Abstract: The Qaidam Basin (34°41′N–39°20′N, 87°49′E–101°11′E), a closed inland basin located in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau and surrounded by the Qilian Mountains, Altun Mountains and Kunlun Mountains, extends across Qinghai Province, Gansu Province and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The elevation of the basin is between 2,391 m and 6,826 m, with an average altitude of 4,165 m. A large number of modern glaciers have been developed in the Qaidam Basin. The glacial meltwater is an important source for many rivers in the basin and a significant safeguard for local socio-economic development and people’s life. Therefore, glacier changes in the region have an important influence on water resources and their rational utilization. Based on the Landsat MSS/TM/OLI from 1977 to 2018 and the ASTER GDEM data, we have extracted the glacier vector data of the Qaidam Basin from 1977, 2002 and 2018. This dataset can be used as basic data for the study of glacier status, spatial and temporal distribution characteristics, glacier changes and their response to climate change in the region.
Keywords: glacier; Landsat images; Qaidam Basin