The Cryosphere Discuss., 5, 2465-2481, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in TC.
Thermal state of the active layer and permafrost along the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) railway from 2006 to 2010
Q. Wu1, T. Zhang2,3, and Y. Liu1
1State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, 730000, China
2DOE Key Laboratory of West China's Environment System, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China
3National Snow and Ice Data Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Abstract. In this study, we investigated changes in active layer thickness (ALT) and permafrost temperatures at different depths using data from permafrost monitoring network along the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) Railway since 2005. Among sites, average ALT is about 3.1 m with a range from about 1.1 m to 4.9 m. From 2006 through 2010, ALT has increased at a rate of about 6.3 cm a−1. The mean rising rate of permafrost temperature at the depth of 6.0 m is about 0.02 °C a−1 estimated by linear regression using five years of data, and the mean rising rate of mean annual ground temperature (MAGT) at depth of zero amplitude is about 0.012 °C a−1. Changes for colder permafrost (MAGT < −1.0 °C) is greater than that for relatively warmer permafrost (MAGT > −1.0 °C). This is consistent with results observed in the Arctic and Subarctic.

Citation: Wu, Q., Zhang, T., and Liu, Y.: Thermal state of the active layer and permafrost along the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) railway from 2006 to 2010, The Cryosphere Discuss., 5, 2465-2481, doi:10.5194/tcd-5-2465-2011, 2011.
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