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  Location: Home > Resources > Special resources > Tianshan Snow-cover & Avalanche Research Station, CAS
  Tianshan Snow-cover & Avalanche Research Station, CAS


Established in 1967, the Station is located in the territory of Kunse town of Xinyuan county beside the upstream section of the Kunse River in the Yili River valley. It lies in the western section of the Tianshan Mountains at 43º16´N and 84º24´E and at an altitude of 1,776 m above sea level. Annual average precipitation and temperature around the Station are 830.2 mm and 1.3ºC, respectively. The Station is 1,000 km from Urumqi, 120 km from Xinyuan and 35 km from Nalati town.

The Station was established originally to develop methods for protecting mountain roads against blowing snow and avalanches. Currently it is the only research base in China focusing on fundamental studies of snow phenomena, i.e. snow dynamics, snow resources, snow hydrology, and exchanges of surroundings with snow cover and blowing snow. It has a total land area of 16 hm2 with the facilities for recording and measuring meteorological and hydrological parameters, including air and soil temperature, snowfall and rainfall, wind, solar radiation, snow physics, and surface water runoff and interflow through soil.

Research Fields

(1) Patterns of snow cover under complex topography and non-linear interactions with atmospheric and terrestrial systems

(2) Snow-cover dynamics and global climate change impacts

(3) Snowmelt runoff and hydrologic processes in the mountain area

(4) Disasters and risks related to snow-cover

Avalanche testing system

Significant Projects

(1) Eco-hydrological processes at different scales and their responses to climate change in the main stream of the Tarim River Basin (supported by the General Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China)

(2) Impacts of climate change on snowmelt runoff and water resources in Xinjiang (supported by the Knowledge Innovation Program of the CAS)

(3) Monitoring and sustainability of glacier and snow resources in arid region, Xinjiang (supported by the commonwealth program, the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China)

(4) Climate change impacts on snow resources in the Tianshan Mountains (supported by XIEG)

Major Accomplishments

The members of the Station have published more than 100 journal and conference papers as well as 3 monographs related to snow-cover and avalanches in the last 10 years.

Main Publications

Shi Z W, Xu J R, Chen Z S, et al. 2009. Analysis on climatic changes under global climatic changea case study of Tianshan Snow and Avalanche Research Station. Journal of Mountain Science, 27(1): 4148.

Gao W D, Wei W S, Zhang L X. 2005. Climate changes and seasonal snow cover variability in the Western Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang in 19672000. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 27(1): 6873.

Chou J Q. 2005. Avalanches. Urumqi: Xinjiang Science and Technology Press.

Guo W D, Liu M Z, Wei W S, et al. 2005. The occurrence and mitigation of drifting snow and avalanche hazard in the mountains along the JingheYining railway, Tianshan, China. Journal of Mountain Science, 23(1): 4352.

Hu R J, Jiang F Q, Wang Y J. 2003. Assessment on the glacial water resources in Xinjiang, China. Arid Zone Research, 20(3): 187191.


There are 4 research staffs in the Station, including 1 professor, 2 associate professors and 1 technician.

There are currently 11 postgraduate students in the Station, including 3 PhD candidates and 8 MSc candidates.


Director : Dr. LI Lanhai

Tel : +86-991-7823125

E-mail: lilh@ms.xjb.ac.cn

Copyright ©2009 xinjiang institute of ecology and geography chinese academy of sciences
Email: goff@ms.xjb.ac.cn  Tel:+86-991-7885307
Address:818 South Beijing Road, Urumqi, Xinjiang