ZHANG Shuo, ZHANG Baiping, YAO Yonghui, ZHAO Fang, QI Wenwen, HE Wenhui, WANG Jing. Magnitude and Forming Factors of Mass Elevation Effect on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2016, 26(6): 745-754. doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0834-x
Citation: ZHANG Shuo, ZHANG Baiping, YAO Yonghui, ZHAO Fang, QI Wenwen, HE Wenhui, WANG Jing. Magnitude and Forming Factors of Mass Elevation Effect on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2016, 26(6): 745-754. doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0834-x

Magnitude and Forming Factors of Mass Elevation Effect on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0834-x
Funds:  Under the auspices of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41571099, 41030528)
More Information
  • Corresponding author: ZHANG Baiping.E-mail:zhangbp@lreis.ac.cn;YAO Yonghui.E-mail:yaoyh@lreis.ac.cn
  • Received Date: 2015-06-06
  • Rev Recd Date: 2015-09-29
  • Publish Date: 2016-12-27
  • Mass elevation effect (MEE) refers to the thermal effect of huge mountains or plateaus, which causes the tendency for tem-perature-related montane landscape limits to occur at higher elevations in the inner massifs than on their outer margins. MEE has been widely identified in all large mountains, but how it could be measured and what its main forming-factors are still remain open. This paper, supposing that the local mountain base elevation (MBE) is the main factor of MEE, takes the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) as the study area, defines MEE as the temperature difference (△T) between the inner and outer parts of mountain massifs, identifies the main forming factors, and analyzes their contributions to MEE. A total of 73 mountain bases were identified, ranging from 708 m to 5081 m and increasing from the edges to the central parts of the plateau. Climate data (1981-2010) from 134 meteorological stations were used to acquire △T by comparing near-surface air temperature on the main plateau with the free-air temperature at the same altitude and similar latitude outside of the plateau. The △T for the warmest month is averagely 6.15℃, over 12℃ at Lhatse and Baxoi. A multivariate linear regression model was developed to simulate MEE based on three variables (latitude, annual mean precipitation and MBE), which are all significantly correlated to △T. The model could explain 67.3% of MEE variation, and the contribution rates of three independent variables to MEE are 35.29%, 22.69% and 42.02%, respectively. This confirms that MBE is the main factor of MEE. The intensive MEE of the QTP pushes the 10℃ isotherm of the warmest month mean temperature 1300-2000 m higher in the main plateau than in the outer regions, leading the occurrence of the highest timberline (4900 m) and the highest snowline (6200 m) of the Northern Hemisphere in the southeast and southwest of the plateau, respectively.
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Magnitude and Forming Factors of Mass Elevation Effect on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0834-x
Funds:  Under the auspices of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41571099, 41030528)
    Corresponding author: ZHANG Baiping.E-mail:zhangbp@lreis.ac.cn;YAO Yonghui.E-mail:yaoyh@lreis.ac.cn

Abstract: Mass elevation effect (MEE) refers to the thermal effect of huge mountains or plateaus, which causes the tendency for tem-perature-related montane landscape limits to occur at higher elevations in the inner massifs than on their outer margins. MEE has been widely identified in all large mountains, but how it could be measured and what its main forming-factors are still remain open. This paper, supposing that the local mountain base elevation (MBE) is the main factor of MEE, takes the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) as the study area, defines MEE as the temperature difference (△T) between the inner and outer parts of mountain massifs, identifies the main forming factors, and analyzes their contributions to MEE. A total of 73 mountain bases were identified, ranging from 708 m to 5081 m and increasing from the edges to the central parts of the plateau. Climate data (1981-2010) from 134 meteorological stations were used to acquire △T by comparing near-surface air temperature on the main plateau with the free-air temperature at the same altitude and similar latitude outside of the plateau. The △T for the warmest month is averagely 6.15℃, over 12℃ at Lhatse and Baxoi. A multivariate linear regression model was developed to simulate MEE based on three variables (latitude, annual mean precipitation and MBE), which are all significantly correlated to △T. The model could explain 67.3% of MEE variation, and the contribution rates of three independent variables to MEE are 35.29%, 22.69% and 42.02%, respectively. This confirms that MBE is the main factor of MEE. The intensive MEE of the QTP pushes the 10℃ isotherm of the warmest month mean temperature 1300-2000 m higher in the main plateau than in the outer regions, leading the occurrence of the highest timberline (4900 m) and the highest snowline (6200 m) of the Northern Hemisphere in the southeast and southwest of the plateau, respectively.

ZHANG Shuo, ZHANG Baiping, YAO Yonghui, ZHAO Fang, QI Wenwen, HE Wenhui, WANG Jing. Magnitude and Forming Factors of Mass Elevation Effect on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2016, 26(6): 745-754. doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0834-x
Citation: ZHANG Shuo, ZHANG Baiping, YAO Yonghui, ZHAO Fang, QI Wenwen, HE Wenhui, WANG Jing. Magnitude and Forming Factors of Mass Elevation Effect on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2016, 26(6): 745-754. doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0834-x
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