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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-242
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-242
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 13 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 13 Dec 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

The role of snow and ice thickness on river ice process in Songhua River basin, Northeast China

Qian Yang1,2, Kaishan Song1, Xiaohua Hao3, Zhidan Wen2, Yue Tan1, and Weibang Li1 Qian Yang et al.
  • 1Jilin Jianzhu University, Xincheng Road 5088, Changchun 130118, China
  • 2Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shengbei Street 4888, Changchun 130102, China
  • 3Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Donggang West Road 322, Lanzhou 730000, China

Abstract. Songhua River basin is a sensitive area to global warming in Northeast China that could be indicated by changes in lake and river ice development. The regional role and trends of ice characteristics of this area have been scarcely investigated, which are critical for aquatic ecosystem, climate variability, and human activities. Based on the ice record of hydrological stations, we examined the spatial variations of the ice phenology and ice thickness in Songhua River basin in Northeast China from 2010 to 2015 and explored the role of ice thickness, snow during ice-on and ice-off process. All five river ice phenology including freeze-up start, freeze-up end, break-up start, break-up end and complete frozen duration showed latitudinal distribution and a changing direction from southeast to northwest, and five typically geographic zones were identified based on rotated empirical orthogonal function. Maximum ice thickness had a higher correlation with five parameters than that of average snow depth and air temperature on bank. A linear regression function was established between ice thickness and snow depth on ice and indicated ice thickness was closely associated with snow depth on ice. The air temperature had higher correlation with ice phenology and influenced the lake ice phenology significantly, and snow cover did not show significant correlation with the ice phenology. However, snow cover correlated with ice thickness significantly and positively during the periods when the freshwater is completely frozen.

Qian Yang et al.
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Short summary
We examined the spatial variations of the ice phenology and ice thickness in Songhua River basin in Northeast China from 2010 to 2015. A general understanding for river ice phenology had been found and five typically geographic zones were identified. The freezing time influenced the ice thickness, and ice thickness influenced the melting time.snow cover correlated with ice thickness significantly and positively when the freshwater is completely frozen.
We examined the spatial variations of the ice phenology and ice thickness in Songhua River basin...
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