Based on Landsat data (kh-9 data in 1976 as auxiliary data), glacial lake data of nearly 40 years (1970s-2018) in the western Nyainqentanglha range were obtained by manual digitization and visual interpretation. The variation characteristics of glacial lake over 0.0036 square kilometers in terms of type, size, elevation and watershed were analyzed in detail. The results show that, between 1976 and 2018, the number of glacial lakes increased by 56% from 192 to 299 and their total area increased by 35% from 6.75 ± 0.13 square kilometers to 9.12 ± 0.13 square kilometers ; the type of glacial lake is changing obviously; the smaller glacial lake is changing faster; the expansion of glacial lake is developing to higher altitude.
LUO Wei, ZHANG Guoqing
The long-term evolution of lakes on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) could be observed from Landsat series of satellite data since the 1970s. However, the seasonal cycles of lakes on the TP have received little attention due to high cloud contamination of the commonly-used optical images. In this study, for the first time, the seasonal cycle of lakes on the TP were detected using Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data with a high repeat cycle. A total of approximately 6000 Level-1 scenes were obtained that covered all large lakes (> 50 km2) in the study area. The images were extracted from stripmap (SM) and interferometric wide swath (IW) modes that had a pixel spacing of 40 m in the range and azimuth directions. The lake boundaries extracted from Sentinel-1 data using the algorithm developed in this study were in good agreement with in-situ measurements of lake shoreline, lake outlines delineated from the corresponding Landsat images in 2015 and lake levels for Qinghai Lake. Upon analysis, it was found that the seasonal cycles of lakes exhibited drastically different patterns across the TP. For example, large size lakes (> 100 km2) reached their peaks in August−September while lakes with areas of 50−100 km2 reached their peaks in early June−July. The peaks of seasonal cycles for endorheic lakes were more pronounced than those for exorheic lakes with flat peaks, and glacier-fed lakes with additional supplies of water exhibited delayed peaks in their seasonal cycles relative to those of non-glacier-fed lakes. Large-scale atmospheric circulation systems, such as the westerlies, Indian summer monsoon, transition in between, and East Asian summer monsoon, were also found to affect the seasonal cycles of lakes. The results of this study suggest that Sentinel-1 SAR data are a powerful tool that can be used to fill gaps in intra-annual lake observations.
ZHANG Yu, ZHANG Guoqing
Lakes on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) are an indicator and sentinel of climatic changes. We extended lake area changes on the TP from 2010 to 2018, and provided a long and dense lake observations between the 1970s and 2018. We found that the number of lakes, with area larger than 1 km2, has increased to ~1400 in 2018 from ~1000 in the 1970s. The total area of these lakes decreased between the 1970s and ~1995, and then showed a robust increase, with the exception of a slight decrease in 2015. This expansion of the lakes on the highest plateau in the world is a response to a hydrological cycle intensified by recent climate changes.
River lake ice phenology is sensitive to climate change and is an important indicator of climate change. 308 excel file names correspond to Lake numbers. Each excel file contains six columns, including daily ice coverage information of corresponding lakes from July 2002 to June 2018. The attributes of each column are: date, lake water coverage, lake water ice coverage, cloud coverage, lake water coverage and lake ice coverage after cloud treatment. Generally, the ice cover area ratio of 0.1 and 0.9 is used as the basis to distinguish the lake ice phenology. The excel file contained in the data set can further obtain four lake ice phenological parameters: Fus, fue, bus, bue, and 92 lakes. Two parameters, Fus and bue, can be obtained.
There are many lakes in the Qinghai Tibet Plateau. The glacial phenology and duration of lakes in this region are very sensitive to regional and global climate change, so they are used as the key indicators of climate change research, especially the comparative study of the three polar environmental changes of the earth. However, due to its poor natural environment and sparse population, there is a lack of conventional field measurement of lake ice phenology. The lake ice was monitored with a resolution of 500 meters by using the normalized difference snow index (NDSI) data of MODIS. The traditional snow map algorithm is used to detect the lake daily ice amount and coverage under the condition of sunny days, and the lake daily ice amount and coverage under the condition of cloud cover are re determined through a series of steps based on the spatiotemporal continuity of the lake surface conditions. Through time series analysis, 308 lakes larger than 3km2 are identified as effective records of lake ice range and coverage, forming a daily lake ice range and coverage data set, including 216 lakes.
There are three types of glacial lakes: supraglacial lakes, lakes attached to the end of the glacier and lakes not attached to the end of the glacier. Based on this classification, the following properties are studied: the variation in the number and area of glacial lakes in different basins in the Third Pole region, the changes in extent in terms of size and area, distance from glaciers, the differences in area changes between lakes with and without the supply of glacial melt water runoff, the characteristics of changes in the glacial lake area with respect to elevation, etc. Data source: Landsat TM/ETM+ 1990, 2000, 2010. The data were visually interpreted, which included checking and editing by comparing the original image with Google Earth images when the area was greater than 0.003 square kilometres. The data were applied to glacial lake changes and glacial lake outburst flood assessments in the Third Pole region. Data type: Vector data. Projected Coordinate System: Albers Conical Equal Area.
The High Asia region is an area sensitive to global changes in mid-latitude regions and is a hotspot for research. The lakes in the territory are scattered, and the lake freeze-thaw process is one of the key factors sensitive to global change. Due to the large difference in the dielectric constant between ice and water, satellite-borne passive microwave remote sensing is weather insensitive and has a high revisiting rate; thus, it can achieve rapid monitoring of the freeze-thaw state of lakes. According to the area ratio of the lake and the land surface in the sub-pixels of passive microwave radiometer data, this data set represents the lake brightness temperature information of the pixel (sub-pixel level) by applying the hybrid pixel decomposition method in order to monitor the lake freeze-thaw process in the High Asia region. Thus, by adopting a variety of passive microwave data, time series of lake brightness temperature and freeze-thaw status were obtained for a total of 51 medium to large lakes from 2002 to 2016 in the High Asia region. Using cloudless MODIS optical products as validation data, three lakes of different sizes in different regions of High Asia, i.e., Hoh Xil Lake, Dagze Co Lake, and Kusai Lake, were selected for freeze-thaw detection validation. The results indicated that the lake freeze-thaw parameters obtained by microwave and optical remote sensing were highly consistent, and the correlation coefficients reached 0.968 and 0.987. This data set contained the time series brightness temperature of lakes and the freeze-thaw parameters of lake ice, which could be used to further invert the characteristic parameters of lakes and enhance the understanding of lake ice freezing and thawing in the High Asia region. This database will be useful in the assessment of climatic and environmental changes in the High Asia region and in global climatic change response models. The data set consists of two parts: the passive microwave remote sensing brightness temperature data set of 51 lakes in the High Asia region from 2002 to 2016, with an observation interval of 1 to 2 days, and the lake ice freeze-thaw data set obtained by estimation of the lake brightness temperature. The files are the lake brightness temperature data via the nearest neighbour method and pixel decomposition in the form of a .zip file (12 MB) and the lake freeze-thaw data set for 51 lakes in the High Asia region from 2002 to 2016 in the form of an .xls file (0.1 MB).