Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (7): 993-1001.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201407011

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Water level variation of inland lakes on the south-central Tibetan Plateau in 1972-2012

Xin ZHANG1,2, Yanhong WU2(), Xin ZHANG1()   

  1. 1. College of Water Resources and Architecture Engineering, Northwest A & F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth, CAS, Beijing 100094, China
  • Received:2014-01-27 Revised:2014-05-28 Online:2014-07-20 Published:2014-07-20
  • Supported by:
    The "Strategic Priority Research Program" of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (B), No.XDB03030406;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41165011


The changes of lake levels could keep a record of lake variation on the Tibetan Plateau. Under the background of global warming in recent years, it is of importance to understand regional responses to climate changes by revealing the lake level variation of the inland lakes on the Tibetan Plateau. The paper obtained the time-series of the five typical lake areas and levels from 1972 to 2012 in the south-central Tibetan Plateau, and used the multi-sensor remote sensing data to analyze the variation of lake levels in recent 40 years. The results show that the three inland lakes (Pumo Yumco, Taro Co and Zhari Namco) expanded by 0.89 m, 0.70 m and 0.40 m in water level, respectively, while the two lakes (Peiku Co and Mapang Yumco) presented a decreasing tendency in water level. On the whole, the period 2000-2012 experienced remarkable changes compared with the preceding period (1976-1999). In term of spatial changes, the lakes of Peiku Co and Mapang Yumco, located in south fringe of the Tibetan Plateau, have shown the consistency in lake level changes, and so are the lakes of Taro Co and Zhari Namco in the southwestern part of central Tibetan Plateau.

Key words: Tibetan Plateau, lake level, spatial-temporal change, remote sensing