Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2010, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (1): 13-28.doi: 10.11821/xb201001003

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Monitoring Glacier Change Based on Remote Sensing in the Mt. Qomolangma National Nature Preserve,1976-2006

NIE Yong1,2; ZHANG Yi-li1; LIU Lin-shan1; ZHANG Ji-ping1,2   

  1. 1.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research; Chinese Academy of Sciences; Beijing 100101; China; 
    2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.Beijing 100049; China
  • Received:2009-09-01 Revised:2009-11-18 Online:2010-01-25 Published:2010-01-25
  • Supported by:

    The External Cooperation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.GJHZ0954; National Basic Research Program of China, No.2005CB422006; Institutional Consolidation for the Coordinated and Integrated Monitoring of Natural Resources towards Sustainable Development and Environmental Conservation in the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya Mountain Complex


Based on Landsat TM(/MSS) images in 1976,1988 and 2006,glacier extents in the three periods in the Mt.Qomolangma National Nature Preserve(QNNP) have been automatically derived by object-oriented image interpretation method combined with expert knowledge rules and field surveys.Spatial-temporal distribution and changes of glaciers are analyzed with the aid of GIS,RS and Tupu method.Results show that(1) The glacial area at QNNP in 2006,located mainly in the southern high mountain region with elevations of 4700-6800 m,amounted to 2710.17±0.011 km2,about 7.41% of the whole study area;(2) During 1976-2006,glaciers tended to shrink significantly by 501.91±0.035 km2 in total,and glacial lakes expanded rapidly with an increase of 36.88±0.035 km2;the rate of glacier retreat is higher in sub-basins on the southern slope(16.79%) of Himalayas than those on the northern slope(14.40%);(3) Most glaciers retreated,mainly occurred at elevations of 4700-6400 m,and the estimated upper limit of retreated zone is between 6600 m and 6700 m;(4) The temperature rise along with precipitation decrease is considered to be the key factor of glacier retreat in the region.

Key words: remote sensing, glacier retreat, Mt. Qomolangma National Nature Preserve, Himalayas, Mt. Everest

CLC Number: 

  • P343.6