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Glacier-Surface Velocity Derived Ice Volume and Retreat Assessment in the Dhauliganga Basin, Central Himalaya - A Remote Sensing and Modeling Based Approach

Sattar, Ashim and Goswami, Ajanta and Kulkarni, Anil and Das, Pritam (2019) Glacier-Surface Velocity Derived Ice Volume and Retreat Assessment in the Dhauliganga Basin, Central Himalaya - A Remote Sensing and Modeling Based Approach. In: FRONTIERS IN EARTH SCIENCE, 7 .

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/feart.2019.00105


Himalayan glaciers are a storehouse of fresh water and play a significant role in influencing the runoff through numerous perennial rivers flowing over the Indo-Gangetic plains, providing freshwater to the second largest populated country in the world. For suitable management of this water resource, measurement of glacier-ice volume is extremely important in the current scenario of climate change and water scarcity. To address this concern, the present study endeavors to find a suitable methodology to quantify glacier volume and retreat in the Central Himalaya. Herein, two methods were implemented to estimate the total glacier ice volume - conventional area-based scaling method and glacier-surface velocity based modeling technique. The availability of field data allowed a validation assessment to be carried out on two Himalayan glaciers (Chhota Shigri and Satopanth). Here, we propose a volume-area power law, appropriate for the application in the context of Himalayan glaciers. The ice volume of 15 glaciers larger than 1 km(2) calculated using a spatially distributed ice thickness model is 3.78 x 10(9) m(3) (f = 0.8), with an overall uncertainty of 18.4%. The total volume of the remaining glaciers in the basin, calculated using a tuned volume-area scaling relation is 2.71 x 10(9) m(3). A sensitivity analysis is performed to evaluate the influence of input parameters on the model and volume-area scaling performance. The study also incorporates investigation of the glacier bed topography for discrete identification of the overdeepening sites in the glacier valley which are potential lake formation sites in the future. A total of 54 overdeepening sites covering an area of 2.85 km(2) have been identified. In addition, the relative glacier area loss of the glaciers is investigated using historical CORONA and Landsat satellite imageries. Glaciers with a smaller area and those with lower mean ice thickness near the terminus shrank significantly more, as compared to the larger ones. The total area of the selected larger glaciers is estimated to be 68 km(2) in 2015 and deglaciation of 4.7 km(2) is observed over the period of 48 years that accounts for 6.9% of the total area in 1968.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the authors
Keywords: ice thickness; volume-area scaling; glacier volume; surface velocity; Landsat; Corona; Himalaya
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 09:31
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/62770

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