JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2017, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 88-100.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.20160108

• Resource Evaluation • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Estimation of Mass Balance of Shiyi Glacier in the Heihe River Basin, Qilian Mountains during 2000-2012 Based on LiDAR and SRTM

XU Chun-hai1,2, LI Zhong-qin1,3, WANG Fei-teng1, WANG Lin1   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences/Tianshan Glaciological Station, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. College of Geography and Environmental Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2016-01-28 Online:2017-01-15 Published:2017-01-15
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 91425303, 41471958 and 41601076; West Light Foundation of The Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. Y629961001.


Glacier mass balance is the most direct reflection of climate, and its dynamic fluctuation can cause the changes of glacier morphological characteristics and melt water runoff. Usually, glacier mass balance is measured with glaciological and geodetic methods. In this study, geodetic method is used to measure the mass balance of Shiyi Glacier in the Heihe River Basin. Based on Airborne Laser Scanning (Light Detection and Ranging, LiDAR) point cloud data and SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) DEM, we establish the process for glacier mass balance calculation. Firstly, LiDAR point cloud data are preprocessed, including filtering (classification) and interpolation. Triangulated irregular network (TIN) filtering algorithm can easily realize the point cloud data filtering to obtain precise ground point cloud data. Based on TIN filtering algorithm, we obtain the ground point cloud. And the DEM is generated from LiDAR data based on natural neighborhood interpolation method, and is resampled to the resolution of 1 m. Then, taking LiDAR DEM as the reference data, multi-source DEM data are matched with cosine curve fitting. The maximum terrain curvature of LiDAR DEM is extracted, and the spatial resolution error is corrected. After those processes, based on error analysis and accuracy assessment, we acquire ice surface change of Shiyi Glacier. Result shows the ice elevation of Shiyi Glacier changed -7.47±0.92 m from 2000 to 2012, with a glacier thinning rate of 0.62±0.08 m·a-1. According to other related studies, the volume-mass conversion parameter is assumed to be 850±60 kg·m-3. It is estimated that the average mass balance of Shiyi Glacier is -0.53±0.07 m w.e. ·a-1, and the cumulative mass change of the glacier is -6.35±0.78 m w.e., which is about (330.4±40.8) ×104 m3 water equivalents. Compared to other typical monitors on glacier mass balance, the results is reliable. The summer temperature rise in the study area caused serious mass loss of Shiyi Glacier in recent years. LiDAR point cloud data have high precision and spatial resolution, however it is less used in glacier volume research at present. In this paper, it is applied in measuring glacier mass balance changes, showing the promising prospects and practicability of both the data and the method.

Key words: glacier mass balance, LiDAR, Shiyi glacier, SRTM, Heihe River Basin

CLC Number: 

  • P343.6