Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Glacier Related Abstracts

3 Hydrological Response of the Glacierised Catchment: Himalayan Perspective

Authors: Sonu Khanal, Mandira Shrestha


Snow and Glaciers are the largest dependable reserved sources of water for the river system originating from the Himalayas so an accurate estimate of the volume of water contained in the snowpack and the rate of release of water from snow and glaciers are, therefore, needed for efficient management of the water resources. This research assess the fusion of energy exchanges between the snowpack, air above and soil below according to mass and energy balance which makes it apposite than the models using simple temperature index for the snow and glacier melt computation. UEBGrid a Distributed energy based model is used to calculate the melt which is then routed by Geo-SFM. The model robustness is maintained by incorporating the albedo generated from the Landsat-7 ETM images on a seasonal basis for the year 2002-2003 and substrate map derived from TM. The Substrate file includes predominantly the 4 major thematic layers viz Snow, clean ice, Glaciers and Barren land. This approach makes use of CPC RFE-2 and MERRA gridded data sets as the source of precipitation and climatic variables. The subsequent model run for the year between 2002-2008 shows a total annual melt of 17.15 meter is generate from the Marshyangdi Basin of which 71% is contributed by the glaciers , 18% by the rain and rest being from the snow melt. The albedo file is decisive in governing the melt dynamics as 30% increase in the generated surface albedo results in the 10% decrease in the simulated discharge. The melt routed with the land cover and soil variables using Geo-SFM shows Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency of 0.60 with observed discharge for the study period.

Keywords: Energy Balance, Snowmelt, Glacier, Glacier melt

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2 Scientific Expedition to Understand the Crucial Issues of Rapid Lake Expansion and Moraine Dam Instability Phenomena to Justify the Lake Lowering Effort of Imja Lake, Khumbu Region of Sagarmatha, Nepal

Authors: N. P. Bhandary, R. C. Tiwari, R. Yatabe, D. B. Thapa Chhetri


The research enlightens the various issues of lake expansion and stability of the moraine dam of Imja lake. The Imja lake considered that the world highest altitude lake (5010m from m.s.l.), located in the Khumbu, Sagarmatha region of Nepal (27.90 N and 86.90 E) was reported as one of the fast growing glacier lakes in the Nepal Himalaya. The research explores a common phenomenon of lake expansion and stability issues of moraine dam to justify the necessity of lake lowering efforts if any in future in other glacier lakes in Nepal Himalaya. For this, we have explored the root causes of rapid lake expansion along with crucial factors responsible for the stability of moraine mass. This research helps to understand the structure of moraine dam and the ice, water and moraine interactions to the strength of moraine dam. The nature of permafrost layer and its effects on moraine dam stability is also studied here. The detail Geo-Technical properties of moraine mass of Imja lake gives a clear picture of the strength of the moraine material and their interactions. The stability analysis of the moraine dam under the consideration of strong ground motion of 7.8Mw 2015 Barpak-Gorkha and its major aftershock 7.3Mw Kodari, Sindhupalchowk-Dolakha border, Nepal earthquakes have also been carried out here to understand the necessity of lake lowering efforts. The lake lowering effort was recently done by Nepal Army by constructing an open channel and lowered 3m. And, it is believed that the entire region is now safe due to continuous draining of lake water by 3m. But, this option does not seem adequate to offer a significant risk reduction to downstream communities in this much amount of volume and depth, lowering as in the 75 million cubic meter water impounded with an average depth of 148.9m.

Keywords: Stability, Finite Element Method, Glacier, moraine

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1 Variability of the Snowline Altitude at Different Region in the Eastern Tibetan Plateau in Recent 20 Years

Authors: Chang Liu, Zhen Li, Ping Zhang


These Glaciers are thought of as natural water reservoirs and are of vital importance to hydrological models and industrial production, and glacial changes act as significant indicators of climate change. The glacier snowline can be used as an indicator of the equilibrium line, which may be a key parameter to study the effect of climate change on glaciers. Using Google Earth Engine, we select optical satellite imageries and implement the Otsu thresholding method on a near-infrared band to detect snowline altitudes (SLAs) of 26 glaciers in three regions of the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Three different study regions in the eastern Tibetan Plateau have different climate regimes, which are Sepu Kangri (SK, maritime glacier), Bu’Gyai Kangri (BK, continental glacier) and west of Qiajajima (WQ, continental glacier), along a latitudinal transect from south to north. We analyzed the effects of climatic factors on the SLA changes from 1995 to 2016. SLAs are fluctuating upward, and the rising values are 100 m, 60 m, and 34 m from south to north during the 22 years. We also observed that the climatic factor that affects the variability of SLA gradually changes from precipitation to temperature from south to north. The northern continental glaciers are mainly affected by temperature, and the southern maritime glaciers affected by precipitation. Owing to the influence of primary climatic factors, continental glaciers are found to have higher SLAs on the south slope, while maritime glaciers have higher SLAs on the north slope.

Keywords: Climate Change, Tibetan Plateau, Glacier, snowline altitude

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