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Changes in the glaciers of Chandra–Bhaga basin, Himachal Himalaya, India, between 1980 and 2010 measured using remote sensing

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This study reports the glacier changes of Chandra–Bhaga basin, northwest Himalaya, India, from 1980 to 2010. Satellite remote-sensing data from the Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) and Thematic Mapper (TM), the Linear Imaging Self Scanning Sensor (LISS) and Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) of the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) series, and the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM) were used to study the changes in glacier parameters such as glacier area, length, snout elevation, and the impact of glacier topographical parameters (glacier slope, aspect, and altitude range) on the glacier changes. It was found that the total glaciated area had shrunk to 368.2 km2 in 2010 from 377.6 km2 in 1980, a loss of 2.5%. The average position of glacier terminuses retreated by 465.5 ± 169.1 m from 1980 to 2010 with an average rate of 15.5 ± 5.6 m year−1. The decadal scale analysis showed that the average rate of retreat had increased the most in the recent decade. A moraine-dammed lake located in the study region was found to have expanded in area from (0.65 ± 0.01) km2 in 1980 to (1.26 ± 0.03) km2 in 2010. Glaciers with steep slope and less altitude range have lost more area than the glaciers having gentle slope and greater altitude range.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre of Studies in Resources Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India

Publication date: 10 August 2013

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