Skip to main content
×
×
Home

From balance to imbalance: a shift in the dynamic behaviour of Chhota Shigri glacier, western Himalaya, India

  • Mohd Farooq Azam (a1), Patrick Wagnon (a2), Alagappan Ramanathan (a1), Christian Vincent (a3), Parmanand Sharma (a1), Yves Arnaud (a2), Anurag Linda (a1), Jose George Pottakkal (a1), Pierre Chevallier (a4), Virendra Bahadur Singh (a1) and Etienne Berthier (a5)...
Abstract

Mass-balance and dynamic behaviour of Chhota Shigri glacier, western Himalaya, India, has been investigated between 2002 and 2010 and compared to data collected in 1987-89. During the period 2002-10, the glacier experienced a negative glacier-wide mass balance of -0.67 ± 0.40 m w.e. a-1. Between 2003 and 2010, elevation and ice-flow velocities slowly decreased in the ablation area, leading to a 24-37% reduction in ice fluxes, an expected response of the glacier dynamics to its recent negative mass balances. The reduced ice fluxes are still far larger than the balance fluxes calculated from the 2002-10 average surface mass balances. Therefore, further slowdown, thinning and terminus retreat of Chhota Shigri glacier are expected over the next few years. Conversely, the 2003/04 ice fluxes are in good agreement with ice fluxes calculated assuming that the glacier-wide mass balance is zero. Given the limited velocity change between 1987−89 and 2003/04 and the small terminus change between 1988 and 2010, we suggest that the glacier has experienced a period of near-zero or slightly positive mass balance in the 1990s, before shifting to a strong imbalance in the 21st century. This result challenges the generally accepted idea that glaciers in the Western Himalaya have been shrinking rapidly for the last few decades.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      From balance to imbalance: a shift in the dynamic behaviour of Chhota Shigri glacier, western Himalaya, India
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      From balance to imbalance: a shift in the dynamic behaviour of Chhota Shigri glacier, western Himalaya, India
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      From balance to imbalance: a shift in the dynamic behaviour of Chhota Shigri glacier, western Himalaya, India
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Barnett, TP, Adam, JC and Lettenmaier, DP (2005) Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions. Nature, 438(7066), 303-309 (doi: 10.1038/ nature04141)
Berthier, E and 7 others (2005) Surface motion of mountain glaciers derived from satellite optical imagery. Remote Sens. Environ., 95(1), 14-28
Berthier, E, Arnaud, Y, Kumar, R, Ahmad, S, Wagnon, P and Chevallier, P (2007) Remote sensing estimates of glacier mass balances in the Himachal Pradesh (Western Himalaya, India). Remote Sens. Environ, 108(3), 327-338
Bhambri, R, Bolch, T, Chaujar, RK and Kulshreshtha, SC (2011) Glacier changes in the Garwal Himalaya, India, from 1968 to 2006 based on remote sensing. J. Glaciol., 57(203), 543-556 (doi: 10.3189/002214311796905604)
Bookhagen, B and Burbank, DW (2006) Topography, relief, and TRMM-derived rainfall variations along the Himalaya. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33(8), L08405 (doi: 10.1029/2006GL026037)
Cogley, JG (2009) Geodetic and direct mass-balance measurements: comparison and joint analysis. Ann. Glaciol., 50(50), 96-100
Cogley, JG, Kargel, JS, Kaser, G and Van der Veen, CJ (2010) Tracking the source of glacier misinformation. Science, 327(5965), 522
Cuffey, KM and Paterson, WSB. (2010) The physics of glaciers, 4th edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford
Dobhal, DP, Kumar, S and Mundepi, AK (1995) Morphology and glacier dynamics studies in monsoon-arid transition zone: an example from Chhota Shigri glacier, Himachal Himalaya, India. Current Sci., 68(9), 936-944
Dobhal, DP, Gergan, JT and Thayyen, RJ (2008) Mass balance studies of the Dokriani Glacier from 1992 to 2000, Garhwal Himalaya, India. Bull. Glacier Res., 25, 9-17
Dyurgerov, MB and Meier, MF (2005) Glaciers and the changing Earth system: a 2004 snapshot. Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (INSTAAR Occasional Paper 58)
Gardelle, J, Arnaud, Y and Berthier, E (2011) Contrasted evolution of glacial lakes along the Hindu Kush Himalaya mountain range between 1990 and 2009. Global Planet. Change, 75(1-2), 47-55 (doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2010.10.003)
Hubbard, B and Glasser, N. (2005) Field techniques in glaciology and glacial geomorphology. Wiley, New York
Huss, M, Sugiyama, S, Bauder, A and Funk, M (2007) Retreat scenarios of Unteraargletscher, Switzerland, using a combined ice-flow mass-balance model. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res., 39(3), 422-431
Huss, M, Bauder, A and Funk, M (2009) Homogenization of longterm mass-balance time series. Ann. Glaciol., 50(50), 198-206 (doi: 10.3189/172756409787769627)
Kulkarni, AV (1992) Mass balance of Himalayan glaciers using AAR and ELA methods. J. Glaciol., 38(128), 101-104
Kulkarni, AV and 6 others (2007) Glacial retreat in Himalaya using Indian remote sensing satellite data. Current Sci., 92(1), 69-74
Kumar, S (1999) Chhota Shigri glacier: its kinematic effects over the valley environment, in the northwest Himalaya. Current Sci., 77(4), 594-598
Machguth, H, Eisen, O, Paul, F and Hoelzle, M (2006) Strong spatial variability of snow accumulation observed with helicopter- borne GPR on two adjacent Alpine glaciers. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33(13), L13503 (doi: 10.1029/2006GL026576)
Mattson, LE, Gardner, JS and Young, GJ (1993) Ablation on debris covered glaciers: an example from the Rakhiot Glacier, Punjab, Himalaya. IAHS Publ. 218 (Symposium at Kathmandu 1992 - Snow and Glacier Hydrology), 289-296
Narod, BB and Clarke, GKC (1994) Miniature high-power impulse transmitter for radio-echo sounding. J. Glaciol., 40(134), 190-194
Nijampurkar, VN and Rao, DK (1992) Accumulation and flow rates of ice on Chhota Shigri glacier, central Himalaya, using radioactive and stable isotopes. J. Glaciol., 38(128), 43-50
Nye, JF (1965) The flow of a glacier in a channel of rectangular, elliptic or parabolic cross-section. J. Glaciol., 5(41), 661-690
Oerlemans, J (2001) Glaciers and climate change. A.A. Balkema, Lisse
Ohmura, A, Bauder, A, Muller, H and Kappenberger, G (2007) Longterm change of mass balance and the role of radiation. Ann. Glaciol., 46, 367-374 (doi: 10.3189/172756407782871297)
Paterson, WSB (1994) The physics of glaciers, 3rd edn. Elsevier, Oxford
Raina, VK, Kaul, MK and Singh, S (1977) Mass-balance studies of Gara Glacier. J. Glaciol., 18(80), 415-423
Roy, SS and Balling, RC Jr (2005) Analysis of trends in maximum and minimum temperature, diurnal temperature range, and cloud cover over India. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32(12), L12702 (doi: 10.1029/2004GL022201)
Singh, P, Jain, SK and Kumar, N (1997) Estimation of snow and glacier-melt contribution to the Chenab River, western Himalaya. Mt. Res. Dev., 17(1), 49-56
Solomon, S and 7 others eds. (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Span, N and Kuhn, M (2003) Simulating annual glacier flow with a linear reservoir model. J. Geophys. Res., 108(D10), 4313 (doi: 10.1029/2002JD002828)
Thibert, E, Blanc, R, Vincent, C and Eckert, N (2008) Glaciological and volumetric mass-balance measurements: error analysis over 51 years for Glacier de Sarennes, French Alps. J. Glaciol., 54(186), 522-532 (doi: 10.3189/002214308785837093)
Vincent, C (2002) Influence of climate change over the 20th century on four French glacier mass balances. J. Geophys. Res., 107(D19), 4375 (doi: 10.1029/2001JD000832)
Vincent, C, Vallon, M, Reynaud, L and Le Meur, E (2000) Dynamic behaviour analysis of glacier de Saint-Sorlin, France, from 40 years of observations, 1957-97. J. Glaciol., 46(154), 499-506 (doi: 10.3189/172756500781833052)
Vincent, C, Kappenberger, G, Valla, F, Bauder, A, Funk, M and Le Meur, E (2004) Ice ablation as evidence of climate change in the Alps over the 20th century. J. Geophys. Res., 109(D10), D10104 (doi: 10.1029/2003JD003857)
Vincent, C, Le Meur, E, Six, D and Funk, M (2005) Solving the paradox of the end of the Little Ice Age in the Alps. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32(9), L09706 (doi: 10.1029/2005GL022552)
Vincent, C, Soruco, A, Six, D and Le Meur, E (2009) Glacier thickening and decay analysis from 50 years of glaciological observations performed on Glacier d’Argenti^re, Mont Blanc area, France. Ann. Glaciol., 50(50), 73-79 (doi: 10.3189/ 172756409787769500)
Wagnon, P and 10 others (2007) Four years of mass balance on Chhota Shigri Glacier, Himachal Pradesh, India, a new benchmark glacier in the western Himalaya. J. Glaciol., 53(183), 603-611
Yadav, RR, Park, W-K, Singh, J and Dubey, B (2004) Do the western Himalayas defy global warming? Geophys. Res. Lett., 31(17), L17201 (doi: 10.1029/2004GL020201)
Zemp, M, Hoelzle, M and Haeberli, W (2009) Six decades of glacier mass-balance observations: a review of the worldwide monitoring network. Ann. Glaciol., 50(50), 101-111 (doi: 10.3189/ 172756409787769591)
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0022-1430
  • EISSN: 1727-5652
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-glaciology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 6
Total number of PDF views: 154 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 158 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 8th September 2017 - 19th June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.