Distribution of Seasonal Snow Cover in Central and Western Himalaya (2010)

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Indian rivers originating in the Himalaya depend on seasonal snow-cover melt during crucial summer months. The seasonal snow cover was monitored using Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) data of the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) and using the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) algorithm. The investigation was carried out for a period of 3 years (2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07) between October and June. A total of 28 sub-basins of the Ganga and Indus river basins were monitored at intervals of 5 or 10 days. Approximately 1500 AWiFS scenes were analyzed. A combination of area–altitude distribution and snow map was used to estimate the distribution of snow cover in altitude zones for the individual basins and for the western and central Himalaya. Hypsographic curve and snow-free area was used to estimate monthly snow-line elevation. The lowest snow-line altitude in the winters of 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07 was observed at 2480 ma.s.l. on 25 February 2005. In Ravi basin for the year 2004/05, snow accumulation and ablation were continuous processes throughout the winter. Even in the middle of winter, the snow area was reduced from 90% to 55%. Similar trends were observed for 2005/06 and 2007/08. In Bhaga basin, snowmelt was observed in the early part of the winter, i.e. in December, and no significant melting was observed between January and April.
Year: 2010
Language: English
In: Annals of Glaciology, 51 (54): 123-128 p.

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 Record created 2018-08-23, last modified 2018-08-23