Topic Editors

School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, King’s College, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, UK
Department of Chemistry and Geosciences, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL 36265, USA

Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 December 2022)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (30 June 2023)
Viewed by
36281

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The cryosphere consists of frozen water and includes lake/river/sea ice, glaciers, ice caps/sheets, snow cover, and permafrost. Because highly reflective snow and ice are the main components of the cryosphere, it plays an important role in the global energy balance. Thus, any qualitative or quantitative change in the physical properties and extents of the cryosphere affects global air circulation, ocean and air temperatures, sea level, and ocean current patterns. Continuous monitoring of cryosphere components is imperative for understanding the complexities of the Climate–Land–Energy–Water nexus in changing the global climate. Large-scale shifts in the areal and altitudinal regimes of cryosphere components are bound to promote disasters and hydrological irregularities at regional scales, further necessitating their worldwide monitoring. Year-round, field-based cryosphere monitoring is limited by several factors, such as a hostile climate, poor approachability, and inadequate skilled labor and funding. In such scenarios, remote sensing coupled with field data collection is largely utilized as a practical alternative in order to meet the growing needs of cryosphere research.

With the continuous advancements in data collection systems in extreme environments, improving imaging and remote sensing platforms, and enhancements in the computational efficiencies of hardware and related software programs, the number of research applications in cryosphere sciences has considerably increased in recent years. Many universities have started dedicated programs or courses on the cryosphere, and well-known international journals have increased the frequency of topics covering cryosphere research.

This topical collection invites multidisciplinary submissions pertaining to studying and assessing changes in cryosphere components, the impacts of these changes on communities, and adaptation strategies for mitigating these impacts in high altitude/high latitude regions. Considering the wide scope of this topic, submissions are open across five major MDPI journals (Atmosphere, Geosciences, Quaternary, Remote Sensing, Water) to encourage contributions in all areas of contemporary/future cryosphere research. The topics are not only limited to terrestrial glacial/periglacial landscapes but will be equally interesting for planetary researchers working on the ice–debris complexes or other glacial geomorphological aspects of planets such as Mars. The topics can be related (but not restricted) to the use of field-based techniques and/or spaceborne/aerial/terrestrial remote sensing for cryosphere mapping/modeling, quantification of areal and volumetric changes, glacio-hydrology, dynamics, glacial or periglacial geomorphology, cryoseismology, glacial/cryosphere hazards, and synergy between fieldwork and remote sensing.

We look forward to your excellent contributions!

Dr. Anshuman Bhardwaj
Dr. Lydia Sam
Dr. Saeideh Gharehchahi
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • cryosphere
  • snow cover
  • permafrost
  • glacier
  • sea ice
  • river ice
  • lake ice
  • remote sensing
  • glacier mapping
  • glacier area changes
  • volumetric estimations
  • glacio-hydrology
  • glacier flow dynamics
  • glacial or periglacial geomorphology
  • cryoseismology

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Atmosphere
atmosphere
2.9 4.1 2010 17.7 Days CHF 2400
Geosciences
geosciences
2.7 5.2 2011 23.6 Days CHF 1800
Quaternary
quaternary
2.3 3.6 2018 29.2 Days CHF 1600
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
5.0 7.9 2009 23 Days CHF 2700
Water
water
3.4 5.5 2009 16.5 Days CHF 2600

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Published Papers (17 papers)

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23 pages, 20369 KiB  
Article
Uncertainty of Satellite-Derived Glacier Flow Velocities in a Temperate Alpine Setting (Juneau Icefield, Alaska)
by Joshua T. Kelly, Mark Hehlen and Scott McGee
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(15), 3828; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15153828 - 31 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1454
Abstract
Cross-correlation of image-pairs derived from both optical and synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery is the most common technique for measuring glacier flow velocity and quantifying the dynamics and discharge of glaciers. While the technique has been shown to be effective on polar ice [...] Read more.
Cross-correlation of image-pairs derived from both optical and synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery is the most common technique for measuring glacier flow velocity and quantifying the dynamics and discharge of glaciers. While the technique has been shown to be effective on polar ice sheets, the accuracy of satellite-derived velocities in temperate alpine regions is poorly constrained. Flow velocities were measured in situ using an RTK-GPS along four profiles on Taku, Matthes, Vaughan-Lewis, and Llewellyn Glaciers in southeast Alaska from 2016 through 2018. These GNSS-measured velocities were correlated against spatially coincident and contemporaneous satellite-derived velocity datasets, including both versions 1 and 2 of ITS_LIVE and velocities determined by offset tracking of SAR data in the Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP) and GAMMA (RETREAT dataset). Significant gaps in velocity maps derived from optical imagery (Landsat/Sentinel-2) were observed and determined to be due to low coherence rather than cloud contamination. Cross-correlation of SAR data (Sentinel-1) in SNAP and RETREAT achieved better accuracy compared to optical, although a strong dichotomy in performance was observed. SAR-derived velocities in the accumulation zone and transient snowline area showed overall poor correlation to GNSS-measured velocities that were likely due to significant shifts in the backscatter amplitude of the homogenous, snow-covered surface, although both SAR-derived SNAP and RETREAT velocities were anomalously accurate where GNSS velocities were below 0.10 m/day along the glacier margins. SNAP and RETREAT achieved the most accurate results in the study in the ablation zone of the Llewellyn Glacier where stable backscatter targets on the glacier surface (crevasses, supraglacial debris) facilitated high coherence in the cross-correlation procedure. SAR data are likely the most suitable for the derivation of satellite-derived velocities on temperate alpine glaciers, particularly in slow-moving and ablation zones, but should be subject to scrutiny for fast-flowing glaciers and those with an active hydrologic surface system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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17 pages, 17478 KiB  
Article
Estimating the Evolution of a Post-Little Ice Age Deglaciated Alpine Valley through the DEM of Difference (DoD)
by Roberto Sergio Azzoni, Manuela Pelfini and Andrea Zerboni
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(12), 3190; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15123190 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
Since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA, ~1830), the accelerated glaciers’ shrinkage along mid-latitude high mountain areas promoted a quick readjustment of geomorphological processes with the onset of the paraglacial dynamic, making proglacial areas among the most sensitive Earth’s landscapes to [...] Read more.
Since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA, ~1830), the accelerated glaciers’ shrinkage along mid-latitude high mountain areas promoted a quick readjustment of geomorphological processes with the onset of the paraglacial dynamic, making proglacial areas among the most sensitive Earth’s landscapes to ongoing climate change. A potentially useful remote-sensing method for investigating such dynamic areas is the DEM (Digital Elevation Model) of Difference (DoD) technique, which quantifies volumetric changes in a territory between successive topographic surveys. After a detailed geomorphological analysis and comparison with historical maps of the Martello Valley (central Italian Alps), we applied the DoD for reconstructing post-LIA deglaciation dynamics and reported on the surface effects of freshly-onset paraglacial processes. The head of the valley is still glacierized, with three main ice bodies resulting from the huge reduction of a single glacier present at the apogee of the LIA. Aftermath: the glaciers lose 60% of their initial surface area, largely modifying local landforms and expanding the surface of the proglacial areas. The DoD analysis of the 2006–2015 timeframe (based on registered DEM derived from LiDAR—Light Detection and Ranging—data) highlights deep surface elevation changes ranging from +38 ± 4.01 m along the foot of rock walls, where gravitative processes increased their intensity, to −47 ± 4.01 m where the melting of buried ice caused collapses of the proglacial surface. This approach permits estimating the volume of sediments mobilized and reworked by paraglacial processes. Here, in less than 10 years, −23,675 ± 1165 m3 of sediment were removed along the proglacial area and transported down valley, highlighting the dynamicity of proglacial areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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19 pages, 12691 KiB  
Article
Underrepresentation of the Linkage between the Barents–Kara Sea Ice and East Asian Rainfall in Early Summer by CMIP6 Models
by Haohan Chen, Jian Rao, Huidi Yang, Jingjia Luo and Gangsen Wu
Atmosphere 2023, 14(6), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14061044 - 17 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1099
Abstract
Our previous study revealed the link between Barents–Kara sea ice and rainfall in eastern China. This study continues evaluating the performance of multiple models from phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) in simulating this linkage. Most CMIP6 models can simulate [...] Read more.
Our previous study revealed the link between Barents–Kara sea ice and rainfall in eastern China. This study continues evaluating the performance of multiple models from phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) in simulating this linkage. Most CMIP6 models can simulate Arctic sea ice coverage in the present climate system, although the sea ice extent in the edge areas show some biases. Only a few models can roughly reproduce the observed rainfall dipole pattern associated with Arctic sea ice variability. The linkage between Arctic sea ice variability in winter and eastern China rainfall in early summer is performed through a long memory of the sea ice, the stratospheric variability as the mediator, and downward propagation of stratospheric signals. Very few CMIP6 models can exhibit a realistic interannual relationship between the Arctic sea ice and China rainfall. The selected high-skill models with a more realistic linkage between sea ice and China rainfall present a clear downward impact of the stratospheric circulation anomalies associated with sea ice variability. The reversal of the Northern Hemisphere Annular Mode (NAM) from the negative phase in early winter to the positive phase in spring in the high-skill models and observations denotes the important role of the stratosphere as a mediator to bridge the Arctic sea ice and China rainfall. The long memory of the Arctic sea ice with the stratosphere as the mediator has a deep implication on the seasonal forecasts of East Asian countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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20 pages, 6069 KiB  
Article
Physical Mechanism and Parameterization for Correcting Radar Wave Velocity in Yellow River Ice with Air Temperature and Ice Thickness
by Zhijun Li, Chunjiang Li, Yu Yang, Baosen Zhang, Yu Deng and Guoyu Li
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(4), 1121; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15041121 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1143
Abstract
Unfrozen free and non-free water between ice crystals in flat and hummock ice in the Yellow River exists as water films with varying contents based on ice temperature. These contents can affect the radar wave velocity of the ice despite its theoretical dependence [...] Read more.
Unfrozen free and non-free water between ice crystals in flat and hummock ice in the Yellow River exists as water films with varying contents based on ice temperature. These contents can affect the radar wave velocity of the ice despite its theoretical dependence on the crystal structure and ice body components. The unfrozen water content in ice depends on the ice temperature, which is controlled by the air temperature, solar radiation, and ice thickness. Winter air temperature and radar-detected ice thickness data observed at the Shisifenzi bend in the Yellow River from 2020 to 2021 were analyzed. The unfrozen water content in the ice was the primary factor influencing the accuracy of flat ice thickness detection. The heat flux at the ice–water interface in the Yellow River was determined. The evolution of ice thickness and temperature were simulated using a one-dimensional (1D) ice thermodynamic model forced by the local weather station data (i.e., air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, and cloud cover). On this basis, the measured ice thickness data of 13 drill holes were combined to calculate 1251 thermodynamically simulated ice thicknesses consistent with the ice thickness detection time of the radar; therefore, statistical relationships regarding the influence of air temperature and the combined action of air temperature and ice thickness on the radar wave velocity in granular and columnar ice during air temperature increases and decreases were determined. Finally, the statistical relationship between the combined influence of air temperature and ice thickness on radar wave velocity was selected as a parameterization scheme to dynamically correct the radar wave velocity of flat ice. To enhance the radar detection accuracy for flat ice thickness, the radar wave velocity of ice was parameterized as a function. Given the presence of unfrozen frazil ice and accumulated broken ice blocks in the Yellow River, radar is suggested to detect the thickness of different types of ice in future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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17 pages, 4873 KiB  
Article
Temporal and Spatial Changes and GLOF Susceptibility Assessment of Glacial Lakes in Nepal from 2000 to 2020
by Jiayu Hu, Xiaojun Yao, Hongyu Duan, Yuan Zhang, Yu Wang and Tongyu Wu
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(19), 5034; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14195034 - 9 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2502
Abstract
Glacial lakes are a sensitive indicator of regional climate change and one of the initiators of glacier disasters. It is of great significance to understand the spatial distribution and change characteristics of glacial lakes for exploring their response patterns to climate change and [...] Read more.
Glacial lakes are a sensitive indicator of regional climate change and one of the initiators of glacier disasters. It is of great significance to understand the spatial distribution and change characteristics of glacial lakes for exploring their response patterns to climate change and assessing the glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) susceptibility. Based on Gaofen-1/6 PMS, Sentinel-2A/2B MSI and Landsat TM/ETM+/OLI images from 2000 to 2020, we integrated geographic information technology and mathematical and statistical methods to analyze the spatial and temporal distribution of glacial lakes in Nepal and their dynamic changes, and further discriminated and evaluated the GLOF susceptibility of glacial lakes. The results show that there were 2420 glacial lakes in Nepal in 2020, mainly distributed within the 4500~5500 m, with an area of 87.21 km2 and a water storage of 1921.72 × 106 m3. The number and area of glacial lakes with each area above 0.01 km2 in Nepal showed an increasing trend from 2000 to 2020, while 499 new glacial lakes were born, 139 lakes disappeared, the area and water storage increased by 19.46 km2, 403.07 × 106 m3, respectively. Glacial lakes at altitudes <3000 m were relatively stable, while the number and area of glacial lakes at altitudes within 4500~5500 m increased rapidly. We assessed the GLOF susceptibility of 40 moraine-dammed glacial lakes with an area above 0.2 km2 in Nepal, and found that there were 8, 12, 14 and 6 glacial lakes with low, medium, high and very high susceptibility, respectively. Among glacial lakes with very high GLOF susceptibility, potential GLOF events of Tsho Rolpa glacial lake, Lower Barun glacial lake and glacial lake with code of GL87091E27797N will cause great harm to downstream regions. GLOFs in Nepal will be in an active status in the future, therefore, the dynamics of glacial lakes and their surroundings should be continuously monitored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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17 pages, 2314 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Lake Ice Extraction Methods Based on MODIS Images
by Hongfang Zhang, Xiaojun Yao, Qixin Wei, Hongyu Duan and Yuan Zhang
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(19), 4740; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14194740 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1633
Abstract
As an important part of the cryosphere, lake ice is a sensitive indicator of climate change. Remote sensing technology can quickly and accurately monitor the process of its formation and decay, among which Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images are the most widely [...] Read more.
As an important part of the cryosphere, lake ice is a sensitive indicator of climate change. Remote sensing technology can quickly and accurately monitor the process of its formation and decay, among which Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images are the most widely used data in the remote sensing monitoring of lake ice. The reasonable selection of monitoring methods is of great significance to grasp the dynamic process and response to climate change of lake ice. In this study, five commonly used remote sensing monitoring methods of lake ice based on MODIS MOD09GA data, including the single band threshold method (SBT), reflectance difference threshold method (RDT), normalized difference snow index method (NDSI), modified normalized difference snow index method (MNDSI) and lake ice index method (LII), were selected to compare their accuracies in extracting lake ice extent by combining them with four evaluation metrics of accuracy, precision, recall and mean intersection over union (MIoU). In addition, the ability of the high-precision LII method for extracting long time series lake ice phenology and its applicability to multiple types of lakes were verified. The results showed that compared with the NDSI method, the other four methods more easily distinguished between lake ice and lake water by setting thresholds. The SBT method and the RDT method had better extraction effects in the freezing process and the melting process, respectively. Compared with the NDSI and MNDSI methods, the LII method showed a significant improvement in lake ice extraction over the entire freeze–thaw cycle, with the smallest mean monitoring error of 1.53% for the percentage of lake ice area in different periods. Meanwhile, the LII method can be used to determine long term lake ice phenology dates and had good performance in extracting lake ice for different types of lakes on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau with the optimal threshold interval of 0.05~0.07, which can be used for lake ice monitoring and long-term phenological studies in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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16 pages, 5268 KiB  
Article
Impact of Climate Change on the Glacier and Runoff of a Glacierized Basin in Harlik Mountain, Eastern Tianshan Mountains
by Ping Zhou, Hui Zhang and Zhongqin Li
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(14), 3497; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14143497 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1884
Abstract
The impact of climate change on glaciers and the hydrological processes in the easternmost end of the eastern Tianshan Mountains has yet to be understood. This study investigated the glacier change (area, surface elevation and volume change) and analyzed the variation of the [...] Read more.
The impact of climate change on glaciers and the hydrological processes in the easternmost end of the eastern Tianshan Mountains has yet to be understood. This study investigated the glacier change (area, surface elevation and volume change) and analyzed the variation of the observed runoff series over the past four decades in the Yushugou Basin, Eastern Tianshan Mountains. The hydrological processes were also simulated through the HBV-light model to quantify the impact of climate change on the glacier and runoff. The results showed that the glacier area has decreased by 13% and the total volume has decreased by 0.018 km3 over the past four decades. A significant increasing trend (p < 0.01) was detected for the annual runoff and monthly runoff (May to September; p < 0.01). The simulation results revealed that the Yushugou River was highly recharged by glacial runoff and a negative tendency was found for the glacier mass balance on the basin scale over the past 38 years. As a region with an extremely dry climate and the lowest precipitation in the Tianshan Mountains, the observation and simulation of glaciers is critical to the security assessment of local water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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26 pages, 8085 KiB  
Article
The West Kunlun Glacier Anomaly and Its Response to Climate Forcing during 2002–2020
by Jianwei Luo, Chang-Qing Ke and Thorsten Seehaus
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(14), 3465; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14143465 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1619
Abstract
Research into glacial mass change in West Kunlun (WK) has been sufficient, but most of the existing studies were based on geodetic methods, which are not suitable for specific health state analyses of each glacier. In this paper, we utilize Advanced Spaceborne Thermal [...] Read more.
Research into glacial mass change in West Kunlun (WK) has been sufficient, but most of the existing studies were based on geodetic methods, which are not suitable for specific health state analyses of each glacier. In this paper, we utilize Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) imagery, applying the continuity equation to obtain altitudinal specific mass balance (SMB) for 615 glaciers (>2 km2) during 2002–2011, 2011–2020, and 2002–2020 to research glacial health and its response to climatic forcing. The results show dissimilar glacier SMB patterns between 2002–2011 (0.10 ± 0.14 m w.e. a1), 2011–2020 (–0.12 ± 0.14 m w.e. a1) and 2002–2020 (−0.01 ± 0.07 m w.e. a1). Additionally, the glacier equilibrium line altitude (ELA) in WK was 5788 m, 5744 m, and 5786 m, respectively, and the corresponding accumulation area ratios (AARs) were 0.59, 0.62, and 0.58, during 2002–2011, 2011–2020, and 2002–2020, respectively. Regarding glacier response, compared with the ordinary-least-square (OLS) model, the artificial neural network (ANN) model revealed a respectively less and more sensitive glacier SMB response to extreme negative and positive summer skin temperatures. In addition, the ANN model indicated that the glacier ELA was less sensitive when the integrated water vapor transport (IVT) change exceeded 0.7 kg m1s1. Moreover, compared with IVT (−121.57 m/kg m1s1), glacier ELA shifts were chiefly dominated by summer skin temperature (+154.66 m/) in the last two decades. From 2002–2011 and 2011–2020, glacier SMB was more susceptible to summer skin temperature (−0.38 m w.e./ and −0.16 m w.e./, respectively), while during 2002–2020, it was more influenced by IVT (0.45 m w.e./kg m1s1). In contrast with eastern WK, glaciers in western WK were healthier, although mitigation measures are still needed to safeguard glacier health and prevent possible natural hazards in this region. Finally, we believe that the inconsistent change between glacier SMB and ELAs from 2002–2020 was connected with ice rheology and that the combined effects of skin temperature and IVT can explain the WK glacier anomaly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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23 pages, 7614 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Freeze–Thaw Cycles in an Endorheic Basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Based on SBAS-InSAR Technology
by Huayun Zhou, Lin Zhao, Lingxiao Wang, Zanpin Xing, Defu Zou, Guojie Hu, Changwei Xie, Qiangqiang Pang, Guangyue Liu, Erji Du, Shibo Liu, Yongping Qiao, Jianting Zhao, Zhibin Li and Yadong Liu
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(13), 3168; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14133168 - 1 Jul 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1952
Abstract
The freeze–thaw (F-T) cycle of the active layer (AL) causes the “frost heave and thaw settlement” deformation of the terrain surface. Accurately identifying its amplitude and time characteristics is important for climate, hydrology, and ecology research in permafrost regions. We used Sentinel-1 SAR [...] Read more.
The freeze–thaw (F-T) cycle of the active layer (AL) causes the “frost heave and thaw settlement” deformation of the terrain surface. Accurately identifying its amplitude and time characteristics is important for climate, hydrology, and ecology research in permafrost regions. We used Sentinel-1 SAR data and small baseline subset-interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SBAS-InSAR) technology to obtain the characteristics of F-T cycles in the Zonag Lake-Yanhu Lake permafrost-affected endorheic basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from 2017 to 2019. The results show that the seasonal deformation amplitude (SDA) in the study area mainly ranges from 0 to 60 mm, with an average value of 19 mm. The date of maximum frost heave (MFH) occurred between November 27th and March 21st of the following year, averaged in date of the year (DOY) 37. The maximum thaw settlement (MTS) occurred between July 25th and September 21st, averaged in DOY 225. The thawing duration is the thawing process lasting about 193 days. The spatial distribution differences in SDA, the date of MFH, and the date of MTS are relatively significant, but there is no apparent spatial difference in thawing duration. Although the SDA in the study area is mainly affected by the thermal state of permafrost, it still has the most apparent relationship with vegetation cover, the soil water content in AL, and active layer thickness. SDA has an apparent negative and positive correlation with the date of MFH and the date of MTS. In addition, due to the influence of soil texture and seasonal rivers, the seasonal deformation characteristics of the alluvial-diluvial area are different from those of the surrounding areas. This study provides a method for analyzing the F-T cycle of the AL using multi-temporal InSAR technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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23 pages, 21544 KiB  
Article
Snow Cover in the Three Stable Snow Cover Areas of China and Spatio-Temporal Patterns of the Future
by Yifan Zou, Peng Sun, Zice Ma, Yinfeng Lv and Qiang Zhang
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(13), 3098; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14133098 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2928
Abstract
In the context of global warming, relevant studies have shown that China will experience the largest temperature rise in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau and northwestern regions in the future. Based on MOD10A2 and MYD10A2 snow products and snow depth data, this study analyzes the [...] Read more.
In the context of global warming, relevant studies have shown that China will experience the largest temperature rise in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau and northwestern regions in the future. Based on MOD10A2 and MYD10A2 snow products and snow depth data, this study analyzes the temporal and spatial evolution characteristics of the snow cover fraction, snow depth, and snow cover days in the three stable snow cover areas in China, and combines 15 modes in CMIP6 snow cover data in four different scenarios with three kinds of variables, predicting the spatiotemporal evolution pattern of snow cover in China’s three stable snow cover areas in the future. The results show that (1) the mean snow cover fraction, snow depth, and snow cover days in the snow cover area of Northern Xinjiang are all the highest. Seasonal changes in the snow cover areas of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau are the most stable. The snow cover fraction, snow depth, and snow cover days of the three stable snow cover areas are consistent in spatial distribution. The high values are mainly distributed in the southeast and west of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, the south and northeast of Northern Xinjiang, and the north of the snow cover area of Northeast China. (2) The future snow changes in the three stable snow cover areas will continue to decline with the increase in development imbalance. Snow cover fraction and snow depth decrease most significantly in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau and the snow cover days in Northern Xinjiang decrease most significantly under the SSPs585 scenario. In the future, the southeast of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, the northwest of Northern Xinjiang, and the north of Northeast China will be the center of snow cover reduction. (3) Under the four different scenarios, the snow cover changes in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau and Northern Xinjiang are the most significant. Under the SSPs126 and SSPs245 scenarios, the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau snow cover has the most significant change in response. Under the SSPs370 and SSPs585 scenarios, the snow cover in Northern Xinjiang has the most significant change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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17 pages, 7472 KiB  
Article
Hydrological Characteristics Change of Hala Lake and Its Response to Climate Change, 1987–2018
by Zhiyong Jiang, Jianru Wang, Xiaobin Cai, Junli Zhao, Huawei Zhang, Yi Zhang and Chongshan Wang
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(12), 2886; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14122886 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1777
Abstract
Lakes on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) are an indicator of global climate change. The study on the factors driving lake change on the TP can help us understand its response to climate change. In this study, Landsat and ICESat data were used to [...] Read more.
Lakes on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) are an indicator of global climate change. The study on the factors driving lake change on the TP can help us understand its response to climate change. In this study, Landsat and ICESat data were used to obtain the variations of area, water level, and storage of Hala Lake and the area of glaciers in the Hala Lake Basin during 1987–2018. Combined with meteorological data, climate change trends and the factors driving Hala Lake change in the last 30 years were analyzed. The contribution of glacier mass loss to lake recharge was estimated by the water balance of Hala Lake. The results showed that Hala Lake has experienced three stages: slight expansion (1987–1994), shrinkage (1995–2001) and rapid expansion (2002–2018) during the study period. The rate of glacial melting continued to decline during the study period. Precipitation was the main factor that drove the hydrological characteristic changes in Hala Lake. The step change points of annual precipitation and temperature occurred in 2001, almost the same time that Hala Lake began expanding rapidly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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20 pages, 6990 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Variability and Influencing Factors of Ice Thickness during the Ablation Period in Qinghai Lake Using the GPR Ice Monitoring System
by Qixin Wei, Xiaojun Yao, Hongfang Zhang, Hongyu Duan, Huian Jin, Jie Chen and Juan Cao
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(10), 2437; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14102437 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1660
Abstract
As a reliable indicator of regional climate change, the growth and decline of lake ice thickness affect the regional intra–annual heat and energy balance. In this study, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) ice monitoring system, located approximately 1.7 km west of Bird Island in [...] Read more.
As a reliable indicator of regional climate change, the growth and decline of lake ice thickness affect the regional intra–annual heat and energy balance. In this study, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) ice monitoring system, located approximately 1.7 km west of Bird Island in Qinghai Lake, in the territory of Qinghai Province and located in northwest China, was designed to carry out continuous fixed–point observations of local ice thickness and meteorological elements from 7 to 24 March 2021. The characteristics of continuous daily changes in ice thickness during the ablation period of Qinghai Lake and their relationship with meteorological elements were analyzed. The results showed that the average daily ice thickness of Qinghai Lake increased and then decreased during the observation period, with an average ice thickness of 42.83 cm, an average daily ice thickness range of 39.35~46.15 cm, and a growth rate of 0.54 cm/day during 8–13 March 2021, with an ice melting rate of −0.61 cm/day during 14–24 March 2021. The daily ice thickness variations were divided into two phases, which were relatively stable before dawn and followed a decreasing, increasing, and then decreasing trend during 8–13 March 2021 and a decreasing, increasing (for several hours), and then decreasing trend during 14–24 March 2021. There was a significant positive correlation (R = 0.745, p < 0.01) between near-surface air temperature and ice surface temperature during the observation period, but a significant negative correlation (R = −0.93, p < 0.05) between the average daily ice thickness and cumulative temperature of the ice surface. Temperature was the dominant factor affecting lake ice thickness, as compared to near-surface air humidity, wind speed, and illuminance. However, a sudden increase in wind speed have also played an important role at certain periods. A large number of cracks appeared on the ice surface on 26 March 2021, which, combined with the forces of wind speed, wind direction, and temperature, contributed to the rapid melt of the lake ice. This study filled the gap in situ measurement data on the continuous ice thickness variability during the ablation period in Qinghai Lake. It provided scientific support for the further study of lake ice on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP). Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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0 pages, 2844 KiB  
Article
The Spatiotemporal Change of Glacier Runoff Is Comparably Attributed to Climatic Factors and Physical Properties in Northwestern China
by Xuejing Leng, Xiaoming Feng, Bojie Fu and Yu Zhang
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(10), 2393; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14102393 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1867
Abstract
The spatiotemporal regimes of glacier runoff (GR) under a warming climate are of great concern, especially in dryland areas in northwestern China (DAC). Due to the difficulty of observing GR, little attention has been given to the spatiotemporal change in GR at regional [...] Read more.
The spatiotemporal regimes of glacier runoff (GR) under a warming climate are of great concern, especially in dryland areas in northwestern China (DAC). Due to the difficulty of observing GR, little attention has been given to the spatiotemporal change in GR at regional scales. This study uses the regional individual glacier mass balance (GMB) dataset developed by digital elevation models (DEMs) to simulate the spatiotemporal regime of GR using atmospheric parameters considering both ablation and accumulation processes on glaciers. In this study, GR, including glacier meltwater runoff (MR) and delayed water runoff (DR) of the DAC, was quantitatively assessed at a catchment scale from 1961 to 2015. The total annual GR in the DAC was (100.81 ± 68.71) × 108 m3 in 1961–2015, where MR accounted for 68%. Most basins had continuously increasing tendencies of different magnitudes from 1961 to 2015. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) and random forest techniques were used to explore the contributions of climate factors and glacier physical properties to GR, and the results indicated that climate factors could explain 56.64% of the variation. In comparison, the remaining 43.36% could be explained by the physical properties of glaciers themselves (i.e., degree-day factor on ice, degree-day factor on snow, glacier median height, aspect, and slope). This study not only improves our understanding of the spatiotemporal change in GR in the drylands of northwestern China at spatial and temporal resolutions but also highlights the role of physical properties in explaining the heterogeneous dynamics among GRs unlike previous studies that only emphasize rising temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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22 pages, 5845 KiB  
Article
Automated Glacier Snow Line Altitude Calculation Method Using Landsat Series Images in the Google Earth Engine Platform
by Xiang Li, Ninglian Wang and Yuwei Wu
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(10), 2377; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14102377 - 14 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3790
Abstract
Glacier snow line altitude (SLA) at the end of the ablation season is an indicator of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), which is a key parameter for calculating and assessing glacier mass balance. Here, we present an automated algorithm to classify bare ice [...] Read more.
Glacier snow line altitude (SLA) at the end of the ablation season is an indicator of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), which is a key parameter for calculating and assessing glacier mass balance. Here, we present an automated algorithm to classify bare ice and snow cover on glaciers using Landsat series images and calculate the minimum annual glacier snow cover ratio (SCR) and maximum SLA for reference glaciers during the 1985–2020 period in Google Earth Engine. The calculated SCR and SLA values are verified using the observed glacier accumulation area ratio (AAR) and ELA. We select 14 reference glaciers from High Mountain Asia (HMA), the Caucasus, the Alps, and Western Canada, which represent four mountainous regions with extensive glacial development in the northern hemisphere. The SLA accuracy is ~73%, with a mean uncertainty of ±24 m, for 13 of the reference glaciers. Eight of these glaciers yield R2 > 0.5, and the other five glaciers yield R2 > 0.3 for their respective SCR–AAR relationships. Furthermore, 10 of these glaciers yield R2 > 0.5 and the other three glaciers yield R2 > 0.3 for their respective SLA–ELA relationships, which indicate that the calculated SLA from this algorithm provides a good fit to the ELA observations. However, Careser Glacier yields a poor fit between the SLA calculations and ELA observations owing to tremendous surface area changes during the analyzed time series; this indicates that glacier surface shape changes due to intense ablation will lead to a misclassification of the glacier surface, resulting in deviations between the SLA and ELA. Furthermore, cloud cover, shadows, and the Otsu method limitation will further affect the SLA calculation. The post-2000 SLA values are better than those obtained before 2000 because merging the Landsat series images reduces the temporal resolution, which allows the date of the calculated SLA to be closer to the date of the observed ELA. From a regional perspective, the glaciers in the Caucasus, HMA and the Alps yield better results than those in Western Canada. This algorithm can be applied to large regions, such as HMA, to obtain snow line estimates where manual approaches are exhaustive and/or unfeasible. Furthermore, new optical data, such as that from Sentinel-2, can be incorporated to further improve the algorithm results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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18 pages, 50192 KiB  
Article
Antarctic Basal Water Storage Variation Inferred from Multi-Source Satellite Observation and Relevant Models
by Jingyu Kang, Yang Lu, Yan Li, Zizhan Zhang and Hongling Shi
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(10), 2337; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14102337 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1591
Abstract
Antarctic basal water storage variation (BWSV) refers to mass changes of basal water beneath the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS). Identifying these variations is critical for understanding Antarctic basal hydrology variations and basal heat conduction, yet they are rarely accessible due to a lack [...] Read more.
Antarctic basal water storage variation (BWSV) refers to mass changes of basal water beneath the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS). Identifying these variations is critical for understanding Antarctic basal hydrology variations and basal heat conduction, yet they are rarely accessible due to a lack of direct observation. This paper proposes a layered gravity density forward/inversion iteration method to investigate Antarctic BWSV based on multi-source satellite observations and relevant models. During 2003–2009, BWSV increased at an average rate of 43 ± 23 Gt/yr, which accounts for 29% of the previously documented total mass loss rate (−76 ± 20 Gt/yr) of AIS. Major uncertainty arises from satellite gravimetry, satellite altimetry, the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) model, and the modelled basal melting rate. We find that increases in basal water mainly occurred in regions with widespread active subglacial lakes, such as the Rockefeller Plateau, Siple Coast, Institute Ice Stream regions, and marginal regions of East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), which indicates the increased water storage in these active subglacial lakes, despite the frequent water drainage events. The Amundsen Sea coast experienced a significant loss during the same period, which is attributed to the basal meltwater discharging into the Amundsen Sea through basal channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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23 pages, 10774 KiB  
Article
Antarctic Firn Characterization via Wideband Microwave Radiometry
by Rahul Kar, Mustafa Aksoy, Dua Kaurejo, Pranjal Atrey and Jerusha Ashlin Devadason
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(9), 2258; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14092258 - 7 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2128
Abstract
Recent studies have demonstrated that wideband microwave radiometers provide significant potential for profiling important subsurface polar firn characteristics necessary to understand the dynamics of the cryosphere and predict future changes in ice and snow coverage. Different frequencies within the wide spectra of radiometers [...] Read more.
Recent studies have demonstrated that wideband microwave radiometers provide significant potential for profiling important subsurface polar firn characteristics necessary to understand the dynamics of the cryosphere and predict future changes in ice and snow coverage. Different frequencies within the wide spectra of radiometers result in different electromagnetic propagation losses and thus reveal characteristics at different depths in ice and snow. This paper, expanding on those investigations, explores the utilization of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) constellation as a single wideband (6.93 GHz–91.655 GHz) spaceborne radiometer, covering the entire microwave spectrum from C-band to W-band, to profile subsurface properties of the Antarctic firn. Results of the initial analyses over Concordia and Vostok Stations in Antarctica indicate that GPM brightness temperature measurements provide critical information regarding the subsurface temperatures and physical properties of the firn from the surface down to several meters of depth. Considering the high spatiotemporal coverage of polar-orbiting spaceborne radiometers, these results are promising for future continent-level thermal and physical characterization of the Antarctic firn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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19 pages, 11865 KiB  
Article
Variations in Glacier Runoff Contributed by the Increased Negative Mass Balance over the Last Forty Years in the Tien Shan Mountains
by Hongyu Wang, Changchun Xu, Gang Ying, Fang Liu and Yunxia Long
Water 2022, 14(7), 1006; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071006 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2474
Abstract
In the context of global warming, the melting of glaciers in the Tien Shan Mountains as the important “solid reservoir” in the arid area of Central Asia is accelerating in recent decades, leading to profound changes in regional water resources. Based on the [...] Read more.
In the context of global warming, the melting of glaciers in the Tien Shan Mountains as the important “solid reservoir” in the arid area of Central Asia is accelerating in recent decades, leading to profound changes in regional water resources. Based on the simulated glaciological data from the Python Glacier Evolution Model (PyGEM) and the measured glaciological data from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), this paper analyzed the applicability of simulated data, the changes in glacier mass balance, and the responses of the glacier to climate change and its impacts on glacier runoff in the Tien Shan Mountains. The results show that (1) the PyGEM simulation dataset is in good agreement with the measurements, which can effectively reproduce the change in the glacier mass balance in the Tien Shan Mountains glaciers and is suitable for studying the regional scale glacier change. (2) From 1980 to 2016, the decadal average mass balance change rate of glaciers in the Tien Shan Mountains was −0.012 m w.e. yr−1. The regional mass balance showed an overall negative increasing trend (the area with increasingly negative accounted for 80.13% of the entire area), with a positive increase that only occurred in the West Tien Shan Mountains and western North Tien Shan Mountains (19.87%). (3) The correlation between the temperature and mass balance is much higher than that between the precipitation and mass balance. Temperature dominates the change and development of regional glaciers. The increase in negative glacier mass balance that was observed in the study area is mainly affected by the rising temperature, the decreasing solid precipitation in the accumulation period, and the rapid melting in the ablation period. (4) The glacier runoff in the six representative rivers showed an increasing trend. The contribution rate of glacier runoff to river runoff changed significantly after 2000 but differed among rivers. Overall, the larger the glacier area in the source region is, the greater the contribution rate of glacier runoff is, and the more the contribution rate continuously increases or fluctuates; otherwise, the contribution rate keeps declining, which means the runoff peak may have passed and future runoff may decrease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cryosphere: Changes, Impacts and Adaptation)
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