Isotopic study on Dokriani Bamak glacier, central Himalaya: implications for climatic changes and ice dynamics

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Measurements of natural and artificial radioisotopes (32Si,210Pb and 137Cs) and oxygen isotopes (18O) have been carried out on surface snow and ice, shallow snow pits and an ice core collected from Dokriani Bamak glacier, central Himalaya, to study the dynamics of glacier ice and short-term climatic changes. Based on the 32Si and 210Pb activities in the meltwaters, the age of the snout ice is 400 years and the flow rate of ice along the glacier length is ~ 14 m a -1. The specific activity of 137Cs, corresponding to 1963 fallout, in the surface ice at the equilibrium line yields a flow rate of 32 m a -1, a factor of two higher than that derived for the snout ice. The depth variation of 137Cs concentration in a shallow ice core yields a mean accumulation rate of 0.43 m a -1 for the glacier ice over the past decade. The 18O of snout ice (-13.4‰) is significantly depleted compared to the average value of -9.2‰ in the shallow ice core, indicating that cooler climatic conditions prevailed around AD 1600. Based on the oxygen isotopic ratios in the shallow pits, an "altitude effect" of 0.9‰ per 100 m in 18O variation is documented for this glacier.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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