Hypsometric analysis of major glaciers of Shigar river basin in the Karakoram mountain range
Main Article Content
Unique environment and multifaceted mountain geo-dynamics of Karakoram disguise the variations present in the hypsometries (frequency distribution of altitudes). We report hypsometry of mountain glaciers of Shigar river basin (with a 7046 km² land-covered area) in the Karakoram, to understand area-elevation relations of glacier environments and effects of magnitude of glaciated-area and location of Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA). We apply a method based on histogram analysis of glacier hypsometry and a pixel-based regression tool on an updated version of glacier outlines. A big portion of the largest glaciated area (20.63%) of Shiger river basin lies between mixed (high velocity), net accumulation (low velocity) regime of horizontal zone and clean-dusty regime of vertical zone. The smallest glaciated area is found in the extreme ends of the high (in the net avalanche accumulation and low velocity zone and temperature below -18° C) and low (the mostly debris and clean dust-covered ice, net ablation and medium velocity area) altitudes. There are major differences in the hypsometry of the smallest and largest glaciers like except Panmah glacier, large portions of largest glaciers (e.g. Baltoro, Biafo and Chogo Lungma) lies at ELA. Smallest glaciated area lies in low altitudes may contribute melt-water significantly to Indus river rise due to their shorter response times as compared to larger glaciers. The high elevation precipitation may sustain the glaciers of this basin whose melt-waters, especially those from largest glaciers, in turn feed the Shigar river. This dependence of the river on glacial and ice melt is manifested in the huge seasonal variation in its flow.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
- Gansser. Geology of the Himalayas, Interscience Publishers, London, 1975.
- Arendt A, Bliss A, Bolch T, et al. Randolph Glacier Inventory - A Dataset of Global Glacier Outlines: Version 5.0. Global Land Ice Measurements from Space, Digital Media, Boulder Colorado, USA, 2015.
- Bajracharya SR and Shrestha B. The status of glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayas region, ICIMOD, Kathmandu, 2011.
- Dobreva ID, Bishop MP and Bush ABG. Climate-Glacier Dynamics and Topographic Forcingin the Karakoram Himalaya: Concepts, Issues andResearch Directions. Water, 2017, 9: 405. https://doi.org/10.3390/w9060405
- Schumm SA. Evolution of drainage systems and slopes in badlands at Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Geological Society America Bulletin, 1956, 67: 597-646. https://doi.org/10.1130/0016-7606(1956)67[597:EODSAS]2.0.CO;2
- Strahler AN. Hypsometric (area-altitude) analysis of erosional topography. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 1952, 63: 1117-1141. https://doi.org/10.1130/0016-7606(1952)63[1117: HAAOET]2.0.CO;2
- Hurtrez J-E, Sol C and Lucazeau F. Effect of drainage area on hypsometry from an analysis of small-scale basins in the Siwalik Hills (Central Nepal). Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 1999, 24: 799-808. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1096-9837(199908)24:9h799::AID-ESP12i3.0.CO;2-4
- Lifton NA and Chase CG. Tectonic, climatic and lithologic influences on landscape fractal dimension and hypsometry: implications for landscape evolution in the San Gabriel Mountains, California. Geomorphology, 1992, 5: 77-114. https://doi.org/10.1016/0169-555X(92)90059-W
- Oerlemans J, Anderson B, Hubbard A, et al. Modelling the response of glaciers to climate warming. Climate Dynamics, 1998, 14: 267-274. https://doi.org/10.1007/s003820050222
- Kienholz C, Rich JL, Arendt AA, et al. A new method for deriving glacier centerlines applied to glaciers in Alaska and northwest Canada. The Cryosphere, 2014, 8: 503-519. https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-8-503-2014
- Bliss A, Hock R and Radi V. Global response of glacier runoff to twenty-first century climate change. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 2014, 119: 717-730. https://doi.org/10.1002/2013JF002931
- Hakeem SA, Bilal M, Pervez A, et al. Remote sensing data application to monitor snow cover variation and hydrological regime in a poorly gauged river catchment - Northern Pakistan. International Journal of Geosciences, 2014, 5: 27- 37. https://doi.org/10.4236/ijg.2014.51005
- Wake CP. Glaciochemical investigations as a tool for determining the spatial and seasonal variation of snow accumulation in the central Karakoram, northern Pakistan. Annals of Glaciology, 1989, 13: 279-284. https://doi.org/10.3189/S0260305500008053
- Soncini A, Bocchiola D, Confortola G, et al. Future hydrological regimes in the upper Indus basin: a case study from a high-altitude glacierized catchment. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 2015, 16(1): 306-326. https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-14-0043.1
- RGI Consortium. Randolph Glacier Inventory - A Dataset of Global Glacier Outlines: Version 5.0: Technical Report, Global Land Ice Measurements from Space, Colorado, USA. Digital Media, 2015. https://doi.org/10.7265/N5-RGI-50
- Guo W, Liu S, Xu J, et al. The second Chinese glacier inventory: data, methods and results. Journal of Glaciology, 2015, 61: 226. https://doi.org/10.3189/2015JoG14J209
- Nuimura T, Sakai A, Taniguchi K, et al. The GAMDAM glacier inventory: a quality-controlled inventory of Asian glaciers. The Cryosphere, 2015, 9(3): 849-864. https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-849-2015
- Fujisada H, Urai M and Iwasaki A. Technical methodology for ASTER global DEM. IEEE Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society, 2012, 50: 3725-3736. https://doi.org/10.1109/TGRS.2012.2187300
- Meyer D. ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model Version 2 - Summary of Validation Results, NASA Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center and the Joint Japan-US ASTER Science Team, US Geological Survey, Earth Resource Observation and Science Center, 2011. http://www.jspacesystems.or.jp/ersdac/GDEM/ver2Validation/Summary_GDEM2_validation_report_final.pdf
- Forkuor G and Maathuis B. Comparison of SRTM and ASTER Derived Digital Elevation Models over Two Regions in Ghana - Implications for Hydrological and Environmental Modeling, Studies on Environmental and Applied Geomorphology, Dr. Tommaso Piacentini, ISBN: 978-953- 51-0361-5, InTech, 2012. http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs/32991.pdf
- Rau F, Mauz F, Vogt S, et al. (2005, version-1.0) Glacier Classification Guidance for the GLIMS Glacier Inventory, Institute of Physical Geogharaphy, Frieburg (Germany) and National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Co (USA). http://www.glims.orgAccessedon2017-03-21