MEASURING SURFACE DEFORMATION IN GLACIER RETREATED AREAS BASED ON PS-INSAR – GELADANDONG GLACIER AS A CASE STUDY
Keywords: China, Glacier retreat, InSAR, Paraglacial Slope Failure (PSF), Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP)
Abstract. Glaciers are retreating in many parts of the world as a result of global warming. Many researchers consider Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau as a reference for climate change by measuring glaciers retreat on the plateau. This retreat resulted in some topographic changes in retreated areas, and in some cases can lead to geohazards as landslides, and rock avalanches, which is known in glacier retreated areas as paraglacial slope failure (PSF). In this study, Geladandong biggest and main glacier mass was selected to estimate surface deformation on its glacier retreated areas and define potential future PSF based on PS-InSAR technique. 56 ascending and 49 descending images were used to fulfill this aim. Geladandong glacier retreated areas were defined based on the maximum extent of the glacier in the little ice age. Results revealed a general uplift in the glacier retreated areas with velocity less than 5mm/year. Obvious surface motion was revealed in seven parts surround glacier retreated areas with high relative velocity reached ±60mm/year in some parts. Four parts were considered as PSF potential motion, and two of them showed potential damage for the main road in the study area in case of rock avalanche into recent glacier lakes that could result in glacier lake outburst flooding heading directly to the road. Finally, further analysis and field investigations are needed to define the main reasons for different types of deformation and estimate future risks of these types of surface motion in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.