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Glacier variations in the Naimona'nyi region, western Himalaya, in the last three decades

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This work quantifies glacier variations in the Naimona'nyi area of the western Himalaya by integrating glacier spatial data from ASTER and the Landsat series of satellite imagery at four different times: 1976, 1990, 1999 and 2003. Comparison of the results from individual images with those from the integrated method indicates that the integrated approach provides a better result. Glacier variations were mapped and analyzed; discrepancies between images could be detected and removed from the integrated data using remap tables in Arc/Info grid both graphically and numerically. Our results show that glaciers in the region both retreated and advanced during the last 28 years; however, retreat dominates. The variation of glaciers in the western Himalayan region is dramatic compared with other regions in high Asia. From 1976 to 2003, glacier area decreased from 84.41 km2 to 77.29 km2. Sequential images show that glacier areas shrank by 0.17, 0.19 and 0.77 km2 a−1, on average, during the periods 1976–90, 1990–99 and 1999–2003, respectively, suggesting that glacier retreat has accelerated.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-09-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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