Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2016, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (1): 70-82.doi: 10.1007/s11442-016-1255-6

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial-temporal variations of lake ice phenology in the Hoh Xil region from 2000 to 2011

Xiaojun YAO1(), Long LI1,2, Jun ZHAO1, Meiping SUN1,3, Jing LI1, Peng GONG1, Lina AN1   

  1. 1. College of Geography and Environment Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2. Lanzhou Resources & Environment Voc-Tech College, Lanzhou 730021, China
    3. State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Sciences, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2015-09-01 Accepted:2015-10-03 Online:2016-01-25 Published:2016-01-25
  • About author:

    Author: Yao Xiaojun (1980-), PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in the research of GIS and lake evolution. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41261016;Scientific Research Project of Higher Learning Institution in Gansu Province, No.2014A-001, No.2013A-018


Lake ice phenology, i.e. the timing of freeze-up and break-up and the duration of the ice cover, is regarded as an important indicator of changes in regional climate. Based on the boundary data of lakes, some moderate-high resolution remote sensing datasets including MODIS and Landsat TM/ETM+ images and the meteorological data, the spatial-temporal variations of lake ice phenology in the Hoh Xil region during the period 2000-2011 were analyzed by using RS and GIS technology. And the factors affecting the lake ice phenology were also identified. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows. (1) The time of freeze-up start (FUS) and freeze-up end (FUE) of lake ice appeared in the late October-early November, mid-November - early December, respectively. The duration of lake ice freeze-up was about half a month. The time of break-up start (BUS) and break-up end (BUE) of lake ice were relatively dispersed, and appeared in the early February - early June, early May - early June, respectively. The average ice duration (ID) and the complete ice duration (CID) of lakes were 196 days and 181 days, respectively. (2) The phenology of lake ice in the Hoh Xil region changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Specifically, the FUS and FUE time of lake ice showed an increasingly delaying trend. In contrast, the BUS and BUE time of lake ice presented an advance. This led to the reduction of the ID and CID of lake. The average rates of ID and CID were -2.21 d/a and -1.91 d/a, respectively. (3) The variations of phenology and evolution of lake ice were a result of local and climatic factors. The temperature, lake area, salinity and shape of the shoreline were the main factors affecting the phenology of lake ice. However, the other factors such as the thermal capacity and the geological structure of lake should not be ignored as well. (4) The spatial process of lake ice freeze-up was contrary to its break-up process. The type of lake ice extending from one side of lakeshore to the opposite side was the most in the Hoh Xil region.

Key words: lake ice, phenology, climate change, Hoh Xil region, Tibetan Plateau