Volume No. 9 Issue No.: 4 Page No.: 1234-1239 April – June 2015

 

FRONTAL RECESSION OF GLACIER AND PROGLACIAL LAKE EXPANSION IN THE WESTERN HIMALAYA OVER THE PAST HALF-CENTURY

 

Birajdar Farjana S.,*1 Venkataraman Gopalan1 and Samant Hrishikesh P.2

1. Centre of Studies in Resource Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai (INDIA) 2. Department of Geology, St. Xavier’s college Autonomous, Mumbai (INDIA)

 

Received on : January 03, 2015

 

ABSTRACT

 

Himalayas, outside the polar regions, possess the largest resources of snow, ice and glaciers that fluctuated between wide limits in the past. Glacier fluctuations are likely to have impact on water resources. Investigations of mountain glaciers are currently a very active line of current scientific examination. Terminus fluctuation is an indicator of glacier growth/shrink but is influenced by several factors. The monitoring of the glacier fonts provides valuable information on the climatic variations in the Himalaya. With a view to monitor the terminus front, Gepang Gath glacier of Chandra basin, western Himalaya has been selected. Gepang Gath glacier is undergoing noticeable recession at the glacier terminus and expansion in the area of proglacier lake. The outlines of glacier and the proglacier lake has been monitored using multi temporal remote sensing data in conjunction with GIS techniques for the period of 1963 to 2013. Estimation of recession of the glacier terminus and the terminus altitude change has been carried out using Survey of India Topographical maps, Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS), Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) IRS P6 LISS III and Landsat- 8 OLI/ TIRS data. Generation of Toposheet DEM has been carried out for identification of terminus altitude during 1963 and for the terminus altitude during 2013 ASTER DEM is used. Present study reports that the glacier area has been reduced by 0.54 ± 0.02 km2 and the terminus position of the Gepang Gath glacier is displaced by 1225.20 ± 134.92 meter during 1963-2013. The elevation of the Gepang Gath glacier during 1963 was marked at 4068 meter and in 2013 it has been marked at 4123 meter showing upliftment of 55 meter. The proglacier lake area is estimated during 1963 to 2013 and the study is showing glacier lake expansion of the proglacial lake by 0.506 ± 0.04 km2. It is observed that the expansion of the glacier lake is a result of the Gepang Gath glacier terminus recession as the glacier is reducing in its length.

 

Keywords : Frontal recession, Proglacier lake expansion, Gepang Gath glacier, Remote sensing, GIS

 

 

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