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Mass elevation effect and its forcing on timberline altitude
Han Fang; Yao Yonghui; Dai Shibao; Wang Chun; Sun Ranhao; Xu Juan; Zhang Baiping
AbstractThe concept of mass elevation effect (massenerhebungseffect, MEE) was introduced by A. de Quervain about 100 years ago to account for the observed tendency for temperature-related parameters such as tree line and snowline to occur at higher elevations in the central Alps than on their outer margins. It also has been widely observed in other areas of the world, but there have not been significant, let alone quantitative, researches on this phenomenon. Especially, it has been usually completely neglected in developing fitting models of timberline elevation, with only longitude or latitude considered as impacting factors. This paper tries to quantify the contribution of MEE to timberline elevation. Considering that the more extensive the land mass and especially the higher the mountain base in the interior of land mass, the greater the mass elevation effect, this paper takes mountain base elevation (MBE) as the magnitude of MEE. We collect 157 data points of timberline elevation, and use their latitude, longitude and MBE as independent variables to build a multiple linear regression equation for timberline elevation in the southeastern Eurasian continent. The results turn out that the contribution of latitude, longitude and MBE to timberline altitude reach 25.11%, 29.43%, and 45.46%, respectively. North of northern latitude 32A degrees, the three factors' contribution amount to 48.50%, 24.04%, and 27.46%, respectively; to the south, their contribution is 13.01%, 48.33%, and 38.66%, respectively. This means that MBE, serving as a proxy indicator of MEE, is a significant factor determining the elevation of alpine timberline. Compared with other factors, it is more stable and independent in affecting timberline elevation. Of course, the magnitude of the actual MEE is certainly determined by other factors, including mountain area and height, the distance to the edge of a land mass, the structures of the mountains nearby. These factors need to be included in the study of MEE quantification in the future. This paper could help build up a high-accuracy and multi-scale elevation model for alpine timberline and even other altitudinal belts.
KeywordMass Elevation Effect Mountain Base Elevation Altitudinal Belts Quantification Eurasia
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GB/T 7714
Han Fang,Yao Yonghui,Dai Shibao,et al. Mass elevation effect and its forcing on timberline altitude[J]. JOURNAL OF GEOGRAPHICAL SCIENCES,2012,22(4):609-616.
APA Han Fang.,Yao Yonghui.,Dai Shibao.,Wang Chun.,Sun Ranhao.,...&Zhang Baiping.(2012).Mass elevation effect and its forcing on timberline altitude.JOURNAL OF GEOGRAPHICAL SCIENCES,22(4),609-616.
MLA Han Fang,et al."Mass elevation effect and its forcing on timberline altitude".JOURNAL OF GEOGRAPHICAL SCIENCES 22.4(2012):609-616.
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