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Remote Sensing Technology and Application  2022, Vol. 37 Issue (6): 1289-1301    DOI: 10.11873/j.issn.1004-0323.2022.6.1289
Monitoring Glacier Avalanches in Tibet Using Sentinel-2 Imagery
Duo Chu1,2(),Caiwang Dunzhu3,Lawang Dunzhu4,Suolang Tajie1,2,Pingcuo Sangdan1,2,Zhaxi Duoji4,Mingma Ciren3,Cuo Ping3
1.Tibet Institute of Plateau Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences,Lhasa 850000,China
2.Tibet Key Laboratory of Plateau Atmosphere and Environment Research,Lhasa 850000,China
3.Gaize Meteorologial Bureau,Gaize 859200,China
4.Rutog Meteorologial Bureau,Rutog 859700,China
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Sentinel-2 is a high-resolution optical Earth observation mission within the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) programme, which is renamed Copernicus in 2012, jointly implemented by the EC (European Commission) and ESA (European Space Agency) for global land observation with high revisit capability to provide enhanced continuity of data so far provided by SPOT and Landsat. Copernicus is the most ambitious Earth Observation programme to date. It provides accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. At present, Sentinel-2 is one of the most important data source for remote sensing monitoring and application research, and has been widely used in monitoring natural disasters such as floods,forest fires, landslides, volcanic eruptions, and emergency response and humanitarian crises around the globe,and there are also great potentials in detecting glacier and ice and supporting relief efforts for cryospheric disaster.In this study, the glacier and ice avalanches occurred in Arutso Lake basin in northwestern Tibet and Sedongpu basin in southeastern Tibet in 2016 and 2018 were investigated using Sentinel-2 images and field surveys, and the evolution process of two events were reproduced, which has important reference significance for monitoring cryospheric hazard, emergency relief and management in other mountain regions on the world.Study shows that Arutso No. 53 glacier avalanche completely melted away in July 2018 after lasting for two years from occurrence to final disappearance, while the area of Arutso No. 50 glacier avalanche is 0.58 km2 left on June 22,2021 because of more thickness compared to Arutso glacier No. 53. Four large-scale ice-rock ava lanche and debris flow events in the Sedongpu basin in 2017 and 2018 not only had significant impacts on the river flow, landscape and landform in the basin, but also caused great disasters in the basin and downstream.Two glacier and ice avalanche events were caused by climate warming and local heavy precipitation, acting on specific topographic and geomorphic structure of glacier properties in high mountains. Specifically, Arutso glacier avalanche was caused by climate- and weather-driven external forcing, acting on specific polythermal and soft-bed glacier properties and is an unprecedented large catastrophic instability of low angle mountain glaciers. Glacier and snow melting caused by climate warming and heavy rainfall are main triggering factors for ice and rock avalanche in the Sedongpu basin, which is a typical hazard cascades originating from cryosphere, followed by rock fall, debris flow, dammed lake, and lake outburst flood disaster. It often occurs in the Sedongpu basin and will continue to occur for a long time in the future, and the high mountain ridge covered with ice and snow in the right side of back of the basin is still a high-risk area for ice and rock avalanches in the future.

Key words:  Glacier avalanche      Cryospheric hazard      Sentinel-2      Field survey      Tibet     
Received:  25 March 2022      Published:  15 February 2023
ZTFLH:  TP79  
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Duo Chu
Caiwang Dunzhu
Lawang Dunzhu
Suolang Tajie
Pingcuo Sangdan
Zhaxi Duoji
Mingma Ciren
Cuo Ping

Cite this article: 

Duo Chu,Caiwang Dunzhu,Lawang Dunzhu,Suolang Tajie,Pingcuo Sangdan,Zhaxi Duoji,Mingma Ciren,Cuo Ping. Monitoring Glacier Avalanches in Tibet Using Sentinel-2 Imagery. Remote Sensing Technology and Application, 2022, 37(6): 1289-1301.

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Band 1-Coastal and aerosol(海岸与气溶胶)4432060大气校正
Band 2-Blue(蓝波段)4906510对植被气溶胶散射敏感
Band 3-Green(绿波段)5603510绿色峰值,对植被总叶绿素敏感
Band 4-Red(红波段)6653010叶绿素最大吸收波段
Band 5-Vegetation red edge (植被红边波段1)7051520植被监测
Band 6-Vegetation red edge (植被红边波段2)7401520植被监测
Band 7-Vegetation red edge (植被红边波段3)7832020植被监测
Band 8-NIR(近红外波段)84211510植被叶面积监测
Band 8a-Narrow NIR(窄近红外波段)8652020用于水汽吸收参考
Band 9-Water vapour(水汽波段)9402060水汽吸收大气校正
Band 10 SWIR-cirrus(短波红外卷云波段)1 3753060大气校正中的薄卷云监测
Band 11 SWIR1(短波红外波段1)1 6109020积雪监测,云雪识别
Band 12 SWIR2(短波红外波段2)2 19018020气溶胶光学厚度计算
Table1  Bands of Sentinel-2 MSI sensors
Fig.1  The melting process of Arutso No. 53 and 50 glacier avalanches by Sentinel-2 images
Fig.2  Area change of Arutso No. 53 and 50 glacier avalanches by Sentinel-2 images
Fig.3  Field investigation photos taken on February 16, 2022 in glacier avalanche sites
Fig.4  Sentinel-2 images of ice and rock avalanches in Sedongpu basin
Fig.5  Sentinel-2 images of Sedongpu basin outlet
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