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Shrinkage of Satopanth and Bhagirath Kharak Glaciers, India, from 1936 to 2013

  • H.C. Nainwal (a1), Argha Banerjee (a2), R. Shankar (a3), Prabhat Semwal (a1) and Tushar Sharma (a1)...
Abstract

We have compiled and analysed available records and data on the shrinkage of Satopanth (SPG) and Bhagirath Kharak (BKG) Glaciers, Uttarakhand, India, during the period 1936–2013. We estimate the mean retreat rates of the snouts of SPG and BKG for this period at 9.7±0.8m a–1 and 7.0±0.6m a–1 respectively. We have also revised the estimates of the area vacated during the period 1956–2013 to be 0.27 ± 0.05 km2 and 0.17 ± 0.04 km2 for SPG and BKG respectively, corresponding to front-averaged retreat rates of 5.7±0.6m a–1 and 6.0±0.9m a–1. The study revealed an average thinning of glacial ice in the lower ablation zone of SPG of 9 ± 11 m in the past 51 years. We observed that while the fronts of SPG and BKG depicted in the Survey of India topographic map published in 1962 are inconsistent with other available records, the elevation contours are consistent with them.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: H.C. Nainwal <nainwalhc@yahoo.co.in>
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Present address: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, India.

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Annals of Glaciology
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