›› 2014, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (3): 411-426.doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1097-z

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Risk analysis of snow disaster in the pastoral areas of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

LIU Fenggui1,2, MAO Xufeng1, ZHANG Yili2, CHEN Qiong1, LIU Pei1, ZHAO Zhilong1,2   

  1. 1. School of Life and Geographic Science, Qinghai Normal University, Xining 810008, China;
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2013-10-11 Revised:2013-12-06 Online:2014-06-15 Published:2014-03-28
  • Contact: Zhang Yili, Professor, E-mail: zhangyl@igsnrr.ac.cn E-mail:zhangyl@igsnrr.ac.cn
  • About author:Liu Fenggui (1966-), PhD and Professor, specialized in regional geography related to the Tibetan Plateau. E-mail: lfg_918@163.com
  • Supported by:

    National Basic Research Program of China, No.2010CB951704; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40761003, No.41271123


Snow disaster is one of the top ten natural disasters worldwide, and the most severe natural disaster to affect the pastoral areas of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Based on the hazard harmfulness data collected from historical records and data collected from entities affected by this hazard in 2010, a comprehensive analysis of the 18 indexes of snow disaster on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau was conducted, encompassing the hazard harmfulness, the amount of physical exposure the hazard-bearing entities face, the sensitivity to the hazard, and the capacity to respond to the disaster. The analysis indicates that: (1) areas at high-risk of snow disaster on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are located in certain areas of the counties of Yecheng and Pishan in the Xinjiang region; (2) areas at medium-risk of snow disaster are found between the Gangdise Mountains and the Himalayas in the central-western part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and the southeastern part of the southern Qinghai Plateau; (3) the risk of snow disaster is generally low throughout the large area to the south of 30°N and the region on the border of the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Overall, the risk of snow disaster in high-altitude areas of the central Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is higher than that at the edge of the plateau.

Key words: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, snow disaster, risk, pastoral area