DynRG - TiP Project

Tibet Panorama
Panorama of the Zhadang area

Field Investigations

The first campaign in April 2009 ended successfully with the installation of two Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) on the Zhadang Glacier (∼ 5500 m a.s.l.), complementing an AWS operated by the ITP. In such harsh conditions, the approx. 80 kg of measuring equipment were carried on horses and yacks that were hired from Tibetan nomads living in the valley. This makes of the Zhadang glacier one of the most elaborately equipped "laboratory glacier" in Central Asia.

Nyainqentanglha Mountains
Study region of the Nyainqentanglha Mountains#

Both AWS are inspected every six months and will record meteorological data during at least two years. The data is used to produce and calibrate detailed models for snow and ice melt.

Description of the Automatic Weather Stations
3D Gill sonic anemometer
Windmill anemometer
Temperature and Humidity (Top ∼ 3 m and Bottom ∼ 1 m)
Net Radiation
Long wave out
Short wave in and out
Snow and Ice
2 Soil humidity sensors
8 Ice temperature sensors up to 9 m depth
Sonic ranger (snow height, solid precipitation, ice melt)

Air- and Ice Temperatures
Air- and Ice Temperatures
One year of measurements at the AWS1: air and ice temperatures from May 2009 to May 2010

In addition to the AWS, two cameras were installed by the TU Dresden on the glacier side. Since May 2010, they take one picture a day to record glacier area and volumes changes using stereographical techniques.

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German-Chinese team at AWS1 (5640 m a.s.l.)


At 5738 m a.s.l., the AWS 2 stands in a staggering environment