Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


Urumqi Glacier No. 1; glacier mass balance; glacier hydrology; snow-glacier processes

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China has 48 571 glaciers with a total area of 5.18×10 4 km 2, which accounts for 11%-14.5% of the total area of mountain glaciers in the world. These glaciers constitute a vital source of water for more than 100 million people and for wildlife ecosystems in this vast arid and semi-arid land in northwestern China. Urumqi Glacier No. 1, the best monitored glacier in China, is located at the headwaters of the Urumqi River in eastern Tianshan and is within the core area of central Asia. To implement the long term monitoring of Urumqi Glacier No. 1, the Tianshan Glaciological Station (TGS) was established by Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1959. Since then, Urumqi Glacier No. 1 has been the subject of extensive studies. Internationally, it has been one of the ten referential glaciers in the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), and considered to be of great importance because of its special geographical position. The Urumqi Glacier No. 1 complements similar long-term monitoring programs covering more maritime-type glaciers and glaciers in transitional climates in polar, temperate, and tropical regions. Over the past 60 years, the TGS has served as a research and training base for domestic and overseas scientists and graduate students. It plays a central role in central Asian climatological, hydrological and glaciological research. As such, it is well known and highly regarded by the international scientific community. As a permanent year-round glacier station among glaciers in central Asia, it is the benchmark to which other relevant studies can make reference.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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