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Estimation of glacier depth and ice volume of Kabul Basin, Afghanistan

Asharaf, R and Kulkarni, AV (2023) Estimation of glacier depth and ice volume of Kabul Basin, Afghanistan. In: Journal of Earth System Science, 132 (3).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-023-02145-7


Abstract: Kabul Basin in the Hindukush–Karakoram–Himalaya (HKH) consists of 3097 glaciers that are crucial for Afghanistan’s irrigation and hydrological needs. However, they are rapidly shrinking and the consequences of this melting result in a shortage of water availability and glacial lake development. Due to the rugged and complex topography of the area and the existing geopolitical situations, the study of ice volume and thickness of the Kabul Basin is minimal compared to other regions of HKH. Therefore, this study estimates glaciers' depth and volume in the Kabul Basin using volume area scaling and laminar flow methods. The glacier depth and volume of 290 large glaciers (area >1 km2) are estimated using laminar flow equations by considering surface velocity, and slope. The study finds that the region shows a mean surface velocity of 15.30 ± 0.04 m/yr and a mean depth of 47.28 ± 6.43 m. Volume–area (V–A) scaling methods are used to estimate the glacier volume for the remaining 2807 smaller glaciers. The analysis reveals that the Kabul basin holds a total glacier stored water of 119.69 ± 22.26 km3, equivalent to 107.72 ± 20 Gigatonne ice mass. This study is significant as it can help manage the country's water resources and disaster risk reduction. Research highlights: Detailed study of glaciers of Kabul Basin is described in this article.The glacier depth and glacier stored water of Kabul Basin are estimated using laminar flow and Volume-Area Scaling method.The Kabul glaciers have a mean ice surface velocity of 15.30 ± 0.04 m/yr and mean glacier depth of 47.28 ± 6.43 m.The basin holds a total glacier stored water of 107.72 ± 20 Gigatonne.The article describes the possibilities of remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques in glacier studies.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Earth System Science
Publisher: Springer
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Springer.
Keywords: glacier depth; glacier stored water; glacier surface velocity; Kabul Basin; remote sensing.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2023 09:49
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2023 09:49
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/82893

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