Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-28
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-28

  15 Mar 2021

15 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Evaluation of the global glacier inventories and assessment of glacier elevation changes over north-western Himalaya

Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, Tariq Abdullah, and Mustafa Hameed Bhat Shakil Ahmad Romshoo et al.
  • Department of Geoinformatics, University of Kashmir, Hazratbal Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India – 190006

Abstract. The study evaluates the global glacier inventories available for the study area viz., RGI, GAMDAM and ICIMOD, with the newly generated Kashmir University Glacier Inventory (KUGI) for three Himalaya basins; Jhelum, Suru and Chenab in the north-western Himalaya, comprising of 2096 glaciers spread over an area of 3300 km2. The KUGI was prepared from the Landsat data supplemented by Digital Elevation Model, Google Earth images and limited field surveys. The KUGI comprises of 154 glaciers in the Jhelum, 328 in the Suru and 1614 in the Chenab basin, corresponding to the glacier area of 85.9 ± 11.4 km2, 487 ± 16.2 km2 and 2727 ± 90.2 km2 respectively. The investigation revealed that most of the glaciers in the study area are < 1 km2 in size, however, the glaciers in 1–5 km2 size class cover most (55.8 %) of the glacier area. Majority of the glaciers, both in terms of number and area, are at 4500–5500 m asl except in the Jhelum where the glaciers are mostly situated between 4000–5000 m asl altitude. The glaciers in the three basins mainly harbor slopes ranging from 10–30°. It was also observed that the southern aspects host more number of large-sized glaciers than the northern aspects. Comparative analyses of the inventories revealed that the GAMDAM (RAB = 0.75) and RGI (RAB = 0.73) inventories are consistent with the KUGI. However, discrepancies were observed in the debris-covered and shadowed glaciers particularly in the ICIMOD inventory. The glacier elevation changes were also estimated for glaciers in the three basins using the Tandem-X and SRTM-C DEMs from 2000 to 2012. The investigation revealed a strong control of glacial morphology, topography, and debris cover on glacier thinning. Glacier elevation change of −1.33 ± 0.8 m a−1 was observed in the Jhelum basin but a similar glacier elevation changes of −1.08 ± 0.7 m a−1 and −1.09 ± 0.8 m a−1 was observed in the Suru and Chenab basins respectively. Evaluation of the glacier inventories and assessment of glacier elevation change in the data-scarce Himalaya, reported in this article, would constitute a reliable database for research particularly in hydrology, glaciology, and climate change. The dataset is freely available at http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4461799 (Romshoo et al., 2021).

Shakil Ahmad Romshoo et al.

Status: open (until 20 May 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-28', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Apr 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-28', Anonymous Referee #2, 16 Apr 2021 reply

Shakil Ahmad Romshoo et al.

Data sets

Evaluation of the Global Glacier Inventories and Assessment of Glacier Thickness Changes over North-western Himalaya Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, Tariq Abdullah, and Mustafa Hameed Bhat http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4461799

Shakil Ahmad Romshoo et al.

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Short summary
The study evaluates the global glacier inventories available for the study area with the newly generated Kashmir University Glacier Inventory (KUGI) for three Himalaya basins; Jhelum, Suru and Chenab. The study also assessed the glacier elevation changes over the study region. The glacier inventory and elevation change estimates would constitute a reliable database for research particularly in hydrology, glaciology, and climate change in the data scarce Himalayan region.