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Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Spatial-temporal variations in near-surface soil freeze-thaw cycles in the source region of the Yellow River during the period 2002–2011 based on the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) data

Abstract

Detecting near-surface soil freeze-thaw cycles in high-altitude cold regions is important for understanding the Earth’s surface system, but such studies are rare. In this study, we detected the spatial-temporal variations in near-surface soil freeze-thaw cycles in the source region of the Yellow River (SRYR) during the period 2002–2011 based on data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E). Moreover, the trends of onset dates and durations of the soil freeze-thaw cycles under different stages were also analyzed. Results showed that the thresholds of daytime and nighttime brightness temperatures of the freeze-thaw algorithm for the SRYR were 257.59 and 261.28 K, respectively. At the spatial scale, the daily frozen surface (DFS) area and the daily surface freeze-thaw cycle surface (DFTS) area decreased by 0.08% and 0.25%, respectively, and the daily thawed surface (DTS) area increased by 0.36%. At the temporal scale, the dates of the onset of thawing and complete thawing advanced by 3.10 (±1.4) and 2.46 (±1.4) days, respectively; and the dates of the onset of freezing and complete freezing were delayed by 0.9 (±1.4) and 1.6 (±1.1) days, respectively. The duration of thawing increased by 0.72 (±0.21) day/a and the duration of freezing decreased by 0.52 (±0.26) day/a. In conclusion, increases in the annual minimum temperature and winter air temperature are the main factors for the advanced thawing and delayed freezing and for the increase in the duration of thawing and the decrease in the duration of freezing in the SRYR.

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