22 Sep 2021

22 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

The Spatiotemporal Regime of Glacier Runoff in Oases Indicates the Potential Climatic Risk in Dryland Areas of China

Xuejing Leng1,2, Xiaoming Feng1, Bojie Fu1, and Yu Zhang1,2 Xuejing Leng et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China

Abstract. Glaciers continuously affected by climate change are of great concern; their supply and runoff variation tendency under the pressure of increasing populations, especially in dryland areas, should be studied. Due to the difficulty of observing glacier runoff, little attention has been given to establishing high-resolution and long-term series datasets established for glacial runoff. Using the latest dataset using digital elevation models (DEMs) to obtain regional individual glacier mass balance, simulating the spatiotemporal regime of glacier runoff in oases that support almost the entire income in the dryland areas of China (DAC) could be possible. The simulations quantitatively assess glacier runoff, including meltwater runoff and delayed runoff, in each basin of the DAC at a spatial resolution of 100 m from 1961 to 2015, classify glaciers according to the potential climatic risks based on the prediction results. The total glacier runoff in the DAC is (98.52 ± 67.37) × 108 m3, in which the meltwater runoff is (63.43 ± 42.17) × 108 m3, accounting for 64.38 %. Most basins had continuously increasing tendencies of different magnitudes from 1961 to 2015, except for the Shiyang River basin, which reached its peak in approximately 2000. Glacier runoff nurtured nearly 143,939.24 km2 of oasis agricultural areas (OAA) until 2015, while 19 regions with a total population of 14 million were built alongside the oases, where glacier runoff occupies an important place in agricultural, industrial and municipal water consumption. Therefore, providing a long time series of glacier runoff for different river basins is of great significance to the sustainable development of the oasis economy in the arid zones.

Xuejing Leng et al.

Status: open (until 23 Nov 2021)

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Xuejing Leng et al.

Data sets

Glacier runoff in dryland areas of China Xuejing Leng, Xiaoming Feng, Bojie Fu and Yu Zhang

Xuejing Leng et al.


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Short summary
At present, there is a lack of time series of runoff generated by glacial regions in the world. In this paper, we quantified glacial runoff (including meltwater runoff and delayed runoff) in arid regions of China from 1961 to 2015 by using remote sensing datasets of glacier mass balance with high resolution. Glacier runoff is the water resource used by oases in arid regions of China. The long-term glacial runoff data can indicate the climate risk faced by different basins in arid regions.