment should be made for the research on evapotranspiration, sublimation, coagulation and refreezing, especially the runoff concentration processes which are very complex due to its melting Kast in the glacier. Many instruments were installed on the glacier in July, 2007, such as the eddy covariance system, a 10m meteorological tower and two automatic stations, etc. In the next few years, more glacier runoff estimation methods in different glacier with different character and size need to be found.

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