Keep Himalayas Clean
If you care for Himalayas and nature,
and would like to volunteer for
our Himalayan Trails Clean Drives
Please call us at +918360107463 for details.

#HimalayanDrifters #LifeisMountains
Follow Us
GO UP
Image Alt

Himalayan Drifters

Receding Glacier of Himachal

Receding Glacier of Himachal

Himalayan glaciers are a focus of public and scientific debate. Prevailing uncertainties are of major concern because some projections of their future have serious implications for water resources. Most Himalayan glaciers are losing mass at rates similar to glaciers elsewhere, except for emerging indications of stability or mass gain in the Karakoram. A poor understanding of the processes affecting them, combined with the diversity of climatic conditions and the extremes of topographical relief within the region, makes projections speculative. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that dramatic changes in total runoff will occur soon, although continuing shrinkage outside the Karakoram will increase the seasonality of runoff, affect irrigation and hydropower, and alter hazards.

Melting Glaciers of Himachal Pradesh 
Himachal Pradesh of India is home of some of the most notable glaciers in the world. This is a list of the notable glaciers in Himalayan State.
  • Bara Shigri Glacier
  • BCB Glacier (bcb land)
  • Beas Kund glacier
  • Bhadal Glacier
  • Bhaga Glacier
  • Chandra Glacier
  • Chandra Nahan Glacier
  • Chhota Shigri
  • Dhaka Glacier
  • North Dakka Glacier
  • Gora Glacier
  • The Lady of Keylong
  • Miyar Glacier
  • Mukkila Glacier
  • Parbati and Dudhon
  • Perad Glacier
  • Sonapani
  • Malana Glacier


As per a study conducted by State Council for science technology and environment and Ahmedabad-based Space Application Centre, glaciers in Himachal are receding very quickly due to climate change and have shrunk by 449 sq mt since 1962. over 449 sq km of glacier area in Himachal has disappeared between 1962 and 2001. Glacier retreat was estimated in Chenab, Parbati and Baspa basins. The overall reduction in glacier area was 21 per cent and it shrunk from 2,077 sq mt in 1962 to 1,628 sq mt in 2001, said the report which was presented in a workshop on ‘Snow and Glaciers and the Himalayan River System’ organised by ‘State Centre on Climate Change’ here today.

Highly fragile moraine-dammed lakes, an increasing phenomenon in the Himalayas, increased from 596 to 705 in barely two years in Himachal Pradesh, raising the spectre of glacial lake outburst floods, warns a state government study. The study, conducted by the State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, says there is accelerated glacial melting in the Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Satluj river basins in the state, resulting in the formation of 109 new lakes between 2013 and 2015.

In the Satluj basin alone, the number of glacial lakes increased by 352 in the two-decade period from 1993 to 2013. However, between 2013 and 2015, unlike other three rivers basins, the Satluj has recorded no new addition of glacial lake formation. Six to seven large glacial lakes have formed near Neelkanth Lake in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh and are posing a serious threat to the district.

Malana Glacier 

The Malana Glacier flows south from Mt. Indrasan and Mt. Deotibba and has until the last few years turned west where the Manala valleys turns and the Malana Glacier used to join the South Manala Glacier flowing north to this junction point. Here we look at Landsat imagery from 1998, 2000 and 2011. In 1998 and 2000 the glacier turns the corner and begins the western descent to its terminus purple arrow, the narrow tongue of blue in both cases is evident heading west, though further in 1998. There is a prominent bedrock knob, yellow arrow at the western turn on the east side of the glacier. By 2011 the lower 600 meters of the glacier below the western turn has melted away and the glacier now ends at the prominent knob, yellow arrow, there is no tongue of glacier ice turning west. Just above the terminus one significant tributary, green arrow, that had been joined to the glacier during the first ascents in the region in the 1960’s had separated by a short distance in 1998 and 2000. In 2012 this distance has increased as the former tributary also retreats.

Sara Umaga Glacier

Sara Umaga Glacier drains into the Beas River in the Himachal Pradesh region of India. The glacier has retreated over 1600 meters since initial 1970. The glacier is also a key water source for hydropower, this will be detailed below. The glacier is 15 km long extending from 5600 m to 3900 m. The glacier has retreated at a rate of 44 meters/year from 1989-2004. The glacier is adjacent to the Chota Shigri Glacier which has retreated at a rate of 7 m/year from 1970-1989 and 27 m/year from 1990-2000. The retreat is the result of the rise of the equilibrium line, approximately the snowline at the end of the summer, where ablation equals accumulation. In the late 1980’s the snowline averaged 4700 m. In recent years the snowline has been a high as 5180 meters . This same rise has led to high snowlines on the Sara Umaga Glacier. In recent satellite images the snowline is above 4900 m, and the snowline is below where the ELA will be at the end of the melt season

Rapid glacier melting contribution to Beas River at Pandoh Dam

The water balance approach was used to estimate the average contribution of snow- and glacier-melt runoff in the annual flow of the Beas River at Pandoh Dam. About 45% of the basin area is covered by snow during winter and about 15% remains covered by perpetual snow and glaciers. Snow And glacier-melt contribution was estimated by computing the other components, i.e. rainfall, runoff and losses through evaporation, of the water balance equation. The total water budget of the basin was calculated for a period of 15 years (1990–2004). Total rainfall input to the basin was computed using available records of rainfall. The total volume of flow for the above-mentioned period was computed using measured discharge data of the Beas River at Pandoh Dam. Evapotranspiration losses from the basin were estimated only from the snow-free area, considering evaporation losses from the snowcovered area as negligible. The results of the analysis show that the snow- and glacier-melt runoff contributes about 35% to the annual flow of the Beas River at Pandoh Dam.

Causes

The study found that the Himalayan glaciers, which are fed by the Indian monsoons, were shrinking more rapidly than those in Pamir Mountains, which were influenced by the westerlies, the prevailing winds. These glaciers gain from winter snow and are less affected by warming, while in the Himalayas it snows during the monsoon season, in summer, and temperature increases can have a dramatic effect.

Rainfall records from the region indicate that the Indian monsoon is getting weaker while the westerlies are strengthening. “Under the present warming conditions, glacier shrinkage might further accelerate in the Himalayas, whereas glaciers might advance in the eastern Pamir regions,” said the study.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Founder

I’m an climber / trekker and cartographer, who loves to Backpack in the Himalayas. Everything about it dazzles me – the vast open medows where I pitch my tent, the peaks, the people and the opportunities it gives me as an adventurer and as a human being. I climb mountains, run rivers, herd sheep with my Gaddi (shepherds in the Himalayas) friends in the high meadows of Himachal. Basically, wander across the Himalayas for most of the year.I’ve climbed couple of peaks across Himachal, Ladakh, Gharwal. I love to pack my rucksack and hit the trails to some remote valley, crossing high altitude passes, camping by the still waters of some high altitude lake, Discovering new peaks and trekking routes is something I really desire by heart.

Comments:

  • Ella

    August 9, 2017

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tellus sapien, malesuada a ligula id, pharetra sodales mauris. Curabitur dui justo, pretium vel magna a, elementum interdum risus. Nulla tempus quam pellentesque ipsum iaculis fermentum. Nam vitae pretium leo.

    Reply
  • Lily

    August 9, 2017

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tellus sapien, malesuada a ligula id, pharetra sodales mauris. Curabitur dui justo, pretium vel magna a, elementum interdum risus. Nulla tempus quam pellentesque ipsum iaculis fermentum. Nam vitae pretium leo.

    Reply
    • Emily

      August 9, 2017

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tellus sapien, malesuada a ligula id, pharetra sodales mauris. Curabitur dui justo, pretium vel magna a, elementum interdum risus. Nulla tempus quam pellentesque ipsum iaculis fermentum. Nam vitae pretium leo.

      Reply

Leave a Reply