China launches real-time glacier monitoring system

Yulong Snow Mountain and Glacier Park is a popular recreation area. It is a national park known as Yulong National Park (or Lijiang Yulong National Park) located in Yulong Mountain, in southwestern China.

The Yulong Glacier is also a primary source of fresh water for Western China.

Cable cars take tourists up and down the mountain, there is a cable to an observation platform sitting at 4,506 m with stunning views of the mountain. The more adventurous can continue hiking up to a second observation area at 4,680 m which provides better glimpses of the snowy summit at 5,596 m. Due to its high altitude, tourists often bring oxygen canisters to help them breathe.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has announced that a real-time glacier monitoring system has been officially put into use on a glacier at the Yulong Snow Mountain.The system, jointly developed by the Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources of the CAS and the Wuhan University Chinese Antarctic Center of Surveying and Mapping, is composed of modules that use the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), laser diastimeters, cameras, meteorology equipment, ice temperature testing equipment and seismographs.

Observation data is transmitted via the 4G network and released online. Since July 2021, the system has obtained information on glacial melting and accumulation, glacial velocity, ice quakes and temperature humidity pressure.

The system significantly reduces the difficulty and potential risks of the artificial monitoring of high-altitude glaciers, and realizes the continuity and accuracy of data collection and the visualization of data transmissions. The system’s monitoring data is updated online every five minutes.

Source: Xinhua / ECNS.cn and others.

Photos: Yulong Snow Mountain and Glacier Park

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