Remote Sensing Data Application to Monitor Snow Cover Variation and Hydrological Regime in a Poorly Gauged River Catchment—Northern Pakistan (2014)

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Snow- and glacier-nourished river basins located in the Himalaya-Karakoram-Hindukush (HKH) ranges supply a significant amount of discharge in River Indus upstream Tarbela Dam. It is, hence, important to comprehend the cryosphere variation and its relationship to the stream flow in these high-altitude river catchments. The MODIS remotely sensed database of snow products was chosen to examine the average annual snow and glacier cover (cryosphere) variations in the Shigar River basin (poorly gauged mountainous sub-catchment of the Indus River). Hydrological regime in the area was investigated through monthly database of observed stream fluxes and climate variables (precipitation and mean temperature) for the Shigar River catchment. Analysis indicated the usefulness of remote sensing techniques for estimation of the snow cover variation in the poorly or un-gauged high-elevation catchments of the HKH zone. Results also showed that Shigar River discharge was influenced mainly by the seasonal and annual snow cover area (SCA) variation and the temperature seasonality. Moreover, it is important to uncover such inter-relationship of stream flow, climate variables and snow cover in the poorly gauged high-altitude catchments of Karakoram region for better water resource management and accurate flood hazards predictions at Tarbela.
Year: 2014
Language: English
In: International Journal of Geosciences 5 : 27-37

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