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Glacial geomorphology of the Parlung Zangbo Valley, southeastern Tibetan Plateau

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posted on 28.07.2015 by Renrong Chen, Shangzhe Zhou, Yingkui Li, Yingbin Deng

We present a glacial geomorphological map (1:825,000) of the Parlung Zangbo Valley in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau based on Google Earth imagery and the 30 m ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (ASTER GDEM). The mapped region covers 2.9 × 104 km2, including abundant glacial landforms such as glacial valleys, marginal moraines (including terminal moraines and lateral moraines), and hummocky moraines. Glacial valleys are distributed mainly above 2100 m a.s.l. with lengths from 1 to 130 km. Multiple marginal moraines occur along the glacial valleys, indicating the presence of multiple glacial events. The lowest moraines are distributed mainly at the mouth of each valley between 2400 and 4000 m a.s.l. Hummocky moraines are mainly distributed in the two main tributary valleys: the Bodui Zangbo Valley and the Yigong Zangbo Valley. One ice-dammed paleolake was mapped with a surface area of 12.5 km2. The mapped glacial features (including contemporary glaciers) cover 1.2 × 104 km2, about 40% of the mapped area, representing the minimum extent of maximum glaciation. This map provides a useful data set for reconstructing the timing and extent of paleoglaciations in this area.

Funding

This study was supported by the ‘Strategic Priority Research Program (B)’ of the Chinese Academy of Sciences [grant number XDB03030100] and the China NSF [grant number 41371080] and [grant number 41171014], and the Scientific Research Foundation of Graduate School of South China Normal University.

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