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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-85
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-85
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 Apr 2019

Research article | 29 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Glacier elevation and mass changes in Himalayas during 2000–2014

Debmita Bandyopadhyay1, Gulab Singh1, and Anil V. Kulkarni2 Debmita Bandyopadhyay et al.
  • 1Center of Studies in Resources Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, 400076, India
  • 2Divecha Centre for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560012, India

Abstract. Glacier mass balance is a crucial parameter to understand the changes in glaciers. For the Himalayas, it is more complex as glaciers have a heterogeneous pattern of elevation and mass changes. In this study, mass balance using geodetic method is estimated, for which we utilize SRTM and TanDEM-X global digital elevation models (DEMs) of the year 2000 and 2012–2014 respectively. The unique feature of this study is that the dataset are prepared using repeat bistatic synthetic aperture radar interferometry which has not been used over the rugged Himalayan terrains on such a large-scale. The elevation and mass change measurements cover seven states namely Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. The mean elevation change is −0.45 ± 0.40 m yr−1 and the mass budget is −11.24 ± 0.79 Gt yr−1. However, the cumulative mass loss over the observation period of 2000–2014 is −154.72 ± 19.04 Gt which accounts for approximately 5 % of the total ice-mass present in the Indian Himalayas. This ice-mass loss contributes to 0.42 ± 0.05 mm of sea-level rise. Validation of the mass balance estimate over 20 glaciers for which long-term ground observations were reported gave a coefficient of correlation of 0.79. These 20 glaciers are spread over the entire region of study. Such information shall be helpful in updating the current sparse database we have for the Himalayan glaciers and act as a piece of reliable information for developing various glacier-climate models in the near future.

Debmita Bandyopadhyay et al.
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Debmita Bandyopadhyay et al.
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Short summary
The paper focusses on utilizing freely disseminated SAR data for estimating ice-thickness and mass changes in the Himalayan terrain. The state-wise water loss estimates for the Himalayas has not been performed before. This information gives an idea as to how each state is performing in terms of water-sustainability on a global scale.
The paper focusses on utilizing freely disseminated SAR data for estimating ice-thickness and...
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