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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015, Article ID 852098, 10 pages
Research Article

Surface Albedo Variation and Its Influencing Factors over Dongkemadi Glacier, Central Tibetan Plateau

1School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Anhui University, Hefei 230601, China
2School of Science, Anhui Agriculture University, Hefei 230601, China
3State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China

Received 6 January 2015; Accepted 16 March 2015

Academic Editor: Sven-Erik Gryning

Copyright © 2015 Jie Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Glacier albedo plays a critical role in surface-atmosphere energy exchange, the variability of which influences glacier mass balance as well as water resources. Dongkemadi glacier in central Tibetan Plateau was selected as study area; this research used field measurements to verify Landsat TM-derived albedo and MOD10A1 albedo product and then analyzed the spatiotemporal variability of albedo over the glacier according to them, as well as its influence factors and the relationship with glacier mass balance. The spatial distribution of glacier albedo in winter did not vary with altitude and was determined by terrain shield, whereas, in summer, albedo increased with altitude and was only influenced by terrain shield at accumulation zone. During 2000–2009, albedo in summer decreased at a rate of 0.0052 per year and was influenced by air temperature and precipitation levels, whereas albedo in winter increased at a rate of 0.0045 per year, influenced by the level and frequency of precipitation. The annual variation of albedo in summer during 2000–2012 has the high relative to that of glacier mass balance measurement, which indicates that glacier albedo in the ablation period can be considered as a proxy for glacier mass balance.