PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2012, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (9): 1133-1140.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2012.09.003

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Study on the Variations of Lake Area & Volume and Their Effect on the Occurrence of Outburst of MUDUI Glacier Lake in Southeastern Tibet

YANG Ruimin1,2, ZHU Liping1, WANG Yongjie1, CHU Duo3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100085, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Tibet Institute of Plateau Atmospheric and Environmental Science Research, Lhasa 850001, China
  • Received:2012-02-01 Revised:2012-05-01 Online:2012-09-25 Published:2012-09-25

Abstract: Glacial lake outburst is one of the main hazards on the Tibetan Plateau. It is very important to understand the detailed information of variations and reasons of glacial lake area & volume for evaluating the possibility of glacial lake outburst and its damage degree. Midui Glacial Lake is a typical moraine-dammed lake, which had an outburst on July 15th in 1988. In this study the authors extract this lake areas in different stages from the topographic map (1:5000) taken in 1980 and TM images in 1988, IKONOS in 2001, ALOS in 2001/2007/2009/ 2010. The lake volumes in different stages are calculated by using the lake areas and the bathymetric survey results. Meanwhile, the authors monitor the relative lake water level changes by using automatic water gauges. Results show that the area and water volume of Midui glacial lake were 64×104 m2 and 699×104 m3, respectively before its outburst on June 15th in 1988. There was a water loss of 601.83×104 m3 due to this outburst and the relative lake level decreased by 17.18 m. However, the out flow bed was still higher than the lake bottom so that there were still 97.17×104 m3 water volume in the lake after the outburst. In recent years, the lake area and volume have been continually increasing due to the increase of glacial melting water caused by climate warming. There is a less possibility of lake outburst according to present increasing rate of the lake area & volume. However, if the outflow of the lake is blocked or a large amount of external materials (glacier breakdown, landslide) were filled into the lake, the lake level will rise sharply and a new outburst will occur.

Key words: lake area &, Midui Glacial Lake, outburst, remote sensing, southeastern Tibet, volume