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Remote Sensing Technology and Application  2022, Vol. 37 Issue (6): 1302-1310    DOI: 10.11873/j.issn.1004-0323.2022.6.1302
Characteristics and Control Mechanism of Mushketov Glacier Surging, Central Tianshan
Zhenfeng Wang1,2(),Zongli Jiang2(),Shiyin Liu3,Chuanguang Zhu2,Kunpeng Wu3,Zhen Zhang4,Sichun Long2
1.Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Geo-Information Engineering in Surveying,Mapping and Remote Sensing,Hunan University of Science and Technology,Xiangtan 411201,China
2.School of Earth Sciences and Spatial Information Engineering,Hunan University of Science and Technology,Xiangtan 411201,China
3.Institute of International Rivers and Eco-Security,Yunnan University,Kunming 650500,China
4.School of Geomatics,Anhui University of Science and Technology,Huainan 232001,China
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The Tian Shan region hosts a large number of surge-type glacier, Detailed surge process and control mechanism analysis are still unclear for surge glaciers in Tian Shan. In this paper, the surface velocity and digital elevation models of the Mushketov Glacier in the central Tian Shan are obtained by feature-tracking of Sentinel-1A SAR data and differential Interferometry of TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X, respectively. Geodetic method was employed to calculate the glacier surface elevation change. The results show that the surface velocity of the main stream of the glacier has increased significantly since the end of summer in 2017, reached its peak in winter, up to 4.4 m d-1 and decreased sharply at the end of summer in 2018. The middle and upper reaches of glacier from 2000 to 2012 are accumulated, with an average thickening of 9.23±4.62 m, and the ice tongue thinned dramatically; From 2012 to 2014, the ice tongue continued to thin, the average thickness of reservoir area increased by 1.23 ± 0.91 m; From 2014 to 2018, the glacier reservoir area was significantly thinned, with the maximum decrease of 42.6 ± 1.82 m, the elevation of the receiving area increased significantly, and the highest uplift was 75.6 ± 1.82 m. According to the change of elevation and the characteristics of flow velocity and analysis of glacier surge mechanism using glacier flow law, we concluded that the Mushkotov Glacier surged from 2017 to 2018, and the surge is mainly controlled by hydrological conditions. Combined with the available history data, it is inferred that the glacial surge interval is about 60 years.

Key words:  Glacier surge      Central Tianshan      Surface velocity      Surface elevation change     
Received:  21 October 2021      Published:  15 February 2023
ZTFLH:  TP79  
Corresponding Authors:  Zongli Jiang     E-mail:;
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Zhenfeng Wang
Zongli Jiang
Shiyin Liu
Chuanguang Zhu
Kunpeng Wu
Zhen Zhang
Sichun Long

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Zhenfeng Wang,Zongli Jiang,Shiyin Liu,Chuanguang Zhu,Kunpeng Wu,Zhen Zhang,Sichun Long. Characteristics and Control Mechanism of Mushketov Glacier Surging, Central Tianshan. Remote Sensing Technology and Application, 2022, 37(6): 1302-1310.

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Fig.1  Study area and distribution of remote sensing data







Table 1  Multi resources remote sensing Data used
Fig.2  Histogram of velocities in no-glacier region
Fig.3  Elevation change in non-glacier area
Fig.4  Variation of daily average velocity along the mainstream of Mushketov Glacier
Fig.5  Surface velocities along the transverse profile TT' and PP'
Fig.6  Glacier surface elevation changes of Mushketov Glacier
Fig.7  Terminal changes of Mushketov Glacier tributary
Fig.8  Flow direction of Mushketov Glacier in surge section
Fig.9  distribution and variation of glacier thickness along central flow line
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