China - Guliya Ice Cap

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In 1992, an American-Chinese expedition successfully recovered a 308.6-meter ice core (see drill in photograph) from the Guliya ice cap (35o17'N, 81o29'E; summit 6710 m a.s.l.) in the far western Kunlun Shan on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China (see map). Guliya resembles a "polar" ice cap, is surrounded by vertical 30 to 40 meter ice walls (see photographs) and has internal temperatures of -15.6o, -5.9o, and -2.1oC at 10m, 200m and the base, respectively. The 308.6 m core to bedrock provides the first high resolution ice core record of the last glacial cycle as recorded in the subtropics. The papers below discuss the late Holocene portion of the record, and the last glacial cycle, respectively.

Thompson, L.G., E. Mosley-Thompson, M.E. Davis, P.N. Lin, V. Mikhalenko, and J. Dai. 1995. A 1000 year ice core climate record from the Guliya Ice Cap, China and its relationship to global climate variability. Annals of Glaciology, 21, 175-181.

Thompson, L.G., T. Yao, M.E. Davis, K.A. Henderson, E. Mosley-Thompson, P.N. Lin, J. Beer, H.-A. Synal, J. Cole-Dai, and J.F. Bolzan, 1997. Tropical climate instability: The last glacial cycle from a Qinghai-Tibetan ice core. Science, 276, 1821-25.

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Last Updated: 8/14/97