WorldWideScience

Sample records for central himalaya uttrakhand

  1. Reconstruction of Last Glacial to early Holocene monsoon variability from relict lake sediments of the Higher Central Himalaya, Uttrakhand, India

    Juyal, N.; Pant, R.K.; Basavaiah, N.

    2009-01-01

    .5 ka and after14.5–13 ka. The Last Glacial phase ended with the deposition of outwash gravel dated at 11 ka indicating glacial retreat and the onset of Holocene condition. Additionally, centennial scale fluctuations between 16.5 ka and 12.7 ka in the magnetic and geochemical data are seen. A close...... instability in higher northern latitudes. However, centennial scale abrupt changes are attributed to the result of albedo changes on the Himalaya and Tibetan plateau....

  2. Copycats of the Central Himalayas

    P.A. Arora (Payal)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractThis case study highlights practices of a rarely documented group of neo-users of the Internet or newbies from Central Himalayas, serving as a catalyst for delving deeply into the act of ‘plagiarism’ in online learning By looking at such ‘learning’ practices away from schools, namely

  3. Astragalus kongrensis Benth. Ex Baker (Fabaceae, a New Record for Central and North-West Himalayas

    Lal Babu Chaudhary

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Astragalus kongrensis Benth. Ex Baker is reported for the first time from Central (Nepal and North-West Himalayas (India. Earlier the species was known from East Himalaya (Sikkim-India, Bhutan and China. The description and illustrations of the species are provided.

  4. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils from the Central-Himalaya region: Distribution, sources, and risks to humans and wildlife

    Bi, X.; Luo, J.; Gao, J.; Xu, L.; Guo, Q.; Zhang, K.Y.; Romesh, J.P.; Giesy, S.; Kang, J.; de Boer, J.

    2016-01-01

    The Central Himalayas are not only a natural boundary between China and Nepal but also a natural barrier for transport of air masses from South Asia. In this study, 99 samples of surface soil were collected from five regions of Nepal on the southern side of the Central Himalayas, and 65 samples of

  5. Minor soil erosion contribution to denudation in Central Nepal Himalaya.

    Morin, Guillaume; France-Lanord, Christian; Gallo, Florian; Lupker, Maarten; Lavé, Jérôme; Gajurel, Ananta

    2013-04-01

    In order to decipher river sediments provenance in terms of erosion processes, we characterized geochemical compositions of hillslope material coming from soils, glaciers and landslide, and compared them to rivers sediments. We focused our study on two South flank Himalayan catchments: (1) Khudi khola, as an example of small High Himalayan catchment (150 km2), undergoing severe precipitation, and rapid erosion ≈ 3.5 mm/yr [A] and (2) the Narayani-Gandak Transhimalayan basin (52000 km2) that drains the whole central Nepal. To assess the question, systematic samplings were conducted on hillslope material from different erosion processes in the basins. River sediment include daily sampling during the 2010 monsoon at two stations, and banks samples in different parts of the basins. Source rocks, soil and landslide samples, are compared to river sediment mobile to immobile element ratios, completed by hydration degree H2O+ analysis[2]. Data show that soils are clearly depleted in mobile elements Na, K, Ca, and highly hydrated compared to source rocks and other erosion products. In the Khudi basin, the contrast between soil and river sediment signatures allow to estimate that soil erosion represents less than 5% of the total sediment exported by the river. Most of the river sediment therefore derives from landslides inputs and to a lesser extent by barren high elevation sub-basins. This is further consistent with direct observation that, during monsoon, significant tributaries of the Khudi river do not export sediments. Considering that active landslide zones represent less than 0.5% of the total watershed area, it implies that erosion distribution is highly heterogeneous. Landslide erosion rate could reach more than 50 cm/yr in the landslide area. Sediments of the Narayani river are not significantly different from those of the Khudi in spite of more diverse geomorphology and larger area of the basin. Only H2O+ and Total Organic Carbon concentrations normalised to Al

  6. Treeline dynamics with climate change at Central Nepal Himalaya

    Gaire, N. P.; Koirala, M.; Bhuju, D. R.; Borgaonkar, H. P.

    2013-10-01

    Global climate change has multidimensional impacts with several biological fingerprints, and treeline shifting in tandem with climate change is a widely observed phenomenon in various parts of the world. In Nepal several impacts of climate change on physical environments have been observed. However, studies on the biological impacts are lacking. This dendrochronological study was carried out at the treeline ecotone (3750-4003 m a.s.l.) in the Kalchuman Lake (Kal Tal) area of the Manaslu Conservation Area in central Nepal Himalaya with the aim to study the dynamic impact of climate change at the treeline. The study provides an insight into regeneration and treeline dynamics over the past 200 yr. Two belt transect plots (size: 20 m wide, >250 m long) were laid covering forest line, treeline as well as tree species Abies spectabilis and Betula utilis was done and their tree-cores were collected. Stand character and age distribution revealed an occurrence of more matured B. utilis (max. age 198 yr old) compared to A. spectabilis (max. age 160 yr). A. spectabilis contained an overwhelmingly high population (89%) of younger plants (plant density as well as upward shifting in the studied treeline ecotones was observed. Thus, two species presented species-specific responses to climate change and much wider differences anticipated in their population status as climate continues to cha spectabilis correlated negatively with the mean monthly temperature of May-August of the current year and with September of the previous year. The regeneration of A. spectabilis, on the other hand, was positively related with May-August precipitation and January-April temperature of the current year. The reconstructed average summer temperature (May-August) using tree ring data revealed alternate period of cool and warm period with warming in the 2nd half of the 20th century. Further palynological and geochronological studies of sediments of the Kalchuman Lake would advance our understanding

  7. Great paleoearthquakes of the central Himalaya and their implications for seismotectonic models and seismic hazard assessment

    Yule, D.; Lave, J.; Kumar, S.; Wesnousky, S.

    2007-12-01

    A growing body of paleoseismic data collected from more than ten sites in Nepal and India has documented large coseismic displacements at the thrust front (Main Frontal thrust (MFT)). Three great earthquakes have been identified: in ~A.D. 1410 centered north of Delhi, in A.D. 1505 centered in far-western Nepal, and in ~A.D. 1100 centered in eastern Nepal. It is noteworthy that wherever exposures of the MFT have been studied estimates of surface slip are consistently large; with a range of 9-26 m. Historic accounts of the 1505 earthquake describe strong shaking across a 600-km-long stretch of the central Himalaya. A magnitude for this event is estimated to be >Mw 8.5 based on the maximum extent of felt strong shaking, the 100 km width of the locked portion of the basal detachment, and an average slip of 10-15 m. Though no historic accounts exist for the ~1410 and ~1100 earthquakes, the similarity between their surface expression and the 1505 rupture suggests that these events may have been equally large. These surface-rupturing earthquakes are distinctly different from a host of blind thrust events (Mw 7.5-8.4) that dominate the historic record since A.D. 1505. Both blind and emergent earthquakes are presumed to rupture the basal detachment and release interseismic strain that accumulates near the base of the High Himalaya and carry it to the thrust front where Holocene shortening occurs at rates of 15-22 mm/yr. Whereas the surface-rupturing earthquakes clearly deform the thrust front, survey data from the region affected by the 1906 Dehra Dun earthquake suggest that blind events contribute negligible, if any, deformation to the frontal structures. The factors controlling whether or not surface rupture occurs on the MFT remain unconstrained, but the current data seem to suggest that >Mw 8.5 surface-rutpuring earthquakes are the primary contributors to the shortening observed at the thrust front. It is sobering to consider that the 'Big One' has not struck the

  8. Water soluble ions in aerosols (TSP) : Characteristics, sources and seasonal variation over the central Himalayas, Nepal

    Tripathee, Lekhendra; Kang, Shichang; Zhang, Qianggong; Rupakheti, Dipesh

    2016-04-01

    Atmspheric pollutants transported from South Asia could have adverse impact on the Himalayan ecosystems. Investigation of aerosol chemistry in the Himalayan region in Nepal has been limited on a temporal and spatial scale to date. Therefore, the water-soluble ionic composition of aerosol using TSP sampler was investigated for a year period from April 2013 to March 2014 at four sites Bode, Dhunche, Lumbini and Jomsom characterized as an urban, rural, semi-urban and remote sites in Nepal. During the study period, the highest concentration of major cation was Ca2+ with an average concentration of 8.91, 2.17, 7.85 and 6.42 μg m-3 and the highest concentration of major anion was SO42- with an average of 10.96, 4.06, 6.85 and 3.30 μg m-3 at Bode, Dhunche, Lumbini and Jomsom respectively. The soluble ions showed the decrease in concentrations from urban to the rural site. Correlations and PCA analysis suggested that that SO42-, NO3- and NH4+ were derived from the anthropogenic sources where as the Ca2+ and Mg2+ were from crustal sources. Our results also suggest that the largest acid neutralizing agent at our sampling sites in the central Himalayas are Ca2+ followed by NH4+. Seasonal variations of soluble ions in aerosols showed higher concentrations during pre-monsoon and winter (dry-periods) due to limited precipitation amount and lower concentrations during the monsoon which can be explained by the dilution effect, higher the precipitation lower the concentration. K+ which is regarded as the tracer of biomss burning had a significant peaks during pre-monsoon season when the forest fires are active around the regions. In general, the results of this study suggests that the atmospheric chemistry is influenced by natural and anthropogenic sources. Thus, soluble ionic concentrations in aerosols from central Himalayas, Nepal can provide a useful database to assess atmospheric environment and its impacts on human health and ecosystem in the southern side of central

  9. Deciphering the contrasting climatic trends between the central Himalaya and Karakoram with 36 years of WRF simulations

    Norris, Jesse; Carvalho, Leila M. V.; Jones, Charles; Cannon, Forest

    2018-02-01

    Glaciers over the central Himalaya have retreated at particularly rapid rates in recent decades, while glacier mass in the Karakoram appears stable. To address the meteorological factors associated with this contrast, 36 years of Climate Forecast System Reanalyses (CFSR) are dynamically downscaled from 1979 to 2015 with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model over High Mountain Asia at convection permitting grid spacing (6.7 km). In all seasons, CFSR shows an anti-cyclonic warming trend over the majority of High Mountain Asia, but distinctive differences are observed between the central Himalaya and Karakoram in winter and summer. In winter and summer, the central Himalaya has been under the influence of an anti-cyclonic trend, which in summer the downscaling shows has reduced cloud cover, leading to significant warming and reduced snowfall in recent years. Contrastingly, the Karakoram has been near the boundary between large-scale cyclonic and anti-cyclonic trends and has not experienced significant snowfall or temperature changes in winter or summer, despite significant trends in summer of increasing cloud cover and decreasing shortwave radiation. This downscaling does not identify any trends over glaciers in closer neighboring regions to the Karakoram (e.g., Hindu Kush and the western Himalaya) where glaciers have retreated as over the central Himalaya, indicating that there are other factors driving glacier mass balance that this downscaling is unable to capture. While this study does not fully explain the Karakoram anomaly, the identified trends detail important meteorological contributions to the observed differences between central Himalaya and Karakoram glacier evolution in recent decades.

  10. Phenotypic differentiation of Barilius bendelisis (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) in four rivers from Central Indian Himalaya.

    Mir, Javaid Iqbal; Saxena, Neha; Patiyal, Rabindar Singh; Sahoo, Prabhati Kumari

    2015-03-01

    Barilius bendelisis, commonly known as Indian Hill Trout is an upland water fish of South East Asia. It belongs to the family Cyprinidae and dwells in shallow, clear and cold water. In this study, the intraspecific variation of Barilius bendelisis, on the basis of morphometric characters, was investigated. Altogether, 402 specimens were collected from four rivers in the Central Indian Himalaya. A truss network was constructed by interconnecting 12 landmarks to yield 30 distance variables that were extracted from digital images of specimens using tpsDig2 and PAST software. Allometric transformed truss measurements were subjected to univariate analysis of variance, factor analysis and discriminant analysis. All variables exhibited significant differences between the populations. Altogether 88% of the specimens were classified into their original populations (81.98% under a 'leave-one-out' procedure). With factor analysis measurements of the head region, the middle portion and the caudal region had high loadings on the first and second axis. The results indicated that B. bendelisis has significant phenotypic heterogeneity between the geographically isolated regions of Central Indian Himalaya. We hypothesize that the marked interspecific variation in B. bendelisis is the result of local ecological conditions.

  11. Study of Aerosol Optical Properties Over Two Sites in the Foothills of the Central Himalayas

    Rupakheti, D.; Kang, S.; Cong, Z.; Rupakheti, M.; Tripathee, L.; Panday, A. K.; Holben, B.

    2018-04-01

    Atmospheric aerosol possesses impacts on climate system and ecological environments, human health and agricultural productivity. The environment over Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau region are continuously degraded due to the transport of pollution from the foothills of the Himalayas; mostly the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP). Thus, analysis of aerosol optical properties over two sites; Lumbini and Kathmandu (the southern slope of central Himalayas) using AERONET's CIMEL sun photometer were conducted in this study. Aerosol optical depth (AOD at 500 nm), angstrom exponent (α or AE), volume size distribution (VSD), single scattering albedo (SSA) and asymmetry parameter (AP) were studied for 2013-2014 and the average AOD was found to be: 0.64 ± 0.41 (Lumbini) and 0.45 ± 0.30 (Kathmandu). The average AE was found to be: 1.25 ± 0.24 and 1.26 ± 0.18 respectively for two sites. The relation between AOD and AE was used to discriminate the aerosol types over these sites which indicated anthropogenic, mixed and biomass burning origin aerosol constituted the major aerosol types in Lumbini and Kathmandu. A clear bi-modal distribution of aerosol volume size was observed with highest volume concentration during the post-monsoon season in fine mode and pre-monsoon season in coarse mode (Lumbini) and highest value over both modes during pre-monsoon season in Kathmandu. The single scattering albedo (SSA) and asymmetry parameter (AP) analyses suggested aerosols over the Himalayan foothills sites are dominated by absorbing and anthropogenic aerosols from urban and industrial activities and biomass burning. Long-term studies are essential to understand and characterize the nature of aerosol over this research gap zone.

  12. Seasonal Changes in Bird Species and Feeding Guilds along Elevational Gradients of the Central Himalayas, Nepal

    Katuwal, Hem Bahadur; Basnet, Khadga; Khanal, Bhaiya; Devkota, Shiva; Rai, Sanjeev Kumar; Gajurel, Jyoti Prasad; Scheidegger, Christoph; Nobis, Michael P.

    2016-01-01

    The Himalayas are a global hotspot for bird diversity with a large number of threatened species, but little is known about seasonal changes in bird communities along elevational gradients in this region. We studied the seasonality of bird diversity in six valleys of the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Using 318 plots with a 50 m radius, located from 2200 to 3800 m a.s.l., and repeated sampling during different seasons (mainly pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon), we analyzed 3642 occurrences of 178 species. Birds classified in the literature as resident were more species-rich than migratory birds (140 vs. 38 species). In all six valleys and within the studied elevation range, species richness of all birds showed a peak at mid-elevation levels of 2600 or 3000 m a.s.l. Similar patterns were found for the most species-rich feeding guilds of insectivores (96 species) and omnivores (24 species), whereas the species richness of herbivores (37 species including frugivores) increased towards higher elevations. Among these feeding guilds, only species richness of insectivores showed pronounced seasonal changes with higher species numbers during post-monsoon season. Similarly, individual bird species showed distinct spatio-temporal distribution patterns, with transitions from species dominated by elevational differences to those characterized by strong seasonal changes. In an era of climate change, the results demonstrate that individual bird species as well as feeding guilds might greatly differ in their responses to climate warming and changes in the seasonality of the precipitation regime, two aspects of climate change which should not be analyzed independently. PMID:27367903

  13. Responses of Montane Forest to Climate Variability in the Central Himalayas of Nepal

    Janardan Mainali

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate changes are having dramatic ecological impacts in mid- to high-latitude mountain ranges where growth conditions are limited by climatic variables such as duration of growing season, moisture, and ambient temperature. We document patterns of forest vegetative response for 5 major alpine forest communities to current climate variability in the central Himalayas of Nepal to provide a baseline for assessment of future changes, as well as offer some insight into the trajectory of these changes over time. We used mean monthly surface air temperature and rainfall and the monthly averaged normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI to compare relative vegetation productivity among forest types and in relation to both climatic variables. Because changes in temperature and precipitation are directly manifested as changes in phenology, we examined current vegetative responses to climate variability in an effort to determine which climate variable is most critical for different alpine forest types. Our results show that correlations differ according to vegetation type and confirm that both precipitation and temperature affect monthly NDVI values, though more significant correlations were found with temperature data. The temperature response was more consistent because at the maximum increased temperatures, there was still an ongoing increase in vegetative vigor. This indicates that temperature is still the major limiting factor for plant growth at higher-elevation sites. This part of the Himalayas has abundant moisture, and some forest types are already saturated in terms of growth in relation to precipitation. Clear increases in productivity are documented on the upper treeline ecotones, and these systems are likely to continue to have increasing growth rates.

  14. Integrated hazard assessment of Cirenmaco glacial lake in Zhangzangbo valley, Central Himalayas

    Wang, Weicai; Gao, Yang; Iribarren Anacona, Pablo; Lei, Yanbin; Xiang, Yang; Zhang, Guoqing; Li, Shenghai; Lu, Anxin

    2018-04-01

    Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) have recently become one of the primary natural hazards in the Himalayas. There is therefore an urgent need to assess GLOF hazards in the region. Cirenmaco, a moraine-dammed lake located in the upstream portion of Zhangzangbo valley, Central Himalayas, has received public attention after its damaging 1981 outburst flood. Here, by combining remote sensing methods, bathymetric survey and 2D hydraulic modeling, we assessed the hazard posed by Cirenmaco in its current status. Inter-annual variation of Cirenmaco lake area indicates a rapid lake expansion from 0.10 ± 0.08 km2 in 1988 to 0.39 ± 0.04 km2 in 2013. Bathymetric survey shows the maximum water depth of the lake in 2012 was 115 ± 2 m and the lake volume was calculated to be 1.8 × 107 m3. Field geomorphic analysis shows that Cirenmaco glacial lake is prone to GLOFs as mass movements and ice and snow avalanches can impact the lake and the melting of the dead ice in the moraine can lower the dam level. HEC-RAS 2D model was then used to simulate moraine dam failure of the Cirenmaco and assess GLOF impacts downstream. Reconstruction of Cirenmaco 1981 GLOF shows that HEC-RAS can produce reasonable flood extent and water depth, thus demonstrate its ability to effectively model complex GLOFs. GLOF modeling results presented can be used as a basis for the implementation of disaster prevention and mitigation measures. As a case study, this work shows how we can integrate different methods to GLOF hazard assessment.

  15. Late Quaternary glaciation history of monsoon-dominated Dingad basin, central Himalaya, India

    Shukla, Tanuj; Mehta, Manish; Jaiswal, Manoj K.; Srivastava, Pradeep; Dobhal, D. P.; Nainwal, H. C.; Singh, Atul K.

    2018-02-01

    The study presents the Late Quaternary glaciation history of monsoon-dominated Dokriani Glacier valley, Dingad basin, central Himalaya, India. The basin is tested for the mechanism of landforms preservation in high relief and abundant precipitation regimes of the Higher Himalaya. Field geomorphology and remote sensing data, supported by Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating enabled identification of five major glacial events of decreasing magnitude. The oldest glacial stage, Dokriani Glacial Stage I (DGS-I), extended down to ∼8 km (2883 m asl) from present-day snout (3965 m asl) followed by other four glaciations events viz. DGS-II, DGS-III, DGS-IV and DGS-V terminating at ∼3211, 3445, 3648 and ∼3733 m asl respectively. The DGS-I glaciation (∼25-∼22 ka BP) occurred during early Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) -2, characterized as Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) extension of the valley. Similarly, DGS-II stage (∼14-∼11 ka BP) represents the global cool and dry Older Dryas and Younger Dryas event glaciation. The DGS-III glaciation (∼8 ka BP) coincides with early Holocene 8.2 ka cooling event, the DGS-IV glaciations (∼4-3.7 ka BP) corresponds to 4.2 ka cool and drier event, DGS-V (∼2.7-∼1 ka BP) represents the cool and moist late Holocene glacial advancement of the valley. This study suggests that the Dokriani Glacier valley responded to the global lowering of temperature and variable precipitation conditions. This study also highlights the close correlation between the monsoon-dominated valley glaciations and Northern Hemisphere cooling events influenced by North Atlantic climate.

  16. IMPACT OF ALTITUDES ON SOIL CHARACTERISTICS AND ENZYMATIC ACTIVITIES IN FOREST AND FALLOW LANDS OF ALMORA DISTRICT OF CENTRAL HIMALAYA

    B. R. Maurya; Vimal Singh; P. P. Dhyani

    2014-01-01

    Abstract: Altitude is one of the major topographical factors which influence the fertility status of soil. Population explosion has rooted deforestation at different altitudes to bring more area under cultivation leading to fallow lands. Objective of this study was to assess the impact of altitude on electro-chemical properties and enzymatic activities of forest and fallow land soils of Almora district of Central Himalaya. Seventy soil samples were collected from different altitudes of forest...

  17. Atmospheric carbonaceous aerosols from Indo-Gangetic Plain and Central Himalaya: impact of anthropogenic sources.

    Ram, Kirpa; Sarin, M M

    2015-01-15

    In the present-day scenario of growing anthropogenic activities, carbonaceous aerosols contribute significantly (∼20-70%) to the total atmospheric particulate matter mass and, thus, have immense potential to influence the Earth's radiation budget and climate on a regional to global scale. In addition, formation of secondary organic aerosols is being increasingly recognized as an important process in contributing to the air-pollution and poor visibility over urban regions. It is, thus, essential to study atmospheric concentrations of carbonaceous species (EC, OC and WSOC), their mixing state and absorption properties on a regional scale. This paper presents the comprehensive data on emission sources, chemical characteristics and optical properties of carbonaceous aerosols from selected urban sites in the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) and from a high-altitude location in the central Himalaya. The mass concentrations of OC, EC and WSOC exhibit large spatio-temporal variability in the IGP. This is attributed to seasonally varying emissions from post-harvest agricultural-waste burning, their source strength, boundary layer dynamics and secondary aerosol formation. The high concentrations of OC and SO4(2-), and their characteristic high mass scattering efficiency, contribute significantly to the aerosol optical depth and scattering coefficient. This has implications to the assessment of single scattering albedo and aerosol radiative forcing on a regional scale. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Spatiotemporal variations of hydrogeochemistry and its controlling factors in the Gandaki River Basin, Central Himalaya Nepal.

    Pant, Ramesh Raj; Zhang, Fan; Rehman, Faizan Ur; Wang, Guanxing; Ye, Ming; Zeng, Chen; Tang, Handuo

    2018-05-01

    The characterization and assessment of water quality in the head water region of Himalaya is necessary, given the immense importance of this region in sustaining livelihoods of people and maintaining ecological balance. A total of 165 water samples were collected from 55 sites during pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons in 2016 from the Gandaki River Basin of the Central Himalaya, Nepal. The pH, EC values and TDS concentrations were measured in-situ and the concentrations of major ions (Ca 2+ , Mg 2+ , K + , Na + , Cl - , SO 4 2- , NO 3 - ) and Si were analyzed in laboratory. Correlation matrices, paired t-test, cluster analysis, principal component analysis (PCA), the Piper, Gibbs, and Mixing plots, and saturation index were applied to the measurements for evaluating spatiotemporal variation of the major ions. The results reveal mildly alkaline pH values and the following pattern of average ionic dominance: Ca 2+ >Mg 2+ >Na + >K + for cations and HCO 3 - >SO 4 2 - >Cl - >NO 3 - for anions. The results of PCA, Gibbs plot and the ionic relationships displayed the predominance of geogenic weathering processes in areas with carbonate dominant lithology. This conclusion is supported by geochemically different water facies identified in the Piper plot as Ca-HCO 3 (83.03%), mixed Ca-Mg-Cl (12.73.0%) and Ca-Cl (4.24%). Pronounced spatiotemporal heterogeneity demonstrates the influence of climatic, geogenic and anthropogenic conditions. For instance, the Ca 2+ -SO 4 2- , Mg 2+ -SO 4 2- and Na + -Cl - pairs exhibit strong positive correlation with each other in the upstream region, whereas relatively weak correlation in the downstream region, likely indicating the influence of evapo-crystallization processes in the upstream region. Analyses of the suitability of the water supply for drinking and irrigation reveal that the river has mostly retained its natural water quality but poses safety concern at a few locations. Knowledge obtained through this study can

  19. Recent trends (2003-2013) of land surface heat fluxes on the southern side of the central Himalayas, Nepal

    Amatya, Pukar Man; Ma, Yaoming; Han, Cunbo; Wang, Binbin; Devkota, Lochan Prasad

    2015-12-01

    Novice efforts have been made in order to study the regional distribution of land surface heat fluxes on the southern side of the central Himalayas utilizing high-resolution remotely sensed products, but these have been on instantaneous scale. In this study the Surface Energy Balance System model is used to obtain annual averaged maps of the land surface heat fluxes for 11 years (2003-2013) and study their annual trends on the central Himalayan region. The maps were derived at 5 km resolution using monthly input products ranging from satellite derived to Global Land Data Assimilation System meteorological data. It was found that the net radiation flux is increasing as a result of decreasing precipitation (drier environment). The sensible heat flux did not change much except for the northwestern High Himalaya and High Mountains. In northwestern High Himalaya sensible heat flux is decreasing because of decrease in wind speed, ground-air temperature difference, and increase in winter precipitation, whereas in High Mountains it is increasing due to increase in ground-air temperature difference and high rate of deforestation. The latent heat flux has an overall increasing trend with increase more pronounced in the lower regions compared to high elevated regions. It has been reported that precipitation is decreasing with altitude in this region. Therefore, the increasing trend in latent heat flux can be attributed to increase in net radiation flux under persistent forest cover and irrigation land used for agriculture.

  20. Rb-Sr systematics of granitoids of the central gneissic complex, Arunachal Himalaya: implications on tectonism, stratigraphy and source

    Dikshitulu, G R; Dhana Raju, R [Dept. of Atomic Energy, Bangalore (India). Atomic Minerals Division; Pandey, B K; Krishna, Veena [Department of Atomic Energy, Hyderabad (India). Atomic Minerals Div.

    1995-01-01

    Precambrian central gneissic complex (CGC) in the Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh comprises the oldest Sela group thrusting over the Bomdila group, with the Salari group being the youngest. Augen gneiss of the Bomdila group, granite of the Salari group and hornblende granite gneiss of the Sela group define Rb-Sr isochron ages of 1914{+-}23, 1536{+-}60 and 481{+-} 23 Ma, respectively. The 481 Ma age on the hornblende gneiss from the oldest Sela group is attributed to the resetting of Rb-Sr clock due to tectonic imprint of the main central thrust (MCT). The 1914 Ma age of the augen gneiss, the oldest reported so far from the Arunachal Himalaya, is either the emplacement age or latest metamorphic event. The 1536 Ma old emplacement age of the granite intruding the black shale of the Salari group disproves the hitherto considered Gondwana age for the black shale, and, thus, necessitates revision in its chronostratigraphy ({sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr), of the hornblende granite gneiss and Salari granite is high (0.719 and 0.709) indicating a crustal source for these, whereas it is low for the augen gneiss (0.703) suggesting an inherited signature of the upper mantle source together with some crustal contamination. Rb-Sr whole-rock isochron ages from the Arunachal Himalaya are correlatable with those reported from other parts of the Indian Himalaya. These cumulatively point to at least three major periods of activity in the Himalaya at ca. 2060{+-}250, 1530{+-}90 and 530{+-} 75 Ma. (author). 22 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs.

  1. Rb-Sr systematics of granitoids of the central gneissic complex, Arunachal Himalaya: implications on tectonism, stratigraphy and source

    Dikshitulu, G.R.; Dhana Raju, R.; Pandey, B.K.; Krishna, Veena

    1995-01-01

    Precambrian central gneissic complex (CGC) in the Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh comprises the oldest Sela group thrusting over the Bomdila group, with the Salari group being the youngest. Augen gneiss of the Bomdila group, granite of the Salari group and hornblende granite gneiss of the Sela group define Rb-Sr isochron ages of 1914±23, 1536±60 and 481± 23 Ma, respectively. The 481 Ma age on the hornblende gneiss from the oldest Sela group is attributed to the resetting of Rb-Sr clock due to tectonic imprint of the main central thrust (MCT). The 1914 Ma age of the augen gneiss, the oldest reported so far from the Arunachal Himalaya, is either the emplacement age or latest metamorphic event. The 1536 Ma old emplacement age of the granite intruding the black shale of the Salari group disproves the hitherto considered Gondwana age for the black shale, and, thus, necessitates revision in its chronostratigraphy ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr), of the hornblende granite gneiss and Salari granite is high (0.719 and 0.709) indicating a crustal source for these, whereas it is low for the augen gneiss (0.703) suggesting an inherited signature of the upper mantle source together with some crustal contamination. Rb-Sr whole-rock isochron ages from the Arunachal Himalaya are correlatable with those reported from other parts of the Indian Himalaya. These cumulatively point to at least three major periods of activity in the Himalaya at ca. 2060±250, 1530±90 and 530± 75 Ma. (author). 22 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs

  2. Elevational pattern of bird species richness and its causes along a central Himalaya gradient, China.

    Pan, Xinyuan; Ding, Zhifeng; Hu, Yiming; Liang, Jianchao; Wu, Yongjie; Si, Xingfeng; Guo, Mingfang; Hu, Huijian; Jin, Kun

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the relative importance of six variables: area, the mid-domain effect, temperature, precipitation, productivity, and habitat heterogeneity on elevational patterns of species richness for breeding birds along a central Himalaya gradient in the Gyirong Valley, the longest of five canyons in the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve. We conducted field surveys in each of twelve elevational bands of 300 m between 1,800 and 5,400 m asl four times throughout the entire wet season. A total of 169 breeding bird species were recorded and most of the species (74%) were small-ranged. The species richness patterns of overall, large-ranged and small-ranged birds were all hump-shaped, but with peaks at different elevations. Large-ranged species and small-ranged species contributed equally to the overall richness pattern. Based on the bivariate and multiple regression analyses, area and precipitation were not crucial factors in determining the species richness along this gradient. The mid-domain effect played an important role in shaping the richness pattern of large-ranged species. Temperature was negatively correlated with overall and large-ranged species but positively correlated with small-ranged species. Productivity was a strong explanatory factor among all the bird groups, and habitat heterogeneity played an important role in shaping the elevational richness patterns of overall and small-ranged species. Our results highlight the need to conserve primary forest and intact habitat in this area. Furthermore, we need to increase conservation efforts in this montane biodiversity hotspot in light of increasing anthropogenic activities and land use pressure.

  3. Spatial analysis and statistical modelling of snow cover dynamics in the Central Himalayas, Nepal

    Weidinger, Johannes; Gerlitz, Lars; Böhner, Jürgen

    2017-04-01

    General circulation models are able to predict large scale climate variations in global dimensions, however small scale dynamic characteristics, such as snow cover and its temporal variations in high mountain regions, are not represented sufficiently. Detailed knowledge about shifts in seasonal ablation times and spatial distribution of snow cover are crucial for various research interests. Since high mountain areas, for instance the Central Himalayas in Nepal, are generally remote, it is difficult to obtain data in high spatio-temporal resolutions. Regional climate models and downscaling techniques are implemented to compensate coarse resolution. Furthermore earth observation systems, such as MODIS, also permit bridging this gap to a certain extent. They offer snow (cover) data in daily temporal and medium spatial resolution of around 500 m, which can be applied as evaluation and training data for dynamical hydrological and statistical analyses. Within this approach two snow distribution models (binary snow cover and fractional snow cover) as well as one snow recession model were implemented for a research domain in the Rolwaling Himal in Nepal, employing the random forest technique, which represents a state of the art machine learning algorithm. Both bottom-up strategies provide inductive reasoning to derive rules for snow related processes out of climate (temperature, precipitation and irradiance) and climate-related topographic data sets (elevation, aspect and convergence index) obtained by meteorological network stations, remote sensing products (snow cover - MOD10-A1 and land surface temperatures - MOD11-A1) along with GIS. Snow distribution is predicted reliably on a daily basis in the research area, whereas further effort is necessary for predicting daily snow cover recession processes adequately. Swift changes induced by clear sky conditions with high insolation rates are well represented, whereas steady snow loss still needs continuing effort. All

  4. Snow Leopard and Himalayan Wolf: Food Habits and Prey Selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal.

    Madhu Chetri

    Full Text Available Top carnivores play an important role in maintaining energy flow and functioning of the ecosystem, and a clear understanding of their diets and foraging strategies is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. In this paper, we compared diets and prey selection of snow leopards and wolves based on analyses of genotyped scats (snow leopards n = 182, wolves n = 57, collected within 26 sampling grid cells (5×5 km that were distributed across a vast landscape of ca 5000 km2 in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Within the grid cells, we sampled prey abundances using the double observer method. We found that interspecific differences in diet composition and prey selection reflected their respective habitat preferences, i.e. snow leopards significantly preferred cliff-dwelling wild ungulates (mainly bharal, 57% of identified material in scat samples, whereas wolves preferred typically plain-dwellers (Tibetan gazelle, kiang and argali, 31%. Livestock was consumed less frequently than their proportional availability by both predators (snow leopard = 27%; wolf = 24%, but significant avoidance was only detected among snow leopards. Among livestock species, snow leopards significantly preferred horses and goats, avoided yaks, and used sheep as available. We identified factors influencing diet composition using Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Wolves showed seasonal differences in the occurrence of small mammals/birds, probably due to the winter hibernation of an important prey, marmots. For snow leopard, occurrence of both wild ungulates and livestock in scats depended on sex and latitude. Wild ungulates occurrence increased while livestock decreased from south to north, probably due to a latitudinal gradient in prey availability. Livestock occurred more frequently in scats from male snow leopards (males: 47%, females: 21%, and wild ungulates more frequently in scats from females (males: 48%, females: 70%. The sexual difference agrees with

  5. Snow Leopard and Himalayan Wolf: Food Habits and Prey Selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal

    Odden, Morten; Wegge, Per

    2017-01-01

    Top carnivores play an important role in maintaining energy flow and functioning of the ecosystem, and a clear understanding of their diets and foraging strategies is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. In this paper, we compared diets and prey selection of snow leopards and wolves based on analyses of genotyped scats (snow leopards n = 182, wolves n = 57), collected within 26 sampling grid cells (5×5 km) that were distributed across a vast landscape of ca 5000 km2 in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Within the grid cells, we sampled prey abundances using the double observer method. We found that interspecific differences in diet composition and prey selection reflected their respective habitat preferences, i.e. snow leopards significantly preferred cliff-dwelling wild ungulates (mainly bharal, 57% of identified material in scat samples), whereas wolves preferred typically plain-dwellers (Tibetan gazelle, kiang and argali, 31%). Livestock was consumed less frequently than their proportional availability by both predators (snow leopard = 27%; wolf = 24%), but significant avoidance was only detected among snow leopards. Among livestock species, snow leopards significantly preferred horses and goats, avoided yaks, and used sheep as available. We identified factors influencing diet composition using Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Wolves showed seasonal differences in the occurrence of small mammals/birds, probably due to the winter hibernation of an important prey, marmots. For snow leopard, occurrence of both wild ungulates and livestock in scats depended on sex and latitude. Wild ungulates occurrence increased while livestock decreased from south to north, probably due to a latitudinal gradient in prey availability. Livestock occurred more frequently in scats from male snow leopards (males: 47%, females: 21%), and wild ungulates more frequently in scats from females (males: 48%, females: 70%). The sexual difference agrees with previous

  6. Snow Leopard and Himalayan Wolf: Food Habits and Prey Selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal.

    Chetri, Madhu; Odden, Morten; Wegge, Per

    2017-01-01

    Top carnivores play an important role in maintaining energy flow and functioning of the ecosystem, and a clear understanding of their diets and foraging strategies is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. In this paper, we compared diets and prey selection of snow leopards and wolves based on analyses of genotyped scats (snow leopards n = 182, wolves n = 57), collected within 26 sampling grid cells (5×5 km) that were distributed across a vast landscape of ca 5000 km2 in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Within the grid cells, we sampled prey abundances using the double observer method. We found that interspecific differences in diet composition and prey selection reflected their respective habitat preferences, i.e. snow leopards significantly preferred cliff-dwelling wild ungulates (mainly bharal, 57% of identified material in scat samples), whereas wolves preferred typically plain-dwellers (Tibetan gazelle, kiang and argali, 31%). Livestock was consumed less frequently than their proportional availability by both predators (snow leopard = 27%; wolf = 24%), but significant avoidance was only detected among snow leopards. Among livestock species, snow leopards significantly preferred horses and goats, avoided yaks, and used sheep as available. We identified factors influencing diet composition using Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Wolves showed seasonal differences in the occurrence of small mammals/birds, probably due to the winter hibernation of an important prey, marmots. For snow leopard, occurrence of both wild ungulates and livestock in scats depended on sex and latitude. Wild ungulates occurrence increased while livestock decreased from south to north, probably due to a latitudinal gradient in prey availability. Livestock occurred more frequently in scats from male snow leopards (males: 47%, females: 21%), and wild ungulates more frequently in scats from females (males: 48%, females: 70%). The sexual difference agrees with previous

  7. Effective radium concentration across the Main Central Thrust in the Nepal Himalayas

    Girault, Frederic; Perrier, Frederic; Gajurel, Ananta Prasad; Bhattarai, Mukunda; Koirala, Bharat Prasad; Bollinger, Laurent; Fort, Monique; France-Lanord, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Effective radium concentration (EC(Ra)) of 622 rock samples from 6 different sites in the Nepal Himalayas was measured in the laboratory using radon accumulation experiments. These sites, located from Lower Dolpo in Western Nepal to Eastern Nepal, are divided into 9 transects which cut across the Main Central Thrust zone (MCT zone) separating low-grade metamorphic Lesser Himalayan Sequence (LHS) units to the south and higher-grade metamorphic Greater Himalayan Sequence (GHS) units to the north. This boundary remains difficult to define and is the subject of numerous debates. EC(Ra) values range from 0.03 ± 0.03 to 251.6 ± 4.0 Bq kg -1 , and appear to be representative of the formation and clearly related to the local lithology. For example, for the Upper Trisuli and Langtang Valleys site in Central Nepal, the most studied place with 350 available EC(Ra) values, LHS rocks are characterized by a mean value of 5.3 ± 1.3 Bq kg -1 while GHS rocks of Formations I and II show significantly lower values with a mean value of 0.69 ± 0.11 Bq kg -1 , thus leading to a LHS/GHS EC(Ra) ratio of 7.8 ± 2.2. This behavior was systematically confirmed by other transects (ratio of 7.9 ± 2.2 in all other sites), with a threshold ECRa value, separating LHS from GHS, of 0.8 Bq kg -1 , thus bringing forward a novel method to characterize, within the MCT shear zone, which rocks belong to the GHS and LHS units. In addition, Ulleri augen gneiss, belonging to LHS rocks, occurred in several transects and were characterized by high EC(Ra) values (17.9 ± 4.3 Bq kg -1 ), easy to distinguish from the GHS gneisses, characterized by low EC(Ra) values at the bottom of the GHS, thus providing a further argument to locate the MCT. The measurement of EC(Ra) data, thus, provides a cost-effective method which can be compared with neodymium isotopic anomalies or estimates of the peak metamorphic temperature. This study, therefore, shows that the measurements of EC(Ra) provides additional information

  8. Environmental Feedbacks of the Subalpine Ecotone Species in the Langtang National Park, Central Nepal Himalaya

    Bhatta, K. P.; Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Münzbergová, Z.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 47, č. 6 (2015), s. 2115-2125 ISSN 0556-3321 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Ecological amplitude/niche * Ecotone vegetation * Indicator species * Species response curve * Multivariate analysis * Nepal Himalaya Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.658, year: 2015

  9. Rainfall-runoff-soil and nutrient loss relationships for plot size areas of bhetagad watershed in Central Himalaya, India

    Kothyari, B. P.; Verma, P. K.; Joshi, B. K.; Kothyari, U. C.

    2004-06-01

    The Bhetagad watershed in Kumaon Hills of Central Himalaya represents for hydro-meteorological conditions of the middle mountains over the Hindu Kush Himalayas. This study was conducted to assess the runoff, soil loss and subsequent nutrient losses from different prominent land uses in the Bhetagad watershed of Central Himalayas. Four experimental natural plots each of 20 m length and 5 m width were delineated on four most common land covers viz, pine forests, tea plantation, rainfed agricultural and degraded lands. Monthly values of runoff, soil loss and nutrient loss, for four successive years (1998-2001), from these land uses were quantified following standard methodologies. The annual runoff in these plots ranged between 51 and 3593 m 3/ha while the annual soil loss varied between 0.06 and 5.47 tonnes/ha during the entire study period. The loss of organic matter was found to be maximum in plot having pine forest followed by plot having tea plantation as the land cover. Annual loss of total N (6.24 kg/ha), total P (3.88 kg/ha) and total K (5.98 kg/ha),per unit loss of soil (tonnes/ha), was maximum from the plot having rainfed agricultural crop as the land cover. The loss of total N ranged between 0.30 and 21.27 kg/ha, total P ranged between 0.14 and 9.42 kg/ha, total K ranged from 0.12 to 11.31 kg/ha whereas organic matter loss varied between 3.65 and 255.16 kg/ha, from different experimental plots. The findings will lead towards devising better conservation/management options for mountain land use systems.

  10. Chemical evidences of the effects of global change in high elevation lakes in Central Himalaya, Nepal

    Tartari, Gianni; Lami, Andrea; Rogora, Michela; Salerno, Franco

    2016-04-01

    It is well known that the lakes integrate the pressure of their surrounding terrestrial environment and the climatic variability. Both the water column and sediments are capable to accumulate signals of global change, such as warming of the deep layers or mutation of diverse biological records (e.g., fossil diatoms) and the nutrient loads variability affecting the trophic state. Typically, the biological responses to climate change have been studied in several types of lakes, while documented changes in water chemistry are much rare. A long term study of 20 high altitude lakes located in central southern Himalaya (Mt Everest) conducted since the 90s has highlighted a general change in the chemical composition of the lake water: a substantial rise in the ionic content was observed, particularly pronounced in the case of sulphate. In a couple of these lakes, monitored on an annual basis, the sulphate concentrations increased over 4-fold. A change in the composition of atmospheric wet deposition, as well as a possible influence of decrease in seasonal snow cover duration, which could have exposed larger basin surfaces to alteration processes, were excluded. The chemical changes proved to be mainly related to the sulphide oxidation processes occurring in the bedrocks or the hydrographic basins. In particular, the oxidation processes, considered as the main factor causing the sulphate increase, occurred in subglacial environments characterized by higher glacier velocities causing higher glacier shrinkage. Associated to this mechanism, the exposure of fresh mineral surfaces to the atmosphere may have contributed also to increases in the alkalinity of lakes. Weakened monsoon of the past two decades may have partially contributed to the solute enrichment of the lakes through runoff waters. The almost synchronous response of the lakes studied, which differs in terms of the presence of glaciers in their basins, highlights the fact that the increasing ionic content of lake

  11. Fate of Metals in Relation to Water and Sediment Properties in a Subtropical Lake in Central Himalaya, India.

    Inaotombi, Shaikhom; Gupta, Prem Kumar

    2017-04-01

    Lakes of Himalaya are one of the most fragile ecosystems on earth. Tourism and urban development in the upland region strongly affect its water resources. The high rate of sedimentation and organic matter deposition alters the ecological state of sediment bed, which indirectly influences on dynamics of metallic elements. We investigated spatial and temporal variations of water and sediment characteristic in Lake Sattal of Central Himalaya, India. Samples were collected seasonally from four sampling locations from January 2011 to December 2012. Pearson's correlation and Canonical correspondence analysis (CCAs) were applied to examine the dynamics and behaviors of heavy metals. Concentrations of elements were in the order of fluoride (Fl) > zinc (Zn) > copper (Cu) > iron (Fe) > manganese (Mn). Sand size fraction was higher in the littoral zone while clay particle was dominant in the profundal zone of the lake. Dissolved oxygen at sediment-water-interface (SWI) and water temperature were the major factors influencing the dynamics of metallic contents in the water column. Spatially, total organic matter (TOM) was higher in the deeper portion of the lake. Our study revealed that mobility of Fe is temperature-dependent, whereas speciation of Mn and Cu are primarily controlled by the suboxic condition of SWI in organic-rich site. Upland lakes are more vulnerable to anoxic condition and have severe implications on heavy metals speciation. Proper implementation of land use policies and management practices, including stormwater detention, can be integrated into resolving such problems.

  12. An integrated investigation of lake storage and water level changes in the Paiku Co basin, central Himalayas

    Lei, Yanbin; Yao, Tandong; Yang, Kun; Bird, Broxton W.; Tian, Lide; Zhang, Xiaowen; Wang, Weicai; Xiang, Yang; Dai, Yufeng; Lazhu; Zhou, Jing; Wang, Lei

    2018-07-01

    Since the late 1990s, lakes in the southern Tibetan Plateau (TP) have shrunk considerably, which contrasts with the rapid expansion of lakes in the interior TP. Although these spatial trends have been well documented, the underlying hydroclimatic mechanisms are not well understood. Since 2013, we have carried out comprehensive water budget observations at Paiku Co, an alpine lake in the central Himalayas. In this study, we investigate water storage and lake level changes on seasonal to decadal time scales based on extensive in-situ measurements and satellite observations. Bathymetric surveys show that Paiku Co has a mean and maximum water depth of 41.1 m and 72.8 m, respectively, and its water storage was estimated to be 109.3 × 108 m3 in June 2016. On seasonal scale between 2013 and 2017, Paiku Co's lake level decreased slowly between January and May, increased considerably between June and September, and then decreased rapidly between October and January. On decadal time scale, Paiku Co's lake level decreased by 3.7 ± 0.3 m and water storage reduced by (10.2 ± 0.8) × 108 m3 between 1972 and 2015, accounting for 8.5% of the total water storage in 1972. This change is consistent with a trend towards drier conditions in the Himalaya region during the recent decades. In contrast, glacial lakes within Paiku Co's basin expanded rapidly, indicating that, unlike Paiku Co, glacial meltwater was sufficient to compensate the effect of the reduced precipitation.

  13. Characteristics of Sediment Transportation in Two Contrasting Oak Forested Watersheds in the Lesser Central Himalaya, India

    Qazi, N. U. Q.; Bruijnzeel, S., Sr.; Rai, S. P., Sr.

    2015-12-01

    Sediment transfer from mountainous areas to lowland areas is one of the most important geomorphological processes globally with the bulk of the sediment yield from such areas typically deriving from mass wastage processes. This study presents monthly, seasonal and annual variations in sediment transport (both suspended load and bedload) as well as dissolved loads over three consecutive water years (2008-2011) for two small forested watersheds with contrasting levels of forest disturbance in the Lesser Himalaya of Northwest India. Seasonal and annual suspended sediment yields were strongly influenced by amounts of rainfall and streamflow and showed a 10-63 fold range between wet and dry years. Of the annual load, some 93% was produced on average during the monsoon season (June-September). Sediment production by the disturbed forest catchment was 1.9-fold (suspended sediment) to 5.9-fold (bedload) higher than that for the well-stocked forest catchment. By contrast, dissolved loads varied much less between years, seasons (although minimal during the dry summer season), and degree of forest disturbance. Total mechanical denudation rates were 1.6 times and 4.6 times larger than chemical denudation rates for the little disturbed and the heavily disturbed forest catchment, respectively whereas overall denudation rates were estimated at 0.69 and 1.04 mm per 1000 years, respectively.

  14. Seismicity Pattern and Fault Structure in the Central Himalaya Seismic Gap Using Precise Earthquake Hypocenters and their Source Parameters

    Mendoza, M.; Ghosh, A.; Rai, S. S.

    2017-12-01

    The devastation brought on by the Mw 7.8 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015, reconditioned people to the high earthquake risk along the Himalayan arc. It is therefore imperative to learn from the Gorkha earthquake, and gain a better understanding of the state of stress in this fault regime, in order to identify areas that could produce the next devastating earthquake. Here, we focus on what is known as the "central Himalaya seismic gap". It is located in Uttarakhand, India, west of Nepal, where a large (> Mw 7.0) earthquake has not occurred for over the past 200 years [Rajendran, C.P., & Rajendran, K., 2005]. This 500 - 800 km long along-strike seismic gap has been poorly studied, mainly due to the lack of modern and dense instrumentation. It is especially concerning since it surrounds densely populated cities, such as New Delhi. In this study, we analyze a rich seismic dataset from a dense network consisting of 50 broadband stations, that operated between 2005 and 2012. We use the STA/LTA filter technique to detect earthquake phases, and the latest tools contributed to the Antelope software environment, to develop a large and robust earthquake catalog containing thousands of precise hypocentral locations, magnitudes, and focal mechanisms. By refining those locations in HypoDD [Waldhauser & Ellsworth, 2000] to form a tighter cluster of events using relative relocation, we can potentially illustrate fault structures in this region with high resolution. Additionally, using ZMAP [Weimer, S., 2001], we perform a variety of statistical analyses to understand the variability and nature of seismicity occurring in the region. Generating a large and consistent earthquake catalog not only brings to light the physical processes controlling the earthquake cycle in an Himalayan seismogenic zone, it also illustrates how stresses are building up along the décollment and the faults that stem from it. With this new catalog, we aim to reveal fault structure, study

  15. EMISSION OF SOIL GAS RADON CONCENTRATION AROUND MAIN CENTRAL THRUST IN UKHIMATH (RUDRAPRAYAG) REGION OF GARHWAL HIMALAYA.

    Aswal, Sunita; Kandari, Tushar; Sahoo, B K; Bourai, A A; Ramola, R C

    2016-10-01

    In this paper, the result of systematic measurement of the soil gas radon concentrations is discussed and the background values are defined along and around the Main Central Thrust (MCT) in Ukhimath region of Garhwal Himalaya, India. The Ukhimath region is being subjected to intense neotectonic activities like earthquake and landslide. For the systematic study, the measurement has been done in grid pattern form along and across the MCT. The soil gas radon concentrations were measured using RAD7 with appropriate accessories and followed proper protocol proposed by the manufacturer. The soil gas concentration was measured at different depths 10, 30 and 50 cm with a wide range of different points from the MCT. At 10 cm depth, the soil gas radon concentration was found to vary from 125 to 800 Bq m -3 with an average of 433 Bq m -3 ; at 30 cm, it was found to vary from 203 to 32 500 Bq m -3 with an average of 2387 Bq m -3 ; and at 50 cm, it was found to vary from 1330 to 46 000 Bq m -3 with an average of 15 357 Bq m -3 The data analysis clearly reveals anomalous values along the fault. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Emission of soil gas radon concentration around main central thrust in Ukhimath (Rudraprayag) region of Garhwal Himalaya

    Aswal, Sunita; Kandari, Tushar; Bourai, A.A.; Ramola, R.C.; Sahoo, B.K.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, the result of systematic measurement of the soil gas radon concentrations is discussed and the background values are defined along and around the Main Central Thrust (MCT) in Ukhimath region of Garhwal Himalaya, India. The Ukhimath region is being subjected to intense neotectonic activities like earthquake and landslide. For the systematic study, the measurement has been done in grid pattern form along and across the MCT. The soil gas radon concentrations were measured using RAD7 with appropriate accessories and followed proper protocol proposed by the manufacturer. The soil gas concentration was measured at different depths 10, 30 and 50 cm with a wide range of different points from the MCT. At 10 cm depth, the soil gas radon concentration was found to vary from 125 to 800 Bq m -3 with an average of 433 Bq m -3 ; at 30 cm, it was found to vary from 203 to 32 500 Bq m -3 with an average of 2387 Bq m -3 ; and at 50 cm, it was found to vary from 1330 to 46 000 Bq m -3 with an average of 15 357 Bq m -3 . The data analysis clearly reveals anomalous values along the fault. (authors)

  17. An investigation into the energy use in relation to yield of traditional crops in central Himalaya, India

    Chandra, Abhishek; Saradhi, P. Pardha; Rao, K.S.; Saxena, K.G.; Maikhuri, R.K.

    2011-01-01

    Agrobiodiversity and agroecosystem management have changed in central Himalaya due to increasing emphasis on market economy and the motive 'maximization of profit'. Such changes have benefited local people in economic terms, but at the same time increased their vulnerability to environmental and economic risks. The present study addressed the issue of how the ecological functions that are provided by agrobiodiversity translate into tangible benefits for the society. Important characteristics of agrodiversity management are the use of bullocks for draught power, human energy as labour, crop residues as animal feed and animal waste mixed with forest litter as organic input to restore soil fertility levels. The present analysis of resource input-output energy currency in traditional crop production indicated that inputs into different crop systems were significantly higher during kharif season compared to rabi season both under rainfed and irrigated conditions. The maximum input for crop during rabi season (second crop season) was about 31% of that of kharif season (first crop season after fallow) under rainfed conditions. Under irrigated conditions the rabi season input was about 63% of kharif season input. Under rainfed conditions, paddy sole cropping required maximum inputs (231.31 GJ/ha) as compared to mustard sole cropping (11.79 GJ/ha). The present investigation revealed that the total energy inputs and outputs are higher for irrigated agriculture as compared to rainfed system, the difference in inputs is about 5 fold and outputs is about 2 fold. The output-input ratio showed that irrigated systems have higher values as compared to rainfed systems. -- Highlights: → Agriculture continues to be biggest employment provider in the region. → Ecological functions that are provided by agrobiodiversity translate into tangible benefits for the society. → Analysis of resource input-output energy currency in traditional crop production. → Improvements in crop

  18. Population dynamics and reproductive biology of Barilius bendelisis (Cyprinidae: Cypriniformes) from river Gaula of Central Indian Himalaya.

    Saxena, Neha; Patiyal, Rabindar Singh; Dube, Kiran; Tiwari, Virendra K

    2016-09-01

    The Indian hill trout cyprinid, Barilius bendelisis is a member of family Cyprinidae that dwells in shallow, cold, and clear water. In this study, growth parameters and reproductive biology of Indian hill trout, Barilius bendelisis from river Gaula, Central Himalaya region, India, were studied. The length-frequency data were grouped sex wise and were analyzed to determine the growth and mortality parameters using the computer software programme, FAO-ICLARM Stock Assessment Tool (FISAT II). Altogether, 501 individuals were collected from river Gaula (November 2013-October 2014) and were preserved in formalin for further analysis. The results showed that the female outnumbered the male population. The minimum GSI of females was observed in the month of October (4.93 ± 0.26) and for males in the month of June and July (0.093 ± 0.12), whereas, the maximum value was in the month of April for both females (13.47 ± 0.52) and males (1.21 ± 0.12). Fluctuation in GSI values had a bimodal pattern showing two peaks during March-May and August-September in both the sexes, indicating the common spawning period of fish. The slope of regression showed the negative allometric growth for both males and females (b= 2.65 for male and b= 2.5 for female). A significant relationship between length and weight was observed in the present study (p < 0.05). The ELEFAN-I estimated L∞ and K of the von Bertalanffy growth factor for males (17.33 cm and 0.310 per year), females (17.33 cm and 0.3 per year) and pooled sexes (17.33 cm and 0.240 per year). The results indicated that Barilius bendelisis is a small sized fish having negative allometric growth that spawns twice a year. Thus, the present study on biological traits represents the baseline information for effective production, conservation and restoration planning.

  19. Role of snow-albedo feedback in higher elevation warming over the Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau and Central Asia

    Ghatak, Debjani; Sinsky, Eric; Miller, James

    2014-01-01

    Recent literature has shown that surface air temperature (SAT) in many high elevation regions, including the Tibetan Plateau (TP) has been increasing at a faster rate than at their lower elevation counterparts. We investigate projected future changes in SAT in the TP and the surrounding high elevation regions (between 25°–45°N and 50°–120°E) and the potential role snow-albedo feedback may have on amplified warming there. We use the Community Climate System Model version 4 (CCSM4) and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) model which have different spatial resolutions as well as different climate sensitivities. We find that surface albedo (SA) decreases more at higher elevations than at lower elevations owing to the retreat of the 0 °C isotherm and the associated retreat of the snow line. Both models clearly show amplified warming over Central Asian mountains, the Himalayas, the Karakoram and Pamir during spring. Our results suggest that the decrease of SA and the associated increase in absorbed solar radiation (ASR) owing to the loss of snowpack play a significant role in triggering the warming over the same regions. Decreasing cloud cover in spring also contributes to an increase in ASR over some of these regions in CCSM4. Although the increase in SAT and the decrease in SA are greater in GFDL than CCSM4, the sensitivity of SAT to changes in SA is the same at the highest elevations for both models during spring; this suggests that the climate sensitivity between models may differ, in part, owing to their corresponding treatments of snow cover, snow melt and the associated snow/albedo feedback. (letter)

  20. Glacier Change, Supraglacial Debris Expansion and Glacial Lake Evolution in the Gyirong River Basin, Central Himalayas, between 1988 and 2015

    Sheng Jiang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Himalayan glacier changes in the context of global climate change have attracted worldwide attention due to their profound cryo-hydrological ramifications. However, an integrated understanding of the debris-free and debris-covered glacier evolution and its interaction with glacial lake is still lacking. Using one case study in the Gyirong River Basin located in the central Himalayas, this paper applied archival Landsat imagery and an automated mapping method to understand how glaciers and glacial lakes interactively evolved between 1988 and 2015. Our analyses identified 467 glaciers in 1988, containing 435 debris-free and 32 debris-covered glaciers, with a total area of 614.09 ± 36.69 km2. These glaciers decreased by 16.45% in area from 1988 to 2015, with an accelerated retreat rate after 1994. Debris-free glaciers retreated faster than debris-covered glaciers. As a result of glacial downwasting, supraglacial debris coverage expanded upward by 17.79 km2 (24.44%. Concurrent with glacial retreat, glacial lakes increased in both number (+41 and area (+54.11%. Glacier-connected lakes likely accelerated the glacial retreat via thermal energy transmission and contributed to over 15% of the area loss in their connected glaciers. On the other hand, significant glacial retreats led to disconnections from their proglacial lakes, which appeared to stabilize the lake areas. Continuous expansions in the lakes connected with debris-covered glaciers, therefore, need additional attention due to their potential outbursts. In comparison with precipitation variation, temperature increase was the primary driver of such glacier and glacial lake changes. In addition, debris coverage, size, altitude, and connectivity with glacial lakes also affected the degree of glacial changes and resulted in the spatial heterogeneity of glacial wastage across the Gyirong River Basin.

  1. The nature and evolution of the Main Central Thrust: Structural and geochronological constraints from the Sikkim Himalaya, NE India

    Mukhopadhyay, Dilip K.; Chakraborty, Sumit; Trepmann, Claudia; Rubatto, Daniela; Anczkiewicz, Robert; Gaidies, Fred; Dasgupta, Somnath; Chowdhury, Priyadarshi

    2017-06-01

    The Main Central Thrust (MCT) is a prominent continental-scale fault within the Himalaya. Its definition has been the topic of some debate in the literature. After a brief consideration of the state of discussion to clarify the definition we use in this work, we report features from the field- to the microstructural- scale of a particularly well-exposed section in Sikkim, NE India. The nature of the protoliths as well as the overlying and underlying rocks is characterized in terms of ε-Nd. The dates of motion on the fault are constrained using U-Pb geochronology of zircon and monazite from pegmatitic dikes that cross-cut the deformation fabric. It is found that the mechanism of deformation recorded in the fault zone rocks is different compared to that found in the overlying Greater Himalayan (GH) or the underlying Lesser Himalayan (LH) rocks. The GH and LH have different protolith characteristics as well. Combined with existing data on P-T history, dates of metamorphism, and cooling- and exhumation-rates of the GH and the LH, our measurements show that major motion on this fault occurred before 20 Ma at 450-700 °C but after peak metamorphism of rocks (750-800 °C) in this zone. Isolated events occurred in this zone as late as 11 Ma, possibly in the brittle domain. This underscores the pulsed nature of movement over an extended period on such major faults, and the related difficulties in dating fault movement, determination of the rates of movement, and designating a fault plane as in- or out-of-sequence within a propagating deformation front.

  2. Reforesting severely degraded grassland in the Lesser Himalaya of Central Nepal: effects on soil hydraulic conductivity and overland flow production

    Ghimire, C.P.; Bonell, M.; Bruijnzeel, L.A.; Coles, N.A.; Lubczynski, M.W.

    2013-01-01

    Severely degraded hillslopes in the Lesser Himalaya challenge local communities as a result of the frequent occurrence of overland flow and erosion during the rainy season and water shortages during the dry season. Reforestation is often perceived as an effective way of restoring predisturbance

  3. The Katmandu and Gosainkund nappes, central Nepal Himalaya (cartography, structure, metamorphism, geochemistry and radio-chronology)

    Rai, S.M.

    1998-10-01

    In central Nepal, a multidisciplinary study has been carried out to characterize and distinguish the crystalline nappes of Katmandu and Gosainkund from the Midland formations. Two principal deformations are recorded: one ductile, syn-metamorphic, marked by microstructures (stretching lineation, S-C structures, etc. ), another, post-metamorphic, recorded by an anticline, roughly EW -directed, and by NNE-SSW -directed folds. The syn-metamorphic P-T conditions show differences between Katmandu Crystalline Nappe (900-720 MPa; 700-480 deg C) and Gosainkund Crystalline Nappe (890-580 MPa; 750-590 deg C). They exhibit well preserved inverted metamorphism between the Upper Midland Formations (750 Mpa; 560 deg C) and the Gosainkund Nappe. In central Nepal, the augen gneisses and the 'Lesser Himalayan' Cambro-Ordovician granites bear similar petrographic and geochemical characteristics which suggest a common origin. However, the geological setting and age of the Proterozoic Ulleri augen gneiss rule out correlation with these formations. 40 Ar/ 39 Ar analyses of muscovite, indicate cooling ages younger from south to north: 22 to 13 Ma in the Katmandu Nappe, 16 to 5 Ma in the Gosainkund Nappe, and 12 to 6 Ma in the Midland Formation. The principal points summarized by this study are the following: clear distinction between two nappes marked by their litho-stratigraphy and metamorphism; the ductile movement of MCT in the north of Katmandu is blocked since approximately 25 Ma; the late emplacement and late or common post metamorphic history of the two nappes; but earlier cooling history of the Katmandu nappe; the present uplift of the Katmandu region, underlined by the intense micro-seismicity, concerns indifferently the two nappes that form a single tectonic block at present; the combined uplift of the two nappes is due to the displacement on a ramp of major decollement surface. (author)

  4. Comment on: "Morphotectonic records of neotectonic activity in the vicinity of North Almora Thrust Zone, Central Kumaun Himalaya", by Kothyari et al. 2017, Geomorphology (285), 272-286

    Rana, Naresh; Sharma, Shubhra

    2018-01-01

    The recent paper by Kothyari et al. (2017) suggests that the North Almora Thrust (NAT) and a few subsidiary faults in the central Lesser Himalaya were active during the late Quaternary and Holocene. Considering that in the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) dominated and tectonically active central Himalaya, the landscape owes their genesis to a coupling between the tectonics and climate. The present study would have been a good contribution toward improving our understanding on this important topic. Unfortunately, the inferences drawn by the authors are based on inadequate/vague field observations, supported by misquoted references, which reflects their poor understanding of the geomorphic processes. For example, authors implicate tectonics in the landform evolution without providing an argument to negate the role of climate (ISM). In view of this, the above contribution does not add anything substantial in improving our existing knowledge of climate-tectonic interaction in landform evolution. On the contrary, if the above publication is not questioned for its scientific merit, it may create enormous confusion and proliferation of wrong scientific data and inferences.

  5. Refining the structural framework of the Khimti Khola region, east-central Nepal Himalaya, using quartz textures and c-axis fabrics

    Larson, Kyle P.

    2018-02-01

    New quartz texture and c-axis fabric data from across the Paleoproterozoic Ulleri-Phaplu-Melung orthogneiss in the Khimti Khola region of east central Nepal provide new constraints on the internal structural framework of the Himalaya that help shed light on the convergence accommodation processes active in the upper portion of the crust during orogenesis. These data outline a strain history that varies across the unit. Deformation near the base of the unit occurred at ∼605 (±50) °C with evidence of significant static recrystallization and recovery preserved in quartz, whereas deformation near the top of the unit occurred at ∼540 (±50) ˚C with quartz characterized by dynamic recrystallization mechanisms. The strength of the quartz c-axis fabrics follows a similar spatial pattern, with those from near the top of the unit recording stronger fabrics than those measured from lower in the unit. Together, these data are interpreted to indicate strain localization, possibly at progressively lower temperature, near the top of the Ulleri-Phaplu-Melung orthogneiss. This interpretation is consistent with cooling ages that indicate the upper boundary of the unit coincides with an out-of-sequence shear zone. This study not only provides a structural characterization of the shear zone, helping to refine the kinematic framework of this portion of the Himalaya, but also confirms the utility of fabric strength analysis in deciphering strain localization within pervasively deformed rocks.

  6. Atmospheric pollution for trace elements in the remote high-altitude atmosphere in central Asia as recorded in snow from Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) of the Himalayas.

    Lee, Khanghyun; Hur, Soon Do; Hou, Shugui; Hong, Sungmin; Qin, Xiang; Ren, Jiawen; Liu, Yapping; Rosman, Kevin J R; Barbante, Carlo; Boutron, Claude F

    2008-10-01

    A series of 42 snow samples covering over a one-year period from the fall of 2004 to the summer of 2005 were collected from a 2.1-m snow pit at a high-altitude site on the northeastern slope of Mt. Everest. These samples were analyzed for Al, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Cd, Sb, Pb, and Bi in order to characterize the relative contributions from anthropogenic and natural sources to the fallout of these elements in central Himalayas. Our data were also considered in the context of monsoon versus non-monsoon seasons. The mean concentrations of the majority of the elements were determined to be at the pg g(-1) level with a strong variation in concentration with snow depth. While the mean concentrations of most of the elements were significantly higher during the non-monsoon season than during the monsoon season, considerable variability in the trace element inputs to the snow was observed during both periods. Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Sb, and Bi displayed high crustal enrichment factors (EFc) in most samples, while Cr, Ni, Rb, and Pb show high EFc values in some of the samples. Our data indicate that anthropogenic inputs are potentially important for these elements in the remote high-altitude atmosphere in the central Himalayas. The relationship between the EFc of each element and the Al concentration indicates that a dominant input of anthropogenic trace elements occurs during both the monsoon and non-monsoon seasons, when crustal contribution is relatively minor. Finally, a comparison of the trace element fallout fluxes calculated in our samples with those recently obtained at Mont Blanc, Greenland, and Antarctica provides direct evidence for a geographical gradient of the atmospheric pollution with trace elements on a global scale.

  7. Glacial Lake Outburst Flood Risk in the Poiqu/Bhote Koshi/Sun Koshi River Basin in the Central Himalayas

    Narendra Raj Khanal

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The Himalayas have experienced several glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs, and the risk of GLOFs is now increasing in the context of global warming. Poiqu watershed in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China, also known as the Bhote Koshi and Sun Koshi downstream in Nepal, has been identified as highly prone to GLOFs. This study explored the distribution of and changes in glacial lakes, past GLOFs and the resulting losses, risk from potential future GLOFs, and risk reduction initiatives within the watershed. A relationship was established between lake area and volume of lake water based on data from 33 lakes surveyed within the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, and the maximum possible discharge was estimated using this and other previously developed empirical equations. We recommend different strategies to reduce GLOF risk and highlight the need for a glacial lake monitoring and early-warning system. We also recommend strong regional cooperation, especially on issues related to transboundary rivers.

  8. DEM-based delineation for improving geostatistical interpolation of rainfall in mountainous region of Central Himalayas, India

    Kumari, Madhuri; Singh, Chander Kumar; Bakimchandra, Oinam; Basistha, Ashoke

    2017-10-01

    In mountainous region with heterogeneous topography, the geostatistical modeling of the rainfall using global data set may not confirm to the intrinsic hypothesis of stationarity. This study was focused on improving the precision of the interpolated rainfall maps by spatial stratification in complex terrain. Predictions of the normal annual rainfall data were carried out by ordinary kriging, universal kriging, and co-kriging, using 80-point observations in the Indian Himalayas extending over an area of 53,484 km2. A two-step spatial clustering approach is proposed. In the first step, the study area was delineated into two regions namely lowland and upland based on the elevation derived from the digital elevation model. The delineation was based on the natural break classification method. In the next step, the rainfall data was clustered into two groups based on its spatial location in lowland or upland. The terrain ruggedness index (TRI) was incorporated as a co-variable in co-kriging interpolation algorithm. The precision of the kriged and co-kriged maps was assessed by two accuracy measures, root mean square error and Chatfield's percent better. It was observed that the stratification of rainfall data resulted in 5-20 % of increase in the performance efficiency of interpolation methods. Co-kriging outperformed the kriging models at annual and seasonal scale. The result illustrates that the stratification of the study area improves the stationarity characteristic of the point data, thus enhancing the precision of the interpolated rainfall maps derived using geostatistical methods.

  9. Gas exchange variability and water use efficiency of thirty landraces of rice still under cultivation in Kumaun region of the Indian Central Himalaya.

    Agnihotri, R K; Palni, L M S; Chandra, Suman; Joshi, S C

    2009-10-01

    Gas exchange characteristics of thirty landraces of rice (Oryza sativa L.) along with an introduced variety VL-206 (recommended high yielding variety for rainfed uplands of the Indian Central Himalaya, ICH), grown in earthen pots and kept in the open at the Institute nursery at Kosi (1150m amsl, 79°38'10″E and 29°38'15″N) were studied. The photosynthetic rate (Pn) and other related parameters were found to vary considerably among landraces. Based on the comparison of Pn of landraces with that of VL-206, these were categorized into two groups: i) high (〉6.0 µmol m(-2)s(-1)), and ii) low (water use efficiency (WUE), mesophyll efficiency (low Ci/gs ratio) and chlorophyll (Chl) content in comparison to landraces in the low Pn group. However, significant differences were not found in the intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) between landraces belonging to the high and low Pn groups. Differences among landraces were found with regard to dark respiration; landraces with low Pn respired proportionately more of the carbon fixed than those of high Pn group. Based on the studied gas exchange characteristics Saurajubawan, Syaudhan and Taichin, local landraces of rice, may be identified as potential cultivars with high Pn and WUE.

  10. Structure, Composition and Dominance � Diversity Relations in Three Forest Types of a Part of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Central Himalaya, India

    Dinesh Prasad SEMWAL

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Plant diversity assessment was carried out on the basis of species richness, tree crown cover and dominance-diversity pattern in different forests of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS, Central Himalaya, India during 2006-2009. The maximum tree species richness (10 spp. was observed in Rhododendron arboreum Sm. dominated mixed forest and minimum in Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus. forest (8 spp.. Maximum tree density (170 trees/ha and high importance value index (89.68 was found in Q. semecarpifolia Sm. forest. Mixed Rhododendron arboreum Sm. forest showed high tree diversity (H=0.96, while shrub were found highest in Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus forest (H=0.62 and herb diversity in Q. semecarpifolia Sm.forest (H=0.73 respectively Maximum tree crown cover (82% was observed in Rhododendron arboreum Sm. dominated mixed forest while minimum tree crown cover (58% was observed in Q. semecarpifolia Sm. forest. In general random distribution pattern (A/F ratio was observed in all three types of forest. Alterations of land use pattern and population pressure are found to be main cause of increase in resources exploitation and that ultimately decreases species richness and diversity. Agro-forestry, alternate use of sites for resources and providing a recovery period to the forests are some of the strategies suggested for forest conservation, management and sustainable utilization of resources by the local people.

  11. Sediment transport dynamics in the Central Himalaya: assessing during monsoon the erosion processes signature in the daily suspended load of the Narayani river

    Morin, Guillaume; Lavé, Jérôme; Lanord, Christian France; Prassad Gajurel, Ananta

    2017-04-01

    The evolution of mountainous landscapes is the result of competition between tectonic and erosional processes. In response to the creation of topography by tectonics, fluvial, glacial, and hillslope denudation processes erode topography, leading to rock exhumation and sediment redistribution. When trying to better document the links between climate, tectonic, or lithologic controls in mountain range evolution, a detailed understanding of the influence of each erosion process in a given environment is fundamental. At the scale of a whole mountain range, a systematic survey and monitoring of all the geomorphologic processes at work can rapidly become difficult. An alternative approach can be provided by studying the characteristics and temporal evolution of the sediments exported out of the range. In central Himalaya, the Narayani watershed presents contrasted lithologic, geochemical or isotopic signatures of the outcropping rocks as well as of the erosional processes: this particular setting allows conducting such type of approach by partly untangling the myopic vision of the spatial integration at the watershed scale. Based on the acquisition and analysis of a new dataset on the daily suspended load concentration and geochemical characteristics at the mountain outlet of one of the largest Himalayan rivers (drainage area = 30000 km2) bring several important results on Himalayan erosion, and on climatic and process controls. 1. Based on discrete depth sampling and on daily surface sampling of suspended load associated to flow characterization through ADCP measurements, we were first able to integrate sediment flux across a river cross-section and over time. We estimate for 2010 year an equivalent erosion rate of 1.8 +0.35/-0.2 mm/yr, and over the last 15 years, using past sediment load records from the DHM of Nepal, an equivalent erosion rate of 1.6 +0.3/-0.2 mm/yr. These rates are also in close agreement with the longer term ( 500 yrs) denudation rates of 1.7 mm

  12. Using U-Th-Pb petrochronology to determine rates of ductile thrusting: Time windows into the Main Central Thrust, Sikkim Himalaya

    Mottram, Catherine M.; Parrish, Randall R.; Regis, Daniele; Warren, Clare J.; Argles, Tom W.; Harris, Nigel B. W.; Roberts, Nick M. W.

    2015-07-01

    Quantitative constraints on the rates of tectonic processes underpin our understanding of the mechanisms that form mountains. In the Sikkim Himalaya, late structural doming has revealed time-transgressive evidence of metamorphism and thrusting that permit calculation of the minimum rate of movement on a major ductile fault zone, the Main Central Thrust (MCT), by a novel methodology. U-Th-Pb monazite ages, compositions, and metamorphic pressure-temperature determinations from rocks directly beneath the MCT reveal that samples from 50 km along the transport direction of the thrust experienced similar prograde, peak, and retrograde metamorphic conditions at different times. In the southern, frontal edge of the thrust zone, the rocks were buried to conditions of 550°C and 0.8 GPa between 21 and 18 Ma along the prograde path. Peak metamorphic conditions of 650°C and 0.8-1.0 GPa were subsequently reached as this footwall material was underplated to the hanging wall at 17-14 Ma. This same process occurred at analogous metamorphic conditions between 18-16 Ma and 14.5-13 Ma in the midsection of the thrust zone and between 13 Ma and 12 Ma in the northern, rear edge of the thrust zone. Northward younging muscovite 40Ar/39Ar ages are consistently 4 Ma younger than the youngest monazite ages for equivalent samples. By combining the geochronological data with the >50 km minimum distance separating samples along the transport axis, a minimum average thrusting rate of 10 ± 3 mm yr-1 can be calculated. This provides a minimum constraint on the amount of Miocene India-Asia convergence that was accommodated along the MCT.

  13. Tectonic and metamorphic discontinuities in the Greater Himalayan Sequence in Central Himalaya: in-sequence shearing by accretion from the Indian plate

    Carosi, Rodolfo

    2016-04-01

    The Greater Himalayan Sequence (GHS) is the main metamorphic unit of the Himalayas, stretching for over 2400 km, bounded to the South by the Main Central Thrust (MCT) and to the North by the South Tibetan Detachment (STD) whose contemporanous activity controlled its exhumation between 23 and 17 Ma (Godin et al., 2006). Several shear zones and/or faults have been recognized within the GHS, usually regarded as out of sequence thrusts. Recent investigations, using a multitechnique approach, allowed to recognize a tectonic and metamorphic discontinuity, localized in the mid GHS, with a top-to-the SW sense of shear (Higher Himalayan Discontinuity: HHD) (Carosi et al., 2010; Montomoli et al., 2013). U-(Th)-Pb in situ monazite ages provide temporal constraint of the acitivity of the HHD from ~ 27-25 Ma to 18-17 Ma. Data on the P and T evolution testify that this shear zone affected the tectono-metamorphic evolution of the belt and different P and T conditions have been recorded in the hanging-wall and footwall of the HHD. The HHD is a regional tectonic feature running for more than 700 km, dividing the GHS in two different portions (Iaccarino et al., 2015; Montomoli et al., 2015). The occurrence of even more structurally higher contractional shear zone in the GHS (above the HHD): the Kalopani shear zone (Kali Gandaki valley, Central Nepal), active from ~ 41 to 30 Ma (U-Th-Pb on monazite) points out to a more complex deformation pattern in the GHS characterized by in sequence shearing. The actual proposed models of exhumation of the GHS, based exclusively on the MCT and STD activities, are not able to explain the occurrence of the HHD and other in-sequence shear zones. Any model of the tectonic and metamorphic evolution of the GHS should account for the occurrence of the tectonic and metamorphic discontinuities within the GHS and its consequences on the metamorphic paths and on the assembly of Himalayan belt. References Godin L., Grujic D., Law, R. D. & Searle, M. P. 2006

  14. Seasonal and diurnal variations in methane and carbon dioxide in the Kathmandu Valley in the foothills of the central Himalayas

    Singh Mahata, Khadak; Panday, Arnico Kumar; Rupakheti, Maheswar; Singh, Ashish; Naja, Manish; Lawrence, Mark G.

    2017-10-01

    The SusKat-ABC (Sustainable Atmosphere for the Kathmandu Valley-Atmospheric Brown Clouds) international air pollution measurement campaign was carried out from December 2012 to June 2013 in the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding regions in Nepal. The Kathmandu Valley is a bowl-shaped basin with a severe air pollution problem. This paper reports measurements of two major greenhouse gases (GHGs), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), along with the pollutant CO, that began during the campaign and were extended for 1 year at the SusKat-ABC supersite in Bode, a semi-urban location in the Kathmandu Valley. Simultaneous measurements were also made during 2015 in Bode and a nearby rural site (Chanban) ˜ 25 km (aerial distance) to the southwest of Bode on the other side of a tall ridge. The ambient mixing ratios of methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor, and carbon monoxide (CO) were measured with a cavity ring-down spectrometer (G2401; Picarro, USA) along with meteorological parameters for 1 year (March 2013-March 2014). These measurements are the first of their kind in the central Himalayan foothills. At Bode, the annual average mixing ratios of CO2 and CH4 were 419.3 (±6.0) ppm and 2.192 (±0.066) ppm, respectively. These values are higher than the levels observed at background sites such as Mauna Loa, USA (CO2: 396.8 ± 2.0 ppm, CH4: 1.831 ± 0.110 ppm) and Waliguan, China (CO2: 397.7 ± 3.6 ppm, CH4: 1.879 ± 0.009 ppm) during the same period and at other urban and semi-urban sites in the region, such as Ahmedabad and Shadnagar (India). They varied slightly across the seasons at Bode, with seasonal average CH4 mixing ratios of 2.157 (±0.230) ppm in the pre-monsoon season, 2.199 (±0.241) ppm in the monsoon, 2.210 (±0.200) ppm in the post-monsoon, and 2.214 (±0.209) ppm in the winter season. The average CO2 mixing ratios were 426.2 (±25.5) ppm in the pre-monsoon, 413.5 (±24.2) ppm in the monsoon, 417.3 (±23.1) ppm in the post-monsoon, and 421.9 (±20

  15. Seasonal and diurnal variations in methane and carbon dioxide in the Kathmandu Valley in the foothills of the central Himalayas

    K. S. Mahata

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The SusKat-ABC (Sustainable Atmosphere for the Kathmandu Valley–Atmospheric Brown Clouds international air pollution measurement campaign was carried out from December 2012 to June 2013 in the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding regions in Nepal. The Kathmandu Valley is a bowl-shaped basin with a severe air pollution problem. This paper reports measurements of two major greenhouse gases (GHGs, methane (CH4 and carbon dioxide (CO2, along with the pollutant CO, that began during the campaign and were extended for 1 year at the SusKat-ABC supersite in Bode, a semi-urban location in the Kathmandu Valley. Simultaneous measurements were also made during 2015 in Bode and a nearby rural site (Chanban  ∼  25 km (aerial distance to the southwest of Bode on the other side of a tall ridge. The ambient mixing ratios of methane (CH4, carbon dioxide (CO2, water vapor, and carbon monoxide (CO were measured with a cavity ring-down spectrometer (G2401; Picarro, USA along with meteorological parameters for 1 year (March 2013–March 2014. These measurements are the first of their kind in the central Himalayan foothills. At Bode, the annual average mixing ratios of CO2 and CH4 were 419.3 (±6.0 ppm and 2.192 (±0.066 ppm, respectively. These values are higher than the levels observed at background sites such as Mauna Loa, USA (CO2: 396.8 ± 2.0 ppm, CH4: 1.831 ± 0.110 ppm and Waliguan, China (CO2: 397.7 ± 3.6 ppm, CH4: 1.879 ± 0.009 ppm during the same period and at other urban and semi-urban sites in the region, such as Ahmedabad and Shadnagar (India. They varied slightly across the seasons at Bode, with seasonal average CH4 mixing ratios of 2.157 (±0.230 ppm in the pre-monsoon season, 2.199 (±0.241 ppm in the monsoon, 2.210 (±0.200 ppm in the post-monsoon, and 2.214 (±0.209 ppm in the winter season. The average CO2 mixing ratios were 426.2 (±25.5 ppm in the pre-monsoon, 413.5 (±24.2 ppm in the monsoon

  16. Paleofloods records in Himalaya

    Srivastava, P.; Kumar, A.; Chaudhary, S.; Meena, N.; Sundriyal, Y. P.; Rawat, S.; Rana, N.; Perumal, R. J.; Bisht, P.; Sharma, D.; Agnihotri, R.; Bagri, D. S.; Juyal, N.; Wasson, R. J.; Ziegler, A. D.

    2017-05-01

    We use paleoflood deposits to reconstruct a record of past floods for the Alaknanda-Mandakini Rivers (Garhwal Himalaya), the Indus River (Ladakh, NW Himalaya) and the Brahmaputra River (NE Himalaya). The deposits are characterized by sand-silt couplets, massive sand beds, and from debris flow sediment. The chronology of paleoflood deposits, established by Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) and 14C AMS dating techniques, indicates the following: (i) The Alaknanda-Mandakini Rivers experienced large floods during the wet and warm Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA); (ii) the Indus River experienced at least 14 large floods during the Holocene climatic optimum, when flood discharges were likely an order of magnitude higher than those of modern floods; and (iii) the Brahmaputra River experienced a megaflood between 8 and 6 ka. Magnetic susceptibility of flood sediments indicates that 10 out of 14 floods on the Indus River originated in the catchments draining the Ladakh Batholith, indicating the potential role of glacial lake outbursts (GLOFs) and/or landslide lake outbursts (LLOFs) in compounding flood magnitudes. Pollen recovered from debris flow deposits located in the headwaters of the Mandakini River showed the presence of warmth-loving trees and marshy taxa, thereby corroborating the finding that floods occurred during relatively warm periods. Collectively, our new data indicate that floods in the Himalaya largely occur during warm and wet climatic phases. Further, the evidence supports the notion that the Indian Summer Monsoon front may have penetrated into the Ladakh area during the Holocene climatic optimum.

  17. Glacial melting in Himalaya

    Kavita Tariyal

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Mountains are amongst the most flimsy environments on Earth. They are prosperous repositories of biodiversity, water and providers of ecosystem goods and services on which downstream communities, both regional and global, rely. The transport of atmospheric pollutants and climate-altering substances can significantly impact high mountain areas, which are generally considered “clean” regions. The snow glaciers of the Himalayas, considered the “third pole”, one of the largest stores of water on the planet and accelerated melting could have far-reaching effects, such as flooding in the short-term and water shortages in the long-term as the glaciers shrink. The data available on temperature in Himalayas indicate that warming during last 3-4 decades has been more than the global average over the last century. Some of the values indicate that the Himalayas are warming 5-6 times more than the global average. Mountain systems are seen globally as the prime sufferers from climate change. There is a severe gap in the knowledge of the short and long-term implications of the impact of climate change on water and hazards in the Himalayas, and their downstream river basins. Most studies have excluded the Himalayan region because of its extreme and complex topography and the lack of adequate rain gauge data. There is an urgent need to close the knowledge gap by establishing monitoring schemes for snow, ice and water; downscaling climate models; applying hydrological models to predict water availability; and developing basin wide scenarios, which also take water demand and socioeconomic development into account. Climate change induced hazards such as floods, landslides and droughts will impose considerable stresses on the livelihoods of mountain people and downstream populations. Enhancing resilience and promoting adaptation in mountain areas have thus become among the most important priorities of this decade. It is important to strengthen local

  18. Constraints and prospects of uranium exploration in Himalaya

    Singh, Rajendra

    1994-01-01

    Exploration for uranium in the Himalaya over the last thirty years has brought to light five distinct types of mineralisation, namely, vein-type, hydrothermal shear controlled-type, disseminated-type, syngenetic-type, and sandstone-type. The first three are associated with lower to middle proterozoic metasedimentary rocks, metabasic rocks, and granitoids of the lesser Himalaya in close proximity to the main central thrust (MCT). The carbonaceous slates of Haimanta group (late proterozoic to eocambrian) and the Mussoorie phosphorites (eocambrian) represent the syngenetic types. The sandstone-type is associated with the late tertiary Siwaliks of the northwestern Himalaya. The constraints in geology and uranium exploration in the Himalaya have been briefly discussed and principal uranium occurrences in relation to their tectonic environment and genesis listed. The need for geochemical characterization of the Himalayan granitoids and the metabasics related to known uranium mineralisation and new areas have been suggested. Integrated application of radiometric, geochemical and geophysical methods of prospecting and remote sensing techniques in regional geological correlation, identification of subtle rock alterations associated with mineralized zones, geologic structures, and deep crustal lineaments have been advocated. A case for the exploration of the areas of lesser Himalaya outside the MCT has been made out so as to locate hitherto unknown types of uranium deposits including, strata bound, metamorphic, and intra granitic types, possibly with better depth persistence. (author). 57 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs

  19. The Riddle of the Apparently Hollow Himalaya

    The Riddle of the Apparently Hollow Himalaya. Ramesh .... It was as if the Himalayas were hollow inside. ... block would be consistent with the ground elevation in such a ... Alternative models and possible preference: Many refinements of.

  20. Linking microstructures, petrology and in situ U-(Th)-Pb geochronology to constrain P-T-t-D evolution of the Greather Himalyan Sequences in Western Nepal (Central Himalaya)

    Iaccarino, Salvatore; Montomoli, Chiara; Carosi, Rodolfo; Langone, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    Last advances in forward modelling of metamorphic rocks and into the understanding of accessories minerals behaviour, suitable for geochronology (e.g. zircon and monazite), during metamorphism, bring new insights for understanding the evolution of metamorphic tectonites during orogenic cycles (Williams and Jercinovic, 2012 and reference therein). One of the best exposure of high- to medium grade- metamorphic rocks, is represented by the Greater Himalayan Sequence (GHS) in the Himalayan Belt, one of the most classic example of collisional orogen. Recent field work in Mugu Karnali valley, Western Nepal (Central Himalaya), identified a compressional top to the South ductile shear zone within the core of the GHS, named Magri Shear Zone (MSZ), developed in a high temperature regime as testified by quartz microstructures and syn-kinematic growth of sillimanite. In order to infer the tectono-metamorphic meaning of MSZ, a microstructural study coupled with pseudosection modelling and in situ U-(Th)-Pb monazite geochronology was performed on selected samples from different structural positions. Footwall sample constituted by (Grt + St ± Ky) micaschist shows a prograde garnet growth (cores to inner rims zoning), from ~500°C, ~0.60GPa (close to garnet-in curve) to ~580°C, ~1.2 GPa temporal constrained between 21-18 Ma, by medium Y cores to very low Y mantles monazite micro-chemical/ages domain . In this sample garnet was still growing during decompression and heating at ~640°C, ~0.75 GPa (rims), and later starts to be consumed, in conjunction with staurolite growth at 15-13 Ma, as revealed by high Y rims monazite micro-chemical/ages domain. Hanging-wall mylonitic samples have a porphyroclastic texture, with garnet preserve little memory of prograde path. Garnet near rim isoplets and matrix minerals intersect at ~700°C and ~0.70 GPa. A previous higher P stage, at ~1.10 GPa ~600°C, is testified by cores of larger white mica porhyroclasts. Prograde zoned allanite (Janots

  1. Monsoon variability in the Himalayas under the condition of global warming

    Duan Keqin; Yao Tandong

    2003-01-01

    An ice core-drilling program was carried out at the accumulation area of Dasuopu glacier (28deg23'N, 85deg43'E, 7100 m a.s.l.) in the central Himalayas in 1997. The ice core was analyzed continuously for stable isotopes (δ 18 O), and major ions throughout the core. Cycles indicated by δ 18 O, cations were identified and counted as seasonal fluctuations as annual increment from maximum to maximum values. Reconstructed 300-year annual net accumulation (water equivalent) from the core, with a good correlation to Indian monsoon, reflects a major precipitation trend in the central Himalayas. The accumulation trend, separated from the time series, shows a strong negative correlation to Northern Hemisphere temperature. Generally, as northern hemisphere temperature increases 0.1degC, the accumulation decreases about 80 mm, reflecting monsoon rainfall in the central Himalayas has decreased over the past decades in the condition of global warming. (author)

  2. Earthquakes of Garhwal Himalaya region of NW Himalaya, India: A study of relocated earthquakes and their seismogenic source and stress

    R, A. P.; Paul, A.; Singh, S.

    2017-12-01

    Since the continent-continent collision 55 Ma, the Himalaya has accommodated 2000 km of convergence along its arc. The strain energy is being accumulated at a rate of 37-44 mm/yr and releases at time as earthquakes. The Garhwal Himalaya is located at the western side of a Seismic Gap, where a great earthquake is overdue atleast since 200 years. This seismic gap (Central Seismic Gap: CSG) with 52% probability for a future great earthquake is located between the rupture zones of two significant/great earthquakes, viz. the 1905 Kangra earthquake of M 7.8 and the 1934 Bihar-Nepal earthquake of M 8.0; and the most recent one, the 2015 Gorkha earthquake of M 7.8 is in the eastern side of this seismic gap (CSG). The Garhwal Himalaya is one of the ideal locations of the Himalaya where all the major Himalayan structures and the Himalayan Seimsicity Belt (HSB) can ably be described and studied. In the present study, we are presenting the spatio-temporal analysis of the relocated local micro-moderate earthquakes, recorded by a seismicity monitoring network, which is operational since, 2007. The earthquake locations are relocated using the HypoDD (double difference hypocenter method for earthquake relocations) program. The dataset from July, 2007- September, 2015 have been used in this study to estimate their spatio-temporal relationships, moment tensor (MT) solutions for the earthquakes of M>3.0, stress tensors and their interactions. We have also used the composite focal mechanism solutions for small earthquakes. The majority of the MT solutions show thrust type mechanism and located near the mid-crustal-ramp (MCR) structure of the detachment surface at 8-15 km depth beneath the outer lesser Himalaya and higher Himalaya regions. The prevailing stress has been identified to be compressional towards NNE-SSW, which is the direction of relative plate motion between the India and Eurasia continental plates. The low friction coefficient estimated along with the stress inversions

  3. Radiometric geochronology of the Himalaya

    Saini, H.S.

    1982-01-01

    The radiometric age data obtained by different dating methods have been interpreted in terms of possible orogenic activities prevailing in the Himalaya. In general, the age data confirm four main events, the Precambrian, the Late Precambrian-Cambrian Assyntian (Caledonian), the Late Palaeozoic-Hercynian and the Late Cretaceous-Tertiary Himalayan orogeny. The mineral dates are particularly significant in delineating different phases of the last i.e. the Himalayan orogeny which indicates main activity of the young Himalayan metamorphism around 70 to 50 Ma and followed by a momentous phase of major uplift during 25 to 10 Ma, which was responsible for the rise of the deeper part of the Himalaya into great folds and thrust slices and the formation of nappe structures. (author)

  4. Genetic aspects of uranium mineralization in the Himalaya

    Saraswat, A.C.; Mahadevan, T.M.

    1989-01-01

    The Himalayan Uranium Province hosts five major types of uranium mineralization: (1) stratiform remobilized (Proterozoic), (2) structurally controlled hydrothermal (Proterozoic), (3) black shale-phosphorite (Palaeozoic-Mesozoic), (4) sandstone (Siwalik belt, Tertiary), and (5) primary disseminations in granitoids (Tertiary). Evaluation of the genetic aspects of these types has led to the identification of distinct spatial (lithostratigraphic and tectonic units) and temporal relations among them. The sandstone types are confined to the Tertiary (Middle Miocene to Pleistocene) molasse formations found south of th Main Boundary Thrust (MBT). Between the MBT and the Main Central Thrust, in the Lesser Himalaya, mineralization hosted in the Chail quartzite-phyllite ± metabasic sequences is of stratiform remobilized type. The structurally controlled hydrothermal type is confined to Dalings and gneisses. Syngenetic uranium in black shale-phosphorite sequences of Palaeozoic-Mesozoic age is found on the southern fringes of the Lesser Himalaya, bordering the MBT. Disseminated uranium occurs in the Tertiary and Proterozoic(?) granitoids of the Greater Himalaya and Ladakh. Rb-Sr geochronological data on host rocks and U-Pb dates on uraninites from some areas indicate that uranium mineralization in stratiform remobilized and structurally controlled types hosted by the Chails, Dalings and gneisses is essentially Precambrian and thus existed much before the Himalayan Orogeny. The Himalayan Orogeny, however, appears to have aided in further remobilization. The sandstone type mineralization in the Siwalik, on the other hand, is directly related to the process of formation of the foredeep and molasse sedimentation and subsequent uplift and epigenesis of the uranium mineralization, all of which are directly relatable to the evolution of the Himalaya. The relevance of deep seated lineament structures to mineralization, particularly of uranium, needs to be evaluated critically, as most

  5. Secondary ozone peaks in the troposphere over the Himalayas

    N. Ojha

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Layers with strongly enhanced ozone concentrations in the middle–upper troposphere, referred to as secondary ozone peaks (SOPs, have been observed in different regions of the world. Here we use the global ECHAM5/MESSy atmospheric chemistry model (EMAC to (i investigate the processes causing SOPs, (ii explore both their frequency of occurrence and seasonality, and (iii assess their effects on the tropospheric ozone budget over the Himalayas. The vertical profiles of potential vorticity (PV and a stratospheric ozone tracer (O3s in EMAC simulations, in conjunction with the structure of SOPs, suggest that SOPs over the Himalayas are formed by stratosphere-to-troposphere transport (STT of ozone. The spatial distribution of O3s further shows that such effects are in general most pronounced in the northern part of India. Model simulated ozone distributions and backward air trajectories show that ozone rich air masses, associated with STT, originate as far as northern Africa and the North Atlantic Ocean, the Middle East, as well as in nearby regions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and are rapidly (within 2–3 days transported to the Himalayas. Analysis of a 15-year (2000–2014 EMAC simulation shows that the frequency of SOPs is highest during the pre-monsoon season (e.g. 11 % of the time in May, while no intense SOP events are found during the July–October period. The SOPs are estimated to enhance the tropospheric column ozone (TCO over the central Himalayas by up to 21 %.

  6. Lateral variation of seismic attenuation in Sikkim Himalaya

    Thirunavukarasu, Ajaay; Kumar, Ajay; Mitra, Supriyo

    2017-01-01

    We use data from local earthquakes (mb ≥ 3.0) recorded by the Sikkim broad-band seismograph network to study the frequency-dependent attenuation of the crust and uppermost mantle. These events have been relocated using body wave phase data from local and regional seismograms. The decay of coda amplitudes at a range of central frequencies (1 to 12 Hz) has been measured for 74 earthquake-receiver pairs. These measurements are combined to estimate the frequency-dependent coda Q of the form Q( f) = Q0 f η. The estimated Q0 values range from 80 to 200, with an average of 123 ± 29; and η ranges from 0.92 to 1.04, with an average of 0.98 ± 0.04. To study the lateral variation of Q0 and η, we regionalized the measured Q values by combining all the earthquake-receiver path measurements through a back projection algorithm. We consider a single back-scatter model for the coda waves with elliptical sampling and parametrize the sampled area using 0.2° square grids. A nine-point spatial smoothening (similar to spatial Gaussian filter) is applied to stabilize the inversion. This is done at every frequency to observe the spatial variation of Q( f) and subsequently combined to obtain η variations. Results of our study reveal that the Sikkim Himalaya is characterized by low Q0 (80-100) compared to the foreland basin to its south (150-200) and the Nepal Himalaya to its west (140-160). The low Q and high η in Sikkim Himalaya is attributed to extrinsic scattering attenuation from structural heterogeneity and active faults within the crust, and intrinsic attenuation due to anelasticity in the hotter lithosphere beneath the actively deforming mountain belt. Similar low Q and high η values had also been observed in northwest and Garhwal-Kumaun Himalaya.

  7. Future changes over the Himalayas: Mean temperature

    Dimri, A. P.; Kumar, D.; Choudhary, A.; Maharana, P.

    2018-03-01

    An assessment of the projection of near surface air temperature over the Himalayan region from the COordinated Regional Climate Downscaling EXperiment- South Asia (hereafter, CORDEX-SA) regional climate model (RCM) experiments have been carried out for different Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios. The purpose of this study is to assess the probable future changes in the mean temperature climatology and its long term trend for different seasons under greenhouse gas forcing scenarios for different seasons till the end of 21st century. A number of statistical measures such as changes in mean climatology, long term trend and probability distribution function have been used in order to detect the signals of changes in climate. Moreover, the associated uncertainties among different model experiments and their ensemble in space, time and different seasons in particular have been quantified. Despite of strong cold bias in the model experiments over Himalayan region (Nengker et al., 2017), statistically significant strong rate of warming (0.03-0.09 °C/year) across all the seasons and RCPs have been projected by all the models and their ensemble. Season specific response towards the warming is indicated by ensemble under future climate while ON season shows comparable magnitude of warming than DJF. Such warming intensifies with the increase in the radiative forcing under a range of greenhouse gas scenarios from RCP2.6 to RCP8.5. In addition to this, a wide range of spatial variability and disagreements in the trend magnitude between different models describes the uncertainty associated with the model projections and scenarios. A substantial seasonal response to warming with respect to elevation was also found, as DJF season followed by ON portrays highest rate of warming, specifically at higher elevation sites such as western Himalayas and northern part of central Himalayas. The different elevation classes respond differently to the projected future

  8. Ethnobotany in the Nepal Himalaya.

    Kunwar, Ripu M; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2008-12-02

    Indigenous knowledge has become recognized worldwide not only because of its intrinsic value but also because it has a potential instrumental value to science and conservation. In Nepal, the indigenous knowledge of useful and medicinal plants has roots in the remote past. The present study reviews the indigenous knowledge and use of plant resources of the Nepal Himalayas along the altitudinal and longitudinal gradient. A total of 264 studies focusing on ethnobotany, ethnomedicine and diversity of medicinal and aromatic plants, carried out between 1979 and 2006 were consulted for the present analysis. In order to cross check and verify the data, seven districts of west Nepal were visited in four field campaigns. In contrast to an average of 21-28% ethnobotanically/ethnomedicinally important plants reported for Nepal, the present study found that up to about 55% of the flora of the study region had medicinal value. This indicates a vast amount of undocumented knowledge about important plant species that needs to be explored and documented. The richness of medicinal plants decreased with increasing altitude but the percentage of plants used as medicine steadily increased with increasing altitude. This was due to preferences given to herbal remedies in high altitude areas and a combination of having no alternative choices, poverty and trust in the effectiveness of folklore herbal remedies. Indigenous knowledge systems are culturally valued and scientifically important. Strengthening the wise use and conservation of indigenous knowledge of useful plants may benefit and improve the living standard of poor people.

  9. Recent Wetting and Glacier Expansion in the Northwest Himalaya and Karakoram.

    Yadav, Ram R; Gupta, Anil K; Kotlia, Bahadur S; Singh, Vikram; Misra, Krishna G; Yadava, Akhilesh K; Singh, Anoop K

    2017-07-21

    Hydroclimatic variability driven by global warming in the climatically vulnerable cold semi-arid to arid northwest (NW) Himalaya is poorly constrained due to paucity of continuous weather records and annually resolved proxies. Applying a network of annually resolved tree-ring-width chronologies from semi-arid region of Kishtwar, Jammu and Kashmir, India, we reconstructed April-May standardized precipitation index extending back to A.D. 1439 (576 years). The reconstructed series is featured by the most conspicuous long-term droughts during the 15 th to early 17 th centuries followed by a general wetting, with 1984-2014 being the wettest interval in the past 576 years. The data, consistent with other independently developed tree-ring-based hydrological records from cold semi-arid to arid NW Himalaya and Karakoram, point to an increased regional wetting in the recent decades. Such an increased wetting might have led to the anomalous behaviour of glaciers in the NW Himalaya and Karakoram in contrast to the general receding trends in the central and eastern Himalaya.

  10. Genetics, morphology and ecology reveal a cryptic pika lineage in the Sikkim Himalaya.

    Dahal, Nishma; Lissovsky, Andrey A; Lin, Zhenzhen; Solari, Katherine; Hadly, Elizabeth A; Zhan, Xiangjiang; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2017-01-01

    Asian pika species are morphologically ∼similar and have overlapping ranges. This leads to uncertainty and species misidentification in the field. Phylogenetic analyses of such misidentified samples leads to taxonomic ambiguity. The ecology of many pika species remains understudied, particularly in the Himalaya, where sympatric species could be separated by elevation and/or substrate. We sampled, measured, and acquired genetic data from pikas in the Sikkim Himalaya. Our analyses revealed a cryptic lineage, Ochotona sikimaria, previously reported as a subspecies of O. thibetana. The results support the elevation of this lineage to the species level, as it is genetically divergent from O. thibetana, as well as sister species, O. cansus (endemic to central China) and O. curzoniae (endemic to the Tibetan plateau). The Sikkim lineage diverged from its sister species' about 1.7-0.8myrago, coincident with uplift events in the Himalaya. Our results add to the recent spate of cryptic diversity identified from the eastern Himalaya and highlight the need for further study within the Ochotonidae. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Shear wave anisotropy in the Eastern Himalaya, Burmese arc and adjoining regions

    Mangalampally, R. K.; Saikia, D.; Singh, A.; Roy, S.; Panuganti, S. R.; Lyngdoh, A. C.

    2017-12-01

    This study presents new results of 231 shear wave splitting and 395 "Null" measurements at 58 broadband seismic stations installed in the hitherto less investigated eastern Himalaya, Burmese arc and adjoining regions. The analysis reveals complex patterns of anisotropy, with significant variations in delay times. The fast polarisation directions (FPD) at stations within the Himalaya, Burmese Arc and the foredeep are coherent, parallel to the strike of the orogens. Measurements within the eastern and central Arunachal Himalaya are predominantly "Null''. However, in the western and central parts, these are relatively small, centered at 0.7s. The FPDs follow the trends of major tectonic features like the Main Boundary Thrust and the Main Central Thrust in the central segment of Arunachal Himalaya. In the Burmese arc region, the delay times show a large variability (0.4-2.1s). The Assam foredeep exhibits splitting delays in the range 0.5 to 1.2 s, with the FPDs trending nearly EW to NE. The FPDs parallel to the strike of the mountain belts can be best explained in terms of a coherently deformed lithospheric mantle under the compressional effects ensuing from the collision between India and Asia. Null measurements in regions like the Siang window may be due to a complex anisotropic pattern due to Indian plate interaction with Eurasia and Burma plates, causing different layers of anisotropic fabric with completely different orientations. Another possibility is the coincidence of source polarisation direction with the fast axis, since most of the waveforms analysed are from a narrow back azimuthal range of 100-125°. E-W oriented FPDs may coincide with the backazimuth of the source, resulting in smaller delays. Null measurements in eastern Himalaya may reflect cancellation of anisotropy caused by APM related flow (NE) and compressional effects of the Himalaya (EW). In the Bengal Basin, the Nulls could be due to two different mechanisms, namely, frozen anisotropic fabric

  12. The Himalayas: barrier and conduit for gene flow.

    Gayden, Tenzin; Perez, Annabel; Persad, Patrice J; Bukhari, Areej; Chennakrishnaiah, Shilpa; Simms, Tanya; Maloney, Trisha; Rodriguez, Kristina; Herrera, Rene J

    2013-06-01

    The Himalayan mountain range is strategically located at the crossroads of the major cultural centers in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Although previous Y-chromosome studies indicate that the Himalayas served as a natural barrier for gene flow from the south to the Tibetan plateau, this region is believed to have played an important role as a corridor for human migrations between East and West Eurasia along the ancient Silk Road. To evaluate the effects of the Himalayan mountain range in shaping the maternal lineages of populations residing on either side of the cordillera, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA variation in 344 samples from three Nepalese collections (Newar, Kathmandu and Tamang) and a general population of Tibet. Our results revealed a predominantly East Asian-specific component in Tibet and Tamang, whereas Newar and Kathmandu are both characterized by a combination of East and South Central Asian lineages. Interestingly, Newar and Kathmandu harbor several deep-rooted Indian lineages, including M2, R5, and U2, whose coalescent times from this study (U2, >40 kya) and previous reports (M2 and R5, >50 kya) suggest that Nepal was inhabited during the initial peopling of South Central Asia. Comparisons with our previous Y-chromosome data indicate sex-biased migrations in Tamang and a founder effect and/or genetic drift in Tamang and Newar. Altogether, our results confirm that while the Himalayas acted as a geographic barrier for human movement from the Indian subcontinent to the Tibetan highland, it also served as a conduit for gene flow between Central and East Asia. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Ethnic Environmentalism in the Eastern Himalaya

    Chettri, Mona

    2017-01-01

    The Sikkim-Darjeeling Himalaya is undergoing serious environmental changes as a result of rampant construction of hydroelectric projects and climate-induced changes. Their impact is most discernible on the economically and politically vulnerable mountain communities who remain marginalised from p...

  14. Geology and uranium occurrences of the Himalaya

    Singh, Rajendra

    1997-01-01

    The Himalayan terrain constitutes one of the important uranium provinces of India. Mineral economics in the conventional sense will always be against any mineral deposit in the Himalaya until a very advanced stage of development in areas of transport and communication is achieved

  15. Origin and radiative forcing of black carbon transported to the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau

    M. Kopacz

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The remote and high elevation regions of central Asia are influenced by black carbon (BC emissions from a variety of locations. BC deposition contributes to melting of glaciers and questions exist, of both scientific and policy interest, as to the origin of the BC reaching the glaciers. We use the adjoint of the GEOS-Chem model to identify the location from which BC arriving at a variety of locations in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau originates. We then calculate its direct and snow-albedo radiative forcing. We analyze the seasonal variation in the origin of BC using an adjoint sensitivity analysis, which provides a detailed map of the location of emissions that directly contribute to black carbon concentrations at receptor locations. We find that emissions from northern India and central China contribute the majority of BC to the Himalayas, although the precise location varies with season. The Tibetan Plateau receives most BC from western and central China, as well as from India, Nepal, the Middle East, Pakistan and other countries. The magnitude of contribution from each region varies with season and receptor location. We find that sources as varied as African biomass burning and Middle Eastern fossil fuel combustion can significantly contribute to the BC reaching the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. We compute radiative forcing in the snow-covered regions and find the forcing due to the BC induced snow-albedo effect to vary from 5–15 W m−2 within the region, an order of magnitude larger than radiative forcing due to the direct effect, and with significant seasonal variation in the northern Tibetan Plateau. Radiative forcing from reduced snow albedo likely accelerates glacier melting. Our analysis may help inform mitigation efforts to slow the rate of glacial melt by identifying regions that make the largest contributions to BC deposition in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau.

  16. Pliocene episodic exhumation and the significance of the Munsiari thrust in the northwestern Himalaya

    Stübner, Konstanze; Grujic, Djordje; Dunkl, István; Thiede, Rasmus; Eugster, Patricia

    2018-01-01

    The Himalayan thrust belt comprises three in-sequence foreland-propagating orogen-scale faults, the Main Central thrust, the Main Boundary thrust, and the Main Frontal thrust. Recently, the Munsiari-Ramgarh-Shumar thrust system has been recognized as an additional, potentially orogen-scale shear zone in the proximal footwall of the Main Central thrust. The timing of the Munsiari, Ramgarh, and Shumar thrusts and their role in Himalayan tectonics are disputed. We present 31 new zircon (U-Th)/He ages from a profile across the central Himachal Himalaya in the Beas River area. Within a ∼40 km wide belt northeast of the Kullu-Larji-Rampur window, ages ranging from 2.4 ± 0.4 Ma to 5.4 ± 0.9 Ma constrain a distinct episode of rapid Pliocene to Present exhumation; north and south of this belt, zircon (U-Th)/He ages are older (7.0 ± 0.7 Ma to 42.2 ± 2.1 Ma). We attribute the Pliocene rapid exhumation episode to basal accretion to the Himalayan thrust belt and duplex formation in the Lesser Himalayan sequence including initiation of the Munsiari thrust. Pecube thermokinematic modelling suggests exhumation rates of ∼2-3 mm/yr from 4-7 to 0 Ma above the duplex contrasting with lower (middle-late Miocene exhumation rates. The Munsiari thrust terminates laterally in central Himachal Pradesh. In the NW Indian Himalaya, the Main Central thrust zone comprises the sheared basal sections of the Greater Himalayan sequence and the mylonitic 'Bajaura nappe' of Lesser Himalayan affinity. We correlate the Bajaura unit with the Ramgarh thrust sheet in Nepal based on similar lithologies and the middle Miocene age of deformation. The Munsiari thrust in the central Himachal Himalaya is several Myr younger than deformation in the Bajaura and Ramgarh thrust sheets. Our results illustrate the complex and segmented nature of the Munsiari-Ramgarh-Shumar thrust system.

  17. Medical problems of porters and trekkers in the Nepal Himalaya.

    Basnyat, B; Litch, J A

    1997-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the incidence of medical illness among members of trekking groups in the Nepal Himalaya. The design was a cohort study using interview and clinical examination by a single physician. The setting was the Manaslu area in the central Nepal Himalaya along a 22-day trekking route with elevations ranging from 487 m to 5100 m. Subjects were 155 members of commercial trekking groups: 102 Nepali porters, 31 Nepali trek staff, and 22 Western trekkers. We found that medical problems occurred in 45% of party members. The porter cohort contained the highest diversity and severity of illness. The relatively larger porter cohort experienced 77% of the medical problems recorded compared with 17% among Western trekkers and 6% among trek staff. The incidence of medical problems was not significantly different in the porter staff (52%) and Western trekkers (55%) and was significantly lower for the trek staff (13%). High-altitude pharyngitis/bronchitis was the most common illness in the party (12%) followed by acute mountain sickness (8%) and gastroenteritis (6%). Other conditions included anxiety (3%), cellulitis (3%), scabies (3%), snow blindness (3%), acute alcohol intoxication (2%), conjunctivitis (2%), fever (2%), lacerations (2%), and hemorrhoids (1%). Illness with infectious etiologies comprised 33% of the medical problems. The incidence of altitude illness was not significantly less in the Nepali porter staff than in the Western trekkers. Evacuation was required in 5% of party members, all from the porter group. This study should alert expedition medical providers and trip leaders of the need to be observant for and prepared to treat the frequent and diverse medical problems among the porter staff in their party, in addition to the Western members. Medical problems are common in remote mountainous areas, indicating that trip physicians should be experienced in primary care.

  18. Back-thrusting in Lesser Himalaya: Evidences from magnetic fabric ...

    Back-thrusting in Lesser Himalaya: Evidences from magnetic fabric studies in parts of Almora crystalline zone, Kumaun Lesser Himalaya. Amar Agarwal, K K Agarwal, R Bali, Chandra Prakash and Gaurav Joshi. Supplementary data. Table S1. AMS data, representing mean of values from cores (N) collected from each site ...

  19. Micro-seismicity and seismotectonic study in Western Himalaya-Ladakh-Karakoram using local broadband seismic data

    Kanna, Nagaraju; Gupta, Sandeep; Prakasam, K. S.

    2018-02-01

    We document the seismic activity and fault plane solutions (FPSs) in the Western Himalaya, Ladakh and Karakoram using data from 16 broadband seismographs operated during June 2002 to December 2003. We locate 206 earthquakes with a local magnitude in the range of 1.5 to 4.9 and calculate FPSs of 19 selected earthquakes based on moment tensor solutions. The earthquakes are distributed throughout the study region and indicate active tectonics in this region. The observed seismicity pattern is quite different than a well-defined pattern of seismicity, along the Main Central Thrust zone, in the eastern side of the study region (i.e., Kumaon-Garhwal Himalaya). In the Himalaya region, the earthquakes are distributed in the crust and upper mantle, whereas in the Ladakh-Karakoram area the earthquakes are mostly confined up to crustal depths. The fault plane solutions show a mixture of thrust, normal and strike-slip type mechanisms, which are well corroborated with the known faults/tectonics of the region. The normal fault earthquakes are observed along the Southern Tibet Detachment, Zanskar Shear Zone, Tso-Morari dome, and Kaurik-Chango fault; and suggest E-W extension tectonics in the Higher and Tethys Himalaya. The earthquakes of thrust mechanism with the left-lateral strike-slip component are seen along the Kistwar fault. The right-lateral strike-slip faulting with thrust component along the bending of the Main Boundary Thrust and Main Central Thrust shows the transpressional tectonics in this part of the Himalaya. The observed earthquakes with right-lateral strike-slip faulting indicate seismically active nature of the Karakoram fault.

  20. An ethnobotanical analysis of parasitic plants (Parijibi) in the Nepal Himalaya.

    O'Neill, Alexander Robert; Rana, Santosh Kumar

    2016-02-24

    Indigenous biocultural knowledge is a vital part of Nepalese environmental management strategies; however, much of it may soon be lost given Nepal's rapidly changing socio-ecological climate. This is particularly true for knowledge surrounding parasitic and mycoheterotrophic plant species, which are well represented throughout the Central-Eastern Himalayas but lack a collated record. Our study addresses this disparity by analyzing parasitic and mycoheterotrophic plant species diversity in Nepal as well as the ethnobotanical knowledge that surrounds them. Botanical texts, online databases, and herbarium records were reviewed to create an authoritative compendium of parasitic and mycoheterotrophic plant species native or naturalized to the Nepal Central-Eastern Himalaya. Semi-structured interviews were then conducted with 141 informants to better understand the biocultural context of these species, emphasizing ethnobotanical uses, in 12 districts of Central-Eastern Nepal. Nepal is a hotspot of botanical diversity, housing 15 families and 29 genera of plants that exhibit parasitic or mycoheterotrophic habit. Over 150 of the known 4500 parasitic plant species (~3 %) and 28 of the 160 mycoheterotrophic species (~18 %) are native or naturalized to Nepal; 13 of our surveyed parasitic species are endemic. Of all species documented, approximately 17 % of parasitic and 7 % of mycoheterotrophic plants have ethnobotanical uses as medicine (41 %), fodder (23 %), food (17 %), ritual objects (11 %), or material (8 %). Parasitic and mycoheterotrophic plant species exhibit high diversity in the Nepal Central-Eastern Himalaya and are the fodder for biocultural relationships that may help inform future environmental management projects in the region.

  1. Do the western Himalayas defy global warming?

    Yadav, Ram R.; Park, Won-Kyu; Singh, Jayendra; Dubey, Bhasha

    2004-09-01

    Observational records and reconstructions from tree rings reflect premonsoon (March to May) temperature cooling in the western Himalaya during the latter part of the 20th century. A rapid decrease of minimum temperatures at around three times higher rate, as compared to the rate of increase in maximum temperatures found in local climate records is responsible for the cooling trend in mean premonsoon temperature. The increase of the diurnal temperature range is attributed to large scale deforestation and land degradation in the area and shows the higher influence of local forcing factors on climate in contrast to the general trend found in higher latitudes of the northern Hemisphere.

  2. Myrmica elmesi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) a new species from Himalaya.

    Bharti, Himender; Sharma, Yash Paul

    2011-01-01

    Myrmica elmesisp. n. is described from Himalaya. This species belongs to the pachei group of Myrmica speciesand is distinct from the species described in this group hitherto, which is represented by 14 species including three from Indian Himalaya. Myrmica elmesi is the fourth species of the diverse pachei group found in Himalaya; it was collected from the transitional zone and is described with notes on its ecology, this gains significance in the sense that ecology of most of the old world Myrmica is either unknown or poorly known.

  3. SERVIR Support to NSDI Efforts in Mesoamerica, Africa and the Himalayas

    Delgado, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    SERVIR is a joint effort between NASA, USAID to build or improve capacities in developing regions to help adaptation to climate change by taking advantage of Earth Observation data for decision making. The project began in 2004, in Mesoamerica, partnering with the Central American Commission for Environment and Development(CCAD), the World Bank and CATHALAC. CATHALAC, located in Panama, serves as the regional hub for Mesoamerica since 2005. Two additional regional hubs have been established (in Easters & Western Africa - at RCMRD, Kenya, and The Himalayas- at ICIMOD, Nepal), and two more regional hubs are soon to be launched.

  4. Along strike variation of active fault arrays and their effect on landscape morphology of the northwestern Himalaya

    Nennewitz, Markus; Thiede, Rasmus; Bookhagen, Bodo

    2017-04-01

    The location and magnitude of the active deformation of the Himalaya has been debated for decades, but several aspects remain unknown. For instance, the spatial distribution of the deformation and the shortening that ultimately sustains Himalayan topography and the activity of major fault zones are not well constrained neither for the present day and nor for Holocene and Quarternary timescales. Because of these weakly constrained factors, many previous studies have assumed that the structural setting and the fault geometry of the Himalaya is continuous along strike and similar to fault geometries of central Nepal. Thus, the sub-surface structural information from central Nepal have been projected along strike, but have not been verified at other locations. In this study we use digital topographic analysis of the NW Himalaya. We obtained catchment-averaged, normalized steepness indexes of longitudinal river profiles with drainage basins ranging between 5 and 250km2 and analyzed the relative change in their spatial distribution both along and across strike. More specific, we analyzed the relative changes of basins located in the footwall and in the hanging wall of major fault zones. Under the assumption that along strike changes in the normalized steepness index are primarily controlled by the activity of thrust segments, we revealed new insights in the tectonic deformation and uplift pattern. Our results show three different segments along the northwest Himalaya, which are located, from east to west, in Garwhal, Chamba and Kashmir Himalaya. These have formed independent orogenic segments characterized by significant changes in their structural architecture and fault geometry. Moreover, their topographic changes indicate strong variations on fault displacement rates across first-order fault zones. With the help of along- and across-strike profiles, we were able to identify fault segments of pronounced fault activity across MFT, MBT, and the PT2 and identify the

  5. Identification of seismically susceptible areas in western Himalaya ...

    This study is an attempt to identify seismically susceptible areas in western Himalaya, using pattern recognition ... a combination of both qualitative and quantita- tive features. .... Three distinct types of zones were identified: S1 was identified as ...

  6. Four new lycaenid butterfly records from the Kumaon Himalaya, India

    P. Smetacek

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The known distribution of four species of Lycaenid butterflies, Talicada nyseus, Nacaduba kurava, Flos asoka and Arhopala abseus indicus, is extended to the Kumaon Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India.

  7. Modeling Wildfire Hazard in the Western Hindu Kush-Himalayas

    Bylow, D.

    2012-12-01

    Wildfire regimes are a leading driver of global environmental change affecting a diverse array of global ecosystems. Particulates and aerosols produced by wildfires are a primary source of air pollution making the early detection and monitoring of wildfires crucial. The objectives of this study were to model regional wildfire potential and identify environmental, topological, and sociological factors that contribute to the ignition of wildfire events in the Western Hindu Kush-Himalayas of South Asia. The environmental, topological, and sociological factors were used to model regional wildfire potential through multi-criteria evaluation using a method of weighted linear combination. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and geographic information systems (GIS) data were integrated to analyze regional wildfires and construct the model. Model validation was performed using a holdout cross validation method. The study produced a significant model of wildfire potential in the Western Hindu Kush-Himalayas.; Western Hindu Kush-Himalayas ; Western Hindu Kush-Himalayas Wildfire Potential

  8. Stress Regime in the Nepalese Himalaya from Recent Earthquakes.

    Pant, M.; Karplus, M. S.; Velasco, A. A.; Nabelek, J.; Kuna, V. M.; Ghosh, A.; Mendoza, M.; Adhikari, L. B.; Sapkota, S. N.; Klemperer, S. L.; Patlan, E.

    2017-12-01

    The two recent earthquakes, April 25, 2015 Mw 7.8 (Gorkha earthquake) and May 12, 2015 Mw 7.2, at the Indo-Eurasian plate margin killed thousands of people and caused billion dollars of property loss. In response to these events, we deployed a dense array of seismometers to record the aftershocks along Gorkha earthquake rupture area. Our network NAMASTE (Nepal Array Measuring Aftershock Seismicity Trailing Earthquake) included 45 different seismic stations (16 short period, 25 broadband, and 4 strong motion sensors) covering a large area from north-central Nepal to south of the Main Frontal Thrust at a spacing of 20 km. The instruments recorded aftershocks from June 2015 to May 2016. We used time domain short term average (STA) and long term average (LTA) algorithms (1/10s and 4/40s) respectively to detect the arrivals and then developed an earthquake catalog containing 9300 aftershocks. We are manually picking the P-wave first motion arrival polarity to develop a catalog of focal mechanisms for the larger magnitude (>M3.0) events with adequate (>10) arrivals. We hope to characterize the seismicity and stress mechanisms of the complex fault geometries in the Nepalese Himalaya and to address the geophysical processes controlling seismic cycles in the Indo-Eurasian plate margin.

  9. Uranium and radon surveys in western Himalaya

    Virk, H.S.

    1997-01-01

    The water samples from mountain springs, streams and river systems in the western Himalaya were collected and analysed in the laboratory for uranium and radon contents. It is observed that the Himalayan river system is conspicuous by its high dissolved uranium and radium concentration. The water samples contain from 0.89 ppb to 63.4 ppb of uranium and from 34 Bq/I to 364 Bq/I of radon. The radon emanation in soil is measured by the track-etch method, emanometry and alpha-logger technique. The daily and long-term variation of radon was monitored in some mineralized zones of Himachal Pradesh (HP) state with high uranium content in the soil. The maximum values of radon are recorded in Chhinjra, Rameda, Samurkala and Kasol areas of HP. (author)

  10. S-P wave travel time residuals and lateral inhomogeneity in the mantle beneath Tibet and the Himalaya

    Molnar, P.; Chen, W.-P.

    1984-01-01

    S-P wave travel time residuals were measured in earthquakes in Tibet and the Himalaya in order to study lateral inhomogeneities in the earth's mantle. Average S-P residuals, measured with respect to Jeffrey-Bullen (J-B) tables for 11 earthquakes in the Himalaya are less than +1 second. Average J-B S-P from 10 of 11 earthquakes in Tibet, however, are greater than +1 second even when corrected for local crustal thickness. The largest values, ranging between 2.5 and 4.9 seconds are for five events in central and northern Tibet, and they imply that the average velocities in the crust and upper mantle in this part of Tibet are 4 to 10 percent lower than those beneath the Himalaya. On the basis of the data, it is concluded that it is unlikely that a shield structure lies beneath north central Tibet unless the S-P residuals are due to structural variations occurring deeper than 250 km.

  11. 118-115 Ma magmatism in the Tethyan Himalaya igneous province: Constraints on Early Cretaceous rifting of the northern margin of Greater India

    Chen, Sheng-Sheng; Fan, Wei-Ming; Shi, Ren-Deng; Liu, Xiao-Han; Zhou, Xue-Jun

    2018-06-01

    Understanding the dynamics of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) is critical to deciphering processes associated with rupturing continental lithosphere. Microcontinental calving, the rifting of microcontinents from mature continental rifted margins, is particularly poorly understood. Here we present new insights into these processes from geochronological and geochemical analyses of igneous rocks from the Tethyan Himalaya. Early Cretaceous mafic dikes are widely exposed in the eastern and western Tethyan Himalaya, but no such rocks have been reported from the central Tethyan Himalaya. Here we present an analysis of petrological, geochronological, geochemical, and Sr-Nd-Hf-Os isotopic data for bimodal magmatic rocks from the center-east Tethyan Himalaya. Zircon U-Pb dating yields six weighted-mean concordant 206Pb/238U ages of 118 ± 1.2 to 115 ± 1.3 Ma. Mafic rocks display MORB-like compositions with flat to depleted LREE trends, and positive εNd(t) (+2.76 to +5.39) and εHf(t) (+8.0 to +11.9) values. The negative Nb anomalies and relatively high 187Os/188Os ratios (0.15-0.19) of these rocks are related to variable degrees (up to 10%) of crustal contamination. Geochemical characteristics indicate that mafic rocks were generated by variable degrees (2-20%) of partial melting of spinel lherzolites in shallow depleted mantle. Felsic rocks are enriched in Th and LREE, with negative Nb anomalies and decoupling of Nd (εNd(t) = -13.39 to -12.78) and Hf (εHf(t) = -4.8 to -2.0), suggesting that they were derived mainly from garnet-bearing lower continental crust. The geochemical characteristics of the bimodal magmatic associations are comparable to those of associations that form in a continental rift setting. Results indicate that Early Cretaceous magmatism occurred across the whole Tethyan Himalaya, named here as the "Tethyan Himalaya igneous province". Separation of the Tethyan Himalaya from the Indian craton may have occurred during ongoing Early Cretaceous extension

  12. Lateral variations in vegetation in the Himalaya since the Miocene and implications for climate evolution

    Vögeli, Natalie; Najman, Yani; van der Beek, Peter; Huyghe, Pascale; Wynn, Peter M.; Govin, Gwladys; van der Veen, Iris; Sachse, Dirk

    2017-08-01

    The Himalaya has a major influence on global and regional climate, in particular on the Asian monsoon system. The foreland basin of the Himalaya contains a record of tectonics and paleoclimate since the Miocene. Previous work on the evolution of vegetation and climate has focused on the central and western Himalaya, where a shift from C3 to C4 vegetation has been observed at ∼7 Ma and linked to increased seasonality, but the climatic evolution of the eastern part of the orogen is less well understood. In order to track vegetation as a marker of monsoon intensity and seasonality, we analyzed δ13 C and δ18 O values of soil carbonate and associated δ13 C values of bulk organic carbon from previously dated sedimentary sections exposing the syn-orogenic detrital Dharamsala and Siwalik Groups in the west, and, for the first time, the Siwalik Group in the east of the Himalayan foreland basin. Sedimentary records span from 20 to 1 Myr in the west (Joginder Nagar, Jawalamukhi, and Haripur Kolar sections) and from 13 to 1 Myr in the east (Kameng section), respectively. The presence of soil carbonate in the west and its absence in the east is a first indication of long-term lateral climatic variation, as soil carbonate requires seasonally arid conditions to develop. δ13 C values in soil carbonate show a shift from around -10‰ to -2‰ at ∼7 Ma in the west, which is confirmed by δ13 C analyses on bulk organic carbon that show a shift from around -23‰ to -19‰ at the same time. Such a shift in isotopic values is likely to be associated with a change from C3 to C4 vegetation. In contrast, δ13 C values of bulk organic carbon remain at ∼ - 23 ‰ in the east. Thus, our data show that the current east-west variation in climate was established at 7 Ma. We propose that the regional change towards a more seasonal climate in the west is linked to a decrease of the influence of the Westerlies, delivering less winter precipitation to the western Himalaya, while the east

  13. Spring-recharging in the Himalayas

    Joshi, Anil P.

    2009-01-01

    in the settlement of mountain villages in the Himalayas. In fact, in many places, it was the single factor that determined the location of the villages and naturally rainwater has been the source which recharge the catchments of the springs. Forest cover keeps these catchment areas alive for the slow and constant recharging of the springs. In the recent past due to continuous deforestation, the catchment areas have been drastically reduced. Eventually, these denuded lands were unable to conserve water, which has resulted in the drying-up and dying of many mountain springs. Certainly, this became a major threat to both the natural habitats of the springs, as well as to the survival of the communities. In order to meet the water needs of the villages, the government-development agencies devised a distribution system in which water was diverted from regions with an adequate supply to those deprived of water. This approach to remedy the water shortage brought about significant water conflicts, as the rights to water resources were not well defined. This system also did not adequately address water-management and distribution lines for the water resources

  14. Tree ring-based seven-century drought records for the Western Himalaya, India

    Yadav, Ram R.

    2013-05-01

    The paucity of available instrumental climate records in cold and arid regions of the western Himalaya, India, hampers our understanding of the long-term variability of regional droughts, which seriously affect the agrarian economy of the region. Using ring width chronologies of Cedrus deodara and Pinus gerardiana together from a network of moisture-stressed sites, Palmer Drought Severity Index values for October-May back to 1310 A.D. were developed. The twentieth century features dominant decadal-scale pluvial phases (1981-1995, 1952-1968, and 1918-1934) as compared to the severe droughts in the early seventeenth century (1617-1640) as well as late fifteenth to early sixteenth (1491-1526) centuries. The drought anomalies are positively (negatively) associated with central Pacific (Indo-Pacific Warm Pool) sea surface temperature anomalies. However, non-stationarity in such relationships appears to be the major riddle in the predictability of long-term droughts much needed for the sustainable development of the ecologically sensitive region of the Himalayas.

  15. Butterflies of Garhwal, Uttarakhand, western Himalaya, India

    Arun P. Singh

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Thirty percent of butterfly species that occur in India are found in the Garhwal region of the western Himalaya, which comprise six districts of Uttarakhand State with five major vegetation types lying between the catchments of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.  The annotated checklist compiled here for this region comprises 407 species and takes into account all the species recorded since 1899, when the first list of 323 species was prepared by Mackinnon & de Nicéville on the ‘butterflies of Mussoorie and its adjacent areas’.  Over a 20 year period (1986–1990; 2000–June 2015 the present authors maintained detailed notes and were able personally to record 349 species.  This information is presented in a checklist, together with details of the month, year and site of each record, relative abundance, Indian Wildlife (Protection Act, 1972 (IWPA status, as well as references of earlier records made by other authors in Garhwal for those species that the authors were not able to record themselves.  Forty-nine species recorded in the region have been placed under various schedules of IWPA; only one species, the Golden Emperor Dilipa morgiana Westwood, is listed in Schedule I Part IV, the others being mainly included under Schedule II Part II.  The paper also discusses new range extensions and significant records (past and present, identifies major biotic factors that threaten butterfly diversity in Garhwal, and suggests the scope for butterfly ecotourism in the state as an option for long term conservation.  

  16. Atmospheric water budget over the western Himalayas in a regional ...

    influences the water budget over mountainous regions. This winter ... Moisture feedback; western Himalayas; regional climate. J. Earth Syst. Sci. ... and role of soil moisture in determining regional flood or ... Grell (1993), the resolvable-scale cloud and preci- ..... RegCNET: Regional climate modeling for the developing world ...

  17. Interpreting Democracy: Ethnic Politics and Democracy in the eastern Himalaya

    Chettri, Mona

    2014-01-01

    into ethnic grievances in order to facilitate political mobilization and deeper engagement with the state. In this process, discussions and debates are framed around ethnicity but are presented and deliberated within state approved democratic practices. In the eastern Himalaya, ethnic identity is one...

  18. Garnet-sillimanite bearing gneisses from Darjeeling, eastern Himalaya

    Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221 005, India. ∗Corresponding author. e-mail: ... consistent TWEEQU programme and Perple X software in the KFMASH model system, the combina- tion of these three ... Generalized geological map of the Himalayas. The location of Darjeeling is ...

  19. Interaction Between the Himalaya and the Flexed Indian Plate--Spatial Fluctuations in Seismic Hazard in India in the Past Millennium?

    Bilham, Roger; Szeliga, Walter

    2008-01-01

    Between the tenth and early 16th centuries three megaquakes allowed most of the northern edge of the Indian plate to slip 20-24 m northward relative to the overlying Himalaya. Although the renewal time for earthquakes with this large amount of slip is less than 1300 years given a geodetic convergence rate of 16-20 mm/yr, recently developed scaling laws for the Himalaya suggest that the past 200 years of great earthquakes may be associated with slip of less than 10 m and renewal times of approximately 500 years. These same theoretical models show that the rupture lengths of the Himalaya's Medieval earthquakes (300-600 km) are too short to permit 24 m of slip given the relationships demonstrated by recent events. There is thus reason to suppose that recent earthquakes may have responded to different elastic driving forces from those that drove the megaquakes of Medieval times.An alternative source of energy to drive Himalayan earthquakes exists in the form of the elastic and gravitational energy stored in flexure of the Indian plate. The flexure is manifest in the form of a 200-450 m high bulge in central India, which is sustained by the forces of collision and by the end-loading of the plate by the Himalaya and southern Tibet. These flexural stresses are responsible for earthquakes in the sub-continent. The abrupt release of stress associated with the northward translation of the northern edge of the Indian plate by 24 m, were the process entirely elastic, would result in a deflation of the crest of the bulge by roughly 0.8 m. Geometrical changes, however, would be moderated by viscous rheologies in the plate and by viscous flow in the mantle in the following centuries.The hypothesized relaxation of flexural geometry following the Himalayan megaquake sequence would have the effect of backing-off stresses throughout central India resulting in quiescence both in the Himalaya and the Indian plate. The historical record shows an absence of great Himalayan earthquakes in

  20. Modelling the potential distribution of Betula utilis in the Himalaya

    Maria Bobrowski

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Developing sustainable adaptation pathways under climate change conditions in mountain regions requires accurate predictions of treeline shifts and future distribution ranges of treeline species. Here, we model for the first time the potential distribution of Betula utilis, a principal Himalayan treeline species, to provide a basis for the analysis of future range shifts. Our target species Betula utilis is widespread at alpine treelines in the Himalayan mountains, the distribution range extends across the Himalayan mountain range. Our objective is to model the potential distribution of B. utilis in relation to current climate conditions. We generated a dataset of 590 occurrence records and used 24 variables for ecological niche modelling. We calibrated Generalized Linear Models using the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC and evaluated model performance using threshold-independent (AUC, Area Under the Curve and threshold-dependent (TSS, True Skill Statistics characteristics as well as visual assessments of projected distribution maps. We found two temperature-related (Mean Temperature of the Wettest Quarter, Temperature Annual Range and three precipitation-related variables (Precipitation of the Coldest Quarter, Average Precipitation of March, April and May and Precipitation Seasonality to be useful for predicting the potential distribution of B. utilis. All models had high predictive power (AUC ≥ 0.98 and TSS ≥ 0.89. The projected suitable area in the Himalayan mountains varies considerably, with most extensive distribution in the western and central Himalayan region. A substantial difference between potential and real distribution in the eastern Himalaya points to decreasing competitiveness of B. utilis under more oceanic conditions in the eastern part of the mountain system. A comparison between the vegetation map of Schweinfurth (1957 and our current predictions suggests that B. utilis does not reach the upper elevational limit in

  1. Sikkim Himalayas – The Megadiversity Centre of Pedicularis L. in India

    Arti Garg

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Investigations on the Himalayan genus Pedicularis L. revealed rich concentration and enormous diversity of species in the Sikkim Himalayas. Out of the 83 Indian species of Pedicularis, 49 species (ca. 59% are found in the Sikkim Himalaya s and 34 species (ca. 41% are endemic. The Sikkim Himalayas may therefore be designated as the ‘megadiversity centre’ of Pedicularis L. in India.

  2. Current strain accumulation in the hinterland of the northwest Himalaya constrained by landscape analyses, basin-wide denudation rates, and low temperature thermochronology

    Morell, Kristin D.; Sandiford, Mike; Kohn, Barry; Codilean, Alexandru; Fülöp, Réka-H.; Ahmad, Talat

    2017-11-01

    Rupture associated with the 25 April 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha (Nepal) earthquake highlighted our incomplete understanding of the structural architecture and seismic cycle processes that lead to Himalayan mountain building in Central Nepal. In this paper we investigate the style and kinematics of active mountain building in the Himalayan hinterland of Northwest India, approximately 400 km to the west of the hypocenter of the Nepal earthquake, via a combination of landscape metrics and long- (Ma) and short-term (ka) erosion rate estimates (from low temperature thermochronometry and basin-wide denudation rate estimates from 10Be concentrations). We focus our analysis on the area straddling the PT2, the physiographic transition between the Lesser and High Himalaya that has yielded important insights into the nature of hinterland deformation across much of the Himalaya. Our results from Northwest India reveal a distinctive PT2 that separates a Lesser Himalaya region with moderate relief (∼1000 m) and relatively slow erosion (400 km distance between them, similar spatiotemporal patterns of erosion and deformation observed in Northwest India and Central Nepal suggest both regions experience similar styles of active strain accumulation and both are susceptible to large seismic events.

  3. Tectonic implications of U-Pb (zircon) Geochronology of Chor Granitoids of the Lesser Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, NW Himalaya

    Singh, P.; Bhakuni, S. S.

    2017-12-01

    Granitoids of various ages ranging from Proterozoic to Tertiary occur throughout the Himalayan fold-thrust belt. The occurrence of the Neoproterozoic granitoids are very less in the Himalayan orogen. One of the best example of Neoproterozoic granitoids is Chor granitoids, which are the intrusive granite bodies in the Paleoproterozoic of the Lesser Himalayan Crystallines of the Jutogh Group. In the central part these granites are non-foliated homogeneous that are porphyritic and peraluminous in nature (Singh et al., 2002; Bhargava et al., 2014, 2016), whereas in the peripheral part these are foliated showing south directed shear sense of movement. In this work we present the U-Pb (zircon) geochronology of two different granites samples of the Chor granitoids of Himachal Pradesh, NW Himalaya. The Jutogh Group of rocks is thrust over the Lesser Himalayan Sequence along the Jutogh Thrust or MCT. The geochronology of the Chor Granitoids and Lesser Himalayan Crystallines and their relationship with each other, including with the Indian shield are sparsely obscure. U-Pb zircon geochrnological age populations from these granitoids yield ages between 780 and 980 Ma. One sample gives the prominent age spectra for 206Pb/238U with weighted mean age of 908.3 ± 6.7 Ma (2σ) MSWD = 2.4 (n = 18). Similarly another sample gives the age of crystallization with weight mean age of 917 ± 17 Ma (2σ) MSWD = 3 (n = 11) and Th/U ratios of both samples are >0.1, indicating their magmatic origin. As a result of ductile shearing of granites along the MCT during the Cenozoic Himalayan Orogeny, the age has reduced to 780 Ma. The Neoproterozoic age of Chor granite matches with the Neoproterozoic detrital zircon age (800 to 1000 Ma by Parrish and Hodges 1996, Decelles et al., 2000) of the HHC. On the basis of U-Pb (zircon) geochronological ages, it is revealed that the source of zircons of the Chor granite and HHC rocks was the northern margin of the Pan-African orogen. The Chor granitoids was

  4. Current Status of Genus Bryum Hedw. in Eastern Himalaya, India

    Pooja Bansal

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available A critical study on the genus Bryum Hedw., an acrocarpous moss of family Bryaceae, revealed the occurrence of 21 species from seven state of eastern Himalaya: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim and West Bengal. Among these twenty one species, B. argenteum var. griffithii (Muell. Hal. Gangulee, B. billardieri Schwaegr., B. pallescens Schleich. ex Schwaegr., B. pseudotriquetrum (Hedw. P. Gaertn., B. Meyer & Scherb., B. pseudotriquetrum var. subrotundum (Brid. Gangulee and B. reflexifolium (Ochi Ochi are new additions to Meghalaya; B. billardieri Schwaegr. to Manipur while B. apiculatum Schwaegr., B. caespiticium Hedw. and B. pseudotriquetrum var. subrotundum (Brid. Gangulee are new for West Bengal. Identification key to all the known species of the genus occurring in eastern Himalaya, alongwith the notes on their ecology and distribution have been provided.

  5. Use of Fault Displacement Vector to Identify Future Zones of Seismicity: An Example from the Earthquakes of Nepal Himalayas.

    Naim, F.; Mukherjee, M. K.

    2017-12-01

    Earthquakes occur due to fault slip in the subsurface. They can occur either as interplate or intraplate earthquakes. The region of study is the Nepal Himalayas that defines the boundary of Indian-Eurasian plate and houses the focus of the most devastating earthquakes. The aim of the study was to analyze all the earthquakes that occurred in the Nepal Himalayas upto May 12, 2015 earthquake in order to mark the regions still under stress and vulnerable for future earthquakes. Three different fault systems in the Nepal Himalayas define the tectonic set up of the area. They are: (1) Main Frontal Thrust(MFT), (2) Main Central Thrust(MCT) and (3) Main Boundary Thrust(MBT) that extend from NW to SE. Most of the earthquakes were observed to occur between the MBT and MCT. Since the thrust faults are dipping towards NE, the focus of most of the earthquakes lies on the MBT. The methodology includes estimating the dip of the fault by considering the depths of different earthquake events and their corresponding distance from the MBT. In order to carry out stress analysis on the fault, the beach ball diagrams associated with the different earthquakes were plotted on a map. Earthquakes in the NW and central region of the fault zone were associated with reverse fault slip while that on the South-Eastern part were associated with a strike slip component. The direction of net slip on the fault associated with the different earthquakes was known and from this a 3D slip diagram of the fault was constructed. The regions vulnerable for future earthquakes in the Nepal Himalaya were demarcated on the 3D slip diagram of the fault. Such zones were marked owing to the fact that the slips due to earthquakes cause the adjoining areas to come under immense stress and this stress is directly proportional to the amount of slip occuring on the fault. These vulnerable zones were in turn projected on the map to show their position and are predicted to contain the epicenter of the future earthquakes.

  6. Noteworthy additions to the flora of Uttarakhand, western Himalaya, India

    Ishwari D. Rai

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available During recent botanical explorations, we recorded three interesting plant species from the alpine regions (>3500m of the Uttarakhand State in the western Himalaya.  After a detailed scrutiny of the literature and herbarium specimens, we ascertain their identity and report them as additions to the flora of Uttarakhand.  In this paper descriptions of these species along with their phenology, distribution, photographs, ecology and phytogeographical notes have been presented.

  7. Rural Nonfarm Employment andIncomes in the Himalayas

    Micevska, Maja; Rahut, Dil Bahadur

    2008-01-01

    Nonfarm activities generate on average about 60 percent of rural households' incomes in the Himalayas. This paper analyzes the determinants of participation in nonfarm activities and of nonfarm incomes across rural households. A unique data set collected in the Himalayan region of India allows us to deal with the heterogeneity of rural nonfarm activities by using aggregations into categories that are useful both analytically and for policy purposes. We conduct an empirical inquiry that reveal...

  8. Importance of dynamic topography in Himalaya-Tibetan plateau region

    Ghosh, A.; Singh, S.

    2017-12-01

    Himalaya-Tibetan plateau region has the highest topography in the world. Various studies have been done to understand the mechanisms responsible for sustaining this high topography. However, the existence of dynamic topography in this region is still uncertain, though there have been some studies exploring the role of channel flow in lower crust leading to some topography. We investigated the role of radial mantle flow in this region by studying the relationship between geoid and topography. High geoid-to-topography ratios (GTR) were observed along the Himalayas suggesting deeper compensation mechanisms. However, further north, the geoid and topography relationship became a lot more complex as high as well as low GTR values were observed. The high GTR regions also coincided with area of high filtered free air gravity anomalies, indicating dynamic support. We also looked at the spectral components of gravity, geoid and topography, and calculated response functions to distinguish between different compensation mechanisms. We estimated the average elastic thickness of the whole region to be around 40 km from coherence and admittance studies. The GTR and admittance-coherence studies suggest deeper mass anomalies playing a role in supporting the topography along Himalayas and the area between Altyn Tagh and Kunlun faults.

  9. New chromosome reports in Lamiaceae of Kashmir (Northwest Himalaya), India.

    Malik, Reyaz Ahmad; Gupta, Raghbir Chand; Singh, Vijay; Bala, Santosh; Kumari, Santosh

    2017-03-01

    Meiotic studies and chromosome data are imperative in order to have an overall germplasm evaluation of a taxon. In the present effort, the meiotic study is carried out in 48 populations belonging to 26 species of Lamiaceae collected from their natural habitats in Kashmir Himalaya, which forms an important part of Northwest Himalaya. Chromosome counts in the five species viz. Dracocephalum nutans (2n = 10), Lycopus europaeus (2n = 22), Marrubium vulgare (2n = 54), Nepeta nervosa (2n = 18) and Salvia sclarea (2n = 22) are first time reported from India. Besides, 17 species are cytologically evaluated for the first time from the study area-Kashmir Himalaya. In Marrubium vulgare, hexaploid cytotype (2n = 6 × =54) is reported for the first time. Also, diploid and tetraploid cytomorphovariants are observed in Calamintha vulgaris (2n = 20, 40), Elsholtzia ciliata (2n = 16, 32) and Mentha longifolia (2n = 20, 40). Various meiotic abnormalities like chromatin stickiness, cytomixis, nonsynchronous disjunction, laggards, chromatin bridges, etc. leading to pollen abnormalities have been documented for the first time in some species. The worldwide status of chromosome number data in each genus is presented.

  10. Using titanite petrochronology to monitor CO2-degassing episodes from the Himalayas

    Rapa, Giulia; Groppo, Chiara; Rolfo, Franco; Petrelli, Maurizio; Mosca, Pietro

    2017-04-01

    Metamorphic degassing from active collisional orogens supplies a significant fraction of CO2 to the atmosphere, playing a fundamental role in the long-term (> 1 Ma) global carbon cycle (Gaillardet & Galy, 2008). The petro-chronologic study of the CO2-source rocks (e.g. calc-silicate rocks) in collisional settings is therefore fundamental to understand the nature, timing, duration and magnitude of the orogenic carbon cycle. So far, the incomplete knowledge of these systems hindered a reliable quantitative modelling of metamorphic CO2 fluxes. A detailed petrological modelling of a clinopyroxene + scapolite + K-feldspar + plagioclase + biotite + zoisite ± calcite calc-silicate rock from central Nepal Himalaya allowed us to identify and fully characterize - for the first time - different metamorphic reactions that led to the simultaneous growth of titanite and production of CO2. These reactions involve biotite (rather than rutile) as the Ti-bearing reactant counterpart of titanite. The results of petrological modelling combined with Zr-in-Ttn thermometry and U-Pb geochronology suggest that in the studied sample, most titanite grains grew during two nearly continuous episodes of titanite formation: a near-peak event at 730-740°C, 10 kbar, 25.5±1.5 Ma, and a peak event at 740-765°C, 10.5 kbar, 22±3 Ma. Both episodes of titanite growth are correlated to specific CO2-producing reactions, thus allowing to constrain the timing, duration and P-T conditions of the main CO2-producing events, as well as the amounts of CO2 produced. Assuming that fluids released at a depth of ca. 30 km are able to reach the Earth's surface 10 Ma after their production, it is therefore possible to speculate on the role exerted by the Himalayan orogenesis on the climate in the past. Gaillardet J. & Galy A. (2008): Himalaya-carbon sink or source? Science, 320, 1727-1728.

  11. Microseismicity, tectonics and seismic potential in the Western Himalayan segment, NW Himalaya, India

    Parija, Mahesh Prasad; Kumar, Sushil; Tiwari, V. M.; Rao, N. Purnachandra; Kumar, Narendra; Biswal, Shubhasmita; Singh, Ishwar

    2018-06-01

    The tectonics and seismic potential of the western Himalayan segment (30-33°N; 76-80°E) of the NW Himalayan (India) region have been determined in this study. 423 earthquakes were located in the NW Himalaya between 2004 and 2013 using more than 4495 P and 4453 S differential travel times to determine the moment tensors for 8 (Mw ≥ 4.0) of these earthquakes using their broadband regional waveforms. The geometry of the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT) plane which varies along the strike of the Himalaya in flat and ramp segments with a dip ranging between ∼2.5 to ∼4° to ∼19° below the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) in the south to the South Tibetan Detachment (STD) in the north has also been deduced in this study. Two crustal ramps were reported in this study with a depth variance below the Main Central Thrust (MCT) and to the South Tibetan Detachment (STD) between 12 to 22 km and 28 to 40 km depth respectively. The estimated earthquake potential prevailing in the western Himalayan seismic gap lying between the epicentral zone of the 1905 Kangra earthquake and the 1975 Kinnaur earthquake reveals that the total amount of energy released since the last great event is only a fraction (3-5%) of the accommodated energy i.e.1.1E+28 dyne-cm/yr. This suggests that if an earthquake hits this NW Himalayan segment in the future, its magnitude might be around Mw ≥ 8.0.

  12. Elevational gradients in fish diversity in the Himalaya: water discharge is the key driver of distribution patterns.

    Bhatt, Jay P; Manish, Kumar; Pandit, Maharaj K

    2012-01-01

    Studying diversity and distribution patterns of species along elevational gradients and understanding drivers behind these patterns is central to macroecology and conservation biology. A number of studies on biogeographic gradients are available for terrestrial ecosystems, but freshwater ecosystems remain largely neglected. In particular, we know very little about the species richness gradients and their drivers in the Himalaya, a global biodiversity hotspot. We collated taxonomic and distribution data of fish species from 16 freshwater Himalayan rivers and carried out empirical studies on environmental drivers and fish diversity and distribution in the Teesta river (Eastern Himalaya). We examined patterns of fish species richness along the Himalayan elevational gradients (50-3800 m) and sought to understand the drivers behind the emerging patterns. We used generalized linear models (GLM) and generalized additive models (GAM) to examine the richness patterns; GLM was used to investigate relationship between fish species richness and various environmental variables. Regression modelling involved stepwise procedures, including elimination of collinear variables, best model selection, based on the least Akaike's information criterion (AIC) and the highest percentage of deviance explained (D(2)). This maiden study on the Himalayan fishes revealed that total and non-endemic fish species richness monotonously decrease with increasing elevation, while endemics peaked around mid elevations (700-1500 m). The best explanatory model (synthetic model) indicated that water discharge is the best predictor of fish species richness patterns in the Himalayan rivers. This study, carried out along one of the longest bioclimatic elevation gradients of the world, lends support to Rapoport's elevational rule as opposed to mid domain effect hypothesis. We propose a species-discharge model and contradict species-area model in predicting fish species richness. We suggest that drivers of

  13. CODA Q estimates for Kumaun Himalaya

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    ∗∗Department of Earthquake Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247 667, India. ... under a Department of Science and Technology .... of Butterworth band pass filter used for filtering the local earthquake data. Low cutoff. Central frequency (fc). High cutoff. (Hz). (Hz). (Hz). 1.0. 1.5. 2.0. 2.0. 3.0. 4.0.

  14. Variability of Diurnal Temperature Range During Winter Over Western Himalaya: Range- and Altitude-Wise Study

    Shekhar, M. S.; Devi, Usha; Dash, S. K.; Singh, G. P.; Singh, Amreek

    2018-04-01

    The current trends in diurnal temperature range, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, mean temperature, and sun shine hours over different ranges and altitudes of Western Himalaya during winter have been studied. Analysis of 25 years of data shows an increasing trend in diurnal temperature range over all the ranges and altitudes of Western Himalaya during winter, thereby confirming regional warming of the region due to present climate change and global warming. Statistical studies show significant increasing trend in maximum temperature over all the ranges and altitudes of Western Himalaya. Minimum temperature shows significant decreasing trend over Pir Panjal and Shamshawari range and significant increasing trend over higher altitude of Western Himalaya. Similarly, sunshine hours show significant decreasing trend over Karakoram range. There exists strong positive correlation between diurnal temperature range and maximum temperature for all the ranges and altitudes of Western Himalaya. Strong negative correlation exists between diurnal temperature range and minimum temperature over Shamshawari and Great Himalaya range and lower altitude of Western Himalaya. Sunshine hours show strong positive correlation with diurnal temperature range over Pir Panjal and Great Himalaya range and lower and higher altitudes.

  15. The promotion of geosites along a major trail of the Nepal Himalayas: the middle Kali Gandaki Valley.

    Adhikari, Narayan; Fort, Monique; Sapkota, Somanath

    2017-04-01

    landslide which dammed during a few hours the valley. (2) Dana is close to the Main Central Thrust zone (transition from the Lesser to Higher Himalayas units), and is regularly affected by active debris flows, a threat to the recent road. (3) North of Kabre, the large Holocene PahiroThaplo landslide dammed the Kali Gandaki river, which then cut a dramatic epigenetic gorge; (4) Marpha village is characterized by white lacustrine deposits contrasting with the surrounding dark Tethysian sedimentary rocks: it represents the remnants of a large lake, as the result of a giant, most probably prehistoric mountain collapse derived from the Dhaulagiri Peak (8167 m) and its adjacent mountain ridges. On the basis of this first experience and feedback from locals and trekkers, the geosites network will be further extended to other major and touristic trails of Nepal.

  16. Upper mantle beneath foothills of the western Himalaya: subducted lithospheric slab or a keel of the Indian shield?

    Vinnik, L.; Singh, A.; Kiselev, S.; Kumar, M. Ravi

    2007-12-01

    The fate of the mantle lithosphere of the Indian Plate in the India-Eurasia collision zone is not well understood. Tomographic studies reveal high P velocity in the uppermost mantle to the south of the western Himalaya, and these high velocities are sometimes interpreted as an image of subducting Indian lithosphere. We suggest that these high velocities are unrelated to the ongoing subduction but correspond to a near-horizontal mantle keel of the Indian shield. In the south of the Indian shield upper-mantle velocities are anomalously low, and relatively high velocities may signify a recovery of the normal shield structure in the north. Our analysis is based on the recordings of seismograph station NIL in the foothills of the western Himalaya. The T component of the P receiver functions is weak relative to the Q component, which is indicative of a subhorizontally layered structure. Joint inversion of the P and S receiver functions favours high uppermost mantle velocities, typical of the lithosphere of Archean cratons. The arrival of the Ps converted phase from 410 km discontinuity at NIL is 2.2 s earlier than in IASP91 global model. This can be an effect of remnants of Tethys subduction in the mantle transition zone and of high velocities in the keel of the Indian shield. Joint inversion of SKS particle motions and P receiver functions reveals a change in the fast direction of seismic azimuthal anisotropy from 60° at 80-160 km depths to 150° at 160-220 km. The fast direction in the lower layer is parallel to the trend of the Himalaya. The change of deformation regimes at a depth of 160 km suggests that this is the base of the lithosphere of the Indian shield. A similar boundary was found with similar techniques in central Europe and the Tien Shan region, but the base of the lithosphere in these regions is relatively shallow, in agreement with the higher upper-mantle temperatures. The ongoing continental collision is expressed in crustal structure: the crust

  17. Tree ring evidence of a 20th century precipitation surge in the monsoon shadow zone of the western Himalaya, India

    Yadav, Ram R.

    2011-01-01

    The present study is the first attempt to develop an annual (August-July) precipitation series back to AD 1330 using a tree ring data network of Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) G. Don) from the Lahaul-Spiti region in the western Himalaya, India. The rainfall reconstruction reveals high magnitude multidecadal droughts during the 14th and 15th centuries and thenceforth a gradual increase in precipitation. Increasingly wet conditions during the 20th century are consistent with other long-term precipitation reconstructions from high Asia and reflect a large-scale intensification of the hydrological cycle, coincident with what is anticipated due to global warming. Significant relationships between reconstructed precipitation and precipitation records from central southwest Asia, east of the Caspian Sea, ENSO (NINO4-SST) variability and summer monsoon rainfall over central northeast India underscore the utility of our data in synoptic climatology.

  18. Looking at the roots of the highest mountains: the lithospheric structure of the Himalaya-Tibet and the Zagros orogens. Results from a geophysical-petrological study

    Tunini, L.; Jimenez-Munt, I.; Fernandez, M.; Villasenor, A.; Afonso, J. C.; Verges, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Himalaya-Tibet and Zagros orogens are the two most prominent mountain belts built by continental collision. They are part of a huge belt of Cenozoic age which runs from the Pyrenees to Burma. In its central sector, the collision with the southern margin of the Eurasian plate has resulted not only in the building of mountain ranges over the north-eastern edges of the Arabian and Indian plates but also in widespread deformation 1000-3000 km from the suture zones. Zagros and Himalaya-Tibet orogens share many geodynamic processes but at different rates, amount of convergence and stage of development. The study of their present-day structures provides new insights into their quasi coeval collisional event pointing out differences and similarities in the mountain building processes. We present 2D crust and upper mantle cross-sections down to 400 km depth, along four SW-NE trending profiles. Two profiles cross the Zagros Mountains, running from the Mesopotamian Foreland Basin up to the Alborz and Central Iran. Two other profiles run through the Himalaya-Tibetan orogen: the western transect crosses the western Himalaya, Tarim Basin, Tian Shan Mountains and Junggar Basin; the eastern transect runs from the Indian shield to the Beishan Basin, crossing the eastern Himalaya, Tibetan Plateau, Qaidam Basin and Qilian Mountains. We apply the LitMod-2D code which integrates potential fields (gravity and geoid), isostasy (elevation) and thermal (heat flow and temperature distribution) equations, and mantle petrology. The resulting crust and upper mantle structure is constrained by available data on elevation, Bouguer anomaly, geoid height, surface heat flow and seismic data including P- and S-wave tomography models. Our results show distinct deformation patterns between the crust and the lithospheric mantle beneath the Zagros and Himalaya-Tibetan orogens, indicating a strong strain partitioning in both areas. At crustal level, we found a thickening beneath the Zagros and the

  19. Implications of recent levelling observations for Tehri and other high dams in the Himalaya

    Chander, R.; Gahalaut, V.K.

    1995-01-01

    Seismic hazards around the Tehri and other existing and proposed high dams in the Himalaya are a matter of concern to many people. The magnitude and dimensions of the problem appear to increase with every new set of geophysical and geological data gathered from the Himalaya. But the flexibility and readiness of the people involved to improve their designs for the dams transparently in the light of the evolving perceptions about seismic hazards is not evident to us at least. In this article the evidence for an aspect of seismic hazards in the Himalaya is buttressed. (author). 44 refs., 3 figs

  20. Ectomycorrhizal diversity associated with Cedrus deodara and Pinus wallichiana in the Kashmir Himalaya, India.

    Itoo, Zahoor Ahmad; Reshi, Zafar A

    2014-01-01

    The present study was undertaken to document the ectomycorrhizal diversity associated with the Cedrus deodara and Pinus wallichiana in the Kashmir Himalaya, India. The extensive field surveys carried out in the Kashmir Himalaya at five study sites resulted in the collection and identification of 76 potential ectomycorrhizal fungal species associated with the Cedrus deodara and Pinus wallichiana. Maximum 32 number of species were found associated with Pinus wallichiana, 19 with Cedrus deodara and 25 species were found growing in association with both the conifers. The present study reveals that Cedrus deodara and Pinus wallichiana in the Kashmir Himalaya, India harbour diverse ectomycorrhizal fungal species.

  1. 25 April 2015 Gorkha Earthquake in Nepal Himalaya (Part 2)

    Rao, N. Purnachandra; Burgmann, Roland; Mugnier, Jean-Louis; Gahalaut, Vineet; Pandey, Anand

    2017-06-01

    The response from the geosciences community working on Himalaya in general, and the 2015 Nepal earthquakes in specific, was overwhelming, and after a rigorous review process, thirteen papers were selected and published in Part-1. We are still left with a few good papers which are being brought out as Part-2 of the special issue. In the opening article Jean-Louis Mugnier and colleagues attempt to provide a structural geological perspective of the 25 April 2015 Gorkha earthquake and highlight the role of segmentation in generating the Himalayan mega-thrusts. They could infer segmentation by stable barriers in the HT that define barrier-type earthquake families. In yet another interesting piece of work, Pandey and colleagues map the crustal structure across the earthquake volume using Receiver function approach and infer a 5-km thick low velocity layer that connects to the MHT ramp. They are also able to correlate the rupture termination with the highest point of coseismic uplift. The last paper by Shen et al. highlights the usefulness of INSAR technique in mapping the coseismic slip distribution applied to the 25 April 2015 Gorkha earthquake. They infer low stress drop and corner frequency which coupled with hybrid modeling explain the low level of slip heterogeneity and frequency of ground motion. We compliment the journal of Asian Earth Sciences for bringing out the two volumes and do hope that these efforts have made a distinct impact on furthering our understanding of seismogenesis in Himalaya using the very latest data sets.

  2. Soil-gas radon as seismotectonic indicator in Garhwal Himalaya

    Ramola, R.C.; Prasad, Yogesh; Prasad, Ganesh; Kumar, Sushil; Choubey, V.M.

    2008-01-01

    Research on earthquake-related radon monitoring has received enormous attention recently. Anomalous behaviour of radon in soil and groundwater can be used as a reliable precursor for an impending earthquake. While earthquake prediction may not yet be possible, earthquake prediction research has greatly increased our understanding of earthquake source mechanisms, the structural complexities of fault zones, and the earthquake recurrence interval, expected at a given location. This paper presents some results of continuous monitoring of radon in soil-gas in Garhwal Himalaya, India. Daily soil-gas radon monitoring with seismic activity and meteorological parameters were performed in the same laboratory system, located at H.N.B. Garhwal University Campus, Tehri Garhwal, India. Radon anomalies along with meteorological parameters were found to be statistically significant for the seismic events within the magnitudes M2.0-M6.0 and epicentral distances of 16-250 km from the monitoring station. The frequent positive and negative anomalies with constant environmental perturbation indicate the opening and closing of micro cracks within the volume of dilatancy by strain energy. The spike-like and sharp peak anomalies were recorded before, during and after earthquakes occurred in the area. The variations in radon concentrations in soil-gas are found to be correlated with seismic activities in the Garhwal Himalaya. The correlation between radon level and meteorological parameters is also discussed

  3. Integrating ethnobiological knowledge into biodiversity conservation in the Eastern Himalayas.

    O'Neill, Alexander R; Badola, Hemant K; Dhyani, Pitamber P; Rana, Santosh K

    2017-03-29

    Biocultural knowledge provides valuable insight into ecological processes, and can guide conservation practitioners in local contexts. In many regions, however, such knowledge is underutilized due to its often-fragmented record in disparate sources. In this article, we review and apply ethnobiological knowledge to biodiversity conservation in the Eastern Himalayas. Using Sikkim, India as a case study, we: (i) traced the history and trends of ethnobiological documentation; (ii) identified priority species and habitat types; and, (iii) analyzed within and among community differences pertaining to species use and management. Our results revealed that Sikkim is a biocultural hotspot, where six ethnic communities and 1128 species engage in biocultural relationships. Since the mid-1800s, the number of ethnobiological publications from Sikkim has exponentially increased; however, our results also indicate that much of this knowledge is both unwritten and partitioned within an aging, gendered, and caste or ethnic group-specific stratum of society. Reviewed species were primarily wild or wild cultivated, native to subtropical and temperate forests, and pend IUCN Red List of Threatened Species assessment. Our results demonstrate the value of engaging local knowledge holders as active participants in conservation, and suggest the need for further ethnobiological research in the Eastern Himalayas. Our interdisciplinary approach, which included rank indices and geospatial modelling, can help integrate diverse datasets into evidence-based policy.

  4. Variation of precipitation in Langtang Valley,Himalayas

    2001-01-01

    The variation of the δ 18O in precipitation and the relationship with precipitation amountat Kyangjin Base House and Yala Glacier Camp in Langtang Valley, Nepal Himalayas were ana-lyzed. The variations of the δ 18O with precipitation had great scatter, and the correlations betweenthe δ18O and precipitation changed with time on the synoptic scale. On the seasonal scale, therewas marked amount effect at Kyangjin Base House. However, the δ18O-precipitation gradient wassmaller than that on the synoptic scale. Because of the maintenance of the basic equilibrium be-tween stable isotopic compositions in atmospheric vapor and precipitation, the evaporation en-richment was light during the rainy season. Therefore, the variation of stable isotopic compositionsin precipitation was independent on the sampling intervals. Simulations show that the rainfall inLangtang Valley was not the outcome of the initial condensation of ocean vapor that originatedfrom low latitudes. The stable isotopic compositions in precipitation were greatly depleted due tothe strong rainout of the vapor from oceans as the vapor was raised over the Himalayas

  5. New paleomagnetic results from the Paleocene redbeds in the Tethyan Himalaya: Insights into the precollisional extension of Greater India and the time of the India-Asia collision

    Yang, T.; Jin, J.; Ma, Y.; Bian, W.; Zhang, S.; Gao, F.; Wu, H.; Li, H.; Yang, Z.; Cao, L.

    2017-12-01

    The collision and ongoing convergence between the India and Asia continents have produced the Himalayan-Tibetan Orogen. The precollisional extension of Greater India and the time of the India-Asia collision are very important to understand the tectonic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau, but disputes still remain concerning these two problems. A paleomagnetic and rock-magnetic study has been carried out on the Sangdanlin and Zheya Formation redbeds, which were dated at 60-58.5 Ma, in the Saga area of the Tethyan Himalaya. Thirty-six Paleocene redbed sites provide a tilt-corrected site-mean direction of D=178.3°, I=9.8° with ɑ95=5.5°, corresponding to a paleopole at 55.6°N, 268.5°E with A95 = 4.9°. This Paleocene paleomagnetic dataset passes positive fold tests and shows that the Saga area (29.3°N, 85.3°E) was located at 5.1°S during 60-58.5 Ma. Comparing the Paleocene (60-58.5 Ma) paleomagnetic results observed from the Tethyan Himalaya with those expected from the Indian APWP indicates a paleolatitude difference of 2.1°, which, combined with that the Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic results obtained from the Tethyan Himalaya and the Indian craton also showed a similar paleolatitude difference, suggests that neither a great north-south crustal shortening occurred between the Indian craton and the Tethyan Himalaya after the India-Asia collision, nor that a wide ocean extended between them after the Early Cretaceous. Therefore, high-quality paleomagnetic results show no a big Greater India. Based on our new Paleocene results obtained from the Tethyan Himalaya and the reliable Cretaceous-Early Eocene paleomagnetic results observed from the Lhasa terrane, as well as on extrapolating a constant Indian northward velocity of 18.8 cm/yr, the India-Asia collision occurred at 49.2 Ma for the reference point at 29.3°N, 85.3°E. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41572205) and the Fundamental Research Fund for the Central

  6. Rock magnetic survey of Himalaya-Karakoram ranges, northern Pakistan; Pakistan hokubu, Himalaya-Karakoram tai no ganseki jikigakuteki chosa

    Yoshida, M [Geoscience Co. Ltd., Tokyo (Japan); Khadim, I; Ahmad, M [Geological Survey of Pakistan, Islamabad (Pakistan)

    1997-10-22

    This paper describes results of the rock magnetic survey mainly including measurement of magnetic susceptibility conducted in the northern Pakistan from 1992 to 1997. Magnetic characteristics in Himalaya-Karakoram ranges and prospective ore deposits are also described. Magnetic susceptibility data measured in this district were summarized as a frequency map in each geological block. Granitoids in the northern part of Kohistan batholith and granitoids of Ladakh batholith showed remarkably high magnetic susceptibility values, which suggested they are magnetite-series magmatism. It has been known that magnetite-series magmatism often accompanies sulfide-forming mineral resources, which suggests high potentiality of abundant mineral resources containing Mo, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ag and Au. From the results of the magnetic susceptibility measurements and the above-mentioned models, accordingly, it can be pointed out that the northern part of Kohistan batholith, the distribution area of Ladakh batholith, and surrounding areas are promising targets for mineral resources exploration in the Himalaya-Karakoram ranges, northern Pakistan. 5 refs., 3 figs.

  7. Transport of short-lived climate forcers/pollutants (SLCF/P) to the Himalayas during the South Asian summer monsoon onset

    Cristofanelli, P; Putero, D; Landi, T C; Marinoni, A; Duchi, R; Calzolari, F; Bonasoni, P; Adhikary, B; Stocchi, P; Verza, G; Vuillermoz, E; Laj, P; Kang, S; Ming, J

    2014-01-01

    Over the course of six years (2006–2011), equivalent black carbon (eqBC), coarse aerosol mass (PM 1–10 ), and surface ozone (O 3 ), observed during the monsoon onset period at the Nepal Climate Observatory–Pyramid WMO/GAW Global Station (NCO-P, 5079 m a.s.l.), were analyzed to investigate events characterized by a significant increase in these short-lived climate forcers/pollutants (SLCF/P). These events occurred during periods characterized by low (or nearly absent) rain precipitation in the central Himalayas, and they appeared to be related to weakening stages (or ‘breaking’) of the South Asian summer monsoon system. As revealed by the combined analysis of atmospheric circulation, air-mass three-dimensional back trajectories, and satellite measurements of atmospheric aerosol loading, surface open fire, and tropospheric NO x , the large amount of SLCF/P reaching the NCO-P appeared to be related to natural (mineral dust) and anthropogenic emissions occurring within the PBL of central Pakistan (i.e., Thar Desert), the Northwestern Indo-Gangetic plain, and the Himalayan foothills. The systematic occurrence of these events appeared to represent the most important source of SLCF/P inputs into the central Himalayas during the summer monsoon onset period, with possible important implications for the regional climate and for hydrological cycles. (letter)

  8. Carbon and oxygen isotope changes in Siwalik soils from Nepal Himalaya

    Sanyal, Prasanta; Bhattacharya, S.K.

    2000-01-01

    Siwalik sediments of lower Himalayas are derived from the erosion of the rocks from higher reaches and deposited in the foreland basin. These group of sediments are formed over the time span of last ∼20 Ma

  9. Impacts of changing climate and snow cover on the flow regime of Jhelum River, Western Himalayas

    Azmat, Muhammad; Liaqat, Umar Waqas; Qamar, Muhammad Uzair; Awan, Usman Khalid

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the change in climate variables and snow cover dynamics and their impact on the hydrological regime of the Jhelum River basin in Western Himalayas. This study utilized daily streamflow records from Mangla dam, spanning a time

  10. The impact of spatial resolution on resolving spatial precipitation patterns in the Himalayas

    Bonekamp, P.N.J.; Collier, S.E.; Immerzeel, W.W.

    2017-01-01

    Frequently used gridded meteorological datasets poorly represent precipitation in the Himalaya due to their relatively low spatial resolution and the associated coarse representation of the complex topography. Dynamical downscaling using high-resolution atmospheric models may improve the accuracy

  11. High altitude survival: conflicts between pastoralism and wildlife in the Trans-Himalaya

    Mishra, C.

    2001-01-01

    Keywords : Pastoralism, agriculture, wildlife, Himalaya, competition, bharal, yak, livestock, snow leopard, wolf, herbivore, ungulate, resource, rangeland, steppe, mountain

    How harmonious is the coexistence between pastoralism and

  12. Environmental impact assessment of mountain tourism in developing regions: A study in Ladakh, Indian Himalaya

    Geneletti, Davide; Dawa, Dorje

    2009-01-01

    Mountain tourism in developing countries is becoming a growing environmental concern due to extreme seasonality, lack of suitable infrastructures and planning, and interference with fragile ecosystems and protected areas. This paper presents a study devoted to assess the adverse environmental impacts of tourism, and in particular of trekking-related activities, in Ladakh, Indian Himalaya. The proposed approach is based on the use of Geographical Information System (GIS) modeling and remote sensing imageries to cope with the lack of data that affect the region. First, stressors associated with trekking, and environmental receptors potentially affected were identified. Subsequently, a baseline study on stressors (trail use, waste dumping, camping, pack animal grazing and off-road driving) and receptors (soil, water, wildlife, vegetation) was conducted through field work, data collection, and data processing supported by GIS. Finally, impacts were modeled by considering the intensity of the stressors, and the vulnerability and the value of the receptors. The results were spatially aggregated into watershed units, and combined to generate composite impact maps. The study concluded that the most affected watersheds are located in the central and southeastern part of Ladakh, along some of the most visited trails and within the Hemis and the Tsokar Tsomoriri National parks. The main objective of the study was to understand patterns of tourism-induced environmental degradation, so as to support mitigation interventions, as well as the development of suitable tourism policies.

  13. Vegetation Response to Changing Climate - A Case Study from Gandaki River Basin in Nepal Himalaya

    Panthi, J., Sr.; Kirat, N. H.; Dahal, P.

    2015-12-01

    The climate of the Himalayan region is changing rapidly - temperature is increasingly high and rainfall has become unpredictable. IPCC predicts that average annual mean temperature over the Asian land mass, including the Himalayas, will increase by about 3°C by the 2050s and about 5°C by the 2080s and the average annual precipitation in this region will increase by 10-30% by 2080s. Climate and the human activities can influence the land cover status and the eco-environmental quality. There are enough evidences that there is strong interaction between climate variability and ecosystems. A project was carried out in Gandaki river basin in central Nepal to analyze the relationship of NDVI vegetation index with the temperature, rainfall and snowcover information. The relationships were analyzed for different landuses classes-grassland, forest and agriculture. Results show that the snowcover area is decreasing at the rate of 0.15% per year in the basin. The NDVI shows seasonal fluctuations and lightly correlated with the rainfall and temperature.

  14. Seismotectonics of Bhutan: Evidence for segmentation of the Eastern Himalayas and link to foreland deformation

    Diehl, Tobias; Singer, Julia; Hetényi, György; Grujic, Djordje; Clinton, John; Giardini, Domenico; Kissling, Edi; Gansser Working Group

    2017-08-01

    The instrumental record of Bhutan is characterized by a lower seismicity compared to other parts of the Himalayan arc. To understand this low activity and its impact on the seismic hazard, a seismic network was installed in Bhutan for 22 months between 2013 and 2014. Recorded seismicity, earthquake moment tensors and local earthquake tomography reveal along-strike variations in structure and crustal deformation regime. A thickened crust imaged in western Bhutan suggests lateral differences in stresses on the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT), potentially affecting the interseismic coupling and deformation regime. Sikkim, western Bhutan and its foreland are characterized by strike-slip faulting in the Indian basement. Strain is particularly localized along a NW-SE striking mid-crustal fault zone reaching from Chungthang in northeast Sikkim to Dhubri at the northwestern edge of the Shillong Plateau in the foreland. The dextral Dhubri-Chungthang fault zone (DCF) causes segmentation of the Indian basement and the MHT between eastern Nepal and western Bhutan and connects the deformation front of the Himalaya with the Shillong Plateau by forming the western boundary of the Shillong block. The Kopili fault, the proposed eastern boundary of this block, appears to be a diffuse zone of mid-crustal seismicity in the foreland. In eastern Bhutan we image a seismogenic, flat portion of the MHT, which might be either related to a partially creeping segment or to increased background seismicity originating from the 2009 MW 6.1 earthquake. In western-central Bhutan clusters of micro-earthquakes at the front of the High-Himalayas indicate the presence of a mid-crustal ramp and stress buildup on a fully coupled MHT. The area bounded by the DCF in the west and the seismogenic MHT in the east has the potential for M7-8 earthquakes in Bhutan. Similarly, the DCF has the potential to host M7 earthquakes as documented by the 2011 Sikkim and the 1930 Dhubri earthquakes, which were potentially

  15. Holocene surface-rupturing earthquakes along the Yadong Cross Structure (Himalaya)

    Ferry, M. A.; Roth, T.; Jean-Francois, R.; Cattin, R.

    2017-12-01

    The Himalayan Arc accommodates 2 cm/yr of shortening from the India-Eurasia collision, mostly along the Main Himalayan Thust. Perpendicularly to the main structures, regional cross structures formed by en échelon grabens and half-grabens mark Quaternary extension from central Tibet to the Himalayas. The Yadong-Gulu Rift system is the most striking one with a total length of 500 km. Its southernmost segment -the 100-km-long Yadong half-graben- entrenches through the Himalayas and forms a 500-to-1500-m-deep asymmetric basin. The average basin surface elevation of 4500 m contrasts with high reliefs of the Jomolhari range that reach 7326 m. They are separated by the N15 Yadong normal fault (also called Jomolhari Fault System, JFS) that forms spectacular triangular facets and affects glacial landforms. Though observed as early as the 1980s, offset moraines were never studied in detail in terms of measured displacement or age determination. Recent efforts from paleoclimate studies yielded a high-resolution framework to identify the various stages of Holocene glacial advances and associated moraine formation. These landforms display specific geomorphometric features recognized regionally (ELA, rugosity, crest freshness) that allow correlating across the various glacial valleys within the Yadong Rift and across similar settings in western Bhutan and eastern Nepal. This serves as a robust basis to place our moraine sequence within the Holocene paleoclimatic record and propose formation ages. By combining satellite images from Sentinel-2 (10 m, visible and NIR), Pléiades (0.5 m, visible) and a Pléiades-derived tri-stereo photogrammetric DEM (1 m), we map the fault trace and affected landforms in details and extract topographic profiles to measure vertical offsets. Paleoclimatic age constraints yield age-vs-displacement measurements along the whole 100-km-long JFS and define a chronology of Holocene deformation events. Within the limits of our observations, we conclude

  16. Calculation of former ELA depressions in the Himalaya - a comparative analysis

    Wagner, M.

    2009-04-01

    For the reconstruction of former Equilibrium Line Altitudes (ELA) and ELA depressions in the Himalaya, the group of the Toe-to-Summit-Altitude-Methods (TSAM) is most suited. In this investigation the Kuhle (1986) method that is particularly tailored to the extreme high mountain relief, as well as the widely used Höfer (1879) method and Louis (1954/55) method, have been applied. Applying the relief specific correction factor FSD (Factor for snowline deviation) in the Kuhle method, it is thereby possible to simulate the shifting position of the ELA within the vertical extension of the glacier in dependence on the relief characteristics and glacial type. The results of this work, carried out along the Kali Gandaki in central Nepal, illustrate that as a rule, the Louis method results in the highest ELAs and the lowest ELA depressions, while the Höfer method yields the lowest ELAs and the highest ELA depressions. In affirmation of the literature, the Louis method tends to overestimate the ELA, since using the maximum peak height, especially for large glaciers in mountain ranges with high relief energy, leads to an overly high position of the glacier upper limit. With respect to the Höfer method, the suspicion already voiced by Höfer (1879) himself, that with the use of his method, the for the Himalaya typically high elevated, and with marginal gradient toward the valley moving ridge progressions, would lead to a too low ELA, can be affirmed. Clearly to be disputed, however, is the statement of Gross et al. (1976) that the Höfer method leads to an overestimation of the ELA. The reason for this can be found in a wrong computation of the mean ridge height above the ELA and consequently of the ELA itself within the Höfer method, based on the erroneous assumption that otherwise the ELA could not be calculated due to a circular conclusion (Gross et al. 1976). As is evidenced by this study, the Kuhle method mediates between the empiric overly high values of the Louis

  17. Dating of movements along thrusts and faults in the Himalaya

    Saini, H.S.

    1982-01-01

    Radiometric dating of movements along the MCT (Vaikrita Thrust), two local but deep seated thrust and the Sumdoh Fault Zone bordering the Kinnar Kailas Granite in the Baspa and Satluj valleys, NE Himachal Himalaya, has been attempted for the first time by fission track method. Garnet and apatite fission track ages suggest the age of the latest phase of movements around 14 and 7 m.y. respectively along the MCT and Sumdoh Fault. The vertical uplift rates along them were 1.1mm/year from 14 to 7 m.y. and 0.6 mm/year from 7 m.y. to recent geologic past respectively, as against the value 0.036 mm/year during the period from 210 to 17 m.y. in the undisturbed area. (author)

  18. Indoor radon measurements in dwellings of Garhwal Himalaya, Northern India

    Ramola, R.C.

    1996-01-01

    Measurement of indoor radon and daughters concentration were performed in several houses in Garhwal Himalaya during 1993-95 with solid state nuclear track detector films (LR-115 Type II). The detector films were exposed for a period of three month to one year. The films basically measured total airborne alpha activity but may be calibrated in unite of EEC RN (equilibrium equivalent concentration of radon with equilibrium factor F=0.45) in an environment with known radon and daughters concentrations. A numbers of dwelling in the area exhibited radon daughters concentrations (EEC RN ) exceeding the recommended level. The abnormal values are due to typical house construction (mud house) in the area. The houses are constructed with soil and local stone with a thin paste of mud. Behaviour and abnormality of radon in mud houses are discussed in details the corresponding annual effective dose has been calculated. (author)

  19. A Review of Geophysical Constraints on the Deep Structure of the Tibetan Plateau, the Himalaya and the Karakoram, and their Tectonic Implications

    Molnar, P.

    1988-09-01

    -wave dispersion for different paths. The notably lower velocities and the greater attenuation in the mantle of north--central Tibet than elsewhere imply higher temperatures there and are consistent with the occurrence of active and young volcanism in roughly the same area. Surface-wave dispersion across north--central Tibet also requires a thinner crust in that area than in most of the plateau. Consequently the relatively uniform height of the plateau implies that isostatic compensation in the north--central part of Tibet occurs partly because the density of the relatively hot material in the upper mantle is lower than that elsewhere beneath Tibet, the mechanism envisioned by Pratt. Several seismological studies provide evidence consistent with a continuity of the Indian Shield, and its cold thick lithosphere, beneath the Himalaya. Fault-plane solutions and focal depths of the majority of moderate earthquakes in the Himalaya are consistent with their occurring on the top surface of the gently flexed, intact Indian plate that has underthrust the Lesser Himalaya roughly 80-100 km or more. P-waves from explosions in southern Tibet and recorded in Nepal can be interpreted as wide-angle reflections from this fault zone. P-wave delays across the Tarbela network in Pakistan from distant earthquakes indicate a gentle dip of the Moho beneath the array without pronounced later variations in upper-mantle structure. High Pn and Sn velocities beneath the Himalaya and normal to early S-wave arrival times from Himalayan earthquakes recorded at teleseismic distances are consistent with Himalaya being underlain by the same structure that underlies India. Results from explosion seismology indicate an increase in crustal thickness from the Indo--Gangetic Plain across the Himalaya to southern Tibet, but Hirn, Lepine, Sapin and their co-workers inferred that the depth of the Moho does not increase smoothly northward, as it would if the Indian Shield had been underthrust coherently beneath the

  20. Paleolatitudes of the Tibetan Himalaya from primary and secondary magnetizations of Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous sedimentary rocks

    Huang, Wentao; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J J; Dekkers, Mark J.; Garzanti, Eduardo; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Lippert, Peter C.; Li, Xiaochun; Maffione, Marco; Langereis, Cor G.; Hu, Xiumian; Guo, Zhaojie; Kapp, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The Tibetan Himalaya represents the northernmost continental unit of the Indian plate that collided with Asia in the Cenozoic. Paleomagnetic studies on the Tibetan Himalaya can help constrain the dimension and paleogeography of "Greater India," the Indian plate lithosphere that subducted and

  1. Changes in Rongbuk lake and Imja lake in the Everest region of Himalaya

    Chen, W.; Doko, T.; Liu, C.; Ichinose, T.; Fukui, H.; Feng, Q.; Gou, P.

    2014-12-01

    The Himalaya holds the world record in terms of range and elevation. It is one of the most extensively glacierized regions in the world except the Polar Regions. The Himalaya is a region sensitive to climate change. Changes in the glacial regime are indicators of global climate changes. Since the second half of the last century, most Himalayan glaciers have melted due to climate change. These changes directly affected the changes of glacial lakes in the Himalayan region due to the glacier retreat. New glacial lakes are formed, and a number of them have expanded in the Everest region of the Himalayas. This paper focuses on the two glacial lakes which are Imja Lake, located at the southern slope, and Rongbuk Lake, located at the northern slope in the Mt. Everest region, Himalaya to present the spatio-temporal changes from 1976 to 2008. Topographical conditions between two lakes were different (Kruskal-Wallis test, p < 0.05). Rongbuk Lake was located at 623 m higher than Imja Lake, and radiation of Rongbuk Lake was higher than the Imja Lake. Although size of Imja Lake was larger than the Rongbuk Lake in 2008, the growth speed of Rongbuk Lake was accelerating since 2000 and exceeds Imja Lake in 2000-2008. This trend of expansion of Rongbuk Lake is anticipated to be continued in the 21st century. Rongbuk Lake would be the biggest potential risk of glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) at the Everest region of Himalaya in the future.

  2. Seismicity of the Earth 1900–2010 Himalaya and vicinity

    Turner, Bethan; Jenkins, Jennifer; Turner, Rebecca; Parker, Amy; Sinclair, Alison; Davies, Sian; Hayes, Gavin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio; Dart, Rirchard L.; Tarr, Arthur C.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Benz, Harley M.

    2013-01-01

    Seismicity in the Himalaya region predominantly results from the collision of the India and Eurasia continental plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40–50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east, and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India. Along the western margin of the India plate, relative motions between India and Eurasia are accommodated by strike-slip, reverse, and oblique-slip faulting resulting in the complex Sulaiman Range fold and thrust belt, and the major translational Chaman Fault in Afghanistan. Beneath the Pamir‒Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur to depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. Further north again, the Tian Shan is a seismically active intra-continental mountain belt defined by a series of east-west trending thrust faults thought to be related to the broad footprint of the India-Eurasia collision. Tectonics in northern India are dominated by motion along the Main Frontal Thrust and associated thrust faults of the India-Eurasia plate boundary, which have resulted in a series of large and devastating earthquakes in (and prior to) the 20th century. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of the main plate boundary is a broad region of uplift associated with the India-Eurasia collision, and is cut by a series of generally east-west trending strike-slip faults. These include the Kunlun, Haiyuan, and the Altyn Tagh faults, all of which are left-lateral structures, and the Kara-Koram right-lateral fault. Throughout the plateau, thrust faults accommodate the north-south compressional component of crustal shortening associated with the ongoing collision of India

  3. Spatial patterns in Central Asian climate and equilibrium line altitudes

    Rupper, Summer; Koppes, Michele

    2010-01-01

    A suite of general circulation model (GCM) simulations and a glacier equilibrium line altitude (ELA) model are compared to reconstructed glacier advances from geomorphic data and used to test the sensitivity of Central Asian glaciers to simulated climate changes at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Results highlight temperature changes as being the most important influence on glacier ELA changes during the LGM. With the exception of the southern Himalaya, for much of Central Asia there is consistency between GCMs for simulated LGM temperature changes, with a mean cooling of 4 0 C. Further research will necessarily need to focus on detailed analysis of the inter-model differences in temperature in the southern Himalaya, and acquiring additional paleoclimate proxies in the region in order to further constrain the GCMs.

  4. Mapping the vulnerability hotspots over Hindu-Kush Himalaya region to flooding disasters

    Shada Elalem

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A disproportionate share of the global economic and human losses caused by environmental shocks is borne by people in the developing nations. The mountain region of Hindu-Kush Himalaya (HKH in South Asia is threatened by numerous flooding events annually. An efficient disaster risk reduction often needs to rest upon location-based synoptic view of vulnerability. Resolving this deficit improves the ability to take risk reduction measures in a cost-effective way, and in doing so, strengthens the resilience of societies to flooding disasters. The central aim of this research is to identify the vulnerable locations across HKH boundary from the perspective of reported history of economic and human impacts due to occurrence of flooding disasters. A detailed analysis indicates a very high spatial heterogeneity in flooding disaster occurrence in the past 6 decades. The most recent decade reported highest number of disasters and greater spatial coverage as compared to the earlier decades. The data indicates that, in general, economic impacts of flooding disasters were notably higher in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal. On the other hand, vulnerability scenarios with respect to human impacts were diverse for different countries. In terms of morbidity and mortality, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan and India were detected to be most susceptible to human impacts. Although Bhutan had seen lesser number of flooding disasters, higher population living within disaster prone region make them vulnerable. In summary, complex interactions between natural and socio-economic conditions play a dominant role to define and characterize the type and magnitude of vulnerability of HKH countries to disaster occurrence and their economic and human impacts.

  5. Origin and speciation of Picea schrenkiana and Piceasmithiana in the Center Asian Highlands and Himalayas.

    Li, Lili; Sun, Yongshuai; Zou, Jiabin; Yue, Wei; Wang, Xi; Liu, Jianquan

    Elucidating the evolutionary history of current species diversity, especially trees with large effective population sizes and long generation times, is a complicated exercise confounded by gene flow and incomplete lineage sorting. In the present study, we aim to determine the origin and speciation of Picea schrenkiana and Picea smithiana using population genetic data from chloroplast (cp), mitochondrial (mt), and nuclear (nr) genomes. These two species occur in the Central Asian Highlands and Himalayas, respectively, where they are isolated from other Asian congeneric species by the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) or adjacent deserts. Previous studies based on both morphological and molecular evidence suggest that they have contrasting phylogenetic relationships with Picea likiangensis or Picea wilsonii which are closely related and both located in the QTP. We examined genetic variation among 16 loci of three genomes from 30 populations of these four species. At both cpDNA loci and mtDNA loci, P. schrenkiana appeared to be closely related to P. likiangensis , although statistical support for this was weak. However, phylogenetic analyses and speciation tests based on the nuclear data from 11 loci provided evidence that P. schrenkiana and P. smithiana are sister species. These two species diverged around five million years ago (Mya) while the divergence between them and the P. likiangensis - P. wilsonii clade occurred about 18.4 Mya. We also detected gene flow accompanying these speciation events. Our results highlight the complex speciation histories of these alpine conifers due to interspecific gene flow and/or incomplete lineage sorting, and the importance of the early QTP uplifts in promoting the origin of these important conifer species in the Asian highlands.

  6. Three hitherto unreported macro-fungi from Kashmir Himalaya

    Pala, S.A.; Wana, A.H.; Boda, R.H.

    2012-01-01

    The Himalayan state, Jammu and Kashmir due to its climate ranging from tropical deciduous forests to temperate and coniferous forests provides congenial habitat for the growth of diverse macro fungal species which in turn gives it the status of 'hub' of macro-fungal species. The macro fungal species richness of the state is directly related to its expansive forest communities and diverse weather patterns, but all the regions of the state have not been extensively surveyed till now. In this backdrop, a systematic survey for exploration and inventorization of macro fungal species of Western Kashmir Himalaya was undertaken during the year 2009 and 2010, which in turn resulted identification of the three species viz., Thelephora caryophyllea (Schaeff.) Pers., Coltricia cinnamomea (Pers.) Murr., and Guepinia helvelloides Fr. as new reports from the Kashmir. These species were identified on the basis of macro and microscopic characters and also the aid of taxonomic keys, field manuals, mushroom herbaria and help from expert taxonomists in the related field was taken into account. (author)

  7. Global warming may lead to catastrophic floods in the Himalayas

    Tveitdal, Svein; Bjoerke, Aake

    2002-01-01

    In Nepal, data from 49 surveillance stations show that there has been a distinct temperature increase since the middle of the 1970s, the greatest changes being on the highest summits. When lakes overfill and beaches threaten to break down, this is a result of the global warming that melts the glaciers. The glaciers in Bhutan are observed to decrease by 30 - 40 metres per year, in some years as much as 100 metres. In the village of Tribeni an advanced warning system has been established to warn the 10 000 inhabitants of a potential flood from Lake Tsho Rolpa 108 km upstream. Research from the Himalayas also point to another serious threat. The melting threatens not only human lives, tourism, foot paths, roads, bridges and power stations. Since the mountains are the water towers of the world, filling rivers and lakes with water upon which all life depends, continued shrinking of the world's glaciers as is now observed will cause many rivers and fresh-water systems to dry out. Researchers from the UN Unep programme and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development have registered at least 44 glacier lakes that are increasing so fast that they may cause outburst floods within five years. Similar investigations are being planned in India, Pakistan and China

  8. Mapping Deforestation and Forest Degradation Patterns in Western Himalaya, Pakistan

    Faisal Mueen Qamer

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The Himalayan mountain forest ecosystem has been degrading since the British ruled the area in the 1850s. Local understanding of the patterns and processes of degradation is desperately required to devise management strategies to halt this degradation and provide long-term sustainability. This work comprises a satellite image based study in combination with national expert validation to generate sub-district level statistics for forest cover over the Western Himalaya, Pakistan, which accounts for approximately 67% of the total forest cover of the country. The time series of forest cover maps (1990, 2000, 2010 reveal extensive deforestation in the area. Indeed, approximately 170,684 ha of forest has been lost, which amounts to 0.38% per year clear cut or severely degraded during the last 20 years. A significant increase in the rate of deforestation is observed in the second half of the study period, where much of the loss occurs at the western borders along with Afghanistan. The current study is the first systematic and comprehensive effort to map changes to forest cover in Northern Pakistan. Deforestation hotspots identified at the sub-district level provide important insight into deforestation patterns, which may facilitate the development of appropriate forest conservation and management strategies in the country.

  9. Two New Epiphyllous Leptolejeunea (Hepaticae: Lejeuneaceae from Eastern Himalaya, India

    Monalisa Dey

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Two new epiphyllous species of the genus Leptolejeunea (Spruce Schiffn., viz. L. mirikana M. Dey et D. K. Singh sp. nov. and L. udarii M. Dey et D. K. Singh sp. nov., are described from Darjeeling district of West Bengal and East district of Sikkim respectively in Eastern Himalaya, India. While, the former is characterized by obovate leaf lobes with acute – subacute leaf apices and entire margin; rectangular – trapezoid underleaves with rectangular – lanceolate lobes which are 3-4 cells long, 2-3 cells wide, or rarely 1 cell wide at apex, and crenulate – denticulate margin; presence of ocelli in female bracts and bracteoles and obconical perianth with truncate apices and 5 obliquely – horizontally spreading horn-like keels extending from apex to 1/2-3/5 of perianth length, the latter is distinct in having small length-breadth ratio of the leaves ranging between 1.2:1-1.3:1; obovate leaf lobes with subacute apices; terminal as well as intercalary androecia with male bracteoles present throughout; numerous ocelli scattered on female bracts, bracteoles and perianth and obconical – campanulate perianth with 5 smooth, erect – obliquely spreading horn-like keels. A key to the Indian species of the genus has been provided.

  10. Determining the rates and drivers of headwall erosion within glaciated catchments in the NW Himalaya

    Orr, E.; Owen, L. A.; Saha, S.; Caffee, M. W.

    2017-12-01

    Rates of headwall erosion are defined for fourteen glaciated catchments in the NW Himalaya by measuring 10Be terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in supraglacial debris. The investigated catchments are located throughout three broad climatic zones, which include the Lesser Himalaya (rainfall >1000 mm a-1), Greater Himalaya (500-1000 mm a-1) and Transhimalaya (arid catchments that are occupied by sub-polar glaciers, suggesting that there are additional controls upon periglacial domain landscape change. Other factors and catchment-specific dynamics influencing these landscapes include, temperature, surface processes, topography, valley morphology, geologic setting and glacial history. Defining rates of headwall erosion is one of the first steps to understanding the nature of sediment production and transfer within high-altitude glaciated catchments, and highlights the importance of periglacial rockfall processes in landscape evolution.

  11. Widespread climate change in the Himalayas and associated changes in local ecosystems.

    Shrestha, Uttam Babu; Gautam, Shiva; Bawa, Kamaljit S

    2012-01-01

    Climate change in the Himalayas, a biodiversity hotspot, home of many sacred landscapes, and the source of eight largest rivers of Asia, is likely to impact the well-being of ~20% of humanity. However, despite the extraordinary environmental, cultural, and socio-economic importance of the Himalayas, and despite their rapidly increasing ecological degradation, not much is known about actual changes in the two most critical climatic variables: temperature and rainfall. Nor do we know how changes in these parameters might impact the ecosystems including vegetation phenology. By analyzing temperature and rainfall data, and NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) values from remotely sensed imagery, we report significant changes in temperature, rainfall, and vegetation phenology across the Himalayas between 1982 and 2006. The average annual mean temperature during the 25 year period has increased by 1.5 °C with an average increase of 0.06 °C yr(-1). The average annual precipitation has increased by 163 mm or 6.52 mmyr(-1). Since changes in temperature and precipitation are immediately manifested as changes in phenology of local ecosystems, we examined phenological changes in all major ecoregions. The average start of the growing season (SOS) seems to have advanced by 4.7 days or 0.19 days yr(-1) and the length of growing season (LOS) appears to have advanced by 4.7 days or 0.19 days yr(-1), but there has been no change in the end of the growing season (EOS). There is considerable spatial and seasonal variation in changes in climate and phenological parameters. This is the first time that large scale climatic and phenological changes at the landscape level have been documented for the Himalayas. The rate of warming in the Himalayas is greater than the global average, confirming that the Himalayas are among the regions most vulnerable to climate change.

  12. Ge/Si Ratios as a Tracer of Hydrothermal Activity in the Nepal Himalaya

    Evans, M. J.; Derry, L. A.

    2001-12-01

    Advection of deep-seated crustal rocks, high internal heat production, and rapid erosion of the thrust wedge result in steep thermal gradients in the crystalline rocks of the Himalayan front. Meteoric water circulation within these rocks produces geothermal activity in the deeply-incised river valleys near the Main Central Thrust shear zone. The springs have measured temperatures up to 70° C and TDS up to 8000 mg/L and drive significant anomalies in river chemistry. We have carried out a detailed study of the role of hot springs in the Narayani River basin of central Nepal (area 35,000 km2), the major drainage of the central Nepal Himalaya and a major tributary to the Ganges. In order to quantify the fluxes of heat and solutes from geothermal systems in the Narayani basin, the hydrothermal fluid flux must be estimated. As part of an ongoing effort to investigate the use of germanium-silicon systematics, we measured Ge/Si ratios in main stem, tributary and hot spring waters of the Narayani basin. While Ge/Si ratios in tributaries are similar to non-polluted world rivers (Iceland (9 to 150 μ mol/mol). The high Ge/Si ratios in the hot springs may reflect Rayleigh fractionation as low Ge/Si quartz is precipitated. The wide disparity in stream vs. hydrothermal values makes Ge/Si a valuable tool for quantifying hydrothermal fluid flux by mass balance. We can use a hydrothermal fluid flux estimate derived from the chemical mass balance to estimate convective heat loss in the Narayani basin. Preliminary estimates in the Marsyandi River yield a thermal power output rate of 200 MW, comparable with geothermal fields in the Taupo Volcanic Zone and when distributed over the spring affected area, yield a hydrothermal heat flow (160 mW/m2) comparable to continental heat flow and hydrothermal heat loss in the geothermal belt across Tibet. Fluxes of solutes and heat carried by Himalayan hot springs appear to be significant for Himalayan river chemistry and for thermal models of

  13. Phalaris canariensis L. (Poaceae: A new alien plant record for Kashmir Himalaya, India

    Shugufta Rasheed

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The correct taxonomic identification assumes first and foremost priority in the scientific documentation of biodiversity. The Kashmir Himalaya, located in the north-western side of the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, is well-known for its diverse flora which merits immediate scientific documentation. In this context, the present study reports Phalaris canariensis L. (Poaceae as a new alien plant record to the flora of Kashmir Himalaya, India. In this paper, a detailed description, photographs, and comparison of diagnostic characters with allied species are provided to scientifically validate this alien plant record for this Himalayan region.

  14. Detection of the timing and duration of snowmelt in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya using QuikSCAT, 2000-2008

    Panday, Prajjwal K; Frey, Karen E; Ghimire, Bardan

    2011-01-01

    The Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region holds the largest mass of ice in Central Asia and is highly vulnerable to global climate change, experiencing significant warming (0.21 ± 0.08 deg. C/decade) over the past few decades. Accurate monitoring of the timing and duration of snowmelt across the HKH region is important, as this region is expected to experience further warming in response to increased greenhouse gas forcing. Despite the many advantages and applications of satellite-derived radar scatterometer data shown for capturing ice and snow melt dynamics at high latitudes, similar comprehensive freeze/thaw detection studies at lower latitudes (including the HKH region) are still absent from the scientific literature. A comprehensive freeze/thaw detection study is utilized on perennial snow/ice and seasonal snow cover for the first time in the Himalayan and Karakoram regions. A dynamic threshold-based method is applied to enhanced QuikSCAT Ku-band backscatter observations from 2000 to 2008 that (a) provides spatial maps of the timing of melt, freeze, and melt season duration, and (b) emphasizes regional variability in freeze/thaw dynamics. The resulting average melt durations for 2000-2008 are 161 ± 11 days (early May-mid-October) for the eastern Himalayas, 130 ± 16 days (late May-early October) for the central Himalayas, 124 ± 13 days (mid-May-mid-September) for the western Himalayas, and 124 ± 12 days (late May-late September) for the Karakoram region. The eastern Himalayan region has on average an earlier melt onset, a later freeze-up, and therefore a longer melt season (∼5 weeks) relative to the central and western Himalayan and the Karakoram regions. Snowmelt dynamics exhibit regional and interannual variability with clear connections to terrain features, in particular elevation and aspect. With respect to ongoing controversies surrounding melt in the Himalayan region, this study provides an overall perspective of regional differences in melt onset

  15. Detection of the timing and duration of snowmelt in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya using QuikSCAT, 2000-2008

    Panday, Prajjwal K; Frey, Karen E; Ghimire, Bardan, E-mail: ppanday@clarku.edu [Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610 (United States)

    2011-04-15

    The Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region holds the largest mass of ice in Central Asia and is highly vulnerable to global climate change, experiencing significant warming (0.21 {+-} 0.08 deg. C/decade) over the past few decades. Accurate monitoring of the timing and duration of snowmelt across the HKH region is important, as this region is expected to experience further warming in response to increased greenhouse gas forcing. Despite the many advantages and applications of satellite-derived radar scatterometer data shown for capturing ice and snow melt dynamics at high latitudes, similar comprehensive freeze/thaw detection studies at lower latitudes (including the HKH region) are still absent from the scientific literature. A comprehensive freeze/thaw detection study is utilized on perennial snow/ice and seasonal snow cover for the first time in the Himalayan and Karakoram regions. A dynamic threshold-based method is applied to enhanced QuikSCAT Ku-band backscatter observations from 2000 to 2008 that (a) provides spatial maps of the timing of melt, freeze, and melt season duration, and (b) emphasizes regional variability in freeze/thaw dynamics. The resulting average melt durations for 2000-2008 are 161 {+-} 11 days (early May-mid-October) for the eastern Himalayas, 130 {+-} 16 days (late May-early October) for the central Himalayas, 124 {+-} 13 days (mid-May-mid-September) for the western Himalayas, and 124 {+-} 12 days (late May-late September) for the Karakoram region. The eastern Himalayan region has on average an earlier melt onset, a later freeze-up, and therefore a longer melt season ({approx}5 weeks) relative to the central and western Himalayan and the Karakoram regions. Snowmelt dynamics exhibit regional and interannual variability with clear connections to terrain features, in particular elevation and aspect. With respect to ongoing controversies surrounding melt in the Himalayan region, this study provides an overall perspective of regional differences in

  16. Atmospheric aerosol brown carbon in the high Himalayas

    Kirillova, Elena; Decesari, Stefano; Marinoni, Angela; Bonasoni, Paolo; Vuillermoz, Elisa; Facchini, M. Cristina; Fuzzi, Sandro

    2016-04-01

    Anthropogenic light-absorbing atmospheric aerosol can reach very high concentrations in the planetary boundary layer in South-East Asia ("brown clouds"), affecting atmospheric transparency and generating spatial gradients of temperature over land with a possible impact on atmospheric dynamics and monsoon circulation. Besides black carbon (BC), an important light-absorbing component of anthropogenic aerosols is the organic carbon component known as 'brown carbon' (BrC). In this research, we provided first measurements of atmospheric aerosol BrC in the high Himalayas during different seasons. Aerosol sampling was conducted at the GAW-WMO Global station "Nepal Climate Observatory-Pyramid" (NCO-P) located in the high Khumbu valley at 5079 m a.s.l. in the foothills of Mt. Everest. PM10 aerosol samples were collected from July 2013 to November 2014. The sampling strategy was set up in order to discriminate the daytime valley breeze bringing polluted air masses up to the observatory and free tropospheric air during nighttime. Water-soluble BrC (WS-BrC) and methanol-soluble BrC (MeS-BrC) were extracted and analyzed using a UV/VIS spectrophotometer equipped with a 50 cm liquid waveguide capillary cell. In the polluted air masses, the highest levels of the BrC light absorption coefficient at 365 nm (babs365) were observed during the pre-monsoon season (1.83±1.46 Mm-1 for WS-BrC and 2.86±2.49 Mm-1 for MeS-BrC) and the lowest during the monsoon season (0.21±0.22 Mm-1 for WS-BrC and 0.32±0.29 Mm-1 for MeS-BrC). The pre-monsoon season is the most frequently influenced by a strong atmospheric brown cloud (ABC) transport to NCO-P due to increased convection and mixing layer height over South Asia combined with the highest up-valley wind speed and the increase of the emissions from open fires due to the agricultural practice along the Himalayas foothills and the Indo-Gangetic Plain. In contrast, the monsoon season is characterized by a weakened valley wind regime and an

  17. Proceedings of the 25th Himalaya-Karakoram-Tibet Workshop

    Leech, Mary L.; Klemperer, Simon L.; Mooney, Walter D.

    2010-01-01

    For a quarter of a century the Himalayan-Karakoram-Tibet (HKT) Workshop has provided scientists studying the India-Asia collision system a wonderful opportunity for workshop-style discussion with colleagues working in this region. In 2010, HKT returns to North America for the first time since 1996. The 25th international workshop is held from June 7 to10 at San Francisco State University, California. The international community was invited to contribute scientific papers to the workshop, on all aspects of geoscience research in the geographic area of the Tibetan Plateau and its bounding ranges and basins, from basic mapping to geochemical and isotopic analyses to large-scale geophysical imaging experiments. In recognition of the involvement of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists in a wide range of these activities, the USGS agreed to publish the extended abstracts of the numerous components of HKT-25 as an online Open-File Report, thereby ensuring the wide availability and distribution of these abstracts, particularly in the HKT countries from which many active workers are precluded by cost from attending international meetings. In addition to the workshop characterized by contributed presentations, participants were invited to attend a pre-meeting field trip from the Coast Ranges to the Sierra Nevada, to allow the international group to consider how the tectonic elements of the Pacific margin compare to those of the Himalayan belt. Following the workshop, the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored a workshop on the 'Future directions for NSF-sponsored geoscience research in the Himalaya/Tibet' intended to provide NSF Program Directors with a clear statement and vision of community goals for the future, including the scientific progress we can expect if NSF continues its support of projects in this geographic region, and to identify which key geoscience problems and processes are best addressed in the Himalaya and Tibet, what key datasets are needed, and

  18. Using exhumation histories to constrain Main Himalayan Thrust geometry and seismic hazard in the western Nepal Himalaya

    Harvey, J. E.; Burbank, D.

    2016-12-01

    The Himalaya of western Nepal present a challenge to conventional understanding of the geometry and behavior of the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT), a major seismogenic structure which accommodates 2 cm/yr of Indo-Asian convergence. Slip along a steeper ramp in the MHT drives long-term uplift of the Greater Himalaya along >1000 km of the central range front, resulting in a conspicuous physiographic transition known as PT2. This physiographic break is seemingly absent in western Nepal, which suggests a structural geometry and/or kinematic history distinct from areas along strike. This anomaly must be investigated to clarify how seismic hazard may differ from better-understood areas along strike. The importance of this work is heightened by the recent and catastrophic Gorkha earthquake in 2015. We present a suite of 7 relief transects comprising a mix of apatite and zircon U-Th/He and muscovite Ar-Ar cooling ages. These transects were collected across the more gradual mountain front in western Nepal in an effort to clarify where uplift and exhumation have been focused over the past 10 Ma. We invert these cooling ages using the thermo-kinematic model Pecube in order to constrain exhumation histories that best fit the measured cooling ages. Results confirm that MHT geometry and kinematic history in western Nepal are far more complex than in better-studied areas along strike. Exhumation rates in the along-strike projection of PT2 are slow ( 0.1-0.2 km/Myr) compared with rates 50 km toward the hinterland ( 1.0-1.5 km/Myr), suggesting that exhumation has been more rapid in this more northerly position for the past several Ma. Although a range of kinematic scenarios could explain the anomalous cooling histories, it is likely that a recently active midcrustal ramp in the MHT sits beneath this more northerly position. If the 2015 Gorkha earthquake initiated near the up-dip end of the MHT ramp in central Nepal, it is conceivable that similarly hazardous earthquakes could trigger

  19. Energy determines broad pattern of plant distribution in Western Himalaya.

    Panda, Rajendra M; Behera, Mukunda Dev; Roy, Partha S; Biradar, Chandrashekhar

    2017-12-01

    Several factors describe the broad pattern of diversity in plant species distribution. We explore these determinants of species richness in Western Himalayas using high-resolution species data available for the area to energy, water, physiography and anthropogenic disturbance. The floral data involves 1279 species from 1178 spatial locations and 738 sample plots of a national database. We evaluated their correlation with 8-environmental variables, selected on the basis of correlation coefficients and principal component loadings, using both linear (structural equation model) and nonlinear (generalised additive model) techniques. There were 645 genera and 176 families including 815 herbs, 213 shrubs, 190 trees, and 61 lianas. The nonlinear model explained the maximum deviance of 67.4% and showed the dominant contribution of climate on species richness with a 59% share. Energy variables (potential evapotranspiration and temperature seasonality) explained the deviance better than did water variables (aridity index and precipitation of the driest quarter). Temperature seasonality had the maximum impact on the species richness. The structural equation model confirmed the results of the nonlinear model but less efficiently. The mutual influences of the climatic variables were found to affect the predictions of the model significantly. To our knowledge, the 67.4% deviance found in the species richness pattern is one of the highest values reported in mountain studies. Broadly, climate described by water-energy dynamics provides the best explanation for the species richness pattern. Both modeling approaches supported the same conclusion that energy is the best predictor of species richness. The dry and cold conditions of the region account for the dominant contribution of energy on species richness.

  20. Crustal deformation rates in Assam Valley, Shillong Plateau, Eastern Himalaya, and Indo-Burmese region from 11 years (2002-2013) of GPS measurements

    Barman, Prakash; Jade, Sridevi; Shrungeshwara, T. S.; Kumar, Ashok; Bhattacharyya, Sanjeev; Ray, Jagat Dwipendra; Jagannathan, Saigeetha; Jamir, Wangshi Menla

    2017-09-01

    The present study reports the contemporary deformation of the tectonically complex northeast India using 11 years (2002-2013) of GPS observations. The central Shillong Plateau and few sites north of Plateau located in Assam Valley behave like a rigid block with 7 mm/year India-fixed southward velocity. The Euler pole of rotation of this central Shillong Plateau-Assam Valley (SH-AS) block is estimated to be at -25.1° ± 0.2°N, -97.8° ± 1.8°E with an angular velocity of 0.533° ± 0.10° Myr-1 relative to India-fixed reference frame. Kopili fault located between Shillong Plateau and Mikir massif records a dextral slip of 4.7 ± 1.3 mm/year with a locking depth of 10.2 ± 1.4 km indicating the fragmentation of Assam Valley across the fault. Presently, western edge of Mikir massif appears to be locked to Assam block indicating strain accumulation in this region. First-order elastic dislocation modelling of the GPS velocities estimates a slip rate of 16 mm/year along the Main Himalayan Thrust in Eastern Himalaya which is locked over a width of 130 km from the surface to a depth of 17 km with underthrusting Indian plate. Around 9 mm/year arc-normal convergence is accommodated in Lesser Himalaya just south of Main Central Thrust indicating high strain accumulation. Out of 36 mm/year (SSE) India-Sunda plate motion, about 16 mm/year motion is accommodated in Indo-Burmese Fold and Thrust Belt, both as normal convergence ( 6 mm/year) and active slip ( 7-11 mm/year) in this region.

  1. Environmental change and challenge in the Himalaya. A historical perspective

    Ives, Jack D.

    2012-05-01

    almost universal wisdom amongst scholars and development specialists, as well as conservationists, that the Himalaya were on the brink of environmental, and hence socio-economic and political collapse. This theme of gloom and doom was taken up avidly by journalists, politicians, and diplomats; it influenced the expenditure of large sums of aid and development money, and augmented periodic international confrontations. In concise terms, in the early 1970s an assumed approaching environmental disaster was perceived to be driven by relentless growth in the population of subsistence hill communities and their dependence on mountain forests for fuel, fodder, building materials, and conversion to agricultural land. The assumption of rapid and catastrophic deforestation of steep hillslopes under a monsoon climate (the World Bank predicted that there would be no accessible forest remaining in Nepal by the year 2000 led inexorably to a series of dependent assumptions: increasing soil erosion and worsening landslide incidence; accelerated flooding and siltation on the plains of Gangetic India and Bangladesh; social and political unrest, if not serious armed conflict – the notion of a world super-crisis, considering that the region in question contained about ten percent of the world’s entire human population and about thirty percent of its poorest. As will be emphasized later, none of this all-embracing construct was based on reliable evidence, but it was accepted world-wide as a given. It represents a prime example of the dangers associated with convenient adoption of environmental myths, or environmental orthodoxies, especially where the myth is a Western ‘scientific’ construct. I characterized it as The Theory of Himalayan Environmental Degradation (Ives, 1985.Esta perspectiva global, o retrospectiva, tiene dos objetivos. El primero es demostrar cómo se aplicaron los principios de la “geoecología de montaña” en un intento por contrarrestar los impactos pol

  2. Effects of new roads on environmental resource use in the Central Himalaya

    Charlery, Lindy Callen; Nielsen, Martin Reinhardt; Meilby, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Construction of roads into remote rural areas can improve livelihoods by reducing transportation costs, but may also have negative environmental impacts, such as increased deforestation. However, evidence of the effect of rural roads on household environmental income and reliance, as well as local...... income and reliance, and how are they affected by road establishment; and (iii) what are the short-term impacts of the construction of a rural road on local forest conservation? Following the Poverty Environment Network (PEN) methodology, income data from 176 randomly-sampled households were collected...... in 2006 from two similar Himalayan villages, Lete and Lulang, and again in 2012 after a new road was constructed in 2008 in Lete. Forest strata data were collected in Lete through permanent sample plots (n = 59) measured in 2005 and 2010 and used to estimate stock change (before and after road...

  3. Land Cover Change in the Vicinity of MT. Qomolangma (everest), Central High Himalayas Since 1976

    Zhang, Y.; Nie, Y.; Liu, L.; Wang, Z.; Ding, M.; Zhang, J.

    2010-12-01

    Under the background of global environmental change, the Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) region becomes the ideal place for the research of earth-atmosphere system, water and energy change, ecosystem patterns and processes change due to its sensitive and fragile natural environment. Land change science has emerged as a fundamental component of global environmental change and sustainability research. In this paper, geography, spatial information, climate science and other related theories and methods were applied, with the help of remote sensing, GIS, GPS, combining with a large number of RS data, field survey data and meteorological observation data to build 3 periods (1976, 1988 and 2006) of land cover, 30 periods (1970-2009) of major lakes data and long time-series NDVI change data from 1982 to 2009 in the Mt. Qomolangma region. The main results are as follows: 1. The land cover types in Mt. Qomolangma region are rich and with distinctive alpine features. The main land cover types include: closed to open grassland, alpine sparse vegetation, bare rock, closed grassland, forbs and glaciers (each percentage larger than 7%) with the area of 8274.27 km2, 7515.15 km2, 5450.82 km2, 5215.85 km2, 2782.66 km2 and 2710.17 km2 respectively in 2006. 2. The distribution of the main cover types are of obvious vertical zonallity. The transition of land cover types is forest→shrubland→grassland→meadow→sparse grassland→bare rock →glacier in order as the altitude arises with basically Gaussian distribution and assending peak in each elevation zone of types. The dominant natural zones distributed from bottom to top are: forest dominated zone (1500 ~ 3900 m), shrubland dominated zone (3900 ~ 4100 m), grassland dominated zone (4100 ~ 5000 m), sparse vegetation dominated zone (5000 ~ 5600 m), bare land dominated zone (5600 ~ 5900 m) and glacier (>5900 m). The altitude distribution of forest, shrubland and grassland in north and south slope are generally consistent. The range of vegetation at vertical distribution in the Sagamasha area located in the southern slope is slightly higer than than in the Mt. Qomolangma region due to its better regional water and heat conditions. 3. The distribution patterns of the main land cover types in the Mt. Qomolangma region during 1976-2006 don’t change greatly. The land cover changes during the two periods (1976-1988, 1988-2006) have shown a good consistency. The most prominent changing characteristics are: significant glacier retreat, more bare rock outcrops, rapid expansion of glacial lake covered bare rock, lakes shrinking and wetlands growth, wetlands being reclaimed as farmland in the prior period and significant reduce of cultivated land in the latter period. The research have been analyzed the glaciers, wetland and other cover types that are sensitive to climate change. The relationship between the land cover types and climate change, the impacts of human activities on land cover change and the effectiveness of protected area have been discussed. Foundation: The National Basic Research Program of China, Grant No.2005CB422006 & 2010CB951704; External Cooperation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.GJHZ0954

  4. Modelled and observed mass balance of Rikha Samba Glacier, Nepal, Central Himalaya

    Gurung, T. R.; Kayastha, R. B.; Fujita, K.; Sinisalo, A. K.; Stumm, D.; Joshi, S.; Litt, M.

    2016-12-01

    Glacier mass balance variability has an implication for the regional water resources and it helps to understand the response of glacier to climate change in the Himalayan region. Several mass balance studies have been started in the Himalayan region since 1970s, but they are characterized by frequent temporal gaps and a poor spatial representatively. This study aims at bridging the temporal gaps in a long term mass balance series of the Rikha Samba glacier (5383 - 6475 m a.s.l.), a benchmark glacier located in the Hidden Valley, Mustang, Nepal. The ERA Interim reanalysis data for the period 2011-2015 is calibrated with the observed meteorological variables from an AWS installed near the glacier terminus. We apply an energy mass balance model, validated with the available in-situ measurements for the years 1998 and 2011-2015. The results show that the glacier is shrinking at a moderate negative mass balance rate for the period 1995 to 2015 and the high altitude location of Rikha Samba also prevents a bigger mass loss compared to other small Himalayan glaciers. Precipitation from July to January and the mean air temperature from June to October are the most influential climatic parameters of the annual mass balance variability of Rikha Samba glacier.

  5. Environmental Feedbacks of the Subalpine Ecotone Species in the Langtang National Park, Central Nepal Himalaya

    Bhatta, K. P.; Rokaya, M. (Maan Bahadur); Münzbergová, Z. (Zuzana)

    2015-01-01

    Herbaceous species of the subalpine ecotone are mostly influenced by canopy cover and soil organic carbon. Species such as Gentiana argentea, Geranium donianum, Kobresia sp., Potentilla griffithii, Rubia wallichiana, Rubus nepalensis, Thalictrum chelidonii and Thalictrum cultratum are supposed to be critically sensitive to local environmental conditions due to having narrow amplitude to both the analyzed environmental variables. Although we have single-time data set from the sole existing hor...

  6. Increasing temperature causes flowering onset time changes of alpine ginger Roscoea in the Central Himalayas

    Dharmalingam Mohandass

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent herbarium-based phenology assessments of many plant species have found significant responses to global climate change over the previous century. In this study, we investigate how the flowering phenology of three alpine ginger Roscoea species responses to climate change over the century from 1913 to 2011, by comparing between herbarium-based phenology records and direct flowering observations. According to the observations, flowering onset of the three alpine ginger species occurred either 22 days earlier or was delayed by 8–30 days when comparing the mean peak flowering date between herbarium-based phenology records and direct flowering observations. It is likely that this significant change in flowering onset is due to increased annual minimum and maximum temperatures and mean annual temperature by about 0.053°C per year. Our results also show that flowering time changes occurred due to an increasing winter–spring minimum temperature and monsoon minimum temperature, suggesting that these Roscoea species respond greatly to climate warming resulting in changes on flowering times.

  7. Snow Leopard and Himalayan Wolf: Food Habits and Prey Selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal

    Chetri, Madhu; Odden, Morten; Wegge, Per

    2017-01-01

    Top carnivores play an important role in maintaining energy flow and functioning of the ecosystem, and a clear understanding of their diets and foraging strategies is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. In this paper, we compared diets and prey selection of snow leopards and wolves based on analyses of genotyped scats (snow leopards n = 182, wolves n = 57), collected within 26 sampling grid cells (5×5 km) that were distributed across a vast landscape of ca 5000 km2 in ...

  8. Environmental Feedbacks of the Subalpine Ecotone Species in the Langtang National Park, Central Nepal Himalaya

    Bhatta, K. P.; Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 47, č. 6 (2015), s. 2115-2125 ISSN 0556-3321 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : ecological amplitude * multivariate analysis * species response curve Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.658, year: 2015

  9. Distribution patterns of medicinal plants along an elevational gradient in central Himalaya, Nepal

    Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Münzbergová, Zuzana; Shrestha, M.R.; Timsina, B.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 2 (2012), s. 201-213 ISSN 1672-6316 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA526/09/0549 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : distribution patterns * medicinal plants * unimodal relationships Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.664, year: 2012

  10. Extreme rainfalls in Eastern Himalaya and southern slope of Meghalaya Plateau and their geomorphologic impacts

    Soja, Roman; Starkel, Leszek

    2007-02-01

    This paper presents the detailed rainfall characteristics of 3 key areas located in the eastern monsoon India: the margin of Darjeeling Himalaya, the margin of Bhutanese Himalaya and the Cherrapunji region at the southern slope of Meghalaya Upland. All these areas are sensitive to changes but differ in annual rainfall totals (2000-4000 mm, 4000-6000 m and 6000-23,000 mm respectively) and in the frequency of extreme rainfalls. Therefore the response of geomorphic processes is different, also due to various human impact. In the Darjeeling Himalaya the thresholds may be passed 2-3 times in one century and the system may return to the former equilibrium. At the margin of western Bhutanese Himalaya in 1990s, the clustering of three events caused an acceleration in the transformation and formation of a new trend of evolution, especially in the piedmont zone. In the Cherrapunji of Meghalaya region in the natural conditions the effects of dozens of extreme rainfalls every year were checked by the dense vegetation cover. After deforestation and extensive land use the fertile soil was removed and either the exposed bedrock or armoured debris top layer protect the surface against degradation and facilitate only rapid overland flow. A new "sterile" system has been formed.

  11. Radon/helium studies for earthquake prediction N-W Himalaya

    Virk, H.S.

    1999-01-01

    The paper presents the preliminary data of radon monitoring stated in the Himalayan orogenic belt. Radon anomalies are correlated with microseismic activity in the N-W Himalaya. The He/Rn ratio will be used as a predictive tool for earthquakes

  12. A Taxonomic Note on the Misidentification of Anemone tschernjaewii Regel. in Kashmir Himalaya

    Aijaz Hassan Ganie

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The correct identification of Anemone tschernjaewii Regel. previously misidentified as A. biflora DC. in the Kashmir Himalaya, India is reported. In this brief report, a detailed taxonomic description and photo-plates of its diagnostic morphological and anatomical characters are provided to validate this plant record for the region and to facilitate its easier field identification.

  13. Climate Change, Glacier Response, and Vegetation Dynamics in the Himalaya: Contributions Toward Future Earth Initiatives

    Joseph Shea

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Reviewed: Climate Change, Glacier Response, and Vegetation Dynamics in the Himalaya: Contributions Toward Future Earth Initiatives. Edited by R. B. Singh, Udo Schickhoff, and Suraj Mal. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2016. xvi + 399 pp. Hardcover: US$ 179.00, ISBN 978-3-319-28975-5. E-book: US$ 139.00, ISBN 978-3-319-28977-9.

  14. Use of Indigenous Knowledge in Environmental Decision-Making by Communities in the Kumaon Himalayas

    Honwad, Sameer

    2010-01-01

    This study is designed to find out how people in rural communities residing in the middle Himalayas use indigenous knowledge to support environmental decisions while addressing water and land use related concerns. The study not only serves to enrich our understanding of community decision-making, especially as connected to land use and ecological…

  15. An assessment of basin-scale glaciological and hydrological sensitivities in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya

    Shea, Joseph M.; Immerzeel, Walter W.

    2016-01-01

    Glacier responses to future climate change will affect hydrology at sub-basin scales. The main goal of this study is to assess glaciological and hydrological sensitivities of sub-basins throughout the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region. We use a simple geometrical analysis based on a full glacier inventory

  16. AHP 28: Review - Origins and Migrations in the Extended Eastern Himalayas

    Jack Hayes

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This multidisciplinary anthology draws from papers presented at the international conference "Origins and Migrations Among TibetoBurman-Speakers of the Extended Eastern Himalaya" held at Humboldt University, Berlin in 2008. This collection of articles contributes to discussions surrounding the nature of and questions surrounding data, hypotheses, and theories of origins and migration in the 'extended Eastern Himalaya'. This region includes the hill peoples and territory ranging from eastern Nepal to runachal Pradesh, Nagaland, upland Southeast Asia and southwest China. Although there is some thematic overlap among the fourteen essays, they are quite a diverse lot, critically examining local and regional history, theoretical and methodological issues writ large, myths and rituals, society and social narrative, language and linguistic relationships, identity formation, and local-state dynamics related to local ideas about origins and migration. This book is particularly useful for gaining a better understanding of the issues linked to topics and theories of identity in the Eastern Himalaya (and wider Himalaya region more broadly considering the core importance of 'origins' in any construction or reconstruction of identity among diverse and idely spread communities. Graduate students and specialists interested in the Himalayan region will find this book useful. Individual chapters, especially the more theory-oriented ones, are also well suited for undergraduate courses.

  17. Framing hydropower as green energy: assessing drivers, risks and tensions in the Eastern Himalayas

    Ahlers, R.; Budds, J.; Joshi, D.; Merme, V.; Zwarteveen, M.

    2015-01-01

    The culturally and ecologically diverse region of the Eastern Himalayas is the target of ambitious hydropower development plans. Policy discourses at national and international levels position this development as synergistically positive: it combines the production of clean energy to fuel economic

  18. Framing hydropower as green energy: assessing drivers, risks and tensions in the Eastern Himalayas

    Ahlers, R.; Budds, J.; Joshi, D.; Merme, V.; Zwarteveen, M.Z.

    2014-01-01

    The culturally and ecologically diverse region of the Eastern Himalayas is the target of ambitious hydropower development plans. Policy discourses at national and international levels position this development as synergistically positive: it combines the production of clean energy to fuel economic

  19. Perceptions of climate change by highland communities in the Nepal Himalaya

    Uprety, Y.; Shrestha, U. B.; Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Shrestha, S.; Chaudhary, R. P.; Thakali, A.; Cockfield, G.; Asselin, H.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 7 (2017), s. 649-661 ISSN 1756-5529 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:86652079 Keywords : climate change * local communities * Himalaya * Nepal * traditional knowledge Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7) Impact factor: 2.051, year: 2016

  20. Hydrological response to climate change in a glaciated catchment in the Himalayas

    Immerzeel, W.W.; Beek, L.P.H. van; Konz, M.; Shresta, A.B.; Bierkens, M.F.P.

    2012-01-01

    The analysis of climate change impact on the hydrology of high altitude glacierized catchments in the Himalayas is complex due to the high variability in climate, lack of data, large uncertainties in climate change projection and uncertainty about the response of glaciers. Therefore a high

  1. Forest Ecosystem Dynamics Assessment and Predictive Modelling in Eastern Himalaya

    Kushwaha, S. P. S.; Nandy, S.; Ahmad, M.; Agarwal, R.

    2011-09-01

    This study focused on the forest ecosystem dynamics assessment and predictive modelling deforestation and forest cover prediction in a part of north-eastern India i.e. forest areas along West Bengal, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam border in Eastern Himalaya using temporal satellite imagery of 1975, 1990 and 2009 and predicted forest cover for the period 2028 using Cellular Automata Markov Modedel (CAMM). The exercise highlighted large-scale deforestation in the study area during 1975-1990 as well as 1990-2009 forest cover vectors. A net loss of 2,334.28 km2 forest cover was noticed between 1975 and 2009, and with current rate of deforestation, a forest area of 4,563.34 km2 will be lost by 2028. The annual rate of deforestation worked out to be 0.35 and 0.78% during 1975-1990 and 1990-2009 respectively. Bamboo forest increased by 24.98% between 1975 and 2009 due to opening up of the forests. Forests in Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Darrang, Sonitpur, and Dhemaji districts in Assam were noticed to be worst-affected while Lower Subansiri, West and East Siang, Dibang Valley, Lohit and Changlang in Arunachal Pradesh were severely affected. Among different forest types, the maximum loss was seen in case of sal forest (37.97%) between 1975 and 2009 and is expected to deplete further to 60.39% by 2028. The tropical moist deciduous forest was the next category, which decreased from 5,208.11 km2 to 3,447.28 (33.81%) during same period with further chances of depletion to 2,288.81 km2 (56.05%) by 2028. It noted progressive loss of forests in the study area between 1975 and 2009 through 1990 and predicted that, unless checked, the area is in for further depletion of the invaluable climax forests in the region, especially sal and moist deciduous forests. The exercise demonstrated high potential of remote sensing and geographic information system for forest ecosystem dynamics assessment and the efficacy of CAMM to predict the forest cover change.

  2. FOREST ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS ASSESSMENT AND PREDICTIVE MODELLING IN EASTERN HIMALAYA

    S. P. S. Kushwaha

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available This study focused on the forest ecosystem dynamics assessment and predictive modelling deforestation and forest cover prediction in a part of north-eastern India i.e. forest areas along West Bengal, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam border in Eastern Himalaya using temporal satellite imagery of 1975, 1990 and 2009 and predicted forest cover for the period 2028 using Cellular Automata Markov Modedel (CAMM. The exercise highlighted large-scale deforestation in the study area during 1975–1990 as well as 1990–2009 forest cover vectors. A net loss of 2,334.28 km2 forest cover was noticed between 1975 and 2009, and with current rate of deforestation, a forest area of 4,563.34 km2 will be lost by 2028. The annual rate of deforestation worked out to be 0.35 and 0.78% during 1975–1990 and 1990–2009 respectively. Bamboo forest increased by 24.98% between 1975 and 2009 due to opening up of the forests. Forests in Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Darrang, Sonitpur, and Dhemaji districts in Assam were noticed to be worst-affected while Lower Subansiri, West and East Siang, Dibang Valley, Lohit and Changlang in Arunachal Pradesh were severely affected. Among different forest types, the maximum loss was seen in case of sal forest (37.97% between 1975 and 2009 and is expected to deplete further to 60.39% by 2028. The tropical moist deciduous forest was the next category, which decreased from 5,208.11 km2 to 3,447.28 (33.81% during same period with further chances of depletion to 2,288.81 km2 (56.05% by 2028. It noted progressive loss of forests in the study area between 1975 and 2009 through 1990 and predicted that, unless checked, the area is in for further depletion of the invaluable climax forests in the region, especially sal and moist deciduous forests. The exercise demonstrated high potential of remote sensing and geographic information system for forest ecosystem dynamics assessment and the efficacy of CAMM to predict the forest cover change.

  3. Characteristics of Aerosols over the Garhwal Himalayas: India

    Soni, A.; Panwar, P.; Sundriyal, S.; Prabhu, V.; Shridhar, V.

    2017-12-01

    Aerosols and Black Carbon (BC) is very important pollutants in context of global warming study. Due to high spatio-temporal variation in aerosols, there is a large uncertainty in climate change study. This study was conducted to understand the particulate pollution level in different altitude ranging from 300 m AMSL to 2600 m AMSL (see fig.). In this study eight different sizes of aerosols (10 µm to 0.43 µm) concentration along with BC measured during summer season (MJJ) of 2014-2016 over 5 different locations of Garhwal Himalayas using Anderson Cascade Impactor (ACI) and Aethalometer AE-33. Sampling was performed continuously for 15-20 days at each site. It is the preliminary study to understand the sources of aerosols. Further chemical analysis of different sizes of aerosols helps to identify sources accurately. It will also help in future policies implications. High altitude site i.e. at 2600 m was very close to the Gangotri Glacier where river Ganga originates. The Ganga is one of the most important river in India, millions people rely on the water of this river. Since last decade many catastrophic events happened in this region because of melting of glacier fastly. Previously, no one studies BC and aerosols over this important fragile landscape. BC concentration was ranging from 4.72 ± 5.64 µg m-3 to 15.06 ± 7.69 µg m-3 at 2600 m to 300 m AMSL. At high altitude site highest aerosol concentration was observed to be 56.43 µg m-3 on the size range of PM3.3-4.7. During April-May there was a big fire event (around 3500 hector forest burnt) and the sampling period at 2600 m was on May. So that, to understand transportation of aerosols from forest fire region backward trajectories were calculated using HYSPLIT model. It gives evidence that during summer months aerosols transported from neighbouring forest fire area. While the concentration at lowest altitude was observed to be 248.95 µg m-3 in the size range of PM9-10 which is much higher than the permissible

  4. Future changes over the Himalayas: Maximum and minimum temperature

    Dimri, A. P.; Kumar, D.; Choudhary, A.; Maharana, P.

    2018-03-01

    An assessment of the projection of minimum and maximum air temperature over the Indian Himalayan region (IHR) from the COordinated Regional Climate Downscaling EXperiment- South Asia (hereafter, CORDEX-SA) regional climate model (RCM) experiments have been carried out under two different Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios. The major aim of this study is to assess the probable future changes in the minimum and maximum climatology and its long-term trend under different RCPs along with the elevation dependent warming over the IHR. A number of statistical analysis such as changes in mean climatology, long-term spatial trend and probability distribution function are carried out to detect the signals of changes in climate. The study also tries to quantify the uncertainties associated with different model experiments and their ensemble in space, time and for different seasons. The model experiments and their ensemble show prominent cold bias over Himalayas for present climate. However, statistically significant higher warming rate (0.23-0.52 °C/decade) for both minimum and maximum air temperature (Tmin and Tmax) is observed for all the seasons under both RCPs. The rate of warming intensifies with the increase in the radiative forcing under a range of greenhouse gas scenarios starting from RCP4.5 to RCP8.5. In addition to this, a wide range of spatial variability and disagreements in the magnitude of trend between different models describes the uncertainty associated with the model projections and scenarios. The projected rate of increase of Tmin may destabilize the snow formation at the higher altitudes in the northern and western parts of Himalayan region, while rising trend of Tmax over southern flank may effectively melt more snow cover. Such combined effect of rising trend of Tmin and Tmax may pose a potential threat to the glacial deposits. The overall trend of Diurnal temperature range (DTR) portrays increasing trend across entire area with

  5. Integrated Natural Resource Management: Approaches and Lessons from the Himalaya

    K. G. Saxena

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Losses of forest cover, biodiversity, agricultural productivity, and ecosystem services in the Himalayan mountain region are interlinked problems and threats to the sustainable livelihoods of 115 x 106 mountain people as well as the inhabitants of the adjoining Indo-gangetic plains. Until the 1970s, environmental conservation, food security, and rural economic development were treated as independent sectors. The poor outcomes of sector-oriented approaches catalyzed efforts to address environmental and socioeconomic problems concurrently. The identification of "key" natural resource management interventions is an important dimension of integrated management. Projects to rehabilitate the degraded lands that cover 40% of the Indian Himalaya could be key interventions provided that they address both socioeconomic and environmental concerns across spatial and temporal scales. However, projects of this type, e.g., investments in conifer plantations on degraded forest lands, have failed because their designs did not take into account the needs of local residents. This study illustrates a case of land rehabilitation in a small isolated village close to the alpine zone. Vital elements of this project strategy included identifying local perceptions and knowledge and involving the local people in the selection and implementation of the interventions needed to restore the land. Communities were found to be more concerned with the immediate economic benefits from bamboo and medicinal species than the long-term benefits of tree planting. The villagers eventually reached a consensus to plant broadleaved multipurpose trees in association with bamboo and medicinal species. Despite assurances that all the economic benefits from rehabilitation would go to the community, the people would not agree to voluntary labor, although they did absorb significant costs by providing social fencing, farmyard manure, and propagules from community forests. Households shared

  6. Energy and economic analysis of traditional versus introduced crops cultivation in the mountains of the Indian Himalayas: A case study

    Nautiyal, Sunil; Kaechele, H. [Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Institute of Socioeconomics, Eberswalder Str. 84, 15374 Muencheberg (Germany); Rao, K.S. [Centre for Inter-disciplinary Studies of Mountain and Hill Environment, Academic Research Center, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007 (India); Maikhuri, R.K. [G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Garhwal Unit, P.O. Box 92, Srinagar (Garhwal) 246174 (India); Saxena, K.G. [School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067 (India)

    2007-12-15

    This study analyzed the energy and economics associated with cultivation of traditional and introduced crops in the mountains of the Central Himalaya, India. The production cost in terms of energy for introduced crops such as tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) cultivation was 90,358-320,516 MJ ha{sup -1} as compared to between 19,814 and 42,380 MJ ha{sup -1} for traditional crops within Himalayan agroecosystems. For the introduced crops, high energy and monetary input was associated with human labor, forest resources, chemical fertilizer and pesticides. However, energy threshold/projection for farmyard manure in traditional crop cultivation was 80-90% of the total energy cost, thus traditional crop cultivation was more efficient in energy and economics. During the study, the farm productivity of introduced crops cultivation declined with increasing years of cultivation. Consequently, the energy output from the system has been declining at the rate of -y20,598 to y20,748 MJ ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} for tomato and y12,072 to y15,056 MJ ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} for bell pepper under irrigated and rain-fed land use in the mountains, respectively. The comparative analysis on this paradigm shift indicates that more research is needed to support sustainable crop cultivation in the fragile Himalayan environment. (author)

  7. Stream Flow Prediction and Flood Mapping in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya with the ICIMOD Water Resources App Portal (IWRAP)

    Nelson, J.; Ames, D. P.; Jones, N.; Souffront, M.

    2016-12-01

    Earth observations of precipitation, temperature, moisture, and other atmospheric and land surface conditions form the foundation of global hydrologic forecasts that are increasingly available in native as well as other derived products. The European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) have developed such products for global flood awareness which can be downscaled to smaller regions and used for stream flow prediction in underserved areas such as the Hindu Kush-Himalaya. Combined with digital elevation data, now available at 30 meters through the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) reconnaissance-level flood maps can be generated across wide regions that would otherwise not be possible and where increased information to drive higher resolution models are available the same forecasts can be used to provide forcing inflows for improved flood maps. Advances in cloud computing offer a unique opportunity to facilitate deployment of water resources models as decision-making tools in the cloud-based ICIMOD Water Resources App Portal or IWRAP. The interactive nature of web apps makes this an excellent medium for creating decision support tools that harness cutting edge modeling techniques. Thin client apps hosted in a cloud portal eliminates the need for the decision makers to procure and maintain the high performance hardware required by the models, deal with issues related to software installation and platform incompatibilities, or monitor and install software updates, a problem that is exacerbated in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya where both financial and technical capacity are limited. All that is needed to use the system is an Internet connection and a web browser. We will take advantage of these technologies to develop tools which can be centrally maintained but openly accessible. Advanced mapping and visualization will make results intuitive and information derived actionable. We will also take advantage of the emerging standards for sharing water

  8. Chemistry and isotopic composition of precipitation and surface waters in Khumbu valley (Nepal Himalaya): N dynamics of high elevation basins

    Balestrini, Raffaella; Polesello, Stefano; Sacchi, Elisa

    2014-01-01

    We monitored the chemical and isotopic compositions of wet depositions, at the Pyramid International Laboratory (5050 m a.s.l.), and surrounding surface waters, in the Khumbu basin, to understand precipitation chemistry and to obtain insights regarding ecosystem responses to atmospheric inputs. The major cations in the precipitation were NH 4 + and Ca 2+ , whereas the main anion was HCO 3 − , which constituted approximately 69% of the anions, followed by NO 3 − , SO 4 2− and Cl − . Data analysis suggested that Na + , Cl − and K + were derived from the long-range transport of marine aerosols. Ca 2+ , Mg 2+ and HCO 3 − were related to rock and soil dust contributions and the NO 3 − and SO 4 2− concentrations were derived from anthropogenic sources. Furthermore, NH 4 + was derived from gaseous NH 3 scavenging. The isotopic composition of weekly precipitation ranged from − 1.9 to − 23.2‰ in δ 18 O, and from − 0.8 to − 174‰ in δ 2 H, with depleted values characterizing the central part of the monsoon period. The chemical composition of the stream water was dominated by calcite and/or gypsum dissolution. However, the isotopic composition of the stream water did not fully reflect the composition of the monsoon precipitation, which suggested that other water sources contributed to the stream flow. Precipitation contents for all ions were the lowest ones among those measured in high elevation sites around the world. During the monsoon periods the depositions were not substantially influenced by anthropogenic inputs, while in pre- and post-monsoon seasons the Himalayas could not represent an effective barrier for airborne pollution. In the late monsoon phase, the increase of ionic contents in precipitation could also be due to a change in the moisture source. The calculated atmospheric N load (0.30 kg ha −1 y −1 ) was considerably lower than the levels that were measured in other high-altitude environments. Nevertheless, the NO 3

  9. Climate Past and Present: A Study on Glaciology of Himalayas in India

    Shanmuganandan, S.

    2003-04-01

    Glaciers are moving bodies of ice and snow, which are normally present above the snow line. Glaciers and ice sheets are hundreds to more than one thousand meters thick and change significantly only over decades. On these longer time scales they can influence atmospheric circulation and global sea levels. Glaciers play an important role in maintaining ecosystem stability as they act as buffers and regulate the runoff water supply from high mountains to the plains during both dry and wet spells. The present study is an attempt to analyze the Climate of the Past and Present of the Himalayas with reference to study the glaciology. The study also attempted to use the remote sensed data to explore the past and present situation of glaciology of the Himalayas. Since mountain glaciology of Himalayas played a vital role and stand as an example to explore the possibility of the climate change that occurred from the past to the present and also to determine the status in the future. The Study was based on the secondary and primary data collected from available sources and also collected from various published records to document the evidences for the same. It was observed that the Himalayan glaciers account for about 70% of the world’s non-polar glaciers and affect the lives of millions of people in several countries: China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Their runoff feeds two of the oldest rivers in the world, the Indus and the Ganges, whose tributaries carry precious water for 500 million people on the northern Indian plains. Most of the glaciers in the Himalayas are of a summer-accumulation type, that is major accumulation and ablation take place simultaneously during summer (Fujita et. al, 1997). The glaciers of the Himalayas include some of the longest outside the Polar Regions and reached their largest extent during the end of the last ice age (more than 20,000 years ago). The evidence of these large ice masses can be seen in 'U' shaped valleys

  10. Tree Ring Analyses Unlock a Century of Hydroclimatic Variability Across the Himalayas

    Brunello, C. F.; Andermann, C.; Helle, G.; Comiti, F.; Tonon, G.; Hovius, N.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change has altered precipitation patterns and impacted the spatio-temporal distribution and availability of water in high mountain environments. For example, intensification of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) increases the potential for moisture laden air to breach the Himalayan orographic barrier and penetrate into the arid, elevated southern Tibetan Plateau, with geomorphological and hydrological consequences. Such trends should be considered against a solid background, but a consistent record of centennial monsoon dynamics in the trans-Himalayan region has never been developed. Instrumental data are sparse and only cover a limited time period as well as remotely sensed information. Meanwhile, models have major systematic bias and substantial uncertainty in reproducing ISM interannual variability. In this context, hydro-climatic proxies, such as oxygen stable isotope ratios in cellulose of tree rings, are a valuable source of data, especially because isotope mass spectroscopy can unlock yearly resolved information by tracing the isotopic signature (18O) stored within each growth ring. Here we present three centennial records of monsoon dynamics, along a latitudinal transect, spanning a pronounced precipitation gradient across the Himalayan orogen. Three sites were selected along the Kali Gandaki valley in the central Himalayas (Nepal), this valley connects the wet, monsoon dominated Gangetic plain with the arid Tibetan Plateau. Our transect covers the sensitive northern end of the precipitation gradient, located in the upper part of the catchment. Our results show that inter-annual variation of monsoon strength can be reconstructed by tree ring δ18O. The inferred monsoon dynamics are compared against independent constraints on precipitation, snow cover and river discharge. Different water sources contribute disproportionally at the three sites, reflecting spatial and temporal shifts of the westerlies and the Indian summer monsoon. These two dominant

  11. P-T-t-d History of the Lahul Valley, NW Indian Himalaya

    Nieblas, A.; Leech, M. L.

    2015-12-01

    The Lahul Valley of NW India is located between the Zanskar Shear zone to the northwest and the Sangla detachment to the southeast. This region contains three east-trending, laterally-continuous tectonostratigraphic units separated by two major fault zones. To the south, low-grade metasediments of the Lesser Himalayan Sequence (LHS) are separated from high-grade crystalline rocks of the Greater Himalayan Sequence (GHS) by the north dipping Main Central Thrust (MCT). The northern extent of the GHS is separated from overlying low-grade sedimentary rocks of the Tethyan Himalayan Sequence (THS) along the north dipping South Tibetan Detachment System (STDS). There is controversy over the location and type of shear motion for the STDS in the ~50 km strip running through Lahul Valley where the STD is interpreted as a discrete fault, a dextral shear zone, and is unidentified in some areas along the trend of the STDS. This study focuses on understanding the pressure-temperature-time-deformation (P-T-t-d) evolution of THS and GHS rocks in Lahul Valley to better understand regional Cenozoic deformation and the location and role of the STDS in the extrusion of the GHS. Deformed granitics, migmatites, and leucogranites from the GHS contain a dominant mineralogy of Qz + Kfs + Pl + Bt + Ms ± Grt ± Ky ± St. Schists and phyllites from the THS contain a dominant mineralogy of Qz + Kfs + Pl + Bt + Ms ± Grt. Isochemical phase equilibria diagrams (pseudosections) are calculated in Perple_X using whole-rock chemistry data with solution models based on these mineral assemblages. Ti-in-quartz thermometry and the Fe-Mg exchange thermometry from garnet-biotite pairs used with mineral growth relationships constrain conditions during deformation and to establish P-T paths. U-Pb SHRIMP dating of zircon constrains peak metamorphic conditions and 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology of micas provide the cooling history along the valley and across the STDS. This multi-component approach to understand

  12. Land use changes in Himalaya and their impacts on environment, society and economy: A study of the Lake Region in Kumaon Himalaya, India

    Tiwari, Prakash

    2008-11-01

    The traditional resource use structure in Himalaya has transformed considerably during the recent past, mainly owing to the growth of population and the resultant increased demand of natural resources in the region. This transformation in resource use practices is particularly significant in the densely populated tracts of Himalaya. As a result, cultivated land, forests, pastures and rangelands have been deteriorated and depleted steadily and significantly leading to their conversion into degraded and non-productive lands. These rapid land use changes have not only disrupted the fragile ecological equilibrium in the mountains through indiscriminate deforestation, degradation of land resources and disruption of the hydrological cycle, but also have significant and irreversible adverse impacts on the rural economy, society, livelihood and life quality of mountain communities. It has been observed that the agricultural production has declined, water sources are drying up fast due to decreased ground water recharge and a large number of villages are facing enormous deficit of critical resources, such as food, fodder, firewood and water, mainly due to unabated deforestation. As a result, the rural people, particularly the women, have to travel considerably long distances to collect fodder and firewood and to fetching water. It is therefore highly imperative to evolve a comprehensive and integrated land use framework for the conservation of the biophysical environment and sustainable development of natural resources in Himalaya. The land use policy would help local communities in making use of their natural resources scientifically and judiciously, and thus help in the conservation of the biophysical environment and in the increasing of the productivity of natural resources. The study indicates that conservation of forests and other critical natural resources through community participation, generation of alternative means of livelihood, and employment in rural areas can

  13. Tectonic controls of transient landscapes in the Bhutan Himalaya

    Adams, B. A.; Whipple, K. X.; Hodges, K. V.; Van Soest, M. C.; Heimsath, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    Previous research has identified many landscapes within the Himalaya that are not easily explained by classical critical taper models of orogenic wedges. One of the most striking examples is the sharp physiographic transition between the more subdued landforms of the Lower Himalayan ranges and the Higher Himalayan ranges to the north in Nepal. This transition has been attributed to several potential causes: changes in the rheology of rocks at depth, a ramp in the basal detachment of the orogenic wedge, a blind duplex, or a north-dipping, surface-breaking thrust fault. A similar, but more subdued transition marks the northern margin of perched, low-relief landscape patches found at ca. 3000 m in Bhutan. These low-relief surfaces, characterized by bogs and thick saprolites at the surface, overlie piggyback basins within the evolving orogenic wedge, filled with hundreds of meters of colluvial and alluvial deposits. The southern boundaries of the low-relief surfaces are less regular than the physiographic transition at their northern boundaries. The surfaces occur at similar elevations but are not continuous geographically, having been dissected by a series of river systems draining southward from the crest of the range. Pronounced knickpoints have formed at the southern margins of the low-relief surfaces. Our work suggests that there is a young (Pliocene-Pleistocene) fault system coincident with the physiographic transition in Bhutan. This high-angle, north-dipping structure, the Lhuentse fault, has minor normal-sense offset and could not have been responsible for differential uplift of the rugged terrain (in the hanging wall) relative to the low-relief landscape (in the footwall). The Lhuentse fault is coincident with the back limb of a previously inferred blind duplex at depth, and thus may be associated with active deformation on a rotated horse within the duplex. This duplex may also be responsible for the creation of the low-relief landscapes to the south of the

  14. Impacts of Aerosol-Monsoon Interaction on Rainfall and Circulation over Northern India and the Himalaya Foothills

    Lau, William K. M.; Kim, Kyu-Myong; Shi, Jainn-Jong; Matsui, T.; Chin, M.; Tan, Qian; Peters-Lidard, C.; Tao, W. K.

    2016-01-01

    The boreal summer of 2008 was unusual for the Indian monsoon, featuring exceptional heavy loading of dust aerosols over the Arabian Sea and northern-central India, near normal all- India rainfall, but excessive heavy rain, causing disastrous flooding in the Northern Indian Himalaya Foothills (NIHF) regions, accompanied by persistent drought conditions in central and southern India. Using NASA Unified-physics Weather Research Forecast (NUWRF) model with fully interactive aerosol physics and dynamics, we carried out three sets of 7-day ensemble model forecast experiments: 1) control with no aerosol, 2) aerosol radiative effect only and 3) aerosol radiative and aerosol-cloud-microphysics effects, to study the impacts of aerosol monsoon interactions on monsoon variability over the NIHF during the summer of 2008. Results show that aerosol-radiation interaction (ARI), i.e., dust aerosol transport, and dynamical feedback processes induced by aerosol-radiative heating, plays a key role in altering the large scale monsoon circulation system, reflected by an increased north-south tropospheric temperature gradient, a northward shift of heavy monsoon rainfall, advancing the monsoon onset by 1-5 days over the HF, consistent with the EHP hypothesis (Lau et al. 2006). Additionally, we found that dust aerosols, via the semi-direct effect, increase atmospheric stability, and cause the dissipation of a developing monsoon onset cyclone over northeastern India northern Bay of Bengal. Eventually, in a matter of several days, ARI transforms the developing monsoon cyclone into mesoscale convective cells along the HF slopes. Aerosol-Cloud-microphysics Interaction (ACI) further enhances the ARI effect in invigorating the deep convection cells and speeding up the transformation processes. Results indicate that even in short-term (up to weekly) numerical forecasting of monsoon circulation and rainfall, effects of aerosol-monsoon interaction can be substantial and cannot be ignored.

  15. Using Morphological, Molecular and Climatic Data to Delimitate Yews along the Hindu Kush-Himalaya and Adjacent Regions

    Poudel, Ram C.; Möller, Michael; Gao, Lian-Ming; Ahrends, Antje; Baral, Sushim R.; Liu, Jie; Thomas, Philip; Li, De-Zhu

    2012-01-01

    Background Despite the availability of several studies to clarify taxonomic problems on the highly threatened yews of the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) and adjacent regions, the total number of species and their exact distribution ranges remains controversial. We explored the use of comprehensive sets of morphological, molecular and climatic data to clarify taxonomy and distributions of yews in this region. Methodology/Principal Findings A total of 743 samples from 46 populations of wild yew and 47 representative herbarium specimens were analyzed. Principle component analyses on 27 morphological characters and 15 bioclimatic variables plus altitude and maximum parsimony analysis on molecular ITS and trnL-F sequences indicated the existence of three distinct species occurring in different ecological (climatic) and altitudinal gradients along the HKH and adjacent regions Taxus contorta from eastern Afghanistan to the eastern end of Central Nepal, T. wallichiana from the western end of Central Nepal to Northwest China, and the first report of the South China low to mid-elevation species T. mairei in Nepal, Bhutan, Northeast India, Myanmar and South Vietnam. Conclusion/Significance The detailed sampling and combination of different data sets allowed us to identify three clearly delineated species and their precise distribution ranges in the HKH and adjacent regions, which showed no overlap or no distinct hybrid zone. This might be due to differences in the ecological (climatic) requirements of the species. The analyses further provided the selection of diagnostic morphological characters for the identification of yews occurring in the HKH and adjacent regions. Our work demonstrates that extensive sampling combined with the analysis of diverse data sets can reliably address the taxonomy of morphologically challenging plant taxa. PMID:23056501

  16. Biogeographical divergence of the flora of Yunnan, southwestern China initiated by the uplift of Himalaya and extrusion of Indochina block.

    Zhu Hua

    Full Text Available The floral composition of Yunnan is conspicuously linked to the biogeographical history of this extremely species-rich province in southwestern China. The floristic compositions of three representative regions in Yunnan were compared to reveal their variation with geography. From southern Yunnan, 4150 native species (including subspecies and varieties from 1240 genera and 183 families of seed plants were recognized. From central Yunnan 3389 native species from 1095 genera and 167 families of seed plants were recognized. From northwestern Yunnan 6807 native species from 1296 genera and 166 families of seed plants were recognized. Although these three floras across Yunnan are similar in familial composition, similarities between the floras of southern and northwestern Yunnan are low at the generic and specific levels. The flora of northwestern Yunnan is dominated by families and genera with cosmopolitan and north temperate distributions, while the flora of southern Yunnan is dominated by tropical families and genera. Northwestern Yunnan is composed largely of temperate genera, of which the highest proportion has a north temperate distribution. In contrast, southern Yunnan has mainly tropical genera, of which most have a tropical Asian distribution. The flora of central Yunnan is a combination of southern and northwestern Yunnan. These three floras might be derived from a common Tertiary tropical or subtropical East Asian flora, but the geological history of each region has influenced its flora, and they have remained divergent since the late Tertiary. The flora of northwestern Yunnan has evolved with the uplift of the Himalayas and by gradual proliferation of mainly cosmopolitan and north temperate floristic elements, while the flora of southern Yunnan has evolved with extrusion of the Indochina block and the influence of mainly tropical Asian elements.

  17. Biogeographical divergence of the flora of Yunnan, southwestern China initiated by the uplift of Himalaya and extrusion of Indochina block.

    Hua, Zhu

    2012-01-01

    The floral composition of Yunnan is conspicuously linked to the biogeographical history of this extremely species-rich province in southwestern China. The floristic compositions of three representative regions in Yunnan were compared to reveal their variation with geography. From southern Yunnan, 4150 native species (including subspecies and varieties) from 1240 genera and 183 families of seed plants were recognized. From central Yunnan 3389 native species from 1095 genera and 167 families of seed plants were recognized. From northwestern Yunnan 6807 native species from 1296 genera and 166 families of seed plants were recognized. Although these three floras across Yunnan are similar in familial composition, similarities between the floras of southern and northwestern Yunnan are low at the generic and specific levels. The flora of northwestern Yunnan is dominated by families and genera with cosmopolitan and north temperate distributions, while the flora of southern Yunnan is dominated by tropical families and genera. Northwestern Yunnan is composed largely of temperate genera, of which the highest proportion has a north temperate distribution. In contrast, southern Yunnan has mainly tropical genera, of which most have a tropical Asian distribution. The flora of central Yunnan is a combination of southern and northwestern Yunnan. These three floras might be derived from a common Tertiary tropical or subtropical East Asian flora, but the geological history of each region has influenced its flora, and they have remained divergent since the late Tertiary. The flora of northwestern Yunnan has evolved with the uplift of the Himalayas and by gradual proliferation of mainly cosmopolitan and north temperate floristic elements, while the flora of southern Yunnan has evolved with extrusion of the Indochina block and the influence of mainly tropical Asian elements.

  18. Delimiting invasive Myriophyllum aquaticum in Kashmir Himalaya using a molecular phylogenetic approach.

    Shah, M A; Ali, M A; Al-Hemaid, F M; Reshi, Z A

    2014-09-12

    Myriophyllum aquaticum (Vell.) Verdc. (family Haloragaceae) is one of the most invasive and destructive South American aquatic plant species and is present in a wide range of geographic regions, including the Kashmir Himalaya. Confusion regarding the taxonomic delimitation of M. aquaticum in the Himalayan region impedes effective and targeted management. Hence, our goal was improve the identification of M. aquaticum for exclusive delimitation from other related species in the study region using a molecular phylogenetic approach. A maximum parsimony tree recovered from phylogenetic analyses of the internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA was used to authenticate the identification of M. aquaticum. The results of this study can be used for targeted management of this tropical invader into the temperate Kashmir Himalaya.

  19. Exploring the patterns of alpine vegetation of Eastern Bhutan: a case study from the Merak Himalaya.

    Jamtsho, Karma; Sridith, Kitichate

    2015-01-01

    A survey was conducted from March to September 2012 along the altitudinal gradient of the Jomokungkhar trail in the Merak Himalaya of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary to study the floristic compositions and the patterns of alpine vegetation of Eastern Bhutan. The vegetation of the sampled plots is classified into five types of communities based on the hierarchical cluster analysis at similarity index 63% viz., (1) Riverine Community; (2) Abies-Rhododendron Woodland Community; (3) Juniperus Scrub Community; (4) Rhododendron Krummholz and (5) Alpine Meadow, based on the floristic compositions. In addition, it was noticed that the fragile alpine environment of the Merak Himalaya has high plant diversity and important plants that are susceptible to the anthropogenic pressures.

  20. Studies on the impact of local folk on forests of Garhwal Himalaya: Pt. 1

    Negi, A.K.; Todaria, N.P.

    1993-01-01

    People in the Himalayas have been using fuelwood as the only source of energy for generations. Increasing population and declining forest resources have led to strict environmental laws in the area. The human impact on forests of the region was studied. The present biomass consumption of approximate 442 kg person -1 yr -1 along with cowdung are contributing factors for the present state of forest deforestation in the region. (author)

  1. Seasonal variations of seismicity and geodetic strain in the Himalaya induced by surface hydrology

    Bettinelli, Pierre; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Flouzat, Mireille; Bollinger, Laurent; Ramillien, Guillaume; Rajaure, Sudhir; Sapkota, Som

    2008-01-01

    One way to probe earthquake nucleation processes and the relation between stress buildup and seismicity is to analyze the sensitivity of seismicity to stress perturbations. Here, we report evidence for seasonal strain and stress (~ 2–4 kPa) variations in the Nepal Himalaya, induced by water storage variations which correlate with seasonal variations of seismicity. The seismicity rate is twice as high in the winter as in the summer, and correlates with stress rate variations. We infer ~ 10–20 ...

  2. The impact of spatial resolution on resolving spatial precipitation patterns in the Himalayas

    Bonekamp, P.N.J.; Collier, S.E.; Immerzeel, W.W.

    2017-01-01

    Frequently used gridded meteorological datasets poorly represent precipitation in the Himalaya due to their relatively low spatial resolution and the associated coarse representation of the complex topography. Dynamical downscaling using high-resolution atmospheric models may improve the accuracy and quality of the precipitation fields, as simulations at higher spatial resolution are more capable of resolving the interaction between the topography and the atmosphere. However, most physics par...

  3. Pedicularis gracilis Wall. Ex Benth. (Scrophulariaceae Complex in the Himalayas – A Taxonomic Reinvestigation

    Tariq Husain

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper highlights the complex nature of Pedicularis gracilis Wall. ex Benth. in the Himalayas and enumerates two subspecies and four varieties of this species. Morphological and distributional data have been appended to show that the subspecies – gracilis and brunoniana (Wall. ex Pennell Husain & Garg and varieties – gracilis and stricta (Wall. Husain & Garg (under subsp. gracilis and brunoniana and macrocarpa (Prain Husain & Garg (under subsp. brunoniana are distinct.

  4. Floristic diversity and distribution pattern of plant communities along altitudinal gradient in Sangla Valley, Northwest Himalaya.

    Sharma, Pankaj; Rana, J C; Devi, Usha; Randhawa, S S; Kumar, Rajesh

    2014-01-01

    Himalayas are globally important biodiversity hotspots and are facing rapid loss in floristic diversity and changing pattern of vegetation due to various biotic and abiotic factors. This has necessitated the qualitative and quantitative assessment of vegetation here. The present study was conducted in Sangla Valley of northwest Himalaya aiming to assess the structure of vegetation and its trend in the valley along the altitudinal gradient. In the forest and alpine zones of the valley, 15 communities were recorded. Study revealed 320 species belonging to 199 genera and 75 families. Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Apiaceae, and Ranunculaceae were dominant. Among genera, Artemisia followed by Polygonum, Saussurea, Berberis, and Thalictrum were dominant. Tree and shrub's density ranged from 205 to 600 and from 105 to 1030 individual per hectare, respectively, whereas herbs ranged from 22.08 to 78.95 individual/m(2). Nearly 182 species were native to the Himalaya. Maximum altitudinal distribution of few selected climate sensitive species was found to be highest in northeast and north aspects. This study gives an insight into the floristic diversity and community structure of the fragile Sangla Valley which was hitherto not available.

  5. Variation of radon levels in spring water with meteorological parameters and seismic events in Garhwal Himalayas

    Prasad, Yogesh; Prasad, Ganesh; Negi, M.S.; Ramola, R.C.; Choubey, V.M.

    2006-01-01

    Radon is being measured continuously in spring water at Badshahi Thaul Campus, Tehri Garhwal in Himalayan region by using radon emanometer since December 2002. An effort was made to correlate the variance of radon concentration in spring water with meteorological parameters and seismic events in study area. The positive correlation (coefficient = 0.79, 0.53, 0.60 and 0.70) was observed between measured radon concentration and minimum and maximum temperature, relative humidity and water discharge rate from the spring, respectively. However, no correlation was recorded between radon concentration and rain fall in the study area. Sudden increase in radon concentration in spring water were observed before the earthquakes occurred on 24 January 2003 of magnitude 3.4 on Richter scale having epicenter near Uttarkashi in Garhwal Himalaya and on 31 January 2003 of magnitude 3.1 on Richter scale having epicenter almost in same area. Similar changes in radon concentration were recorded before the earthquakes occurred on 4 April 2003 with magnitude 4.0 having epicenter near Almora in Kumaon Himalaya and on 26 May 2003 having magnitude 3.5 in Chamoli region of Garhwal Himalaya. Regular radon anomaly was recorded with micro seismic events from 5th August to 4th September 2003, which is discussed in detail. The impact of non geophysical and geophysical events on radon concentration in spring water is discussed in details. This type of study will help us to develop earthquake alarm model from radon in near future. (author)

  6. Isotope fingerprinting of precipitation associated with western disturbances and Indian summer monsoons across the Himalayas

    Jeelani, Ghulam; Deshpande, R. D.

    2017-12-01

    Precipitation samples were collected across the Himalayas from Kashmir (western Himalaya) to Assam (eastern Himalaya) to understand the variation of the stable isotopic content (δ ^{18}O and δ D) in precipitation associated with two dominant weather systems of the region: western disturbances (WDs) and Indian summer monsoon (ISM). Large spatial and temporal variations in isotopic values were noted with δ^{18}O and δ D values ranging from -30.3 to [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.] and -228 to [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.], respectively. The d-excess values also exhibit a large range of variation from -30 to [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]. In general, heavier isotopic values are observed in most of the samples in Jammu, whereas lighter values are observed in majority of the samples in Uttarakhand. Precipitation at Jammu seems to have undergone intense evaporation while that from Uttarakhand suggest normal Rayleigh fractionation/distillation of the air mass as it moves from the source region to the precipitation site and/or orographic lifting. The d-excess of rainfall in Kashmir has a distinctly higher median value of [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.] compared to other precipitation sites with a median of [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]. Using distinct isotopic signatures, the regions receiving precipitation from two different weather systems have been identified.

  7. Fungal root symbionts of high-altitude vascular plants in the Himalayas.

    Kotilínek, Milan; Hiiesalu, Inga; Košnar, Jiří; Šmilauerová, Marie; Šmilauer, Petr; Altman, Jan; Dvorský, Miroslav; Kopecký, Martin; Doležal, Jiří

    2017-07-26

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and dark septate endophytes (DSE) form symbiotic relationships with plants influencing their productivity, diversity and ecosystem functions. Only a few studies on these fungi, however, have been conducted in extreme elevations and none over 5500 m a.s.l., although vascular plants occur up to 6150 m a.s.l. in the Himalayas. We quantified AMF and DSE in roots of 62 plant species from contrasting habitats along an elevational gradient (3400-6150 m) in the Himalayas using a combination of optical microscopy and next generation sequencing. We linked AMF and DSE communities with host plant evolutionary history, ecological preferences (elevation and habitat type) and functional traits. We detected AMF in elevations up to 5800 m, indicating it is more constrained by extreme conditions than the host plants, which ascend up to 6150 m. In contrast, DSE were found across the entire gradient up to 6150 m. AMF diversity was unimodally related to elevation and positively related to the intensity of AMF colonization. Mid-elevation steppe and alpine plants hosted more diverse AMF communities than plants from deserts and the subnival zone. Our results bring novel insights to the abiotic and biotic filters structuring AMF and DSE communities in the Himalayas.

  8. Impact of the surface wind flow on precipitation characteristics over the southern Himalayas: GPM observations

    Zhang, Aoqi; Fu, Yunfei; Chen, Yilun; Liu, Guosheng; Zhang, Xiangdong

    2018-04-01

    The distribution and influence of precipitation over the southern Himalayas have been investigated on regional and global scales. However, previous studies have been limited by the insufficient emphasis on the precipitation triggers or the lack of droplet size distribution (DSD) data. Here, precipitating systems were identified using Global Precipitation Mission dual-frequency radar data, and then categorized into five classes according to surface flow from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast Interim data. The surface flow is introduced to indicate the precipitation triggers, which is validated in this study. Using case and statistical analysis, we show that the precipitating systems with different surface flow had different precipitation characteristics, including spatio-temporal features, reflectivity profile, DSD, and rainfall intensity. Furthermore, the results show that the source of the surface flow influences the intensity and DSD of precipitation. The terrain exerts different impacts on the precipitating systems of five categories, leading to various distributions of precipitation characteristics over the southern Himalayas. Our results suggest that the introduction of surface flow and DSD for precipitating systems provides insight into the complex precipitation of the southern Himalayas. The different characteristics of precipitating systems may be caused by the surface flow. Therefore, future study on the orographic precipitations should take account the impact of the surface flow and its relevant dynamic mechanism.

  9. Seismic Tomography of the Northwest Himalayas, Western Syntaxis and Pamir-Hindu Kush Region: Implications for Underlying Geodynamics

    Raoof, J.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2017-12-01

    Travel time tomography of the study region using regional as well as local earthquake data illuminate a very heterogeneous structure of this geologically and tectonically complex region. The tomographic image is well resolved up to 150 km depth in the Western Himalayas and up to 300 km depth in the Pamir and Hindu Kush region. The top low velocity anomaly imaged up to 80 km depth correlates well with the thicker crust with deeper low density roots under the high mountains in the northwest Himalayas as well as in the Pamir and Hindu Kush region. Average crustal thickness increases from south to north in the Himalayas as well as along the tectonic trend of the Himalayas. This might be an effect of first collision between Indian and Eurasian plates in the NW and then subsequent anticlockwise rotation of Indian plate, leading to crumpling of the crust. This could also be due to variable thickness of more rigid portion of the incoming crust of Indian plate. The Indian lithospheric slab is imaged as a gently underthrusting high velocity anomaly under the northwest Himalayas and subducted Indian lithospheric slab which follows the trend of intermediate depth seismicity under the Pamir and Hindu Kush region. On the other hand beneath the Pamir-Tien Shan the dipping high velocity anomaly which follows the trend of intermediate depth seismicity, represents the remnant of the southward subducted Asian slab. In the southwest of Hindu Kush the Indian lithospheric slab rolls over and overturns at a depth of 250 km and dips southward. The Delhi-Haridwar Ridge (DHR) and Salt Ranges orthogonal to the strike of the Himalayas are well imaged as high velocity structures. The DHR is butting against the northwest Himalayas that led to ramming and locally buckling of the crust below the Higher Himalayas just NE of DHR. Seismicity pattern follows this trend of the crust. It shows for the first time the effect of ramming of the Himalayas by DHR and most importantly how the Indian plate

  10. Erosion in southern Tibet shut down at ∼10 Ma due to enhanced rock uplift within the Himalaya.

    Tremblay, Marissa M; Fox, Matthew; Schmidt, Jennifer L; Tripathy-Lang, Alka; Wielicki, Matthew M; Harrison, T Mark; Zeitler, Peter K; Shuster, David L

    2015-09-29

    Exhumation of the southern Tibetan plateau margin reflects interplay between surface and lithospheric dynamics within the Himalaya-Tibet orogen. We report thermochronometric data from a 1.2-km elevation transect within granitoids of the eastern Lhasa terrane, southern Tibet, which indicate rapid exhumation exceeding 1 km/Ma from 17-16 to 12-11 Ma followed by very slow exhumation to the present. We hypothesize that these changes in exhumation occurred in response to changes in the loci and rate of rock uplift and the resulting southward shift of the main topographic and drainage divides from within the Lhasa terrane to their current positions within the Himalaya. At ∼17 Ma, steep erosive drainage networks would have flowed across the Himalaya and greater amounts of moisture would have advected into the Lhasa terrane to drive large-scale erosional exhumation. As convergence thickened and widened the Himalaya, the orographic barrier to precipitation in southern Tibet terrane would have strengthened. Previously documented midcrustal duplexing around 10 Ma generated a zone of high rock uplift within the Himalaya. We use numerical simulations as a conceptual tool to highlight how a zone of high rock uplift could have defeated transverse drainage networks, resulting in substantial drainage reorganization. When combined with a strengthening orographic barrier to precipitation, this drainage reorganization would have driven the sharp reduction in exhumation rate we observe in southern Tibet.

  11. Reforesting severely degraded grassland in the Lesser Himalaya of Nepal: Effects on soil hydraulic conductivity and overland flow production

    Ghimire, Chandra Prasad; Bonell, Mike; Bruijnzeel, L. Adrian; Coles, Neil A.; Lubczynski, Maciek W.

    2013-12-01

    degraded hillslopes in the Lesser Himalaya challenge local communities as a result of the frequent occurrence of overland flow and erosion during the rainy season and water shortages during the dry season. Reforestation is often perceived as an effective way of restoring predisturbance hydrological conditions but heavy usage of reforested land in the region has been shown to hamper full recovery of soil hydraulic properties. This paper investigates the effect of reforestation and forest usage on field-saturated soil hydraulic conductivities (Kfs) near Dhulikhel, Central Nepal, by comparing degraded pasture, a footpath within the pasture, a 25 year old pine reforestation, and little disturbed natural forest. The hillslope hydrological implications of changes in Kfs with land-cover change were assessed via comparisons with measured rainfall intensities over different durations. High surface and near-surface Kfs in natural forest (82-232 mm h-1) rule out overland flow occurrence and favor vertical percolation. Conversely, corresponding Kfs for degraded pasture (18-39 mm h-1) and footpath (12-26 mm h-1) were conducive to overland flow generation during medium- to high-intensity storms and thus to local flash flooding. Pertinently, surface and near-surface Kfs in the heavily used pine forest remained similar to those for degraded pasture. Estimated monsoonal overland flow totals for degraded pasture, pine forest, and natural forest were 21.3%, 15.5%, and 2.5% of incident rainfall, respectively, reflecting the relative ranking of surface Kfs. Along with high water use by the pines, this lack of recovery of soil hydraulic properties under pine reforestation is shown to be a critical factor in the regionally observed decline in base flows following large-scale planting of pines and has important implications for regional forest management.

  12. DNA barcoding of Rhododendron (Ericaceae), the largest Chinese plant genus in biodiversity hotspots of the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains.

    Yan, Li-Jun; Liu, Jie; Möller, Michael; Zhang, Lin; Zhang, Xue-Mei; Li, De-Zhu; Gao, Lian-Ming

    2015-07-01

    The Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains encompass two global biodiversity hotspots with high levels of biodiversity and endemism. This area is one of the diversification centres of the genus Rhododendron, which is recognized as one of the most taxonomically challenging plant taxa due to recent adaptive radiations and rampant hybridization. In this study, four DNA barcodes were evaluated on 531 samples representing 173 species of seven sections of four subgenera in Rhododendron, with a high sampling density from the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains employing three analytical methods. The varied approaches (nj, pwg and blast) had different species identification powers with blast performing best. With the pwg analysis, the discrimination rates for single barcodes varied from 12.21% to 25.19% with ITS biodiversity for the large genus Rhododendron in the biodiversity hotspots of the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Greening and browning of the Himalaya: Spatial patterns and the role of climatic change and human drivers.

    Mishra, Niti B; Mainali, Kumar P

    2017-06-01

    The reliable detection and attribution of changes in vegetation greenness is a prerequisite for the development of strategies for the sustainable management of ecosystems. We conducted a robust trend analysis on remote sensing derived vegetation index time-series matrices to detect significant changes in inter-annual vegetation productivity (greening versus browning) for the entire Himalaya, a biodiverse and ecologically sensitive yet understudied region. The spatial variability in trend was assessed considering elevation, 12 dominant land cover/use types and 10 ecoregions. To assess trend causation, at local scale, we compared multi-temporal imagery, and at regional scale, referenced ecological theories of mountain vegetation dynamics and ancillary literature. Overall, 17.56% of Himalayan vegetation (71,162km 2 ) exhibited significant trend (p3800m), with eastern high Himalaya browning more dominantly than western high Himalaya. Land cover/use based categorization confirmed dominant greening of rainfed and irrigated agricultural areas, though cropped areas in western Himalaya contained higher proportion of greening areas. While rising atmospheric CO 2 concentration and nitrogen deposition are the most likely climatic causes of detected greening, success of sustainable forestry practices (community forestry in Nepal) along with increasing agricultural fertilization and irrigation facilities could be possible human drivers. Comparison of multi-temporal imagery enabled direct attribution of some browning areas to anthropogenic land change (dam, airport and tunnel construction). Our satellite detected browning of high altitude vegetation in eastern Himalaya confirm the findings of recent dendrochronology based studies which possibly resulted from reduced pre-monsoon moisture availability in recent decades. These results have significant implications for environmental management in the context of climate change and ecosystem dynamics in the Himalaya. Copyright © 2017

  14. Paleolatitudes of the Tibetan Himalaya from primary and secondary magnetizations of Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous sedimentary rocks

    Huang, Wentao; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Dekkers, Mark J.; Garzanti, Eduardo; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Lippert, Peter C.; Li, Xiaochun; Maffione, Marco; Langereis, Cor G.; Hu, Xiumian; Guo, Zhaojie; Kapp, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The Tibetan Himalaya represents the northernmost continental unit of the Indian plate that collided with Asia in the Cenozoic. Paleomagnetic studies on the Tibetan Himalaya can help constrain the dimension and paleogeography of "Greater India," the Indian plate lithosphere that subducted and underthrusted below Asia after initial collision. Here we present a paleomagnetic investigation of a Jurassic (limestones) and Lower Cretaceous (volcaniclastic sandstones) section of the Tibetan Himalaya. The limestones yielded positive fold test, showing a prefolding origin of the isolated remanent magnetizations. Detailed paleomagnetic analyses, rock magnetic tests, end-member modeling of acquisition curves of isothermal remanent magnetization, and petrographic investigation reveal that the magnetic carrier of the Jurassic limestones is authigenic magnetite, whereas the dominant magnetic carrier of the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic sandstones is detrital magnetite. Our observations lead us to conclude that the Jurassic limestones record a prefolding remagnetization, whereas the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic sandstones retain a primary remanence. The volcaniclastic sandstones yield an Early Cretaceous paleolatitude of 55.5°S [52.5°S, 58.6°S] for the Tibetan Himalaya, suggesting it was part of the Indian continent at that time. The size of "Greater India" during Jurassic time cannot be estimated from these limestones. Instead, a paleolatitude of the Tibetan Himalaya of 23.8°S [21.8°S, 26.1°S] during the remagnetization process is suggested. It is likely that the remagnetization, caused by the oxidation of early diagenetic pyrite to magnetite, was induced during 103-83 or 77-67 Ma. The inferred paleolatitudes at these two time intervals imply very different tectonic consequences for the Tibetan Himalaya.

  15. Bedrock river erosion measurements and modelling along a river of the Frontal Himalaya

    Lave, Jerome; Dubille, Matthieu

    2017-04-01

    River incision is a key process in mountains denudation and therefore in landscape evolution models. Despite its importance, most incision models for mountain rivers rely on simplified, or quite empirical relations, and generally only consider annual average values for water discharge and sediment flux. In contrast, very few studies consider mechanistic models at the timescale of a flood, and try to bridge the gap between experimental or theoretical approaches and long term river incision studies. In this contribution, we present observations made during 7 monsoon seasons on fluvial bedrock erosion along the Bakeya river across the Frontal Himalaya in Central Nepal. Along its lower gorge, this river incises alternation of indurated sandstone and less resistant claystone, at Holocene rates larger than 10mm/yr. More importantly, its upper drainage mostly drains through non-cohesive conglomerate which allows, in this specific setting, estimating the bedload characteristics and instantaneous fluxes, i.e. a pre-requisite to test mechanistic models of fluvial erosion. During the study period, we monitored and documented the channel bank erosion in order to understand the amplitude of the erosion processes, their occurrence in relation with hydrology, in order to test time-integrated models of erosion. Besides hydrologic monitoring, erosion measurements were threefold: (1) at the scale of the whole monsoon, plucking and block removal by repeated photo surveys of a 400m long channel reach, (2) detailed microtopographic surveys of channel bedrock elevation along a few sandstone bars to document their abrasion, (3) real time measurement of fluvial bedrock wear to document erosion timing using a new erosion sensor. Results indicate that: 1. Erosion is highly dependent on rock resistance, but on average block detachment and removal is a more efficient process than bedrock attrition, and operates at a rate that permit channel banks downcutting to keep pace with Holocene uplift

  16. Burial of thermally perturbed Lesser Himalayan mid-crust: Evidence from petrochemistry and P-T estimation of the western Arunachal Himalaya, India

    Goswami-Banerjee, Sriparna; Bhowmik, Santanu Kumar; Dasgupta, Somnath; Pant, Naresh Chandra

    2014-11-01

    In this work, we establish a dual prograde P-T path of the Lesser Himalayan Sequence (LHS) rocks from the western Arunachal Himalaya (WAH). The investigated metagranites, garnet- and kyanite-zone metapelites of the LHS are part of an inverted metamorphic sequence (IMS) that is exposed on the footwall side of the Main Central Thrust (MCT). Integrated petrographic, mineral chemistry, geothermobarometric (conventional and isopleth intersection methods) and P-T pseudosection modeling studies reveal a near isobaric (at P ~ 8-9 kbar) peak Barrovian metamorphism with increase in TMax from ~ 560 °C in the metagranite through ~ 590-600 °C in the lower and middle garnet-zone to ~ 600-630 °C in the upper garnet- and kyanite-zone rocks. The metamorphic sequence of the LHS additionally records a pre-Barrovian near isobaric thermal gradient in the mid crust (at ~ 6 kbar) from ~ 515 °C (in the middle garnet zone) to ~ 560-580 °C (in the upper garnet- and kyanite zone, adjoining the Main Central Thrust). Further burial (along steep dP/dT gradient) to a uniform depth corresponding to ~ 8-9 kbar and prograde heating of the differentially heated LHS rocks led to the formation of near isobaric metamorphic field gradient in the Barrovian metamorphic zones of the WAH. A combined critical taper and channel flow model is presented to explain the inverted metamorphic zonation of the rocks of the WAH.

  17. Seasonal variations in the sources of natural and anthropogenic lead deposited at the East Rongbuk Glacier in the high-altitude Himalayas.

    Burn-Nunes, Laurie; Vallelonga, Paul; Lee, Khanghyun; Hong, Sungmin; Burton, Graeme; Hou, Shugui; Moy, Andrew; Edwards, Ross; Loss, Robert; Rosman, Kevin

    2014-07-15

    Lead (Pb) isotopic compositions and concentrations, and barium (Ba) and indium (In) concentrations have been analysed at sub-annual resolution in three sections from a snow pit samples dated to 2004/2005, recovered from the East Rongbuk Glacier in the high-altitude Himalayas. Ice core sections indicate that atmospheric chemistry prior to ~1,953 was controlled by mineral dust inputs, with no discernible volcanic or anthropogenic contributions. Eighteenth century monsoon ice core chemistry is indicative of dominant contributions from local Himalayan sources; non-monsoon ice core chemistry is linked to contributions from local (Himalayan), regional (Indian/Thar Desert) and long-range (North Africa, Central Asia) sources. Twentieth century monsoon and non-monsoon ice core data demonstrate similar seasonal sources of mineral dust, however with a transition to less-radiogenic isotopic signatures that suggests local and regional climate/environmental change. The snow pit record demonstrates natural and anthropogenic contributions during both seasons, with increased anthropogenic influence during non-monsoon times. Monsoon anthropogenic inputs are most likely sourced to South/South-East Asia and/or India, whereas non-monsoon anthropogenic inputs are most likely sourced to India and Central Asia. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used in sacred groves of Kumaon Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India.

    Singh, Harsh; Husain, Tariq; Agnihotri, Priyanka; Pande, P C; Khatoon, Sayyada

    2014-05-28

    International organizations recognize the importance of sacred groves and place them into the context of sustainable development and also emphasize to conserve biodiversity through protection of sacred groves and sties. The significance of medicinal plants from Himalayan region is well known to the world. Therefore, present study was conducted in identified sacred groves of Kumaon Himalaya to investigate and document the utilization of medicinal plants by various local communities and tribal people. The study was conducted during 2008-2011 in four seasons of the year. Information was collected from 70 locals from different sacred groves by using free listing interviews with randomly selected informants and semi-structured questionnaires; plant specimens were collected, identified and deposited at the CSIR-NBRI herbarium (LWG), Lucknow, India. Seven sacred groves viz., Dhwaj, Haat Kali, Hokra, Malay Nath, Nakuleshwar, Narayan Swami Ashram and Patal Bhuvneshwar were identified from the Pithoragarh district of Kumaon Himalaya. 89 medicinal plants belonging to 52 families and 77 genera of which, 2 are lichens, 4 are pteridophytes, 3 are gymnosperms and remaining 80 plant species are angiosperms. 6 plant species are reported with new therapeutic uses for the first time in this paper. Highest informant׳s consensus factor value was found in liver disorder (0.55) and least by body pains (0.23). 55 ethnomedicinal plants are showing 100% fidelity level against various diseases. Sacred groves in Kumaon region of Indian Himalaya are rich sources and best repository of ethno-medicinally important plants with many rare, endangered and threatened species. It is an excellent example of unique traditional way of in situ conservation of different plant species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Uncertainties in the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Heights: Insights from the Indian Himalaya and Peninsula.

    Mukul, Manas; Srivastava, Vinee; Jade, Sridevi; Mukul, Malay

    2017-02-08

    The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) are used with the consensus view that it has a minimum vertical accuracy of 16 m absolute error at 90% confidence (Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 9.73 m) world-wide. However, vertical accuracy of the data decreases with increase in slope and elevation due to presence of large outliers and voids. Therefore, studies using SRTM data "as is", especially in regions like the Himalaya, are not statistically meaningful. New data from ~200 high-precision static Global Position System (GPS) Independent Check Points (ICPs) in the Himalaya and Peninsular India indicate that only 1-arc X-Band data are usable "as is" in the Himalaya as it has height accuracy of 9.18 m (RMSE). In contrast, recently released (2014-2015) "as-is" 1-arc and widely used 3-arc C-Band data have a height accuracy of RMSE 23.53 m and 47.24 m and need to be corrected before use. Outlier and void filtering improves the height accuracy to RMSE 8 m, 10.14 m, 14.38 m for 1-arc X and C-Band and 3-arc C-Band data respectively. Our study indicates that the C-Band 90 m and 30 m DEMs are well-aligned and without any significant horizontal offset implying that area and length computations using both the datasets have identical values.

  20. Tibet, the Himalaya, Asian monsoons and biodiversity – In what ways are they related?

    Robert A. Spicer

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Prevailing dogma asserts that the uplift of Tibet, the onset of the Asian monsoon system and high biodiversity in southern Asia are linked, and that all occurred after 23 million years ago in the Neogene. Here, spanning the last 60 million years of Earth history, the geological, climatological and palaeontological evidence for this linkage is reviewed. The principal conclusions are that: 1 A proto-Tibetan highland existed well before the Neogene and that an Andean type topography with surface elevations of at least 4.5 km existed at the start of the Eocene, before final closure of the Tethys Ocean that separated India from Eurasia. 2 The Himalaya were formed not at the start of the India–Eurasia collision, but after much of Tibet had achieved its present elevation. The Himalaya built against a pre-existing proto-Tibetan highland and only projected above the average height of the plateau after approximately 15 Ma. 3 Monsoon climates have existed across southern Asia for the whole of the Cenozoic, and probably for a lot longer, but that they were of the kind generated by seasonal migrations of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone. 4 The projection of the High Himalaya above the Tibetan Plateau at about 15 Ma coincides with the development of the modern South Asia Monsoon. 5 The East Asia monsoon became established in its present form about the same time as a consequence of topographic changes in northern Tibet and elsewhere in Asia, the loss of moisture sources in the Asian interior and the development of a strong winter Siberian high as global temperatures declined. 6 New radiometric dates of palaeontological finds point to southern Asia's high biodiversity originating in the Paleogene, not the Neogene.

  1. Aerosol chemistry over a high altitude station at northeastern Himalayas, India.

    Abhijit Chatterjee

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There is an urgent need for an improved understanding of the sources, distributions and properties of atmospheric aerosol in order to control the atmospheric pollution over northeastern Himalayas where rising anthropogenic interferences from rapid urbanization and development is becoming an increasing concern. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An extensive aerosol sampling program was conducted in Darjeeling (altitude approximately 2200 meter above sea level (masl, latitude 27 degrees 01'N and longitude 88 degrees 15'E, a high altitude station in northeastern Himalayas, during January-December 2005. Samples were collected using a respirable dust sampler and a fine dust sampler simultaneously. Ion chromatograph was used to analyze the water soluble ionic species of aerosol. The average concentrations of fine and coarse mode aerosol were found to be 29.5+/-20.8 microg m(-3 and 19.6+/-11.1 microg m(-3 respectively. Fine mode aerosol dominated during dry seasons and coarse mode aerosol dominated during monsoon. Nitrate existed as NH(4NO(3 in fine mode aerosol during winter and as NaNO(3 in coarse mode aerosol during monsoon. Gas phase photochemical oxidation of SO(2 during premonsoon and aqueous phase oxidation during winter and postmonsoon were the major pathways for the formation of SO(4(2- in the atmosphere. Long range transport of dust aerosol from arid regions of western India was observed during premonsoon. The acidity of fine mode aerosol was higher in dry seasons compared to monsoon whereas the coarse mode acidity was higher in monsoon compared to dry seasons. Biomass burning, vehicular emissions and dust particles were the major types of aerosol from local and continental regions whereas sea salt particles were the major types of aerosol from marine source regions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The year-long data presented in this paper provide substantial improvements to the heretofore poor knowledge regarding aerosol chemistry over

  2. Aerosol chemistry over a high altitude station at northeastern Himalayas, India.

    Chatterjee, Abhijit; Adak, Anandamay; Singh, Ajay K; Srivastava, Manoj K; Ghosh, Sanjay K; Tiwari, Suresh; Devara, Panuganti C S; Raha, Sibaji

    2010-06-16

    There is an urgent need for an improved understanding of the sources, distributions and properties of atmospheric aerosol in order to control the atmospheric pollution over northeastern Himalayas where rising anthropogenic interferences from rapid urbanization and development is becoming an increasing concern. An extensive aerosol sampling program was conducted in Darjeeling (altitude approximately 2200 meter above sea level (masl), latitude 27 degrees 01'N and longitude 88 degrees 15'E), a high altitude station in northeastern Himalayas, during January-December 2005. Samples were collected using a respirable dust sampler and a fine dust sampler simultaneously. Ion chromatograph was used to analyze the water soluble ionic species of aerosol. The average concentrations of fine and coarse mode aerosol were found to be 29.5+/-20.8 microg m(-3) and 19.6+/-11.1 microg m(-3) respectively. Fine mode aerosol dominated during dry seasons and coarse mode aerosol dominated during monsoon. Nitrate existed as NH(4)NO(3) in fine mode aerosol during winter and as NaNO(3) in coarse mode aerosol during monsoon. Gas phase photochemical oxidation of SO(2) during premonsoon and aqueous phase oxidation during winter and postmonsoon were the major pathways for the formation of SO(4)(2-) in the atmosphere. Long range transport of dust aerosol from arid regions of western India was observed during premonsoon. The acidity of fine mode aerosol was higher in dry seasons compared to monsoon whereas the coarse mode acidity was higher in monsoon compared to dry seasons. Biomass burning, vehicular emissions and dust particles were the major types of aerosol from local and continental regions whereas sea salt particles were the major types of aerosol from marine source regions. The year-long data presented in this paper provide substantial improvements to the heretofore poor knowledge regarding aerosol chemistry over northeastern Himalayas, and should be useful to policy makers in making control

  3. Medicinal flora and ethnoecological knowledge in the Naran Valley, Western Himalaya, Pakistan.

    Khan, Shujaul M; Page, Sue; Ahmad, Habib; Shaheen, Hamayun; Ullah, Zahid; Ahmad, Mushtaq; Harper, David M

    2013-01-10

    Mountain ecosystems all over the world support a high biological diversity and provide home and services to some 12% of the global human population, who use their traditional ecological knowledge to utilise local natural resources. The Himalayas are the world's youngest, highest and largest mountain range and support a high plant biodiversity. In this remote mountainous region of the Himalaya, people depend upon local plant resources to supply a range of goods and services, including grazing for livestock and medicinal supplies for themselves. Due to their remote location, harsh climate, rough terrain and topography, many areas within this region still remain poorly known for its floristic diversity, plant species distribution and vegetation ecosystem service. The Naran valley in the north-western Pakistan is among such valleys and occupies a distinctive geographical location on the edge of the Western Himalaya range, close to the Hindu Kush range to the west and the Karakorum Mountains to the north. It is also located on climatic and geological divides, which further add to its botanical interest. In the present project 120 informants were interviewed at 12 main localities along the 60 km long valley. This paper focuses on assessment of medicinal plant species valued by local communities using their traditional knowledge. Results revealed that 101 species belonging to 52 families (51.5% of the total plants) were used for 97 prominent therapeutic purposes. The largest number of ailments cured with medicinal plants were associated with the digestive system (32.76% responses) followed by those associated with the respiratory and urinary systems (13.72% and 9.13% respectively). The ailments associated with the blood circulatory and reproductive systems and the skin were 7.37%, 7.04% and 7.03%, respectively. The results also indicate that whole plants were used in 54% of recipes followed by rhizomes (21%), fruits (9.5%) and roots (5.5%). Our findings demonstrate the

  4. The distribution and hydrological significance of rock glaciers in the Nepalese Himalaya

    Jones, D. B.; Harrison, S.; Anderson, K.; Selley, H. L.; Wood, J. L.; Betts, R. A.

    2018-01-01

    In the Nepalese Himalaya, there is little information on the number, spatial distribution and morphometric characteristics of rock glaciers, and this information is required if their hydrological contribution is to be understood. Based on freely available fine spatial resolution satellite data accessible through Google Earth, we produced the first comprehensive Nepalese rock glacier inventory, supported through statistical validation and field survey. The inventory includes the location of over 6000 rock glaciers, with a mean specific density of 3.4%. This corresponds to an areal coverage of 1371 km2. Our approach subsampled approximately 20% of the total identified rock glacier inventory (n = 1137) and digitised their outlines so that quantitative/qualitative landform attributes could be extracted. Intact landforms (containing ice) accounted for 68% of the subsample, and the remaining were classified as relict (not containing ice). The majority (56%) were found to have a northerly aspect (NE, N, and NW), and landforms situated within north- to west-aspects reside at lower elevations than those with south- to- east aspects. In Nepal, we show that rock glaciers are situated between 3225 and 5675 m a.s.l., with the mean minimum elevation at the front estimated to be 4977 ± 280 m a.s.l. for intact landforms and 4541 ± 346 m a.s.l. for relict landforms. The hydrological significance of rock glaciers in Nepal was then established by statistically upscaling the results from the subsample to estimate that these cryospheric reserves store between 16.72 and 25.08 billion m3 of water. This study, for the first time, estimates rock glacier water volume equivalents and evaluates their relative hydrological importance in comparison to ice glaciers. Across the Nepalese Himalaya, rock glacier to ice glacier water volume equivalent is 1:9, and generally increases westwards (e.g., ratio = 1:3, West region). This inventory represents a preliminary step for understanding the

  5. Socially-parasitic Myrmica species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Himalaya, with the description of a new species.

    Bharti, Himender; Radchenko, Alexander; Sasi, Sishal

    2016-01-01

    A new socially-parasitic species, Myrmica latra sp. n. is described based on a queen and male from Indian Himalaya. Its queen differs from other species by the distinctly narrower petiole and postpetiole, blunt and non-divergent propodeal spines, and a darker body colour. The taxonomic position of the three known Himalayan socially-parasitic Myrmica species is discussed, and Myrmica ereptrix Bolton 1988 is transferred to the smythiesii species-group. It is supposed that Myrmica nefaria Bharti 2012 is a temporary social parasite, but Myrmica ereptrix and Myrmica latra sp. n. are permanent social parasites, and a key for their identification is provided.

  6. Slope Environmental Lapse Rate (SELR of Temperature in the Monsoon Regime of the Western Himalaya

    Renoj J. Thayyen

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The interplay of moisture, temperature, and precipitation forced through the orographic processes sustain and regulate the Himalayan cryospheric system. However, factors influencing the Slope Environmental Lapse Rate (SELR of temperature along the Himalayan mountain slopes and an appropriate modeling solution remain as a key knowledge gaps. The present study evaulates the SELR variations in the monsoon regime of the western Himalaya and proposes a modeling solution for the valley scale SELR assessment. SELR of selected station pairs in the Sutlej and Beas basins ranging between the elevation of 662–3,130 m a.s.l. and that of Garhwal Himalaya between 770 and 3,820 m a.s.l. were assessed in this study. Results suggest that the moisture–temperature interplay is not only forcing the seasonal variations, but also the elevation-depended variability of the temperature SELR. Temperature lapse rate constrianed to the nival–glacier regime is found to be comparable to the saturated adiabatic lapse rate (SALR and lower than the valley scale SELR. The study also suggests that the bi-modal pattern of the annual temperature lapse rates earlier observed in the Nepal Himalaya is extended up to upper Ganga, Sutlej, and Beas basins in the western Himalaya. This seasonal variability of SELR is found to be closly linked with the seasonal variations in the lifting condensation levels (LCLs over the region. Inter-annual variation in SELR of the nival–glacier regime are found to be significant while that of the valley scale SELR are more stable. We propose a simple preliminary but robust model for deriving the valley scale SELR of monsoon regime modifying the equation governing pseudo adiabatic lapse rate. The SELR modeling solution is achieved by deriving monthly SELR indices using the data of two station pairs in the Sutlej and Beas basins during the 1986–2005 period through K-fold cross validation. The model sucessfully captures seasonal SELR variations

  7. Radical scavenging potential and DNA damage protection of wild edible mushrooms of Kashmir Himalaya

    Nowsheen Shameem

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The edible mushrooms Verpa bohemica and Morchella esculenta are locally used for dietary and antioxidant in tribal areas of Kashmir Himalaya. In the present study, sequences of solvents on the basis of their polarity were used for the extraction from selected mushrooms. The comprehensive antioxidant activity of all edible mushroom extracts was evaluated by seven different methods. V. bohemica exhibited significant inhibitory activity of radicals among all the mushrooms while Morchella extracts protected the DNA damage from OH· radicals. This study provides us the substantiation for the use of these mushrooms as antioxidants besides being already eaten as food.

  8. Revisiting the Delphinium viscosum Hook. f. & Thoms. (Ranunculaceae complex in the Himalaya

    Priyanka Agnihotri

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper highlights the complex nature of Delphinium viscosum Hook. f. & Thoms. in the Himalaya and enumerates two subspecies and two varieties. Critical appraisal of the morphological and distributional data revealed that subsp. viscosum and subsp. gigantobracteum having two varieties var. gigantobracteum and chrysotrichum are distinct. Delphinium viscosum complex is solved out and two subspecies and two varieties with clear cut distinct macro and micro-morphological characters have been identified. The taxonomic status of different taxa of this complex species has been established. Delphinium viscosum, a taxonomic complex species is described and illustrated.

  9. Elevated Levels of Carbonyl Compounds in the Atmosphere of Eastern Himalaya in India

    Sarkar, C.; Chatterjee, A.; Majumdar, D.; Raha, S.; Ghosh, S. K.; Srivastava, A.

    2015-12-01

    A first ever study on atmospheric carbonyl compounds (CC) were made over eastern Himalaya in India. Samples were collected over a high altitude hill station, Darjeeling (27.01°N, 88.15°E, 2200 masl) during 2011-2012. It is well known that CC have toxic and carcinogenic properties as well as they have important effects on regional climate. Therefore their presence in the environment is of great concern especially for the Himalayan region because of the ecological and geographical importance of the area. The average annual concentration of total CCs was 293.3 ± 463.9 μgm-3 with maximum during post monsoon (1104.8 ± 568.0 μgm-3) and minimum during winter season (72.2 ± 42.9 μgm-3). Darjeeling experiences huge emissions of carbonaceous pollutants from massive influx of tourists during premonsoon and postmonsoon seasons. Though the emission strength could be comparable, the loss of carbonyls from the atmosphere could be due to photochemical degradation under high solar insolation during premonsoon. Acetone was most abundant species with an annual average concentration of 200.8±352.9 μgm-3 with 70 % contribution to the total CCs measured. Interestingly, acetone over Darjeeling was found to be much higher than most of the metropolitan cities in the world. The average formaldehyde to acetaldehyde ratio (1.64 ± 1.43) over Darjeeling is a good representation of a typical urban atmosphere at this high altitude over this part of Himalaya. High carbonyl concentration over eastern Himalaya compared to other megacities across the globe could be attributed to uncontrolled activities related to development in tourism, high population density and moreover it's unique orography and land use pattern with narrow roads, unplanned township etc. The unscientific treatment of human and animal and other domestic waste is another major concern which significantly contribute to carbonyl and other carbonaceous pollutants over this part of Himalaya.

  10. Chemistry and isotopic composition of precipitation and surface waters in Khumbu valley (Nepal Himalaya): N dynamics of high elevation basins

    Balestrini, Raffaella, E-mail: balestrini@irsa.cnr.it [Water Research Institute, National Research Council (IRSA-CNR), Via del Mulino 19, Brugherio, MB (Italy); Polesello, Stefano [Water Research Institute, National Research Council (IRSA-CNR), Via del Mulino 19, Brugherio, MB (Italy); Sacchi, Elisa [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia and IGG-CNR, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia (Italy)

    2014-07-01

    We monitored the chemical and isotopic compositions of wet depositions, at the Pyramid International Laboratory (5050 m a.s.l.), and surrounding surface waters, in the Khumbu basin, to understand precipitation chemistry and to obtain insights regarding ecosystem responses to atmospheric inputs. The major cations in the precipitation were NH{sub 4}{sup +} and Ca{sup 2+}, whereas the main anion was HCO{sub 3}{sup −}, which constituted approximately 69% of the anions, followed by NO{sub 3}{sup −}, SO{sub 4}{sup 2−} and Cl{sup −}. Data analysis suggested that Na{sup +}, Cl{sup −} and K{sup +} were derived from the long-range transport of marine aerosols. Ca{sup 2+}, Mg{sup 2+} and HCO{sub 3}{sup −} were related to rock and soil dust contributions and the NO{sub 3}{sup −} and SO{sub 4}{sup 2−} concentrations were derived from anthropogenic sources. Furthermore, NH{sub 4}{sup +} was derived from gaseous NH{sub 3} scavenging. The isotopic composition of weekly precipitation ranged from − 1.9 to − 23.2‰ in δ{sup 18}O, and from − 0.8 to − 174‰ in δ{sup 2}H, with depleted values characterizing the central part of the monsoon period. The chemical composition of the stream water was dominated by calcite and/or gypsum dissolution. However, the isotopic composition of the stream water did not fully reflect the composition of the monsoon precipitation, which suggested that other water sources contributed to the stream flow. Precipitation contents for all ions were the lowest ones among those measured in high elevation sites around the world. During the monsoon periods the depositions were not substantially influenced by anthropogenic inputs, while in pre- and post-monsoon seasons the Himalayas could not represent an effective barrier for airborne pollution. In the late monsoon phase, the increase of ionic contents in precipitation could also be due to a change in the moisture source. The calculated atmospheric N load (0.30 kg ha{sup −1} y{sup −1

  11. Radiocarbon ages of upper quaternary deposit in central Nepal and their geomorphological significance

    Yamanaka, Hidetsugu

    1982-01-01

    The author visited Nepal from October, 1980, to February, 1981, investigated the geomorphology and upper Quaternary geology in Central Nepal, and collected a number of samples for radiocarbon dating. After returning to his university, he dated ten samples by himself. In Nepal, radiocarbon age has been scarcely reported as yet, besides in Kathmandu valley. Therefore, the author's ten data of the age are very important for the late Quaternary chronological study of Nepal Himalayas. In this paper, the author describes sampling localities and horizons, dating results and their geomorphological significance. These ten samples included Pokhara valley, Marsyandi Kohla, Modi Khola, Madi Khola and Muktinath samples. Some conclusion was derived as for the geomorphological development in central Nepal: The last Himalayan glacial age had already ended before 9,000 yr BP (years before A.D. 1950); In the Midland region, from 4,300 to 600 yr BP, some large-scale mudflows broke out nearly contemporaneously in the upper valleys, and they flowed down torrentially and catastrophically to deposit in the middle course of rivers. But the cause of vast quantity of material suddenly brought down from the Great Himalayas has been still left unexplained. The conclusion like this also was able to be applied to the middle Marsyandi Khola and the Pokhara valley. The wide-spread schema that the river was aggraded in the glacial age and degraded in the interglacial age may not be applicable to the rivers in the Midland region of Nepal Himalayas. (Wakatsuki, Y.)

  12. Hydrological processes in glacierized high-altitude basins of the western Himalayas

    Jeelani, Ghulam; Shah, Rouf A.; Fryar, Alan E.; Deshpande, Rajendrakumar D.; Mukherjee, Abhijit; Perrin, Jerome

    2018-03-01

    Western Himalaya is a strategically important region, where the water resources are shared by China, India and Pakistan. The economy of the region is largely dependent on the water resources delivered by snow and glacier melt. The presented study used stable isotopes of water to further understand the basin-scale hydro-meteorological, hydrological and recharge processes in three high-altitude mountainous basins of the western Himalayas. The study provided new insights in understanding the dominant factors affecting the isotopic composition of the precipitation, snowpack, glacier melt, streams and springs. It was observed that elevation-dependent post-depositional processes and snowpack evolution resulted in the higher isotopic altitude gradient in snowpacks. The similar temporal trends of isotopic signals in rivers and karst springs reflect the rapid flow transfer due to karstification of the carbonate aquifers. The attenuation of the extreme isotopic input signal in karst springs appears to be due to the mixing of source waters with the underground karst reservoirs. Basin-wise, the input-output response demonstrates the vital role of winter precipitation in maintaining the perennial flow in streams and karst springs in the region. Isotopic data were also used to estimate the mean recharge altitude of the springs.

  13. Three dimensional topography correction applied to magnetotelluric data from Sikkim Himalayas

    Kumar, Sushil; Patro, Prasanta K.; Chaudhary, B. S.

    2018-06-01

    Magnetotelluric (MT) method is one of the powerful tools to investigate the deep crustal image of mountainous regions such as Himalayas. Topographic variations due to irregular surface terrain distort the resistivity curves and hence may not give accurate interpretation of magnetotelluric data. The two-dimensional (2-D) topographic effects in Transverse Magnetic (TM) mode is only galvanic whereas inductive in Transverse Electric (TE) mode, thus TM mode responses is much more important than TE mode responses in 2-D. In three-dimensional (3-D), the topography effect is both galvanic and inductive in each element of impedance tensor and hence the interpretation is complicated. In the present work, we investigate the effects of three-dimensional (3-D) topography for a hill model. This paper presents the impedance tensor correction algorithm to reduce the topographic effects in MT data. The distortion caused by surface topography effectively decreases by using homogeneous background resistivity in impedance correction method. In this study, we analyze the response of ramp, distance from topographic edges, conductive and resistive dykes. The new correction method is applied to the real data from Sikkim Himalayas, which brought out the true nature of the basement in this region.

  14. Earthquake swarm of Himachal Pradesh in northwest Himalaya and its seismotectonic implications

    Singh, Rakesh; Prasath, R. Arun; Paul, Ajay; Kumar, Naresh

    2018-02-01

    On the 27th of August 2016, a seismic swarm activity consisting of 58 earthquakes (1.5 ≤ ML ≤ 4.4), which occurred in Rampur area of the Kullu-Rampur Tectonic window of Himachal Pradesh in Northwest Himalaya. The epicenters of these events are located at the northern front of the Berinag Thrust in its hanging wall. To better understand the seismotectonics of this region, we analyzed the spectral source parameters and source mechanism of this swam activity. Spectral analysis shows the low stress drop values (from 0.05 to 28.9 bars), suggesting that the upper crust has low strength to withstand accumulated strain energy in this region. The Moment Tensor solutions of 12 earthquakes (≥2.7ML) obtained by waveform inversion yield the shallow centroid depths between 5 and 10 km. All these events are of dominantly thrust fault mechanism having an average dip angle of ∼30°. The P-axes and the maximum horizontal compressive stresses are NE-SW oriented; the relative motion of the Indian Plate. The present study reveals that the swarm activity in the Himachal region of NW Himalaya is related to the out-of-sequence thrusting or the Lesser Himalayan Duplex system.

  15. Conservation status affects elevational gradient in bird diversity in the Himalaya: A new perspective

    Prakash Kumar Paudel

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding diversity patterns along altitudinal gradients, and their underlying causes are important for conserving biodiversity. Previous studies have focused on climatic, energetic, and geographic variables (e.g., mid-domain effects, with less attention paid to human-induced habitat modifications. We used published data of bird distributions along an elevational gradient (0–4900 m in the Nepalese Himalaya and interpolated species presence between elevational limits. The relationship between species richness and environmental variables was analyzed using generalized linear models. A low plateau relationship between bird richness and elevation was observed, with a main peak at intermediate elevations (2800 m. Across the total gradient, interpolated bird species richness had a unimodal relationship to maximum monthly precipitation and a linear response to seasonal variation in temperature, proportion of forest cover, and proportion of protected area. In lower elevations (0–2800 m, interpolated species richness had a positive and linear response to the proportion of Ramsar sites and a unimodal response to habitat heterogeneity. At higher elevations (2900–4900 m, interpolated bird richness had a positive linear response to monthly variation in temperature and a negative linear response to proportion forest cover. We conclude that factors related to human management are important drivers of elevational gradients in bird species richness. Keywords: Elevational gradient, Biogeography, Bird species richness, Conservation, Himalaya, Nepal

  16. Application of regional climate models to the Indian winter monsoon over the western Himalayas.

    Dimri, A P; Yasunari, T; Wiltshire, A; Kumar, P; Mathison, C; Ridley, J; Jacob, D

    2013-12-01

    The Himalayan region is characterized by pronounced topographic heterogeneity and land use variability from west to east, with a large variation in regional climate patterns. Over the western part of the region, almost one-third of the annual precipitation is received in winter during cyclonic storms embedded in westerlies, known locally as the western disturbance. In the present paper, the regional winter climate over the western Himalayas is analyzed from simulations produced by two regional climate models (RCMs) forced with large-scale fields from ERA-Interim. The analysis was conducted by the composition of contrasting (wet and dry) winter precipitation years. The findings showed that RCMs could simulate the regional climate of the western Himalayas and represent the atmospheric circulation during extreme precipitation years in accordance with observations. The results suggest the important role of topography in moisture fluxes, transport and vertical flows. Dynamical downscaling with RCMs represented regional climates at the mountain or even event scale. However, uncertainties of precipitation scale and liquid-solid precipitation ratios within RCMs are still large for the purposes of hydrological and glaciological studies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. K-Ar geochronology of the Kulu-Mandi Belt, NW Himalaya, India

    Mehta, P.K.; Rex, D.C.

    1977-01-01

    The K-Ar dates of micas and whole rock amphibolites from the Kulu-Mandi Belt define two distinct groups, (1) 20 to 75 m. y., and (2) 277 to 366 m. y. Our data together with the other available K-Ar and Rb-Sr mineral and whole rock data, enable us to confirm three major events in the Himalaya, the Late Precambrian-Cambrian Assyntian (Cadomian) Orogenic cycle, the Late Palaeozoic Hercynian Magmatic-Epeirogenic cycle and the Late Cretaceous-Teritiary Himalayan Orogenic cycle. The mineral dating is significant for delineating different phases of the last i.e. the Himalayan Oregeny. The radiometric data, so far to hand, indicate that the main activity of the young, Himalayan metamorphism was probably around 50 to 70 m. y. (Late Cretaceous-Eocene) and this was followed by a major uplift during the 10 to 25 m. y. (Mid. Miocene) time, which was responsible for thrusting and formation of nappe structures in the Himalaya. (orig.) [de

  18. Radon and thoron monitoring in the environment of Kumaun Himalayas: survey and outcomes

    Ramola, R.C.; Negi, M.S.; Choubey, V.M.

    2005-01-01

    Monitoring of radon, thoron and their daughter products was carried out in houses of Kumaun Himalaya, India using LR-115 plastic track detectors. The measurements were made in residential houses from June 1999 to May 2000 at a height of 2.5 m from ground level using a twin chamber radon dosimeter. The twin chamber radon dosimeter can record the values of radon, thoron and their decay products separately. Maximum and minimum indoor radon and thoron concentrations were evaluated and activity concentrations of radon and thoron daughters were estimated. The resulting dose rates due to radon, thoron and their decay products varied from 0.04 to 1.89 μSv/h. A detailed analysis of the distribution of radon, thoron and their decay products inside the house is also reported. The observed dose rates inside the houses of Kumaun Himalaya were found to be lower than the ICRP recommended value of 200 Bq/m 3 and thus are within safe limits

  19. A CERN flag is set to wave up in the Himalayas

    Roberto Cantoni

    2010-01-01

    On 18 October, Hubert Reymond, from the Industrial Controls and Engineering group of the EN Department, will be leaving to Nepal with a CERN flag in his backpack. He will place it at the highest point of his trek across the Annapurna mountains in the Himalayas, Thorong La pass, at 5,416 m above sea level.   A view of the Annapurna mountains (source: www.flickr.com/minutesalone) “Is there any official CERN flag I can carry with me during my trek through Nepal?” Some days ago, the Press Office was confronted with this unusual (but see box) question from Hubert Reymond. From 18 October to 10 November, Reymond, who works as an industrial computing engineer in the EN Department, will be trekking across the 55 km-long Annapurna massif in the Himalayas, whose highest point lies at 8,091 m (making it the 10th-highest summit in the world). The area is well-known to trekkers from around the world, as it includes several world-class circuits, including the Annapurna circuit which Reym...

  20. Vegetation dynamics at the upper elevational limit of vascular plants in Himalaya.

    Dolezal, Jiri; Dvorsky, Miroslav; Kopecky, Martin; Liancourt, Pierre; Hiiesalu, Inga; Macek, Martin; Altman, Jan; Chlumska, Zuzana; Rehakova, Klara; Capkova, Katerina; Borovec, Jakub; Mudrak, Ondrej; Wild, Jan; Schweingruber, Fritz

    2016-05-04

    A rapid warming in Himalayas is predicted to increase plant upper distributional limits, vegetation cover and abundance of species adapted to warmer climate. We explored these predictions in NW Himalayas, by revisiting uppermost plant populations after ten years (2003-2013), detailed monitoring of vegetation changes in permanent plots (2009-2012), and age analysis of plants growing from 5500 to 6150 m. Plant traits and microclimate variables were recorded to explain observed vegetation changes. The elevation limits of several species shifted up to 6150 m, about 150 vertical meters above the limit of continuous plant distribution. The plant age analysis corroborated the hypothesis of warming-driven uphill migration. However, the impact of warming interacts with increasing precipitation and physical disturbance. The extreme summer snowfall event in 2010 is likely responsible for substantial decrease in plant cover in both alpine and subnival vegetation and compositional shift towards species preferring wetter habitats. Simultaneous increase in summer temperature and precipitation caused rapid snow melt and, coupled with frequent night frosts, generated multiple freeze-thaw cycles detrimental to subnival plants. Our results suggest that plant species responses to ongoing climate change will not be unidirectional upward range shifts but rather multi-dimensional, species-specific and spatially variable.

  1. Forest tree species discrimination in western Himalaya using EO-1 Hyperion

    George, Rajee; Padalia, Hitendra; Kushwaha, S. P. S.

    2014-05-01

    The information acquired in the narrow bands of hyperspectral remote sensing data has potential to capture plant species spectral variability, thereby improving forest tree species mapping. This study assessed the utility of spaceborne EO-1 Hyperion data in discrimination and classification of broadleaved evergreen and conifer forest tree species in western Himalaya. The pre-processing of 242 bands of Hyperion data resulted into 160 noise-free and vertical stripe corrected reflectance bands. Of these, 29 bands were selected through step-wise exclusion of bands (Wilk's Lambda). Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) algorithms were applied to the selected bands to assess their effectiveness in classification. SVM was also applied to broadband data (Landsat TM) to compare the variation in classification accuracy. All commonly occurring six gregarious tree species, viz., white oak, brown oak, chir pine, blue pine, cedar and fir in western Himalaya could be effectively discriminated. SVM produced a better species classification (overall accuracy 82.27%, kappa statistic 0.79) than SAM (overall accuracy 74.68%, kappa statistic 0.70). It was noticed that classification accuracy achieved with Hyperion bands was significantly higher than Landsat TM bands (overall accuracy 69.62%, kappa statistic 0.65). Study demonstrated the potential utility of narrow spectral bands of Hyperion data in discriminating tree species in a hilly terrain.

  2. Seismic anisotropy beneath NW Himalaya using SKS and SKKS Splitting measurements

    Biswal, S.; Kumar, S.; Mohanty, W. K.

    2016-12-01

    Seventy six teleseismic earthquakes comprising of both SKS and SKKS were analysed for the NW Himalaya to infer the characteristics of the shear wave splitting parameters in the region. The anisotropy results obtained from the analysis shows upper mantle anisotropy in the study area with the fast axis aligned along a NNE-SSW direction and the average delay times observed at the station ranges from a minimum of 0.3s to a maximum of 1.7s for SKS and SKKS phases. These splitting results obtained for this area shows a parallel trend with motion of the India plate as estimated from NUVEL 1A model in contradiction to the orthogonal E-W trend observed for the NE Himalaya observed at the collision front. The seismic anisotropy observed in this region demarcates a shallow source of anisotropy that may be due to the strain flow in the upper mantle which may be the causative source of the anisotropy in the region.

  3. Bayesian neural network modeling of tree-ring temperature variability record from the Western Himalayas

    R. K. Tiwari

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available A novel technique based on the Bayesian neural network (BNN theory is developed and employed to model the temperature variation record from the Western Himalayas. In order to estimate an a posteriori probability function, the BNN is trained with the Hybrid Monte Carlo (HMC/Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC simulations algorithm. The efficacy of the new algorithm is tested on the well known chaotic, first order autoregressive (AR and random models and then applied to model the temperature variation record decoded from the tree-ring widths of the Western Himalayas for the period spanning over 1226–2000 AD. For modeling the actual tree-ring temperature data, optimum network parameters are chosen appropriately and then cross-validation test is performed to ensure the generalization skill of the network on the new data set. Finally, prediction result based on the BNN model is compared with the conventional artificial neural network (ANN and the AR linear models results. The comparative results show that the BNN based analysis makes better prediction than the ANN and the AR models. The new BNN modeling approach provides a viable tool for climate studies and could also be exploited for modeling other kinds of environmental data.

  4. Monazite behaviours during high-temperature metamorphism: a case study from Dinggye region, Tibetan Himalaya

    Wang, Jia-Min; Wu, Fu-Yuan; Rubatto, Daniela; Liu, Shi-Ran; Zhang, Jin-Jiang

    2017-04-01

    Monazite is a key accessory mineral for metamorphic geochronology, but its growth mechanisms during melt-bearing high-temperature metamorphism is not well understood. Therefore, the petrology, pressure-temperature and timing of metamorphism have been investigated in pelitic and psammitic granulites from the Greater Himalayan Crystalline Complex (GHC) in Dinggye, southern Tibet. These rocks underwent an isothermal decompression process from pressure conditions of >10 kbar to armour effect of matrix crystals (biotite and quartz). Most monazite grains formed at the M3-stage (21-19 Ma) through either dissolution-reprecipitation or recrystallization that was related to biotite dehydration melting reaction. These monazite grains record HREE and Y signatures in local equilibrium with different reactions involving either garnet breakdown or peritectic garnet growth. Another peak of monazite growth occurs during melt crystallization ( 15 Ma), and these monazites are unzoned and have homogeneous compositions. Our results documented the widespread recrystallization to account for monazite growth during high-temperature metamorphism and related melting reactions that trigger monazite recrystallization. In a regional sense, our P-T-t data along with published data indicate that the pre-M1 eclogite-facies metamorphism occurred at 39-30 Ma in the Dinggye Himalaya. Our results are in favour of a steady exhumation of the GHC rocks since Oligocene that was contributed by partial melting. Key words: U-Th-Pb geochronology, Monazite, Recrystallization, Pelitic granulite, Himalaya

  5. Some like it high! Phylogenetic diversity of high-elevation cyanobacterial community from biological soil crusts of Western Himalaya.

    Čapková, K.; Hauer, T.; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 71, č. 1 (2016), s. 113-123 ISSN 0095-3628 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : soil crusts * cyanobacterial diversity * Western Himalayas * high-elevation * desert * phosphorus Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.630, year: 2016

  6. Some Like it High! Phylogenetic Diversity of High-Elevation Cyanobacterial Community from Biological Soil Crusts of Western Himalaya

    Čapková, Kateřina; Hauer, Tomáš; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, Jiří

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 71, č. 1 (2016), s. 113-123 ISSN 0095-3628 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-13368S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Soil crusts * Cyanobacterial diversity * Western Himalayas Subject RIV: EH - Ecology , Behaviour Impact factor: 3.630, year: 2016

  7. Reforesting severely degraded grassland in the Lesser Himalaya of Nepal : Effects on soil hydraulic conductivity and overland flow production

    Ghimire, C.P.; Bonell, Mike; Bruijnzeel, L. Adrian; Coles, Neil A.; Lubczynski, M.

    2013-01-01

    [1] Severely degraded hillslopes in the Lesser Himalaya challenge local communities as a result of the frequent occurrence of overland flow and erosion during the rainy season and water shortages during the dry season. Reforestation is often perceived as an effective way of restoring predisturbance

  8. Chemical composition and biological effects of Artemisia maritima and Artemisia nilagirica essential oils from wild plant of Western Himalaya

    Artemisia species possess pharmacological properties that are used for medical purposes worldwide. In this paper, the essential oils from the aerial parts of A. nilagirica and A. maritima from the western Indian Himalaya region are described. The main compounds analyzed by simultaneous GC/MS and GC/...

  9. Mammals of the high altitudes of western Arunachal Pradesh, eastern Himalaya: an assessment of threats and conservation needs

    Mishra, C.; Madhusudan, M.D.; Datta, A.

    2006-01-01

    he high altitudes of Arunachal Pradesh, India, located in the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, remain zoologically unexplored and unprotected. We report results of recent mammal surveys in the high altitude habitats of western Arunachal Pradesh. A total of 35 mammal species (including 12

  10. Effects of herbivore species richness on the niche dynamics of blue sheep Pseudois nayaur in the Indian Trans-Himalaya

    Namgail, T.; Mishra, C.; Jong, de C.B.; Wieren, van S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2009-01-01

    Aim To understand the community structure of mountain ungulates by exploring their niche dynamics in response to sympatric species richness. Location Ladakh and Spiti Regions of the Western Indian Trans-Himalaya. Methods We used the blue sheep Pseudois nayaur, a relatively widely distributed

  11. Soils characterisation along ecological forest zones in the Eastern Himalayas

    Simon, Alois; Dhendup, Kuenzang; Bahadur Rai, Prem; Gratzer, Georg

    2017-04-01

    Elevational gradients are commonly used to characterise vegetation patterns and, to a lesser extent, also to describe soil development. Furthermore, interactions between vegetation cover and soil characteristics are repeatedly observed. Combining information on soil development and easily to distinguish forest zones along elevational gradients, creates an added value for forest management decisions especially in less studied mountain regions. For this purpose, soil profiles along elevational gradients in the temperate conifer forests of Western and Central Bhutan, ranging from 2600-4000m asl were investigated. Thereby, 82 soil profiles were recorded and classified according to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources. Based on 19 representative profiles, genetic horizons were sampled and analysed. We aim to provide fundamental information on forest soil characteristics along these elevational transects. The results are presented with regard to ecological forest zones. The elevational distribution of the reference soil groups showed distinct distribution ranges for most of the soils. Cambisols were the most frequently recorded reference soil group with 58% of the sampled profiles, followed by Podzols in higher elevations, and Stagnosols, at intermediate elevations. Fluvisols occurred only at the lower end of the elevational transects and Phaeozems only at drier site conditions in the cool conifer dry forest zone. The humus layer thickness differs between forest zones and show a shift towards increased organic layer (O-layer) with increasing elevation. The reduced biomass productivity with increasing elevation and subsequently lower litter input compensates for the slow decomposition rates. The increasing O-layer thickness is an indicator of restrained intermixing of organic and mineral components by soil organisms at higher elevation. Overall, the soil types and soil characteristics along the elevational gradient showed a continuous and consistent change, instead

  12. Chemical Remagnetization of Jurassic Carbonates and a Primary Paleolatitude of Lower Cretaceous Volcaniclastic Rocks of the Tibetan Himalaya

    Huang, W.; Van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Dekkers, M. J.; Garzanti, E.; Dupont Nivet, G.; Lippert, P. C.; Li, X.; Maffione, M.; Langereis, C. G.; Hu, X.; Guo, Z.; Kapp, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    Paleolatitudes for the Tibetan Himalaya Zone based on paleomagnetic inclinations provide kinematic constraints of the passive northern Indian margin and the extent of 'Greater India' before the India-Asia collision. Here, we present a paleomagnetic investigation of the Jurassic (carbonates) to Lower Cretaceous (volcaniclastic rocks) Wölong section of the Tibetan Himalaya in the Everest region. The carbonates yield positive fold tests, suggesting that the remanent magnetizations have a pre-folding origin. However, detailed paleomagnetic analyses, rock magnetic tests, end-member modeling of acquisition curves of isothermal remanent magnetization, and petrographic studies reveal that the magnetic carrier of the Jurassic carbonates is authigenic magnetite, whereas the dominant magnetic carrier of the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic rocks is detrital magnetite. We conclude that the Jurassic carbonates were remagnetized, whereas the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastics retain a primary remanence. We hypothesize that remagnetization of the Jurassic carbonates was probably caused by the oxidation of early diagenetic pyrite to magnetite within the time interval at ~86-84 Ma during the latest Cretaceous Normal Superchron and earliest deposition of Cretaceous oceanic red beds in the Tibetan Himalaya. The remagnetization of the limestones prevents determining the size of 'Greater India' during Jurassic time. Instead, a paleolatitude of the Tibetan Himalaya of 23.8±2.1° S at ~86-84 Ma is suggested. This value is lower than the expected paleolatitude of India from apparent polar wander path (APWP). The volcaniclastic rocks with the primary remanence, however, yielded a Lower Cretaceous paleolatitude of Tibetan Himalaya of 55.5±3° S, fitting well with the APWP of India.

  13. Transport of sediments in Himalaya-Karakorum and its influence on hydropower plants; Sedimenttransportprozesse im Himalaya-Karakorum und ihre Bedeutung fuer Wasserkraftanlagen

    Palt, S.M.

    2001-07-01

    In the present study the sediment transport processes in alpine mountain areas and their impact on hydropower development projects are investigated. The aim of the present work is to contribute to the understanding of the transport process system, which is characterized by high magnitude-low frequency - events, to ensure an appropriate layout of high head hydropower projects in mountain regions. The sediment transport in large areas in the macro scale is triggered by natural hazards, such as earthquakes, rock slides, earth movements, debris flows, glacial lake outbursts and floods. The basic principle of complex transport processes in this scale is described and explained on the example of the Himalaya-Karakorum-region. The sediment transport process in the smaller scale, so called meso scale, is investigated by means of extensive field measurements at river reaches of 16 different mountain rivers of a 80000 km{sup 2} large project area. The measurements include topographic survey works and measurements of discharge, bed load and suspended load. Since the conditions of mountain rivers in terms of size of bed material as well as available flow velocities can be considered as extreme, an appropriate bed load sampler named B-69 was developed, constructed and used in the field. Moreover the hydraulic as well as the sedimentological efficiency of the sampler was tested in the laboratory tests. Due to the nice performance of the bed load sampler B-69 at high flow velocities it might be useful for flood conditions in gravel-bed rivers in other parts of the world as well. Based on the results of the study the parameter of the river slope can be considered as the most important one for the characteristics of the morphology, the flow conditions, the bed stability as well as the bed load transport in steep mountain rivers. With increasing slope morphological structures in the longitudinal direction will develop from flat bed conditions. The so called step-pool-systems consist

  14. Seasonal variations in the sources of natural and anthropogenic lead deposited at the East Rongbuk Glacier in the high-altitude Himalayas

    Burn-Nunes, Laurie; Vallelonga, Paul; Lee, Khanghyun; Hong, Sungmin; Burton, Graeme; Hou, Shugui; Moy, Andrew; Edwards, Ross; Loss, Robert; Rosman, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Lead (Pb) isotopic compositions and concentrations, and barium (Ba) and indium (In) concentrations have been analysed at sub-annual resolution in three sections from a < 110 m ice core dated to the 18th and 20th centuries, as well as snow pit samples dated to 2004/2005, recovered from the East Rongbuk Glacier in the high-altitude Himalayas. Ice core sections indicate that atmospheric chemistry prior to ∼ 1953 was controlled by mineral dust inputs, with no discernible volcanic or anthropogenic contributions. Eighteenth century monsoon ice core chemistry is indicative of dominant contributions from local Himalayan sources; non-monsoon ice core chemistry is linked to contributions from local (Himalayan), regional (Indian/Thar Desert) and long-range (North Africa, Central Asia) sources. Twentieth century monsoon and non-monsoon ice core data demonstrate similar seasonal sources of mineral dust, however with a transition to less-radiogenic isotopic signatures that suggests local and regional climate/environmental change. The snow pit record demonstrates natural and anthropogenic contributions during both seasons, with increased anthropogenic influence during non-monsoon times. Monsoon anthropogenic inputs are most likely sourced to South/South-East Asia and/or India, whereas non-monsoon anthropogenic inputs are most likely sourced to India and Central Asia. - Highlights: • Pb isotopes in ice and snow show seasonality in Mt Everest atmospheric chemistry. • Local (Himalayan) mineral dust inputs are present year round. • Regional and long-range mineral dust inputs are evident during non-monsoon times. • Snow samples indicate increased anthropogenic inputs during non-monsoon times. • Anthropogenic inputs are linked with Indian, South Asian and Central Asian sources

  15. Seasonal variations in the sources of natural and anthropogenic lead deposited at the East Rongbuk Glacier in the high-altitude Himalayas

    Burn-Nunes, Laurie, E-mail: L.Nunes@curtin.edu.au [Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Curtin University, GPO Box U 1987, Perth 6845, Western Australia (Australia); Vallelonga, Paul [Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø (Denmark); Lee, Khanghyun [Environmental Measurement and Analysis Center, National Institute of Environmental Research, Environmental Research Complex, Kyungseo-dong, Seo-gu, Incheon 404-170 (Korea, Republic of); Hong, Sungmin [Department of Ocean Sciences, Inha University, 100 Inha-ro, Nam-gu, Incheon 402-751 (Korea, Republic of); Burton, Graeme [Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Curtin University, GPO Box U 1987, Perth 6845, Western Australia (Australia); Hou, Shugui [Key Laboratory of Coast and Island development of Ministry of Education, School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Moy, Andrew [Department of the Environment, Australian Antarctic Division, Channel Highway, Kingston 7050, Tasmania (Australia); Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 80, Hobart 7001, Tasmania (Australia); Edwards, Ross; Loss, Robert; Rosman, Kevin [Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Curtin University, GPO Box U 1987, Perth 6845, Western Australia (Australia)

    2014-07-01

    Lead (Pb) isotopic compositions and concentrations, and barium (Ba) and indium (In) concentrations have been analysed at sub-annual resolution in three sections from a < 110 m ice core dated to the 18th and 20th centuries, as well as snow pit samples dated to 2004/2005, recovered from the East Rongbuk Glacier in the high-altitude Himalayas. Ice core sections indicate that atmospheric chemistry prior to ∼ 1953 was controlled by mineral dust inputs, with no discernible volcanic or anthropogenic contributions. Eighteenth century monsoon ice core chemistry is indicative of dominant contributions from local Himalayan sources; non-monsoon ice core chemistry is linked to contributions from local (Himalayan), regional (Indian/Thar Desert) and long-range (North Africa, Central Asia) sources. Twentieth century monsoon and non-monsoon ice core data demonstrate similar seasonal sources of mineral dust, however with a transition to less-radiogenic isotopic signatures that suggests local and regional climate/environmental change. The snow pit record demonstrates natural and anthropogenic contributions during both seasons, with increased anthropogenic influence during non-monsoon times. Monsoon anthropogenic inputs are most likely sourced to South/South-East Asia and/or India, whereas non-monsoon anthropogenic inputs are most likely sourced to India and Central Asia. - Highlights: • Pb isotopes in ice and snow show seasonality in Mt Everest atmospheric chemistry. • Local (Himalayan) mineral dust inputs are present year round. • Regional and long-range mineral dust inputs are evident during non-monsoon times. • Snow samples indicate increased anthropogenic inputs during non-monsoon times. • Anthropogenic inputs are linked with Indian, South Asian and Central Asian sources.

  16. Occurrence of tephra/volcanic tuff in the tertiary sediments of Himachal Himalaya from Tileli area, Mandi district, H.P.: implication for stratigraphy and uranium mineralization

    Pandey, Pradeep; Chabbra, Jyotsana; Joshi, G.B.; Parihar, P.S.

    2014-01-01

    Presence of Early Tertiary pyroclastic material (tephra) has been documented petrographically, for the first time, in the Mandi-Bilaspur Sector from Tileli area, Dharamsala basin of Himachal Pradesh. The tephra is reported from the red shale, identified as tuffaceous siltstone belonging to lower Dharamsala Formation that lies above the uraniferous sandstone body and occurs as thin layers of over 300m along the strike, close to the contact of lower and upper Dharamsala formations. The tuffaceous material shows crude but preferred orientation of minerals like biotite, muscovite, chlorite, clay, hematite and specularite. Various features indicating presence of tephra are, glass shards altered to clay but retaining 'U' shaped outline, spindle-shaped hematite with preferred orientation, spherical to sub-spherical clay and altered Fe oxide rich balls, clay groundmass with flow pattern, flaky minerals in association with clast depicting asymmetrical ramp structure. A zone of approximately 300 m length containing tuffaceous material has been established at Tileli overlying the uraniferous sandstone body. Identification of tephra at Tileli has significant implications as it enabled in demarcating the boundary between the upper and lower Dharamsala formations in central part of the basin in Bilaspur-Mandi Sector of HP Himalaya and also in guiding the uranium exploration programme in the lower Dharamsala Formation. (author)

  17. Long-distance dispersal or postglacial contraction? Insights into disjunction between Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains and Taiwan in a cold-adapted herbaceous genus, Triplostegia.

    Niu, Yan-Ting; Ye, Jian-Fei; Zhang, Jin-Long; Wan, Ji-Zhong; Yang, Tuo; Wei, Xiao-Xin; Lu, Li-Min; Li, Jian-Hua; Chen, Zhi-Duan

    2018-01-01

    Current disjunct patterns can result from long-distance dispersal or postglacial contraction. We herein investigate the evolutionary history of Triplostegia to elucidate the disjunction between the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountain region (HHM) and Taiwan (TW). Genetic structure of Triplostegia was investigated for 48 populations using sequences from five chloroplast loci and the ribosomal nuclear internal transcribed spacer. Divergence time estimation, ancestral area reconstruction, and species distribution modeling (SDM) were employed to examine the biogeographic history of Triplostegia . Substantial genetic differentiation among populations from southwestern China (SW), Central China (CC), and TW was detected. Triplostegia was inferred to have originated in SW, and diversification began during the late Miocene; CC was colonized in the mid-Pliocene, and TW was finally colonized in the early Pleistocene. SDM suggested an expansion of climatically suitable areas during the Last Glacial Maximum and range contraction during the Last interglacial in Triplostegia . Disjunction between HHM and TW in Triplostegia is most likely the consequence of topographic isolation and postglacial contraction. The potential climatic suitability areas for Triplostegia by 2070s (2061-2080) are predicted to slightly shrink and move northward. With continued global warming and human-induced deforestation, extinction risk may increase for the cold-adapted species, and appropriate strategies should be employed for ecosystem conservation.

  18. On the paleoseismic evidence of the 1803 earthquake rupture (or lack of it) along the frontal thrust of the Kumaun Himalaya

    Rajendran, C. P.; John, Biju; Anandasabari, K.; Sanwal, Jaishri; Rajendran, Kusala; Kumar, Pankaj; Chopra, Sundeep

    2018-01-01

    The foothills of the Himalaya bordered by the Main Frontal Thrust (MFT) continue to be a locus of paleoseismological studies. One of such recent studies of trench stratigraphy near the central (Indian) Himalayan foothills (Malik et al., (2016) has reported multiple ruptures dated at 467-570, 1294-1587 and 1750-1932 CE. The last offset has been attributed to the Uttarkashi earthquake of 1803 and the penultimate faulting, with lesser confidence to an earthquake in 1505 CE. We tested these claims by logging an adjacent section on a shared scarp, and the new trench site, however, revealed a stratigraphic configuration partially in variance with from what has been reported in the earlier study. Our findings do not support the previous interpretation of the trench stratigraphy that suggested multiple displacements cutting across a varied set of deformed stratigraphic units leading up to the 1803 rupture. The current interpretation posits a single episode of a low-angle displacement at this site occurred between 1266 CE and 1636. Our results suggest a single medieval earthquake, conforming to what was reported from the previously studied neighboring sites to the east and west. The present study while reiterating a great medieval earthquake questions the assumption that the 1803 earthquake ruptured the MFT. Although a décollement earthquake, the 1803 rupture may have been arrested midway on the basal flat, and fell short of reaching the MFT, somewhat comparable to a suite of blind thrust earthquakes like the1905 Kangra and the 1833 Nepal earthquakes.

  19. The State of Food (InSecurity in the Trans-Himalaya, Upper-Mustang, Nepal

    Rishikesh Pandey

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Food insecurity is a global issue, with higher prevalence of hunger in developing countries. Low crop yield and food production - due to difficult topography and traditional farming methods - combined with lower income; fluctuations in prices and supply, and low quality of food have been causing food insecurity in Nepal. This research examines food (insecurity situation in Upper-Mustang, Nepal. The results are derived from the data collected through face–to-face interviews with the heads of 66 households, in-depth interviews conducted with 22 key informants, and discussions with the group of local people in different (6 places. The household food system was studied from livelihood perspectives and food (insecurity was assessed in relation to self-sufficiency or production sufficiency, access, utilization, and stability of food. Households in the Trans-Himalaya acquire food from multiple sources such as farming and livestock ranching, buy food from the market, and also receive food aid for the sake of survival during the food crisis. Food security situation in terms of self-production in Upper-Mustang is at worst stage that many households are facing severe to chronic food insecurity. Studied households access marketed food, though the price they pay is very high. The worrisome issue is that there is no significant improvement in food security situation over time in the Trans-Himalaya. Study found that not the household size but dependency ratio in the household increases food insecurity. On the other hand, quality of farmland in terms of cropping intensity and availability of irrigation rather than the farm-plot size contribute for food security. The issue of food security is still a valid development policy goal for Nepal in general and for the Trans-Himalaya in particular. Accordingly, food security interventions are important. Yet, policy for interventions should look into all components of food systems, particularly providing irrigation

  20. Satellite Remote Sensing of Snow/Ice Albedo over the Himalayas

    Hsu, N. Christina; Gautam, Ritesh

    2012-01-01

    The Himalayan glaciers and snowpacks play an important role in the hydrological cycle over Asia. The seasonal snow melt from the Himalayan glaciers and snowpacks is one of the key elements to the livelihood of the downstream densely populated regions of South Asia. During the pre-monsoon season (April-May-June), South Asia not only experiences the reversal of the regional meridional tropospheric temperature gradient (i.e., the onset of the summer monsoon), but also is being bombarded by dry westerly airmass that transports mineral dust from various Southwest Asian desert and arid regions into the Indo-Gangetic Plains in northern India. Mixed with heavy anthropogenic pollution, mineral dust constitutes the bulk of regional aerosol loading and forms an extensive and vertically extended brown haze lapping against the southern slopes of the Himalayas. Episodic dust plumes are advected over the Himalayas, and are discernible in satellite imagery, resulting in dust-capped snow surface. Motivated by the potential implications of accelerated snowmelt, we examine the changes in radiative energetics induced by aerosol transport over the Himalayan snow cover by utilizing space borne observations. Our objective lies in the investigation of potential impacts of aerosol solar absorption on the Top-of-Atmosphere (TOA) spectral reflectivity and the broadband albedo, and hence the accelerated snowmelt, particularly in the western Himalayas. Lambertian Equivalent Reflectivity (LER) in the visible and near-infrared wavelengths, derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer radiances, is used to generate statistics for determining perturbation caused due to dust layer over snow surface in over ten years of continuous observations. Case studies indicate significant reduction of LER ranging from 5 to 8% in the 412-860nm spectra. Broadband flux observations, from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System, are also used to investigate changes in shortwave TOA flux over

  1. Active tectonics and Holocene versus modern catchment erosion rates at 300 MW Baspa II hydroelectric power plant (NW Himalaya, India)

    Draganits, Erich; Grasemann, Bernhard; Gier, Susanne; Hofmann, Christa-Charlotte; Janda, Christoph; Bookhagen, Bodo; Preh, Alexander

    2015-04-01

    The Baspa River is one of the most important tributaries to the Sutlej River in the NW Himalaya (India). Its catchment is 1116 km2 in size, ranges from c. 6400 m asl to 1770 m asl and contains India's largest private hydroelectric facility, the 300 MW Baspa II. Geologically, the hydroelectric installation is located in the Higher Himalayan Crystalline, just above the active Karcham Normal Fault, which is reactivating the Early Miocene Main Central Thrust, one of the principal Himalayan faults. The area is seismically active and mass-movements are common. Around 8200 yrs BP the Baspa was dammed by a rock-avalanche dam, leading to the formation of the originally c. 260 m deep palaeo-lake Sangla palaeo-lake. Detailed sedimentological investigations and radiocarbon dating indicate that the palaeo-lake was completely filled with sediments until c. 5100 yrs BP. This makes the Sangla palaeo-lake to a very rare example of a mass-movement dam with very long duration and its lacustrine sediments represent a valuable archive for geological processes and environmental proxies within the Baspa catchment during the c. 3100 years of its existence - which are the aim of our study. At least 5 levels of soft-sediment deformation have been recorded in the exposed part of the lacustrine sediments of Sangla palaeo-lake, including brecciated laminae, overturned laminae, folds, faults and deformation bands, separated by undeformed deposits. They are interpreted as seismites, indicating at least 5 earthquakes within 2500 years strong enough to cause liquefaction. The 300 MW Baspa II hydro-electric power plant has been built exactly on top of this palaeo-lake. This special location represents a very rare possibility to evaluate the short-term, river load and hydrological parameters measured during the planning and operational stages of Baspa II with the long-term parameters gained from the palaeo-lake sediments from the catchment. This data show that the Mid-Holocene erosion rates of the

  2. Chemistry and isotopic composition of precipitation and surface waters in Khumbu valley (Nepal Himalaya): N dynamics of high elevation basins.

    Balestrini, Raffaella; Polesello, Stefano; Sacchi, Elisa

    2014-07-01

    We monitored the chemical and isotopic compositions of wet depositions, at the Pyramid International Laboratory (5050 ma.s.l.), and surrounding surface waters, in the Khumbu basin, to understand precipitation chemistry and to obtain insights regarding ecosystem responses to atmospheric inputs. The major cations in the precipitation were NH4(+) and Ca(2+), whereas the main anion was HCO3(-), which constituted approximately 69% of the anions, followed by NO3(-), SO4(2-) and Cl(-). Data analysis suggested that Na(+), Cl(-) and K(+) were derived from the long-range transport of marine aerosols. Ca(2+), Mg(2+) and HCO3(-) were related to rock and soil dust contributions and the NO3(-) and SO4(2-) concentrations were derived from anthropogenic sources. Furthermore, NH4(+) was derived from gaseous NH3 scavenging. The isotopic composition of weekly precipitation ranged from -1.9 to -23.2‰ in δ(18)O, and from -0.8 to -174‰ in δ(2)H, with depleted values characterizing the central part of the monsoon period. The chemical composition of the stream water was dominated by calcite and/or gypsum dissolution. However, the isotopic composition of the stream water did not fully reflect the composition of the monsoon precipitation, which suggested that other water sources contributed to the stream flow. Precipitation contents for all ions were the lowest ones among those measured in high elevation sites around the world. During the monsoon periods the depositions were not substantially influenced by anthropogenic inputs, while in pre- and post-monsoon seasons the Himalayas could not represent an effective barrier for airborne pollution. In the late monsoon phase, the increase of ionic contents in precipitation could also be due to a change in the moisture source. The calculated atmospheric N load (0.30 kg ha(-1) y(-1)) was considerably lower than the levels that were measured in other high-altitude environments. Nevertheless, the NO3(-) concentrations in the surface waters

  3. Glacial lake outburst floods and fluvial erosion in the Himalaya - insights from the 2016 Bhote Koshi GLOF

    Cook, K. L.; Gimbert, F.; Andermann, C.; Hovius, N.; Adhikari, B. R.

    2017-12-01

    The Himalaya is a region of rapid erosion where fluvial processes are assumed to be driven by precipitation delivered during the annual Indian Summer Monsoon. However, the rivers in this region are also subject to catastrophic floods caused by the failure of glacial lake and landslide dams. Because these floods are rarely observed, it has been difficult to isolate their impact on the rivers and adjacent hillslopes, and their importance for the long-term evolution of Himalayan valleys is largely unknown. In July 2016, the Bhotekoshi/Sunkoshi River in central Nepal was hit by a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) that caused substantial changes to the channel bed, banks, and adjacent hillslopes, causing at least 26 landslides and an average of 11 m of channel widening. The flood passed through a seismic and hydrological observatory installed along the river in June 2015, and we have used the resulting data to constrain the timing, duration, and bedload transport properties of the outburst flood. The impact of the flood on the river can be further observed with hourly time-lapse photographs, daily measurements of suspended sediment load, repeat lidar surveys, and satellite imagery. The outburst flood affected the river on several timescales. In the short term, it transported large amounts of coarse sediment and restructured the river bed during the hours of the flood pulse itself. Over intermediate timescales it resulted in elevated bedload and suspended load transport for several weeks following the flood. Over longer timescales the flood undercut and destabilized the river banks and hillslopes in a number of locations, leading to bank collapses, slumps, and landslides. Our data indicate that impacts of the GLOF far exceed those driven by the annual summer monsoon, likely due to extremely coarse sediment that armors much of the channel. The relatively frequent occurrence of GLOFs and the extremely high discharges relative to monsoon floods suggest that GLOFs may

  4. Holocene extreme hydrological events and their climatic implications: evidence from the middle Satluj valley, western Himalaya, India

    Sharma, Shubhra; Shukla, Anil; Marh, Bhupinder; Bartarya, Sukesh; Juyal, Navin

    2016-04-01

    Extreme hydrological events and associated climatic processes are investigated and inferred through palaeoflood deposits preserved in the middle Satluj valley, India. Satluj River is the largest tributary of the Indus River having third largest catchment area in the Himalaya. Both Indian summer monsoon (ISM) and the mid-latitude westerlies contribute to the hydrological budget of the river. The steep southern orographic front prevents the northward penetration of ISM, while the mid-latitude westerlies bring moisture in form of winter snow to the orogenic interiors. It has been observed that the floods in the Himalaya are intimately associated with the variability in the above climate systems. The optical chronology indicates that floods were clustered around three time domains. The oldest flood phase-1 is dated to ˜14-12 ka which climatically occurred during the initiation of the ISM after the Last Glacial Maximum. The second phase-2 is dated between 8-5 ka and is attributed to the moderate ISM. Whereas, the youngest phase-3 is assigned the Little Ice Age (LIA) and were associated with the variability in the mid-latitude westerlies. Geochemical analyses suggest that floods were generated in higher Himalayan crystalline (HHC) zone, as the extreme precipitation destabilised the precipitous slopes creating Landslide induced Lake Outbursts Floods (LLOFs). Further, the average interval between floods has decreased since 14 ka from 500 years, to 250 years and 100 years during respective flood phases. The southern slopes of Himalaya are influenced by both the monsoon and mid-latitude westerlies and any abrupt changes in the circulation pattern were found to associate with heavy rainfall events in this region. Although an interaction between the westerlies and the monsoon is implicated for extreme floods in the western Himalaya. However, exact mechanism of these interactions is still illusive except for the observational based studies which state that extreme floods

  5. Repeated catastrophic valley infill following medieval earthquakes in the Nepal Himalaya.

    Schwanghart, Wolfgang; Bernhardt, Anne; Stolle, Amelie; Hoelzmann, Philipp; Adhikari, Basanta R; Andermann, Christoff; Tofelde, Stefanie; Merchel, Silke; Rugel, Georg; Fort, Monique; Korup, Oliver

    2016-01-08

    Geomorphic footprints of past large Himalayan earthquakes are elusive, although they are urgently needed for gauging and predicting recovery times of seismically perturbed mountain landscapes. We present evidence of catastrophic valley infill following at least three medieval earthquakes in the Nepal Himalaya. Radiocarbon dates from peat beds, plant macrofossils, and humic silts in fine-grained tributary sediments near Pokhara, Nepal's second-largest city, match the timing of nearby M > 8 earthquakes in ~1100, 1255, and 1344 C.E. The upstream dip of tributary valley fills and x-ray fluorescence spectrometry of their provenance rule out local sources. Instead, geomorphic and sedimentary evidence is consistent with catastrophic fluvial aggradation and debris flows that had plugged several tributaries with tens of meters of calcareous sediment from a Higher Himalayan source >60 kilometers away. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. Chaudhuriomyia, a new tanypod genus of Macropelopiini (Diptera: Chironomidae: Tanypodinae) from the Eastern Himalaya.

    Paul, Nilotpol; Mazumdar, Abhijit

    2015-05-06

    A new genus, Chaudhuriomyia in the tribe Macropelopiini belonging to subfamily Tanypodinae is described and illustrated in all life stages. The genus can be distinguished from all the other known Macropelopiini by the presence of a blunt claw on fore leg and a smooth surface of tibial spur in adult male, seminal capsules without proper neck in adult female, round anal lobe in pupa, and slightly inwardly bent inner tooth of ligula in larva. Generic diagnoses for larva, pupa and adult are provided. Taxonomic position and distribution of the genus are discussed along with a new adult key of tribe Macropelopiini. The specimens were collected from a stream in Indo-Bhutan border area of Eastern Himalaya in Indian Subcontinent. A note on the ecology and biology of the new genus is included.

  7. Functional properties of lactic acid bacteria isolated from ethnic fermented vegetables of the Himalayas.

    Tamang, Jyoti Prakash; Tamang, Buddhiman; Schillinger, Ulrich; Guigas, Claudia; Holzapfel, Wilhelm H

    2009-09-30

    A total of 94 strains of Lactic acid bacteria (LAB), previously isolated from ethnic fermented vegetables and tender bamboo shoots of the Himalayas, were screened for functional properties such as acidification capacity, enzymatic activities, degradation of antinutritive factors and oligosaccharides, production of biogenic amines, hydrophobicity and adherence to mucus secreting HT29 MTX cells. Strong acidification and coagulation activities of LAB strains were recorded. Most of the LAB strains showed antimicrobial activities against the used indicator strains; however, only Lb. plantarum IB2 (BFE 948) isolated from inziangsang, a fermented leafy vegetable product, produced a bacteriocin against Staphylococcus aureus S1. LAB strains showed enzymatic activities and also degraded oligosaccharides. Almost all the strains of LAB were non-producers of biogenic amines except few strains. Some strains of Lb. plantarum showed more than 70% hydrophobicity. Adherence to the mucus secreting HT29 MTX cells was also shown by seven strains indicating their probiotic nature.

  8. Terrain classification and land hazard mapping in Kalsi-Chakrata area (Garhwal Himalaya), India

    Choubey, Vishnu D.; Litoria, Pradeep K.

    Terrain classification and land system mapping of a part of the Garhwal Himalaya (India) have been used to provide a base map for land hazard evaluation, with special reference to landslides and other mass movements. The study was based on MSS images, aerial photographs and 1:50,000 scale maps, followed by detailed field-work. The area is composed of two groups of rocks: well exposed sedimentary Precambrian formations in the Himalayan Main Boundary Thrust Belt and the Tertiary molasse deposits of the Siwaliks. Major tectonic boundaries were taken as the natural boundaries of land systems. A physiographic terrain classification included slope category, forest cover, occurrence of landslides, seismicity and tectonic activity in the area.

  9. Rb-Sr ages of the biotite and muscovite of the Himalayas, eastern Nepal

    Kai, Kunio

    1981-01-01

    Rb-Sr ages of biotite from the southern flank of Mt. Everest, eastern Nepal, range from 14.1 to 1.3 m.y., the youngest biotite coexists with muscovite of 7.3 m.y. These different ages for different samples reflect the difference in cooling history related to the uplift of the Himalayas. The biotite ages decrease with increasing distance from the high mountain range, suggesting that the high range, i.e., the northern area, was uplifted earlier than the southern area. The relationship between the ages and altitutes of sampling sites indicates that the uplift rate of the northern area was 0.60 mm/yr. (author)

  10. Constituents of Artemisia gmelinii Weber ex Stechm. from Uttarakhand Himalaya: A Source of Artemisia Ketone

    Haider, S. Z.; Andola, H. C.; Mohan, M.

    2012-01-01

    The essential oils isolated from the aerial parts of two different populations of Artemisia gmelinii growing in Uttarakhand Himalaya region were analysed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in order to determine the variation of concentration in their constituents. Artemisia ketone was detected as a major constituent in both the populations i.e., Niti valley and Jhelum samples. Niti oil was found to have considerably greater amounts of artemesia ketone (53.34%) followed by α-thujone (9.91%) and 1,8-cineole (6.57%), Similarly, the first major compound in Jhelum oil was artemesia ketone (40.87%), whereas ar-curcumene (8.54%) was identified as a second major compound followed by α-thujone (4.04%). Artemisia ketone can be useful for perfumery and fragrance to introduce new and interesting herbaceous notes. PMID:23439844

  11. 10-year record of atmospheric composition in the high Himalayas: source, transport and impact

    Bonasoni, Paolo; Laj, Paolo; Marinoni, Angela; Cristofanelli, Paolo; Maione, Michela; Putero, Davide; Calzolari, Francescopiero; Decesari, Stefano; Facchini, Maria Cristina; Fuzzi, Sandro; Gobbi, Gianpaolo; Sellegri, Karine; Verza, Gianpietro; Vuillermoz, Elisa; Arduini, Jgor

    2016-04-01

    South Asia represents a global "hot-spot" for air-quality and climate impacts. Since the end of the 20th Century, field experiments and satellite observations identified a thick layer of atmospheric pollutants extending from the Indian Ocean up to the atmosphere of the Himalayas. Since large amount of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) - like atmospheric aerosol (in particular, the light-absorbing aerosol) and ozone - characterize this region, severe implications were recognized for population health, ecosystem integrity as well as regional climate impacts, especially for what concerns hydrological cycle, monsoon regimes and cryosphere. Since 2006, the Nepal Climate Observatory - Pyramid (NCO-P, 27.95N, 86.82 E, 5079 m a.s.l.), a global station of the WMO/GAW programme has been active in the eastern Nepal Himalaya, not far from the Mt. Everest. NCO-P is located away from large direct anthropogenic pollution sources. The closest major urban area is Kathmandu (200 km south-west from the measurement site). As being located along the Khumbu valley, the observations are representative of synoptic-scale and mountain thermal circulation, providing direct information about the vertical transport of pollutants/climate-altering compounds to the Himalayas and to the free troposphere. In the framework of international programmes (GAW/WMO, UNEP-ABC, AERONET) the following continuous measurement programmes have been carried out at NCO-P: surface ozone, aerosol size distribution (from 10 nm to 25 micron), total particle number, aerosol scattering and absorption coefficients, equivalent BC, PM1-PM10, AOD by sun-photometry, global solar radiation (SW and LW), meteorology. Long-term sampling programmes for the off-line determination of halogenated gases and aerosol chemistry have been also activated. The atmospheric observation records at NCO-P, now representing the longest time series available for the high Himalayas, provided the first direct evidences about the systematic

  12. Repeated catastrophic valley infill following medieval earthquakes in the Nepal Himalaya

    Schwanghart, Wolfgang; Bernhardt, Anne; Stolle, Amelie; Hoelzmann, Philipp; Adhikari, Basanta R.; Andermann, Christoff; Tofelde, Stefanie; Merchel, Silke; Rugel, Georg; Fort, Monique; Korup, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Geomorphic footprints of past large Himalayan earthquakes are elusive, although they are urgently needed for gauging and predicting recovery times of seismically perturbed mountain landscapes. We present evidence of catastrophic valley infill following at least three medieval earthquakes in the Nepal Himalaya. Radiocarbon dates from peat beds, plant macrofossils, and humic silts in fine-grained tributary sediments near Pokhara, Nepal’s second-largest city, match the timing of nearby M > 8 earthquakes in ~1100, 1255, and 1344 C.E. The upstream dip of tributary valley fills and x-ray fluorescence spectrometry of their provenance rule out local sources. Instead, geomorphic and sedimentary evidence is consistent with catastrophic fluvial aggradation and debris flows that had plugged several tributaries with tens of meters of calcareous sediment from a Higher Himalayan source >60 kilometers away.

  13. Dynamic interactions between glacier and glacial lake in the Bhutan Himalaya

    Tsutaki, S.; Fujita, K.; Yamaguchi, S.; Sakai, A.; Nuimura, T.; Komori, J.; Takenaka, S.; Tshering, P.

    2012-04-01

    A number of supraglacial lakes formed on the termini of debris-covered glaciers in the Bhutan Himalaya as a result of glacier retreat due to climate change. The terminal part of the lake-terminating glaciers flow faster than that of the land-terminating glaciers because the basal ice motion is enhanced by high subglacial water pressure generated by lake water. Increased ice flux caused by the accelerated glacier flow could be dissipated through the calving process which reduced the glacier thickness. It is important to understand the interaction between lake formation and glacier dynamics. Although glacier flow velocity has been measured by remote-sensing analysis in several regions of the Himalayas, glacier thinning rates have not been observed by neither in-situ nor remote-sensing approaches. The lack of field data raises limitation to interpretations for glacier dynamics. We investigate the influence of the presence/absence of glacial lakes on glacier dynamics and changes in surface elevation. We study two debris-covered glaciers in the Lunana region, the Bhutan Himalaya. Thorthormi Glacier is a land-terminating glacier with some supraglacial lakes while Lugge Glacier is a lake-terminating glaciers. We surveyed the surface elevation of debris-covered areas of the two glaciers in 2004 and 2011 by a differential GPS. Change in surface elevation of the lake-terminating Lugge Glacier (-5.4--2.4 m yr-1) was much more negative than that of the land-terminating Thorthormi Glacier (-3.3-0.6 m yr-1). Surface flow speed of the Thorthormi Glacier measured during 2002-2004 was faster in the upper reaches (~90 m yr-1) and reduced toward the downstream (40 m yr-1). In contrast, the surface flow speed at the Lugge Glacier measured in the same periods was 40-55 m yr-1 and the greatest at the lower most part. Observed spatial distribution of surface flow velocity at both glaciers were evaluated by a two-dimensional numerical flow model. Calculated emergence velocities are 1

  14. Radon anomalies and their correlation with microseismicity in N-W Himalaya

    Virk, H.S.; Walia, Vivek; Sharma, Anand Kumar; Kumar, Naresh; Kumar, Rajiv

    2000-01-01

    Evidence for radon anomalies in soil-gas and groundwater as earthquake precursor phenomenon is recorded in Kangra and Chamba valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India based on micro-seismicity trends in N-W Himalaya. Radon monitoring is being carried out at Palampur, Jawalamukhi, Dalhousie and Chamba stations using emanometry for discrete measurements and alpha-logger technique for continuous recording of time-series radon data from June 1996 to September 1997. Radon anomalies in both type of data are correlated with some of the micro-earthquakes recorded during the time-window by the seismographic network of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). A critical analysis is made of radon data to find confidence level and sensitivity of each recording station

  15. Permafrost in the Himalayas: specific characteristics, evolution vs. climate change and impacts on potential natural hazards

    Fort, Monique

    2015-04-01

    Mountain environments are very sensitive to climate change, yet assessing the potential impacts of these changes is not easy because of the complexity and diversity of mountain systems. The Himalayan permafrost belt presents three main specificities: (1) it develops in a geodynamically active mountain, which means that the controlling factors are not only temperature but also seismo-tectonic activity; (2) due to the steepness of the southern flank of the Greater Himalaya and potential large scale rock failures, permafrost evidence manifests itself best in the inner valleys and on the northern, arid side of the Himalayas (elevations >4000m); (3) the east-west strike of the mountain range creates large spatial discontinuity in the "cold" belt, mostly related to precipitation nature and availability. Only limited studies have been carried to date, and there is no permanent "field laboratory", nor continuous records but a few local studies. Based on preliminary observations in the Nepal Himalayas (mostly in Mustang and Dolpo districts), and Indian Ladakh, we present the main features indicating the existence of permafrost (either continuous or discontinuous). Rock-glaciers are quite well represented, though their presence may be interpreted as a combined result from both ground ice and large rock collapse. The precise altitudinal zonation of permafrost belt (specifying potential permafrost, probable permafrost, observed permafrost belts) still requires careful investigations in selected areas. Several questions arise when considering the evolution of permafrost in a context of climate change, with its impacts on the development of potential natural hazards that may affect the mountain population. Firstly, permafrost degradation (ground ice melting) is a cause of mountain slope destabilization. When the steep catchments are developed in frost/water sensitive bedrock (shales and marls) and extend to high elevations (as observed in Mustang or Dolpo), it would supply more

  16. AHP 40: Review: HEALING TRADITIONS OF THE NORTHWESTERN HIMALAYAS AND BEING HUMAN IN A BUDDHIST WORLD

    Enrico Beltramini

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available These two contributions address the important topics of Himalayan and Tibetan medicine. Gupta et al. is a book of science, primarily focused on the knowledge about, and the therapeutic effects of, plants and plant products in Himachal Himalaya, India. Gyatso's work is an intellectual history of the mutual influence of healing knowledge and Buddhism in early modern Tibet. Both books ask a crucial question: What is medicine in a Himalayan and Tibetan landscape? While both texts also contextualize medicine in a broader scenario, considering medicine as a non-Western tradition, Gupta et al. understand Himalayan medicine as an insular system, while Gyatso sees parallels between Tibetan and Western medical traditions, particularly in the relationship between the religious and the empirical. ...

  17. Volatile Constituents of Valeriana hardwickii Wall. Root Oil from Arunachal Pradesh, Eastern Himalaya

    Jayashankar Das

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The composition of the essential oil extracted from Valeriana hardwickii Wall. roots growing wild in Talle Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, Eastern Himalaya was analyzed by capillary GC and GC/MS. Thirty-one compounds representing 89.6% of the total oil were identified. The oil was found to be rich in sesquiterpenes from which oxygenated sesquiterpenes (25.7%. Methyl linoleate (21.1% and Valeracetate (11.6% were the major constituents present in the oil. Whereas, Bornyl acetate (11.2% and α-Terpinyl acetate (4.7% were the only oxygenated monoterpenes identified in the investigated sample. Essential oil and its constituents of V. hardwickii may be used as the substitute of highly traded Indian Valerian (V. jatamansi and European V. officinalis.

  18. Advancing Regional and Transboundary Cooperation in the Conflict-Prone Hindu Kush–Himalaya

    David Molden

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD supports regional and transboundary cooperation to meet challenges of climate change, disaster risks, and sustainable development in the Hindu Kush–Himalaya (HKH. Action to sustain the HKH has the potential to directly improve the lives of more than one fourth of the world's population. However, facilitating cooperation and policy coherence among the countries sharing HKH resources is a persistent challenge in a region that is prone to conflict and is highly variable regarding development. At ICIMOD, we work across HKH countries to help attain common goals related to sustainable development, using our skills in bringing together different groups within programmatic transboundary approaches covering topics such as river basins or transboundary landscapes. In addition, the Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme and the Himalayan University Consortium have made strides in promoting regional and transboundary cooperation among HKH countries, particularly emphasizing research synthesis and the role of academia.

  19. A probe into biochemical potential of Aconitum violaceum: A medicinal plant from Himalaya

    Sidra Sabir

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Aconitum violaceum Jacq. ex Stapf belonging to family Ranunculaceae is an important medicinal plant of Himalaya regions. Its medicinal potential is due to the presence of pharmacologically active compounds such as At, aconitine, benzoic acid, aconine and flavanoids. This plant has notable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Traditionally, this plant is used for the treatment of asthma, cough, neuraldisorders, cardiac diseases as well as for curing sciatica and joint pain. Due to remarkable medicinal values and commercialization, this plant is threatened and it is at high risk of extinction. Conservation practices and management techniques should be carried out to protect this important plant from extinction. Recent biotechnological approaches will be quite helpful for its conservation.

  20. Remote sensing techniques and their urgency for snow and glacier mapping in Himalayas

    Das, M C; Chattopadhyay, S N; Murty, A S

    1979-01-01

    The mighty Himalayas are great repositories of snow and ice. The river system of Indus, the Ganges and Brahmaputra owe their perennial flow to these large snow and ice masses. The demand for systematic exploitation of water resources of these great mountain ranges calls for a thorough inventory of these water-holding bodies. Rough and difficult terrain, inclement weather and very inaccessible altitudes stood in the way for better understanding of these vast sources of life giving water. In this paper, the urgency for snow and glacier mapping of this Himalayan region is highlighted in the light of the fast evolving techniques of remote sensing. Aerospace photography, use of radars and infrared sensing methods microwave sensing, and application of gamma radiation with the help of satellites, are examined for their present status and future potential for application in this ice and snow capped, top of the world.

  1. Impact of anthropogenic activities on water quality of Lidder River in Kashmir Himalayas.

    Rashid, Irfan; Romshoo, Shakil Ahmad

    2013-06-01

    The pristine waters of Kashmir Himalaya are showing signs of deterioration due to multiple reasons. This study researches the causes of deteriorating water quality in the Lidder River, one of the main tributaries of Jhelum River in Kashmir Himalaya. The land use and land cover of the Lidder catchment were generated using multi-spectral, bi-seasonal IRS LISS III (October 2005 and May 2006) satellite data to identify the extent of agriculture and horticulture lands that are the main non-point sources of pollution at the catchment scale. A total of 12 water quality parameters were analyzed over a period of 1 year. Water sampling was done at eight different sampling sites, each with a varied topography and distinct land use/land cover, along the length of Lidder River. It was observed that water quality deteriorated during the months of June-August that coincides with the peak tourist flow and maximal agricultural/horticultural activity. Total phosphorus, orthophosphate phosphorus, nitrate nitrogen, and ammoniacal nitrogen showed higher concentration in the months of July and August, while the concentration of dissolved oxygen decreased in the same period, resulting in deterioration in water quality. Moreover, tourism influx in the Lidder Valley shows a drastic increase through the years, and particularly, the number of tourists visiting the valley has increased in the summer months from June to September, which is also responsible for deteriorating the water quality of Lidder River. In addition to this, the extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides in the agriculture and horticulture lands during the growing season (June-August) is also responsible for the deteriorating water quality of Lidder River.

  2. Projected hydrologic changes in monsoon-dominated Himalaya Mountain basins with changing climate and deforestation

    Neupane, Ram P.; White, Joseph D.; Alexander, Sara E.

    2015-06-01

    In mountain headwaters, climate and land use changes affect short and long term site water budgets with resultant impacts on landslide risk, hydropower generation, and sustainable agriculture. To project hydrologic change associated with climate and land use changes in the Himalaya Mountains, we used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) calibrated for the Tamor and Seti River basins located at eastern and western margins of Nepal. Future climate change was modeled using averaged temperature and precipitation for 2080 derived from Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) (B1, A1B and A2) of 16 global circulation models (GCMs). Land use change was modeled spatially and included expansion of (1) agricultural land, (2) grassland, and (3) human settlement area that were produced by considering existing land use with projected changes associated with viability of elevation and slope characteristics of the basins capable of supporting different land use type. From these simulations, higher annual stream discharge was found for all GCM-derived scenarios compared to a baseline simulation with maximum increases of 13 and 8% in SRES-A2 and SRES-A1B for the Tamor and Seti basins, respectively. On seasonal basis, we assessed higher precipitation during monsoon season in all scenarios that corresponded with higher stream discharge of 72 and 68% for Tamor and Seti basins, respectively. This effect appears to be geographically important with higher influence in the eastern Tamor basin potentially due to longer and stronger monsoonal period of that region. However, we projected minimal changes in stream discharge for the land use scenarios potentially due to higher water transmission to groundwater reservoirs associated with fractures of the Himalaya Mountains rather than changes in surface runoff. However, when combined the effects of climate and land use changes, discharge was moderately increased indicating counteracting mechanisms of hydrologic yield in these mountains

  3. Impact of climate change on potential distribution of Chinese caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) in Nepal Himalaya.

    Shrestha, Uttam Babu; Bawa, Kamaljit S

    2014-01-01

    Climate change has already impacted ecosystems and species and substantial impacts of climate change in the future are expected. Species distribution modeling is widely used to map the current potential distribution of species as well as to model the impact of future climate change on distribution of species. Mapping current distribution is useful for conservation planning and understanding the change in distribution impacted by climate change is important for mitigation of future biodiversity losses. However, the current distribution of Chinese caterpillar fungus, a flagship species of the Himalaya with very high economic value, is unknown. Nor do we know the potential changes in suitable habitat of Chinese caterpillar fungus caused by future climate change. We used MaxEnt modeling to predict current distribution and changes in the future distributions of Chinese caterpillar fungus in three future climate change trajectories based on representative concentration pathways (RCPs: RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, and RCP 6.0) in three different time periods (2030, 2050, and 2070) using species occurrence points, bioclimatic variables, and altitude. About 6.02% (8,989 km2) area of the Nepal Himalaya is suitable for Chinese caterpillar fungus habitat. Our model showed that across all future climate change trajectories over three different time periods, the area of predicted suitable habitat of Chinese caterpillar fungus would expand, with 0.11-4.87% expansion over current suitable habitat. Depending upon the representative concentration pathways, we observed both increase and decrease in average elevation of the suitable habitat range of the species.

  4. Radionuclide analysis in the soil of Kumaun Himalaya, India, using gamma ray spectrometry

    Ramola, R.C.; Prasad, Ganesh; Gusain, G.S.; Choubey, V.M.; Tosheva, Z.; Kies, A.

    2011-01-01

    Environmental release of low levels of radioactivity can occur as a consequence of normal radionuclides present in the earth's crust. We present here the results of a survey undertaken in 2003 on the radionuclide concentration in different rock formations in the eastern part of Kumaun Himalaya. The activity concentration and gamma-absorbed dose rates of the terrestrial radionuclides caused by 226 Ra, 232 Th and 40 K were determined in the soil samples collected from the eastern part of Kumaun Himalaya. The mean concentration of 238 U and 232 Th in the earth's crust varied from 0.5 to 5 ppm (6 to 60 Bq/kg) and 2 to 20 ppm (8 to 80 Bq/kg) respectively. The reported activity concentration for the different rock formations varied from 32.6 to 1305.5 Bq/kg for 238 U, 16.3 to 136.3 Bq/kg for 232 Th and 124.6 to 1758.0 Bq/kg for 40 K. The distribution of the radionuclides varied with rock type due to different chemical properties of the measured radionuclides and the rocks. The result shows that high activity levels were found in Saryu Formation consisting of augen-gneiss, granite interbedded with schists and flaggy quartzite. The total air-absorbed dose rate in air above 1 m height was calculated from the three radionuclides ( 226 Ra, 232 Th and 40 K), which varied from 39.1 to 226.8 nGy h -1 . The internal and external health-hazard indices were calculated based on the concentration of 226 Ra, 232 Th and 40 K. Strong positive correlations were observed between 235 U and 226 Ra, 232 Th and 226 Ra, 40 K and 232 Th as well as 40 K and 226 Ra. However, no significant correlation was observed between 238 U and 226 Ra because of radioactive disequilibrium between them. (author)

  5. Altitudinal variation of soil organic carbon stocks in temperate forests of Kashmir Himalayas, India.

    Ahmad Dar, Javid; Somaiah, Sundarapandian

    2015-02-01

    Soil organic carbon stocks were measured at three depths (0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm) in seven altitudes dominated by different forest types viz. Populus deltoides, 1550-1800 m; Juglans regia, 1800-2000 m; Cedrus deodara, 2050-2300 m; Pinus wallichiana, 2000-2300 m; mixed type, 2200-2400 m; Abies pindrow, 2300-2800 m; and Betula utilis, 2800-3200 m in temperate mountains of Kashmir Himalayas. The mean range of soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks varied from 39.07 to 91.39 Mg C ha(-1) in J. regia and B. utilis forests at 0-30 cm depth, respectively. Among the forest types, the lowest mean range of SOC at three depths (0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm) was observed in J. regia (18.55, 11.31, and 8.91 Mg C ha(-1), respectively) forest type, and the highest was observed in B. utilis (54.10, 21.68, and 15.60 Mg C ha(-1), respectively) forest type. SOC stocks showed significantly (R (2) = 0.67, P = 0.001) an increasing trend with increase in altitude. On average, the percentages of SOC at 0-10-, 10-20-, and 20-30-cm depths were 53.2, 26.5, and 20.3 %, respectively. Bulk density increased significantly with increase in soil depth and decreased with increase in altitude. Our results suggest that SOC stocks in temperate forests of Kashmir Himalaya vary greatly with forest type and altitude. The present study reveals that SOC stocks increased with increase in altitude at high mountainous regions. Climate change in these high mountainous regions will alter the carbon sequestration potential, which would affect the global carbon cycle.

  6. Framing hydropower as green energy: assessing drivers, risks and tensions in the Eastern Himalayas

    Ahlers, R.; Budds, J.; Joshi, D.; Merme, V.; Zwarteveen, M.

    2015-04-01

    The culturally and ecologically diverse region of the Eastern Himalayas is the target of ambitious hydropower development plans. Policy discourses at national and international levels position this development as synergistically positive: it combines the production of clean energy to fuel economic growth at regional and national levels with initiatives to lift poor mountain communities out of poverty. Different from hydropower development in the 20th century in which development agencies and banks were important players, contemporary initiatives importantly rely on the involvement of private actors, with a prominent role of the private finance sector. This implies that hydropower development is not only financially viable but also understood as highly profitable. This paper examines the new development of hydropower in the Eastern Himalayas of Nepal and India. It questions its framing as green energy, interrogates its links with climate change, and examines its potential for investment and capital accumulation. To do this, we also review the evidence on the extent to which its construction and operation may modify existing hydrogeological processes and ecosystems, as well as its impacts on the livelihoods of diverse groups of people that depend on these. The paper concludes that hydropower development in the region is characterized by inherent contentions and uncertainties, refuting the idea that dams constitute development projects whose impacts can be simply predicted, controlled and mitigated. Indeed, in a highly complex geological, ecological, cultural and political context that is widely regarded to be especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, hydropower as a development strategy makes for a toxic cocktail.

  7. Long-term hydroclimatic variability in monsoon shadow zone of western Himalaya, India

    Yadav, Ram R.

    2011-04-01

    Tree-ring-width data of Himalayan cedar [ Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) G. Don] from 11 homogeneous moisture stressed sites in the monsoon shadow zone of the western Himalaya were used to develop a mean chronology extending back to ad 1353. The chronology developed using Regional Curve Standardization method is the first from the Himalayan region of India showing centennial-scale variations. The calibration of ring-width chronology with instrumental precipitation data available from stations close to the tree ring sampling sites showed strong, direct relationship with March-April-May-June (MAMJ) precipitation. This strong relationship was used to supplement the instrumental precipitation data back to ad 1410. The precipitation reconstruction showed extended period of drought in fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Increasingly pluvial conditions were recorded since eighteenth century, with the highest precipitation in the early part of the nineteenth century. The decreasing trend in reconstructed precipitation in the last decade of the twentieth century, consistent with the instrumental records, is associated with the decreasing trend in frequency of western disturbances. MAMJ precipitation over the monsoon shadow zone in the western Himalaya is directly associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and NINO3-SST index of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the leading modes of climate variability influencing climate over large parts of the Northern Hemisphere. However, the relationship between ENSO and MAMJ precipitation collapsed completely during 1930-1960. The breakdown in this relationship is associated with the warm phase of Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). A spectral analysis of reconstructed MAMJ precipitation indicates frequencies in the range of the variability associated with modes of NAO, ENSO and AMO.

  8. Uniformly Processed Strong Motion Database for Himalaya and Northeast Region of India

    Gupta, I. D.

    2018-03-01

    This paper presents the first uniformly processed comprehensive database on strong motion acceleration records for the extensive regions of western Himalaya, northeast India, and the alluvial plains juxtaposing the Himalaya. This includes 146 three components of old analog records corrected for the instrument response and baseline distortions and 471 three components of recent digital records corrected for baseline errors. The paper first provides a background of the evolution of strong motion data in India and the seismotectonics of the areas of recording, then describes the details of the recording stations and the contributing earthquakes, which is finally followed by the methodology used to obtain baseline corrected data in a uniform and consistent manner. Two different schemes in common use for baseline correction are based on the application of the Ormsby filter without zero pads (Trifunac 1971) and that on the Butterworth filter with zero pads at the start as well as at the end (Converse and Brady 1992). To integrate the advantages of both the schemes, Ormsby filter with zero pads at the start only is used in the present study. A large number of typical example results are presented to illustrate that the methodology adopted is able to provide realistic velocity and displacement records with much smaller number of zero pads. The present strong motion database of corrected acceleration records will be useful for analyzing the ground motion characteristics of engineering importance, developing prediction equations for various strong motion parameters, and calibrating the seismological source model approach for ground motion simulation for seismically active and risk prone areas of India.

  9. Satellites and Steep Slopes - the challenge of topography in the Himalaya - Karakorum for cryosphere models

    Steiner, J. F.; Buri, P.; Miles, E. S.; Immerzeel, W.

    2016-12-01

    The topography in glaciated catchments in the Himalaya - Karakoram range are extreme in a number of aspects that proof to be a challenge for distributed modelling. High altitude regions, where accumulation areas of glaciers are generally located, can at times be very steep, covered in hanging ice and seasonal snow. On the other hand, lower areas, where ablation zones on glacier tongues are located, tend to be very shallow. This has consequences for obtaining glacier areas from satellite derived glacier inventories (e.g. RGI, ICIMOD). As they are taken perpendicular to the center of the earth, these inventories will underestimate the area of steep regions, sometimes quite considerably (Figure 1). This can have consequences for a number of statistics in glaciological modeling, especially when it comes to the relative comparison of accumulation and ablation and hence overall melt from a glacier. Additionally, these steep head walls cause topographic shading. Depending on the exposition of the valley this can result in very divergent amounts of direct solar radiation reaching the glacier surface from valley to valley. Comparisons of melt between different regions and even glaciers have to be taken with considerable caution. Finally, these shallow glacier tongues are increasingly covered in debris. Such glacier surfaces with a debris cover ranging in grain size from sand to boulders several meters in diameter are very hummocky rather than flat bare ice glacier surfaces. This in turn increases local shading but also increases the overall glacier surface. Using high resolution satellite imagery and DEMs ( 5m) from our field site we investigate the effects of areal misrepresentations on the local scale. Decreasing resolution we then take this analysis to the mountain range scale and can identify to what degree these factors are significant and considering literature values determine the quantitative impact for energy and mass balance studies. Figure 1: A schematic

  10. Regeneration complexities of Pinus gerardiana in dry temperate forests of Indian Himalaya.

    Kumar, Raj; Shamet, G S; Mehta, Harsh; Alam, N M; Kaushal, Rajesh; Chaturvedi, O P; Sharma, Navneet; Khaki, B A; Gupta, Dinesh

    2016-04-01

    Pinus gerardiana is considered an important species in dry temperate forests of North-Western Indian Himalaya because of its influence on ecological processes and economic dependence of local people in the region. But, large numbers of biotic and abiotic factors have affected P. gerardiana in these forests; hence, there is a crucial need to understand the regeneration dynamics of this tree species. The present investigation was conducted in P. gerardiana forests to understand vegetation pattern and regeneration processes on different sites in the region. Statistical analysis was performed to know variability in growing stock and regeneration on sample plots, while correlation coefficients and regression models were developed to find the relationship between regeneration and site factors. The vegetation study showed dominance of P. gerardiana, which is followed by Cedrus deodara, Pinus wallichiana and Quercus ilex in the region. The growing stock of P. gerardiana showed steep increasing and then steadily declining trend from lower to higher diameter class. The distribution of seedling, sapling, pole and trees was not uniform at different sites and less number of plots in each site were observed to have effective conditions for continuous regeneration, but mostly showed extremely limited regeneration. Regeneration success ranging from 8.44 to 15.93 % was recorded in different sites of the region, which suggests that in different sites regeneration success is influenced by collection of cone for extracting seed, grazing/browsing and physico-chemical properties of soil. Regeneration success showed significant correlation and relationship with most of abiotic and biotic factors. The regeneration success is lower than the requirement of sustainable forest, but varies widely among sites in dry temperate forests of Himalaya. More forest surveys are required to understand the conditions necessary for greater success of P. gerardiana in the region.

  11. Climatic and geologic controls on suspended sediment flux in the Sutlej River Valley, western Himalaya

    H. Wulf

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The sediment flux through Himalayan rivers directly impacts water quality and is important for sustaining agriculture as well as maintaining drinking-water and hydropower generation. Despite the recent increase in demand for these resources, little is known about the triggers and sources of extreme sediment flux events, which lower water quality and account for extensive hydropower reservoir filling and turbine abrasion. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of the spatiotemporal trends in suspended sediment flux based on daily data during the past decade (2001–2009 from four sites along the Sutlej River and from four of its main tributaries. In conjunction with satellite data depicting rainfall and snow cover, air temperature and earthquake records, and field observations, we infer climatic and geologic controls of peak suspended sediment concentration (SSC events. Our study identifies three key findings: First, peak SSC events (≥ 99th SSC percentile coincide frequently (57–80% with heavy rainstorms and account for about 30% of the suspended sediment flux in the semi-arid to arid interior of the orogen. Second, we observe an increase of suspended sediment flux from the Tibetan Plateau to the Himalayan Front at mean annual timescales. This sediment-flux gradient suggests that averaged, modern erosion in the western Himalaya is most pronounced at frontal regions, which are characterized by high monsoonal rainfall and thick soil cover. Third, in seven of eight catchments, we find an anticlockwise hysteresis loop of annual sediment flux variations with respect to river discharge, which appears to be related to enhanced glacial sediment evacuation during late summer. Our analysis emphasizes the importance of unconsolidated sediments in the high-elevation sector that can easily be mobilized by hydrometeorological events and higher glacial-meltwater contributions. In future climate change scenarios, including continuous glacial retreat and

  12. Ethnomedicinal plants traditionally used in health care practices by inhabitants of Western Himalaya.

    Malik, Zubair A; Bhat, Jahangeer A; Ballabha, Radha; Bussmann, Rainer W; Bhatt, A B

    2015-08-22

    Inspite of tremendous advances made in allopathic medicine, herbal practice still plays an important role in management and curing various ailments in remote and rural areas of India. However, traditional knowledge on the use of medicinal plants is eroding day by day and there is a need to document such knowledge, before it is lost forever. The aim of the present study was to document the indigenous and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants used by local inhabitants in and around Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Indian Himalaya for the advancement of biomedical research and development. The intensive field survey was carried out at three different altitudes of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) and its adjoining areas. The inhabitants were interviewed about the local name of plants having ethno-medicinal values, plant parts used, mode of processing/application and preparation and dosage through discussions and semi structured questionnaires. A total of 97 medicinal plant species belonging to 52 families and 83 genera were reported for curing various ailments like fever, cough, cold, digestive disorders, constipation, menstrual disorders etc. Out of 97 plant species reported, 21 are rare or threatened. Literature review revealed that 11 out of the 97 plant species are reported with new therapeutic uses. The most frequently utilized plant part was the root/rhizome (33%) followed by leaf (27%). In some cases whole plant was utilized. A few medicinal plants had some veterinary uses also. The study provides comprehensive information about the eroding indigenous and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants used by local inhabitants in a part of Western Himalaya, India. The identification of the active ingredients of the plants used by the local people may provide some useful leads for the development of new drugs and such new approaches of traditional knowledge regarding medicinal plants and laboratory analysis might help pharmaceutical industry in new chapters for

  13. Relationship between fluvial clastic sediment and source rock abundance in Rapti river basin of central Nepal Himalayas

    Tamrakar Naresh Kazi; Shresth Madhusudan Bhakta

    2008-01-01

    Many tributaries from carbonate sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks of the Lesser Himalayan and clastic sedimentary rocks of the Sub-Himalayan Ranges carry gravelly sediments to the Rapti River. River bar sediments were analyzed for composition and texture to evaluate downstream changes in properties, and to establish relationship between proportion of clasts and the abundance of rock types in the source areas. Percent quartzite clast or granite clast increases whereas that of carbonate, schist or slate decreases along downstream. The largest grain size decreases downstream, whereas fatness index and sphericity tend to increase. Despite of little diminish in relative abundance of rock types in source areas along the river, the relative proportion of corresponding clast type shows rapid reduction (e.g. slate or phyllite or carbonate clasts) or rapid enhancement (e.g. granite clast). The relationships of quartzite clast and schist clasts with their corresponding source rocks are statistically significant suggesting that these clasts can provide clue to source rock abundance. About 85 to 94% of the gravel clasts represent rock types of the Lesser Himalayan Range suggesting that this range has been contributing enormous amount of sediments.

  14. A new orthoclad species of Rheocricotopus Thienemann & Harnisch (Diptera, Chironomidae from the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalayas in India

    Hazra, N.

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available The adults and pupa of a new species, Rheocricotopus rarispina are described from the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalayas in India. The species is distinguished by the few spines on the thoracic horn, anal lobe without fringe and bristle-like L setae and presence of ovoid humeral pit, nine squamal setae, structure of anal point and triangular and subterminal crista dorsalis in the adult male. With this new species, the number of Indian species of the genus rises to six.

  15. Records of the Genus Paramerina (Diptera: Chironomidae: Tanypodinae) from Eastern Himalaya and Satpura Hill Regions of India.

    Paul, N; Hazra, N; Mazumdar, A

    2013-10-01

    The pupa and the male imago of Paramerina valida n. sp. and the larva of Paramerina inficia Chaudhuri & Debnath are described and illustrated along with a brief re-description of the adult of P. inficia from the Eastern Himalaya and Satpura hill regions of India. A key to the adult males of the Indian species of the genus Paramerina Fittkau is provided. The notes on ecology of the two species are also provided.

  16. Exhumation history of the NW Indian Himalaya revealed by fission track and 40Ar/39Ar ages

    Schlup, Micha; Steck, Albrecht; Carter, Andrew; Cosca, Michael; Epard, Jean-Luc; Hunziker, Johannes

    2011-01-01

    New fission track and Ar/Ar geochronological data provide time constraints on the exhumation history of the Himalayan nappes in the Mandi (Beas valley) — Tso Morari transect of the NW Indian Himalaya. Results from this and previous studies suggest that the SW-directed North Himalayan nappes were emplaced by detachment from the underthrusted upper Indian crust by 55 Ma and metamorphosed by ca. 48–40 Ma. The nappe stack was subsequently exhumed to shallow upper crustal depths (

  17. Effects of Absorbing Aerosols on Accelerated Melting of Snowpack in the Hindu-Kush-Himalayas-Tibetan Plateau Region

    Lau, William K.; Kyu-Myong, Kim; Yasunari, Teppei; Gautam, Ritesh; Hsu, Christina

    2011-01-01

    The impacts of absorbing aerosol on melting of snowpack in the Hindu-Kush-Himalayas-Tibetan Plateau (HKHT) region are studied using in-situ, satellite observations, and GEOS-5 GCM. Based on atmospheric black carbon measurements from the Pyramid observation ( 5 km elevation) in Mt. Everest, we estimate that deposition of black carbon on snow surface will give rise to a reduction in snow surface albedo of 2- 5 %, and an increased annual runoff of 12-34% for a typical Tibetan glacier. Examination of satellite reflectivity and re-analysis data reveals signals of possible impacts of dust and black carbon in darkening the snow surface, and accelerating spring melting of snowpack in the HKHT, following a build-up of absorbing aerosols in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Results from GCM experiments show that 8-10% increase in the rate of melting of snowpack over the western Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau can be attributed to the elevated-heat-pump (EHP) feedback effect, initiated from the absorption of solar radiation by dust and black carbon accumulated to great height ( 5 km) over the Indo-Gangetic Plain and Himalayas foothills in the pre-monsoon season (April-May). The accelerated melting of the snowpack is enabled by an EHP-induced atmosphere-land-snowpack positive feedback involving a) orographic forcing of the monsoon flow by the complex terrain, and thermal forcing of the HKHT region, leading to increased moisture, cloudiness and rainfall over the Himalayas foothills and northern India, b) warming of the upper troposphere over the Tibetan Plateau, and c) an snow albedo-temperature feedback initiated by a transfer of latent and sensible heat from a warmer atmosphere over the HKHT to the underlying snow surface. Results from ongoing modeling work to assess the relative roles of EHP vs. snow-darkening effects on accelerated melting of snowpack in HKHT region will also be discussed.

  18. Plant recolonization in the Himalaya from the southeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: Geographical isolation contributed to high population differentiation.

    Cun, Yu-Zhi; Wang, Xiao-Quan

    2010-09-01

    The Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains region (HHM) in the southern and southeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is considered an important reservoir and a differentiation center for temperate and alpine plants in the Cenozoic. To reveal how plants responded to the Quaternary climatic oscillations in the QTP, the phylogeographical histories of a few subalpine and alpine plants have been investigated, but nearly all studies used only uniparentally inherited cytoplasmic DNA markers, and only a couple of them included sampling from the Himalaya. In this study, range-wide genetic variation of the Himalayan hemlock (Tsuga dumosa), an important forest species in the HHM, was surveyed using DNA markers from three genomes. All markers revealed genetic depauperation in the Himalaya and richness in the Hengduan Mountains populations. Surprisingly, population differentiation of this wind-pollinated conifer is very high in all three genomes, with few common and many private nuclear gene alleles. These results, together with fossil evidence, clearly indicate that T. dumosa recolonized the Himalaya from the Hengduan Mountains before the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), accompanied with strong founder effects, and the influence of the earlier glaciations on demographic histories of the QTP plants could be much stronger than that of the LGM. The strong population differentiation in T. dumosa could be attributed to restricted gene flow caused by the complicated topography in the HHM that formed during the uplift of the QTP, and thus sheds lights on the importance of geographical isolation in the development of high plant species diversity in this biodiversity hotspot. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Lesser Himalayan sequences in Eastern Himalaya and their deformation: Implications for Paleoproterozoic tectonic activity along the northern margin of India

    Dilip Saha

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Substantial part of the northern margin of Indian plate is subducted beneath the Eurasian plate during the Caenozoic Himalayan orogeny, obscuring older tectonic events in the Lesser Himalaya known to host Proterozoic sedimentary successions and granitic bodies. Tectonostratigraphic units of the Proterozoic Lesser Himalayan sequence (LHS of Eastern Himalaya, namely the Daling Group in Sikkim and the Bomdila Group in Arunachal Pradesh, provide clues to the nature and extent of Proterozoic passive margin sedimentation, their involvement in pre-Himalayan orogeny and implications for supercontinent reconstruction. The Daling Group, consisting of flaggy quartzite, meta-greywacke and metapelite with minor mafic dyke and sill, and the overlying Buxa Formation with stromatolitic carbonate-quartzite-slate, represent shallow marine, passive margin platformal association. Similar lithostratigraphy and broad depositional framework, and available geochronological data from intrusive granites in Eastern Himalaya indicate strikewise continuity of a shallow marine Paleoproterozoic platformal sequence up to Arunachal Pradesh through Bhutan. Multiple fold sets and tectonic foliations in LHS formed during partial or complete closure of the sea/ocean along the northern margin of Paleoproterozoic India. Such deformation fabrics are absent in the upper Palaeozoic–Mesozoic Gondwana formations in the Lesser Himalaya of Darjeeling-Sikkim indicating influence of older orogeny. Kinematic analysis based on microstructure, and garnet composition suggest Paleoproterozoic deformation and metamorphism of LHS to be distinct from those associated with the foreland propagating thrust systems of the Caenozoic Himalayan collisional belt. Two possibilities are argued here: (1 the low greenschist facies domain in the LHS enveloped the amphibolite to granulite facies domains, which were later tectonically severed; (2 the older deformation and metamorphism relate to a Pacific type

  20. Recent Trends of Rural Out-migration and its Socio-economic and Environmental Impacts in Uttarakhand Himalaya

    Joshi, Bhagwati

    2018-01-01

    In Himalaya, the environmental constraints impose severe restrictions on the carrying capacity of natural resources as well as on the effciency of infrastructure and services. As a result, subsistence farming constitutes the main source of rural food and livelihood. Owing to constraints of subsistence economy a large proportion of youth male population out-migrates the rural areas in search of livelihood and employment creating scarcity of farm labour. As a result, large proportion of agricul...

  1. Chemical Composition and In Vitro Cytotoxic Activity of Essential Oil of Leaves of Malus domestica Growing in Western Himalaya (India)

    Walia, Mayanka; Mann, Tavleen S.; Kumar, Dharmesh; Agnihotri, Vijai K.; Singh, Bikram

    2012-01-01

    Light pale-colored volatile oil was obtained from fresh leaves of Malus domestica tree, growing in Dhauladhar range of Himalaya (Himachal Pradesh, India), with characteristic eucalyptol dominant fragrance. The oil was found to be a complex mixture of mono-, sesqui-, di-terpenes, phenolics, and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Seventeen compounds accounting for nearly 95.3% of the oil were characterized with the help of capillary GC, GC-MS, and NMR. Major compounds of the oil were characterized as euca...

  2. An inventory of historical glacial lake outburst floods in the Himalayas based on remote sensing observations and geomorphological analysis

    Nie, Yong; Liu, Qiao; Wang, Jida; Zhang, Yili; Sheng, Yongwei; Liu, Shiyin

    2018-05-01

    Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) are a unique type of natural hazard in the cryosphere that may result in catastrophic fatalities and damages. The Himalayas are known as one of the world's most GLOF-vulnerable zones. Effective hazard assessments and risk management require a thorough inventory of historical GLOF events across the Himalayas, which is hitherto absent. Existing studies imply that numerous historical GLOF events are contentious because of discrepant geographic coordinates, names, or outburst time, requiring further verifications. This study reviews and verifies over 60 historical GLOF events across the Himalayas using a comprehensive method that combines literature documentations, archival remote sensing observations, geomorphological analysis, and field investigations. As a result, three unreported GLOF events were discovered from remote sensing images and geomorphological analysis. Eleven suspicious events were identified and suggested to be excluded. The properties of five outburst lakes, i.e., Degaco, Chongbaxia Tsho, Geiqu, Lemthang Tsho, and a lake on Tshojo Glacier, were corrected or updated. A total of 51 GLOF events were verified to be convincing, and these outburst lakes were classified into three categories according to their statuses in the past decades, namely disappeared (12), stable (30), and expanding (9). Statistics of the verified GLOF events show that GLOF tended to occur between April and October in the Himalayas. We suggest that more attention should be paid to rapidly expanding glacial lakes with high possibility of repetitive outbursts. This study also demonstrates the effectiveness of integrating remote sensing and geomorphic interpretations in identifying and verifying GLOF events in remote alpine environments. This inventory of GLOFs with a range of critical attributes (e.g., locations, time, and mechanisms) will benefit the continuous monitoring and prediction of potentially dangerous glacial lakes and contribute to

  3. The rise of the Himalaya enforced the diversification of SE Asian ferns by altering the monsoon regimes

    Wang Li

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The rise of high mountain chains is widely seen as one of the factors driving rapid diversification of land plants and the formation of biodiversity hotspots. Supporting evidence was reported for the impact of the rapid rise of the Andean mountains but this hypothesis has so far been less explored for the impact of the “roof of the world”. The formation of the Himalaya, and especially the rise of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau in the recent 20 million years, altered the monsoon regimes that dominate the current climates of South East Asia. Here, we infer the hypothesis that the rise of Himalaya had a strong impact on the plant diversity in the biodiversity hotspot of the Southwest Chinese Mountains. Results Our analyses of the diversification pattern of the derived fern genus Lepisorus recovered evidence for changes in plant diversity that correlated with the strengthening of South East Asian monsoon. Southwest China or Southwest China and Japan was recovered as the putative area of origin of Lepisorus and enhancing monsoon regime were found to shape the early diversification of the genus as well as subsequent radiations during the late Miocene and Pliocene. Conclusions We report new evidence for a coincidence of plant diversification and changes of the climate caused by the uplift of the Himalaya. These results are discussed in the context of the impact of incomplete taxon sampling, uncertainty of divergence time estimates, and limitations of current methods used to assess diversification rates.

  4. Earthquake precursory studies in Kangra valley of North West Himalayas, India, with special emphasis on radon emission

    Kumar, Arvind; Singh, Surinder; Mahajan, Sandeep; Bajwa, Bikramjit Singh; Kalia, Rajeev; Dhar, Sunil

    2009-01-01

    The continuous soil gas radon monitoring is carried out at Palampur and the daily monitoring of radon concentration in water is carried out at Dharamshala region of Kangra valley of North West Himalayas, India, a seismic zone V, to study the correlation of radon anomalies in relation to seismic activities. In this study, radon monitoring in soil was carried out by using barasol probe manufactured by Algade France, whereas the radon content in water was recorded using RAD 7 radon monitoring system of Durridge Company USA. The effect of meteorological parameters viz. temperature, pressure, wind velocity, rainfall, and humidity on radon emission has been studied. The seasonal average value and standard deviation of radon in soil and water is calculated to find the radon anomaly to minimize the effect of meteorological parameters on radon emission. The radon anomalies observed in the region have been correlated with the seismic events of M≥2 reported by Wadia Institute of Himalayas Geology Dehradoon and Indian Meteorological Department, New Delhi in NW Himalayas within 250 km distance from the monitoring stations.

  5. The rise of the Himalaya enforced the diversification of SE Asian ferns by altering the monsoon regimes.

    Wang, Li; Schneider, Harald; Zhang, Xian-Chun; Xiang, Qiao-Ping

    2012-11-09

    The rise of high mountain chains is widely seen as one of the factors driving rapid diversification of land plants and the formation of biodiversity hotspots. Supporting evidence was reported for the impact of the rapid rise of the Andean mountains but this hypothesis has so far been less explored for the impact of the "roof of the world". The formation of the Himalaya, and especially the rise of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in the recent 20 million years, altered the monsoon regimes that dominate the current climates of South East Asia. Here, we infer the hypothesis that the rise of Himalaya had a strong impact on the plant diversity in the biodiversity hotspot of the Southwest Chinese Mountains. Our analyses of the diversification pattern of the derived fern genus Lepisorus recovered evidence for changes in plant diversity that correlated with the strengthening of South East Asian monsoon. Southwest China or Southwest China and Japan was recovered as the putative area of origin of Lepisorus and enhancing monsoon regime were found to shape the early diversification of the genus as well as subsequent radiations during the late Miocene and Pliocene. We report new evidence for a coincidence of plant diversification and changes of the climate caused by the uplift of the Himalaya. These results are discussed in the context of the impact of incomplete taxon sampling, uncertainty of divergence time estimates, and limitations of current methods used to assess diversification rates.

  6. Estimation of snow and glacier melt contribution to Liddar stream in a mountainous catchment, western Himalaya: an isotopic approach.

    Jeelani, Gh; Shah, Rouf A; Jacob, Noble; Deshpande, Rajendrakumar D

    2017-03-01

    Snow- and glacier-dominated catchments in the Himalayas are important sources of fresh water to more than one billion people. However, the contribution of snowmelt and glacier melt to stream flow remains largely unquantified in most parts of the Himalayas. We used environmental isotopes and geochemical tracers to determine the source water and flow paths of stream flow draining the snow- and glacier-dominated mountainous catchment of the western Himalaya. The study suggested that the stream flow in the spring season is dominated by the snowmelt released from low altitudes and becomes isotopically depleted as the melt season progressed. The tracer-based mixing models suggested that snowmelt contributed a significant proportion (5-66 %) to stream flow throughout the year with the maximum contribution in spring and summer seasons (from March to July). In 2013 a large and persistent snowpack contributed significantly (∼51 %) to stream flow in autumn (September and October) as well. The average annual contribution of glacier melt to stream flow is little (5 %). However, the monthly contribution of glacier melt to stream flow reaches up to 19 % in September during years of less persistent snow pack.

  7. Certain Legal Aspects of the Himalaya Clause in the Contract of International Carriage of Goods by Sea A critical perspective on legal challenges raised by the clause under international uniform law and general contract law principles

    Blaskovic, Igor

    2013-01-01

    Description of the Himalaya clause and its benefits; considerations on benefits for third parties over international uniform law; observations on construction of the clause under the model of the contract for the benefit of a third party; remarks on circular indemnity clauses; application of rules of exclusion of liability to Himalaya clause; conclusion.

  8. Identification of sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons based on concentrations in soils from two sides of the Himalayas between China and Nepal.

    Luo, Wei; Gao, Jiajia; Bi, Xiang; Xu, Lan; Guo, Junming; Zhang, Qianggong; Romesh, Kumar Y; Giesy, John P; Kang, Shichang

    2016-05-01

    To understand distribution and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Himalayas, 77 soil samples were collected from the northern side of the Himalayas, China (NSHC), and the southern side of the Himalayas, Nepal (SSHN), based on altitude, land use and possible trans-boundary transport of PAHs driven by wind from Nepal to the Tibetan Plateau, China. Soils from the SSHN had mean PAH concentration greater than those from the NSHC. Greater concentrations of PAHs in soils were mainly distributed near main roads and agricultural and urban areas. PAHs with 2-3 rings were the most abundant PAHs in the soils from the Himalayas. Concentrations of volatile PAHs were significantly and positively correlated with altitude. Simulations of trajectories of air masses indicated that distributions of soil PAH concentrations were associated with the cyclic patterns of the monsoon. PAH emissions from traffic and combustion of biomass or coal greatly contributed to concentrations of PAHs in soils from the Himalayas. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic and geochronologic results from the Tethyan Himalaya: Insights into the Neotethyan paleogeography and the India–Asia collision

    Ma, Yiming; Yang, Tianshui; Bian, Weiwei; Jin, Jingjie; Zhang, Shihong; Wu, Huaichun; Li, Haiyan

    2016-01-01

    To better understand the Neotethyan paleogeography, a paleomagnetic and geochronological study has been performed on the Early Cretaceous Sangxiu Formation lava flows, which were dated from ~135.1 Ma to ~124.4 Ma, in the Tethyan Himalaya. The tilt-corrected site-mean characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) direction for 26 sites is Ds = 296.1°, Is = −65.7°, ks = 51.7, α95 = 4.0°, corresponding to a paleopole at 5.9°S, 308.0°E with A95 = 6.1°. Positive fold and reversal tests prove that the ChRM directions are prefolding primary magnetizations. These results, together with reliable Cretaceous-Paleocene paleomagnetic data observed from the Tethyan Himalaya and the Lhasa terrane, as well as the paleolatitude evolution indicated by the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of India, reveal that the Tethyan Himalaya was a part of Greater India during the Early Cretaceous (135.1–124.4 Ma) when the Neotethyan Ocean was up to ~6900 km, it rifted from India sometime after ~130 Ma, and that the India-Asia collision should be a dual-collision process including the first Tethyan Himalaya-Lhasa terrane collision at ~54.9 Ma and the final India-Tethyan Himalaya collision at ~36.7 Ma. PMID:26883692

  10. Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic and geochronologic results from the Tethyan Himalaya: Insights into the Neotethyan paleogeography and the India-Asia collision.

    Ma, Yiming; Yang, Tianshui; Bian, Weiwei; Jin, Jingjie; Zhang, Shihong; Wu, Huaichun; Li, Haiyan

    2016-02-17

    To better understand the Neotethyan paleogeography, a paleomagnetic and geochronological study has been performed on the Early Cretaceous Sangxiu Formation lava flows, which were dated from ~135.1 Ma to ~124.4 Ma, in the Tethyan Himalaya. The tilt-corrected site-mean characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) direction for 26 sites is Ds = 296.1°, Is = -65.7°, ks = 51.7, α95 = 4.0°, corresponding to a paleopole at 5.9°S, 308.0°E with A95 = 6.1°. Positive fold and reversal tests prove that the ChRM directions are prefolding primary magnetizations. These results, together with reliable Cretaceous-Paleocene paleomagnetic data observed from the Tethyan Himalaya and the Lhasa terrane, as well as the paleolatitude evolution indicated by the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of India, reveal that the Tethyan Himalaya was a part of Greater India during the Early Cretaceous (135.1-124.4 Ma) when the Neotethyan Ocean was up to ~6900 km, it rifted from India sometime after ~130 Ma, and that the India-Asia collision should be a dual-collision process including the first Tethyan Himalaya-Lhasa terrane collision at ~54.9 Ma and the final India-Tethyan Himalaya collision at ~36.7 Ma.

  11. Botanical ethnoveterinary therapies in three districts of the Lesser Himalayas of Pakistan.

    Abbasi, Arshad Mehmood; Khan, Shujaul Mulk; Ahmad, Mushtaq; Khan, Mir Ajab; Quave, Cassandra Leah; Pieroni, Andrea

    2013-12-20

    Ethnoveterinary knowledge is highly significant for persistence of traditional community-based approaches to veterinary care. This is of particular importance in the context of developing and emerging countries, where animal health (that of livestock, especially) is crucial to local economies and food security. The current survey documents the traditional veterinary uses of medicinal plants in the Lesser Himalayas-Pakistan. Data were collected through interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and by administering questionnaires. A total of 105 informants aged between 20-75 years old who were familiar with livestock health issues (i.e. farmers, shepherds, housewives and herbalists) participated in the study. A total of 89 botanical taxa, belonging to 46 families, were reported to have ethnoveterinary applications. The most quoted families were Poaceae (6 taxa), Fabaceae (6), Asteraceae (5), and Polygonaceae (5). Adhatoda vasica was the most cited species (43%), followed by Trachyspermum ammi (37%), and Zanthoxylum armatum var. armatum (36%). About 126 medications were recorded against more than 50 veterinary conditions grouped into seven categories. The highest cultural index values were recorded for Trachyspermum ammi, Curcuma longa, Melia azedarach, Zanthoxylum armatum var. armatum and Adhatoda vasica. The highest informant consensus factor was found for pathologies related to respiratory and reproductive disorders. Comparison with the local plant-based remedies used in human folk medicine revealed that many of remedies were used in similar ways in local human phytotherapy. Comparison with other field surveys conducted in surrounding areas demonstrated that approximately one-half of the recorded plants uses are novel to the ethnoveterinary literature of the Himalayas. The current survey shows a remarkable resilience of ethnoveterinary botanical knowledge in the study area. Most of the species reported for ethnoveterinary applications are wild and under

  12. Late Triassic sedimentary records in the northern Tethyan Himalaya: Tectonic link with Greater India

    Huawen Cao

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The Upper Triassic flysch sediments (Nieru Formation and Langjiexue Group exposed in the Eastern Tethyan Himalayan Sequence are crucial for unraveling the controversial paleogeography and paleotectonics of the Himalayan orogen. This work reports new detrital zircon U-Pb ages and whole-rock geochemical data for clastic rocks from flysch strata in the Shannan area. The mineral modal composition data suggest that these units were mainly sourced from recycled orogen provenances. The chemical compositions of the sandstones in the strata are similar to the chemical composition of upper continental crust. These rocks have relatively low Chemical Index of Alteration values (with an average of 62 and Index of Compositional Variability values (0.69, indicating that they experienced weak weathering and were mainly derived from a mature source. The geochemical compositions of the Upper Triassic strata are similar to those of graywackes from continental island arcs and are indicative of an acidic-intermediate igneous source. Furthermore, hornblende and feldspar experienced decomposition in the provenance, and the sediment became enriched in zircon and monazite during sediment transport. The detrital zircons in the strata feature two main age peaks at 225–275 Ma and 500–600 Ma, nearly continuous Paleoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic ages, and a broad inconspicuous cluster in the Tonian–Stenian (800–1200 Ma. The detrital zircons from the Upper Triassic sandstones in the study area lack peaks at 300–325 Ma (characteristic of the Lhasa block and 1150–1200 Ma (characteristic of the Lhasa and West Australia blocks. Therefore, neither the Lhasa block nor the West Australia blocks likely acted as the main provenance of the Upper Triassic strata. Newly discovered Permian–Triassic basalt and mafic dikes in the Himalayas could have provided the 225–275 Ma detrital zircons. Therefore, Indian and Himalayan units were the main provenances of the flysch

  13. Potential effects of ongoing and proposed hydropower development on terrestrial biological diversity in the Indian Himalaya.

    Pandit, Maharaj K; Grumbine, R Edward

    2012-12-01

    Indian Himalayan basins are earmarked for widespread dam building, but aggregate effects of these dams on terrestrial ecosystems are unknown. We mapped distribution of 292 dams (under construction and proposed) and projected effects of these dams on terrestrial ecosystems under different scenarios of land-cover loss. We analyzed land-cover data of the Himalayan valleys, where dams are located. We estimated dam density on fifth- through seventh-order rivers and compared these estimates with current global figures. We used a species-area relation model (SAR) to predict short- and long-term species extinctions driven by deforestation. We used scatter plots and correlation studies to analyze distribution patterns of species and dams and to reveal potential overlap between species-rich areas and dam sites. We investigated effects of disturbance on community structure of undisturbed forests. Nearly 90% of Indian Himalayan valleys would be affected by dam building and 27% of these dams would affect dense forests. Our model projected that 54,117 ha of forests would be submerged and 114,361 ha would be damaged by dam-related activities. A dam density of 0.3247/1000 km(2) would be nearly 62 times greater than current average global figures; the average of 1 dam for every 32 km of river channel would be 1.5 times higher than figures reported for U.S. rivers. Our results show that most dams would be located in species-rich areas of the Himalaya. The SAR model projected that by 2025, deforestation due to dam building would likely result in extinction of 22 angiosperm and 7 vertebrate taxa. Disturbance due to dam building would likely reduce tree species richness by 35%, tree density by 42%, and tree basal cover by 30% in dense forests. These results, combined with relatively weak national environmental impact assessment and implementation, point toward significant loss of species if all proposed dams in the Indian Himalaya are constructed. ©2012 Society for Conservation

  14. Leucogranites in Lhozag, southern Tibet: Implications for the tectonic evolution of the eastern Himalaya

    Huang, Chunmei; Zhao, Zhidan; Li, Guangming; Zhu, Di-Cheng; Liu, Dong; Shi, Qingshang

    2017-12-01

    Petrogenesis of the Himalayan leucogranite is strongly influenced by conditions which are associated with the tectonic evolution of Himalayan orogen. In this article, we present petrological, geochronological and geochemical results of the Lhozag leucogranites that crop out alongside the South Tibetan Detachment System (STDS) in the east of Himalaya. Zircon U-Pb dating revealed three episodes of leucogranitic magmatism in Lhozag at 17.8 ± 0.1 Ma, 15.1 ± 0.1 Ma, and 12.0 ± 0.1 Ma, respectively. The Lhozag leucogranites show relatively low εNd(t), low zircon εHf(t) and high initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios, which are similar to the High Himalayan Crystalline Series (HHCS), indicating that they were derived from the HHCS. The characteristics of relatively high Na2O and Rb contents, high Rb/Sr ratios and low CaO, MgO, TFe2O3, TiO2, and Sr contents indicate that both the ca. 18 Ma Lhozag tourmaline leucogranites and the ca. 15 Ma Lhozag two-mica granites were derived from fluid-absent muscovite-dehydration melting of metasediments. The opposite geochemistry characteristics of the ca. 12 Ma Khula Kangri two-mica granites imply that these granites are derived from fluid-present melting of metasediments. Four Khula Kangri two-mica granite samples with relatively lower TiO2, TFe2O3, MgO, and CaO contents, higher Rb concentrations and Rb/Sr ratios could be evolved from the Khula Kangri two-mica granites with relatively lower Rb/Sr ratios. The melting behaviors of the Lhozag leucogranites varied from fluid-absent melting to fluid-present melting, implying that there were P-T-XH2O variations in the deep crust. The tectonic evolution would give rise to variation of P-T-XH2O variation, and subsequent transformation of melting behavior. Our new results display the transformation of melting behavior of the Lhozag leucogranites, which implies the tectonic evolution from earlier N-S extension to later E-W extension in the eastern Himalaya at ca. 12 Ma.

  15. Ethnomedicinal plants used by local inhabitants of Jakholi block, Rudraprayag district, western Himalaya, India.

    Singh, Ankit; Nautiyal, Mohan C; Kunwar, Ripu M; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2017-08-24

    Ethnomedicinal knowledge of the Indian Himalayas is very interesting because of the wide range of medicinal plants used in traditional medical practice. However, there is a danger of knowledge being lost because the knowledge sharing is very limited and passed on orally. The present study is the first ethnomedicinal study in Jakholi area of Rudraprayag district of Northwestern India. The aim of present study was to identify traditional medicinal plants used by the inhabitants to treat different ailments and document the associated knowledge of these medicinal plants. An ethnomedicinal survey was carried out in 72 of 133 villages and alpine pastures of Jakholi block (800-4000 m asl). Door to door surveys and group discussions, applying semi-structured questionnaires were conducted with traditional healers and villagers in local language (Garhwali). Informant Consensus Factor (ICF) was computed to analyse collected ethnomedicinal data. A total of 78 species (Gymnosperms 3 species, Monocotyledons 12 and 63 Dicotyledons) belonging to 73 genera in 46 families were identified to treat 14 different ailments categories. Most dominant family is Asteraceae (5 species). In disease treated categories, Diseases of the skin (DE) have the highest proportion (29.55%) followed by Gastro- intestinal disorder (GA) (25.89%). The most life form of plants used was herb (56%) followed by tree (23%) while root was the most frequently used part of the plants and the traditional preparation was mainly applied in the form of paste (37%). The highest ICF value (0.99) was found for hair ailments (HA) followed ophthalmologic complaints (OP) and mental afflictions (MA) (0.98). The present study provides valuable information about traditional knowledge of medicinal plants of Jakholi Block in the Northwestern Himalaya, India. Local communities still possess large traditional knowledge of plants and their therapeutic uses and that the link of that traditional knowledge to modern research could be

  16. Mid-21st century projections of hydroclimate in Western Himalayas and Satluj River basin

    Tiwari, Sarita; Kar, Sarat C.; Bhatla, R.

    2018-02-01

    The Himalayan climate system is sensitive to global warming and climate change. Regional hydrology and the downstream water flow in the rivers of Himalayan origin may change due to variations in snow and glacier melt in the region. This study examines the mid-21st century climate projections over western Himalayas from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) global climate models under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). All the global climate models used in the present analysis indicate that the study region would be warmer by mid-century. The temperature trends from all the models studied here are statistically significant at 95% confidence interval. Multi-model ensemble spreads show that there are large differences among the models in their projections of future climate with spread in temperature ranging from about 1.5 °C to 5 °C over various areas of western Himalayas in all the seasons. Spread in precipitation projections lies between 0.3 and 1 mm/day in all the seasons. Major shift in the timing of evaporation maxima and minima is noticed. The GFDL_ESM2G model products have been downscaled to Satluj River basin using the weather research and forecast (WRF) model and impact of climate change on streamflow has been studied. The reduction of precipitation during JJAS is expected to be > 3-6 mm/day in RCP8.5 as compared to present climate. It is expected that precipitation amount shall increase over Satluj basin in future (mid-21st century) The soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model has been used to simulate the Satluj streamflow for the present and future climate using GFDL_ESM2G precipitation and temperature data as well as the WRF model downscaled data. The computations using the global model data show that total annual discharge from Satluj will be less in future than that in present climate, especially in peak discharge season (JJAS). The SWAT model with downscaled output indicates that during

  17. Negative trade-off between changes in vegetation water use and infiltration recovery after reforesting degraded pasture land in the Nepalese Lesser Himalaya

    Ghimire, C. P.; Bruijnzeel, L. A.; Lubczynski, M. W.; Bonell, M.

    2014-12-01

    This work investigates the trade-off between increases in vegetation water use and rain water infiltration afforded by soil improvement after reforesting severely degraded grassland in the Lesser Himalaya of central Nepal. The hillslope hydrological functioning (surface and subsurface soil hydraulic conductivities and overland flow generation) and the evapotranspiration (rainfall interception and transpiration) of the following contrasting vegetation types were quantified and examined in detail: (i) a nearly undisturbed, natural broadleaved forest; (ii) a 25-year-old, intensively-used pine plantation; and (iii) a highly degraded pasture. Planting pines increased vegetation water use relative to the pasture and natural forest situation by 355 and 55 mm year-1, respectively. On balance, the limited amount of extra infiltration afforded by the pine plantation relative to the pasture (only 90 mm year-1 due to continued soil degradation associated with regular harvesting of litter and understory vegetation in the plantation) proved insufficient to compensate the higher water use of the pines. As such, observed declines in dry season flows in the study area are thought to mainly reflect the higher water use of the pines although the effect could be moderated by better forest and soil management promoting infiltration. In contrast, a comparison of the water use of the natural forest and degraded pasture suggests that replacing the latter by (mature) broadleaved forest would (ultimately) have a near-neutral effect on dry season flows as the approximate gains in infiltration and evaporative losses were very similar (ca. 300 mm year-1 each). The results of the present study underscore the need for proper forest management for optimum hydrological functioning as well as the importance of protecting the remaining natural forests in the region.

  18. Mitochondrial DNA analyses and ecological niche modeling reveal post-LGM expansion of the Assam macaque (Macaca assamensis) in the foothills of Nepal Himalaya.

    Khanal, Laxman; Chalise, Mukesh K; He, Kai; Acharya, Bipin K; Kawamoto, Yoshi; Jiang, Xuelong

    2018-03-01

    Genetic diversity of a species is influenced by multiple factors, including the Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles and geophysical barriers. Such factors are not yet well documented for fauna from the southern border of the Himalayan region. This study used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and ecological niche modeling (ENM) to explore how the late Pleistocene climatic fluctuations and complex geography of the Himalayan region have shaped genetic diversity, population genetic structure, and demographic history of the Nepalese population of Assam macaques (Macaca assamensis) in the Himalayan foothills. A total of 277 fecal samples were collected from 39 wild troops over almost the entire distribution of the species in Nepal. The mtDNA fragment encompassing the complete control region (1121 bp) was recovered from 208 samples, thus defining 54 haplotypes. Results showed low nucleotide diversity (0.0075 ± SD 0.0001) but high haplotype diversity (0.965 ± SD 0.004). The mtDNA sequences revealed a shallow population genetic structure with a moderate but statistically significant effect of isolation by distance. Demographic history analyses using mtDNA sequences suggested a post-pleistocene population expansion. Paleodistribution reconstruction projected that the potential habitat of the Assam macaque was confined to the lower elevations of central Nepal during the Last Glacial Maximum. With the onset of the Holocene climatic optimum, the glacial refugia population experienced eastward range expansion to higher elevations. We conclude that the low genetic diversity and shallow population genetic structure of the Assam macaque population in the Nepal Himalaya region are the consequence of recent demographic and spatial expansion. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Upper crustal stress and seismotectonics of the Garhwal Himalaya using small-to-moderate earthquakes: Implications to the local structures and free fluids

    Prasath, R. Arun; Paul, Ajay; Singh, Sandeep

    2017-03-01

    The work presents new focal-mechanism data of small-to-moderate (3.0 ⩾ ML ⩽ 5.0) upper crustal earthquakes for the Garhwal Himalaya from a local seismic network installed in July 2007. Majority of the epicenters of these earthquakes are located close to the Main Central Thrust (MCT) zone. We retrieved Moment Tensor (MT) solutions of 26 earthquakes by waveform inversion. The MT results and 11 small-to-moderate earthquakes from the published records are used for stress inversions. The MT solutions reveal dominatingly thrust mechanisms with few strike slip earthquakes near Chamoli. The seismic cross sections illustrate that, these earthquakes are located around the Mid-Crustal-Ramp (MCR) in the detachment. The optimally oriented faults from stress inversions suggest that, the seismogenic fault in this region is similar to a fault plane having dip angle between 12 and 25 degrees, which is compatible with the dip angle of the MCR (∼16°) in this region. P-axes and the maximum horizontal compressive stress are NE-SW oriented; the direction of the relative motion of Indian plate with respect to the Eurasian plate. The Friction Coefficient estimated from stress inversions show that the Chamoli region having low friction in comparison to the overall values. The free fluids trapped beneath the detachment are penetrating into the local faults, hence, decreasing the frictional strength and altering the prevailing stress conditions of the surroundings. The present study reveals that the MCR structure is seismogenically active and producing the small-moderate earthquakes in the region, while the MCT is probably dormant at present.

  20. Seasonal and daily variation of radon at 10 m depth in borehole, Garhwal Lesser Himalaya, India

    Choubey, V.M., E-mail: vchoubey@wihg.res.i [Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, 33, General Mahadeo Singh Road, Dehradun-248001 (India); Arora, B.R. [Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, 33, General Mahadeo Singh Road, Dehradun-248001 (India); Barbosa, S.M. [University of Lisbon, IDL, Campo Grande, Edificio C8, 1749-016 Lisboa (Portugal); Kumar, Naresh; Kamra, Leena [Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, 33, General Mahadeo Singh Road, Dehradun-248001 (India)

    2011-07-15

    Mostly accepted and widely reported radon (Rn{sup 222}) measurements, a tool for earthquake precursor research, is a part of multi-parametric geophysical observation in the Garhwal Lesser Himalaya for earthquake related studies. Radon is being recorded continuously at an interval of 15 min at 10 m depth in a 68 m deep borehole. Three years high resolution 15 min data at 10 m depth shows a complex trend and has a strong seasonal effect along with some diurnal, semi-diurnal and multi-day recurring trends. A well-defined seasonal pattern is prominent with a high emanation in summer and low values in winter accounting for about a 30% decrease in count values in winter when the atmospheric temperature is very low at this station located 1.90 km above mean sea level. Diurnal, semi-diurnal and multi-day trends in this time-series are mainly observed during April-May and October-November. This is the period of spring and autumn when there is a high contrast in day-night atmospheric temperature. Hence the high fluctuation in Rn concentration is mainly caused by the temperature contrast between the air-column inside the borehole and the atmosphere above the earth's surface.

  1. Sacred Groves: Myths, Beliefs, and Biodiversity Conservation—A Case Study from Western Himalaya, India

    Sushma Singh

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Religious and traditional beliefs, cultural mores, and practices play a crucial role in the conservation of environment and biodiversity. The present paper describes a case study of two sacred groves in Western Himalaya. Sacred groves (SGs are patches of land that are communally protected with religious zeal. A preliminary survey was conducted in these SGs to study their role in biodiversity conservation. The data collected included the general information regarding the SGs and the associated deity, nearest human habitation, access to them, and their floral and faunal diversity. Ethnomedicinal property of plants was collected from the indigenous communities. Many taboos are associated with both the SGs, which help in managing resources well through ritual representation. Different festivals are organized, where the local communities reaffirm their commitment to the forest and the deity. Sacred groves, in general, are a valuable tool of biodiversity conservation. But people’s changing attitudes, erosion of traditional beliefs, and human impact have caused degradation of sacred groves over the years. Their conservation would not be possible without the active participation of the local people. By improving their living standards and by giving benefits of conservation to them, long-term conservation goals in these SGs can be achieved.

  2. Does the "mantle" helium signature provide useful information about lithospheric architecture of Tibet/Himalaya?

    Klemperer, S. L.; Liu, T.; Hilton, D. R.; Karlstrom, K. E.; Crossey, L. J.; Zhao, P.

    2015-12-01

    Measurements of 3He/4He > 0.1*Ra (where Ra = 3He/4He in Earth's atmosphere) in geothermal fluids are conventionally taken to represent derivation from a mantle source. 3He/4He values 0.1*Ra may still be argued to result from mantle-derived 3He previously stored in the crust. However, our growing regional database of widely spaced observations of 3He/4He > 0.1*Ra, from the Karakoram Fault in the west to the Sangri-Cona rift and Yalaxiangbo Dome in the east, and from south of the Yarlung-Zangbo suture (YZS) to north of the Banggong-Nujiang suture, makes such special pleading increasingly implausible. The observation of 3He/4He > 0.1*Ra at the YZS and even within the Tethyan Himalaya south of the YZS cannot represent melting of Indian mantle close to the Moho unless existing thermal models are grossly in error. The source of 3He close to the YZS is likely either asthenosphere accessed by faults and shear zones that cut through subducting Indian lithospheric mantle; or incipient melt of Asian lithospheric mantle at the Moho north of the northern edge of underthrust India (the "mantle suture") which must therefore lie close to the YZS. Thus far we have barely tapped the rich potential that helium-isotope data offer for understanding transit of mantle volatiles through some of Earth's thickest (and ductilely flowing) crust.

  3. Assessment of glacial lake development and prospects of outburst susceptibility: Chamlang South Glacier, eastern Nepal Himalaya

    Damodar Lamsal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Chamlang South Tsho has been identified as one of the six high-priority glacial lakes in terms of glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF danger in Nepal Himalaya, despite the fact that no detailed investigations of the lake had been hitherto undertaken. We conducted detailed mapping of the lake and its surroundings along with field surveys in October 2009 to determine the developmental history of Chamlang South Tsho and to assess its potential for GLOF. The lake expanded rapidly between 1964 (0.04 km2 and 2000 (0.86 km2 and has been stable ever since. Future lake expansion is improbable as its sides are confined by relatively stable landforms. The lake is 87-m deep with a water volume of approximately 34.9–35.6 × 106 m3. Hanging glaciers on the steep surrounding mountain slopes and prominent seepage water in the terminal moraine dam could be potential triggers for a future outburst flood. Additionally, the debris-covered dead-ice dam, which is higher than the lake water level, is narrow and low; therefore, it could be overtopped easily by surge waves. Furthermore, the pronounced difference in elevation between the lake and the base of the terminal moraine dam makes the lake susceptible for a large flood.

  4. More major earthquakes at the Nepal Himalaya? - Study on Coulomb stress perspective

    Som, S. K.; Sarkar, Subhrasuchi; Dasgupta, Soumitra

    2018-07-01

    On April 2015 a major earthquake of 7.9 Mw occurred in the Nepal Himalaya, followed by 553 earthquakes of local magnitude greater than 4.0 within the first 43 days including another major event of 7.3 Mw. We resolve the static coulomb failure stress (CFS) change onto the finite fault models of 7.9 Mw after Elliott et al. (2016) and Galezka et al. (2015) and its effect on associated receiver faults. Correlation of aftershocks with the enhanced CFS condition shows that the Elliott et al. (2016) model explains 60.4% and the Galezka et al. (2015) model explains about 47.7% of the aftershocks in high stress regions. Aftershocks were poorly spatially correlated with the enhanced CFS condition after the 7.9 Mw main shock and can be explained by correlation with release of seismic energy from the associated secondarily stressed prominent thrust planes and transverse faults. Stress resolved on the associated receiver faults show increased stress on both transverse and thrust fault systems with the potential of triggering significant aftershocks or subsequent main shocks.

  5. Women, Environment and Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Khul Gad Micro Watershed of Kumoun Himalaya

    Suman Singh

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Women in the marginal areas of Uttarakhand have always played and continue to play a significant role in managing and operating most of the household and agricultural activities. They are the main subsistence provider in the hills and considered the backbone of hill agriculture. Their lives are intrinsically related to land, water, forest, which are the main components and integral parts of an eco-system. An adverse effect on any one of these components disturbs the other compo- nents due to strong linkages and interrelationship with each other and creates havoc on the life of people, especially women in the region. However, in recent years, environmental degradation, poor resource management and increased migration of men to the plains have deteriorated the livelihood options and added more workload to women of the region. The sufferings of the com- munities in these hilly areas are gradually increasing and their standard of living is declining be- cause they have been neglected at both policy and practice levels by the government. The nexus between women, environment degradation and poverty are poorly understood and rarely treated in an integrated way. Therefore, the key objective of the present paper is to analyse the work par- ticipation of women operating at different sub-systems, impact of environmental degradation and role of women in sustaining the traditional agro-ecosystem in Khul Gad micro-watershed of Ku- moun Himalaya.

  6. Decentralisation and Water Resources Management in the Indian Himalayas: The Contribution of New Institutional Theories

    Saravanan V

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The current debate on decentralisation offers a polarised view on the dynamic power relations involved in water resources management. Drawing New Institutionalism as applied in the social and ecological sciences, the paper argues that decentralisation represents a complex adaptive process that involves a combination of natural and a political endeavour by actors and agents to draw on existing structures to negotiate and renegotiate the existing unequal power relations to (mismanage water. Examining a Village in the Indian Himalayas as a case study, the paper demonstrates the significance of New Institutionalism for a comprehensive understanding of the decentralisation as a process, with an intention to identify the opportunities and barriers presented by institutional factors on water resources management. The paper reveals the contemporary top-down decentralised reforms though has helped actors to voice their concern and empowered the agents to remain adaptive, these have not ensured resource use efficiency, addressed poverty and promoted greater participation of the actors. Facilitating these will require a strengthening the role of statutory public organisations to regulate water distribution, build capacity of actors and offer diverse forums to facilitate informed water-related decisions for a sustainable future.

  7. Isotopic Characterization of Snow, Ice and Glacial Melt in the Western Himalayas, India

    Rai, S. P.; Kumar, B.; Arora, M.; Singh, R. D. [National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, 247 667 (India)

    2013-07-15

    Precipitation and glacial melt samples were collected at the snout of the Gangotri Glacier, popularly known as Gaumukh, located in the western Himalayas, India. Snow and ice samples were collected from different sites of the Gangotri Glacier. The local meteoric water line (LMWL) developed for the ablation period (May to October) is {delta}{sup 2}H = 8.2 {delta}{sup 18}O + 17.1 (r{sup 2} = 0.99), which shows a slightly higher slope and intercept than GMWL. This may be due to local summer connective precipitation occurring under dry climatic conditions and mountainous region moisture recycling with the south-west monsoon. The meltwater line, {delta}{sup 2}H =9.4 {delta}{sup 18}O + 37.5 (r{sup 2}= 0.96), having a significantly higher slope and intercept than the GMWL and LMWL. The main reasons for the higher slope and intercept of meltwater line may be due to the recycling of local vapour with moisture derived from the Western disturbance moisture whose source is the Mediterranean sea. The high d-exess values of snow, ice and meltwater indicate that the source of moisture is the Western disturbances. (author)

  8. Fuelwood consumption pattern at different altitudes in rural areas of Garhwal Himalaya

    Kumar, Munesh [Department of Forestry, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, Garhwal 246 174 (India); Sharma, C.M. [Department of Botany, HNB Garhwal University, Post Box 76, Srinagar, Garhwal 246 174 (India)

    2009-10-15

    The use of fuelwood as a primary source of energy for domestic use is causing severe deforestation in Garhwal Himalaya. In the present study fuelwood consumption patterns have been studied in six villages; two each in tropical (Ganga Bhogpur and Kunow), sub-tropical (Bhainswara and Ghargoan) and temperate (Dhaulana and Chunnikhal) regions under various ecological and socio-economic conditions. The total average fuelwood consumption in the present study was observed to be highest for Ganga Bhogpur (2.52 kg per capita per day) in the tropical region, whereas, lowest for Ghargoan (1.63 kg per capita per day) in the sub-tropical region. The labour energy expenditure for fuelwood collection was greatest for Dhaulana (146.62 MJ per capita per day) in the temperate region, and lowest for Ganga Bhogpur (88.80 MJ per capita per day) in the tropical region. The fuelwood consumption rate oscillated considerably across the different seasons. The tree and shrub species preferred by the inhabitants for fuelwood were Holoptelea integrifolia, Anogeissus latifolia and Lantana camara in the tropical region; A. latifolia, Acacia catechu and Carissa spinarum in the sub-tropical region; and Quercus leucotrichophora, Myrica esculenta and Pyracantha crenulata in the temperate region, respectively. (author)

  9. The cost of carbon abatement through community forest management in Nepal Himalaya

    Karky, Bhaskar Singh [Economic Analysis Division, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, GPO Box 3226, Kathmandu (Nepal); Skutsch, Margaret [Centro de Investigaciones en Geographia Ambiental, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Morelia (Mexico); University of Twente, PO Box 217 7500 AE Enschede (Netherlands)

    2010-01-15

    This paper estimates the economic returns to carbon abatement through biological sequestration in community managed forest under future REDD policy, and compares these for three possible management scenarios. For the estimation, the research relies on forest inventory data together with other socio-economic and resources use data collected from forest users in three sites of Nepal Himalaya. The paper estimates the incremental carbon from forest enhancement on a yearly basis over a five-year period using the value of 1 and 5 per tCO{sub 2} for conservative analysis. The results based on the three sites indicate that community forest management may be one of the least cost ways to abate carbon with a break-even price under Scenario 2 which ranges from 0.55 to 3.70 per tCO{sub 2}. However, bringing community forests into the carbon market may entail high opportunity costs as forests provide numerous non-monetary benefits to the local population, who regard these as the main incentive for conservation and management. An important finding of the research is that if forest resources use by local communities is not permitted, then carbon trading will not be attractive to them as revenue from carbon will not cover the cost foregone by not harvesting forest resources. (author)

  10. Soil, water and nutrient conservation in mountain farming systems: case-study from the Sikkim Himalaya.

    Sharma, E; Rai, S C; Sharma, R

    2001-02-01

    The Khanikhola watershed in Sikkim is agrarian with about 50% area under rain-fed agriculture representing the conditions of the middle mountains all over the Himalaya. The study was conducted to assess overland flow, soil loss and subsequent nutrient losses from different land uses in the watershed, and identify biotechnological inputs for management of mountain farming systems. Overland flow, soil and nutrient losses were very high from open agricultural (cropped) fields compared to other land uses, and more than 72% of nutrient losses were attributable to agriculture land use. Forests and large cardamom agroforestry conserved more soil compared to other land uses. Interventions, like cultivation of broom grass upon terrace risers, N2-fixing Albizia trees for maintenance of soil fertility and plantation of horticulture trees, have reduced the soil loss (by 22%). Soil and water conservation values (> 80%) of both large cardamom and broom grass were higher compared to other crops. Use of N2-fixing Albizia tree in large cardamom agroforestry and croplands contributed to soil fertility, and increased productivity and yield. Bio-composting of farm resources ensured increase in nutrient availability specially phosphorus in cropped areas. Agricultural practices in mountain areas should be strengthened with more agroforestry components, and cash crops like large cardamom and broom grass in agroforestry provide high economic return and are hydroecologically sustainable.

  11. Integrated approach for prioritizing watersheds for management: a study of lidder catchment of kashmir himalayas.

    Malik, Mohammad Imran; Bhat, M Sultan

    2014-12-01

    The Himalayan watersheds are susceptible to various forms of degradation due to their sensitive and fragile ecological disposition coupled with increasing anthropogenic disturbances. Owing to the paucity of appropriate technology and financial resources, the prioritization of watersheds has become an inevitable process for effective planning and management of natural resources. Lidder catchment constitutes a segment of the western Himalayas with an area of 1,159.38 km(2). The study is based on integrated analysis of remote sensing, geographic information system, field study, and socioeconomic data. Multicriteria evaluation of geophysical, land-use and land-cover (LULC) change, and socioeconomic indicators is carried out to prioritize watersheds for natural resource conservation and management. Knowledge-based weights and ranks are normalized, and weighted linear combination technique is adopted to determine final priority value. The watersheds are classified into four priority zones (very high priority, high priority, medium priority, and low priority) on the basis of quartiles of the priority value, thus indicating their ecological status in terms of degradation caused by anthropogenic disturbances. The correlation between priority ranks of individual indicators and integrated indicators is drawn. The results reveal that socioeconomic indicators are the most important drivers of LULC change and environmental degradation in the catchment. Moreover, the magnitude and intensity of anthropogenic impact is not uniform in different watersheds of Lidder catchment. Therefore, any conservation and management strategy must be formulated on the basis of watershed prioritization.

  12. Seasonal dynamics of ichthyodiversity in a hill stream of the Darjeeling Himalaya, West Bengal, india

    M.L. Acharjee

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The small torrential spring-fed hill-stream Relli in the Darjeeling Himalaya of West Bengal was studied from March 2007 to February 2009 to assess seasonal dynamics and diversity of fish populations.  The study revealed that the stream sustained 25 rheophilic cold water fish species from 15 genera and five families having ornamental, food and sport value.  Seven omnivorous species were abundantly found, and the array of juveniles and sub adults suggests this stream is used as a breeding and nursery ground for some species.  The stream harboured fish with unique modifications such as adhesive structures.  Analysis of monthly data indicate that abundance and diversity indices increased slightly during April–May and sharply during October–November, indicating significant seasonal variations with the low diversity observed during monsoon months reflecting environmental stresses.  Evenness was high in all sampling sites, and inversely related to the dominance index of ichthyofauna.  The density and diversity of fish assemblages along the gradient of the stream may be interrupted due to anthropogenic disturbances.  Our study provides baseline data which may be helpful for conservation and management of fish species, and in formulating fishery policy. 

  13. Multiple sources of magmatism. granitoids from southeast Kohistan, NW Himalayas, Pakistan

    Khan, M. A.; Qazi, M. S.

    2005-01-01

    The Kohistan island arc terrane in the northwestern Himalayas of N. Pakistan is sandwiched between the Indian and Karakoram plated. The base of the arc is occupied by a major stratiform ultramafic-gabbroic complex (the Sapat-Babusar complex), which overrides the crust of the Indian plate along the Indus suture (i.e., the Main Mantle Thrust; MMT). It was intruded into the base of a thick pile of metavolcanics (the Kamila belt), which comprise a tectonic collage of MORB-type tholeiitic basalts, island-arc tholeiites and calc-alkaline andesites. The Chilas complex, comprising ultramafic and gabbronorite rocks, is also intrusive into the Kamila belt, it is emplaced onto the top rather than the base of the Kamila belt. A sizeable proportion of granitoid rocks are present in the south-eastern part of Kohistan, which intruded the Kamila amphibolites. These are predominantly dioritic in composition, but include gabbros, granodiorites, granites and trondhjemites. The granitoids occur in two types. (1) large sheet-like lenticular masses, and (2) minor intrusives in the form of veints, sills or dykes. Three large sheets like bodies are mapped. All these bodies are composite, comprising gabbros, diorite/tonalite, granodiorite and granite. The minor intrusion of granitic and trondhjemitic composition are abundantly present in the form of veins, sills and dykes; and are characterized by variation in distribution. Strong shearing transformed the rocks into blastomylonite gneisses. The mineral assemblage consists of quartz, plagioclase, emphibole, epidote, chlorite, biotite, muscovite, sphene, magnetite and apatite. (author)

  14. Relationships between radon anomalies and seismic parameters in N-W Himalaya, India

    Walia, Vivek; Virk, H.S.; Bajwa, B.S.; Sharma, Navjeet

    2003-01-01

    Radon data accumulated during 1992-1999 in the grid (30-34 deg. N, 74-78 deg. E) in N-W Himalaya have been anlaysed vis a vis seismic data recorded in the same area, supplied by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) network. In general, there is a positive correlation between the total radon emission and the microseismicity in the area under investigation. The earthquake magnitude has moderate positive correlation with epicentral distance and low positive correlation with amplitude of radon precursory signal, whereas both show low negative correlation between them. Empirical scaling relations are proposed using the best fit straight line from the log-linear graphs between magnitude of the events and log of the product of amplitude of radon anomaly and epicentral distance. The error between the recorded and calculated magnitude is also taken into account. The error range is higher at lower epicentral distances and magnitudes, showing that the local geology and tectonics have predominant influence on radon signals

  15. Optical Remote Sensing of Glacier Characteristics: A Review with Focus on the Himalaya

    Racoviteanu, Adina E.; Williams, Mark W.; Barry, Roger G.

    2008-01-01

    The increased availability of remote sensing platforms with appropriate spatial and temporal resolution, global coverage and low financial costs allows for fast, semi-automated, and cost-effective estimates of changes in glacier parameters over large areas. Remote sensing approaches allow for regular monitoring of the properties of alpine glaciers such as ice extent, terminus position, volume and surface elevation, from which glacier mass balance can be inferred. Such methods are particularly useful in remote areas with limited field-based glaciological measurements. This paper reviews advances in the use of visible and infrared remote sensing combined with field methods for estimating glacier parameters, with emphasis on volume/area changes and glacier mass balance. The focus is on the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) sensor and its applicability for monitoring Himalayan glaciers. The methods reviewed are: volumetric changes inferred from digital elevation models (DEMs), glacier delineation algorithms from multi-spectral analysis, changes in glacier area at decadal time scales, and AAR/ELA methods used to calculate yearly mass balances. The current limitations and on-going challenges in using remote sensing for mapping characteristics of mountain glaciers also discussed, specifically in the context of the Himalaya. PMID:27879883

  16. Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India

    2013-01-01

    Background Himalayan forests are the most important source of medicinal plants and with useful species for the local people. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) is situated in the interior part of the Garhwal Himalayan region. The presented study was carried out in Madhmeshwar area of KWLS for the ecological status of medicinal plants and further focused on the ethnomedicinal uses of these plants in the study area. Methods Ecological information about ethnomedicinal plants were collected using random quadrats in a random sampling technique along an altitudinal gradient in the KWLS. Information on medicinal properties of plants encountered in the present study was generated by questionnaire survey and was also compared with relevant literature. Results A total of 152 medicinally important plant species were reported, in which 103 were found herbs, 32 shrubs and 17 were tree species which represented 123 genera of 61 families. A total of 18 plant species fell into the rare, endangered (critically endangered) and vulnerable status categories. Conclusion The present study documented the traditional uses of medicinal plants, their ecological status and importance of these plants in the largest protected area of Garhwal Himalaya. This study can serve as baseline information on medicinal plants and could be helpful to further strengthen the conservation of this important resource. PMID:23281594

  17. Warm-cold colonization: response of oaks to uplift of the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains.

    Meng, Hong-Hu; Su, Tao; Gao, Xiao-Yang; Li, Jie; Jiang, Xiao-Long; Sun, Hang; Zhou, Zhe-Kun

    2017-06-01

    Clarifying the relationship between distribution patterns of organisms and geological events is critical to understanding the impact of environmental changes on organismal evolution. Quercus sect. Heterobalanus is now distributed across the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains (HHM) and warm lowland in East China, yet how the distribution patterns of this group changed in response to the HHM uplift remains largely unknown. This study examines the effect of tectonic events in the HHM region on the oaks, providing a biological perspective on the geological history of this region. Fifty-six populations of Quercus sect. Heterobalanus were genotyped using four chloroplast DNA regions and nine nuclear simple sequence repeat loci to assess population structure and diversity, supplemented by molecular dating and ancestral area reconstructions. The underlying demographic dynamics were compared using ecological niche models of the species distributions during the last glacial maximum and the present. These analyses illustrate that Quercus sect. Heterobalanus diversified as the HHM uplifted and climatic cooling during the mid-Miocene, colonizing the cold habitats from warm broadleaf mixed forests. Lineages in cold highlands and warm lowlands have diverged as a consequence of local adaptation to diverging climates since the late Miocene. Our results suggest that continuous uplift of the HHM in the late Miocene to early Pliocene accompanied by simultaneous cooling triggered the differentiation of oaks. The biogeography of Quercus sect. Heterobalanus illuminates the geological events responsible for the modern-day HHM. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. A review of therapeutic potential of Saussurea lappa-An endangered plant from Himalaya.

    Zahara, Kulsoom; Tabassum, Shaista; Sabir, Sidra; Arshad, Muhammad; Qureshi, Rahmatullah; Amjad, Muhammad Shoaib; Chaudhari, Sunbal Khalil

    2014-09-01

    There are 300 known Saussurea species. Among them, Saussurea lappa (S. lappa) is a representative perennial herb, globally distributed across Himalaya region. S. lappa has been traditionally used in medicines without obvious adverse effects. Despite significant progress in phytochemical and biological analyses of S. lappa over the past few years, inclusive and critical reviews of this plant are anachronistic or quite limited in scope. The present review aims to summarize up-to-date information on the active constituents, pharmacology, traditional uses, trade and challenges in conservation and sustainable use of S. lappa from the literature. In addition to botanical studies and records of the traditional use of S. lappa in over 43 diseases, scientific studies investigating the latent medicinal uses of this species and its constituent phytochemicals for a range of disorders are presented and discussed. The structure, bioactivity, and likely mechanisms of action of S. lappa and its phytochemicals are highlighted. Although some progress has been made, further scrupulous efforts are required to investigate the individual compounds isolated from S. lappa to validate and understand its traditional uses and develop clinical applications. The present review offers preliminary information and gives direction for further basic and clinical research into this plant. Copyright © 2014 Hainan Medical College. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Analysis of natural radionuclides in soil samples of Purola area of Garhwal Himalaya, India.

    Yadav, Manjulata; Rawat, Mukesh; Dangwal, Anoop; Prasad, Mukesh; Gusain, G S; Ramola, R C

    2015-11-01

    Naturally occurring radioactive materials are widely spread in the earth's environment, being distributed in soil, rocks, water, air, plants and even within the human body. All of these sources have contributed to an increase in the levels of environmental radioactivity and population radiation doses. This paper presents the activity level due to the presence of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in soil samples of Purola area in Garhwal Himalaya region. The measured activity of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in collected soil samples of Purola was found to vary from 13±10 to 55±10 Bq kg(-1) with an average of 31±2 Bq kg(-1), 13±10 to 101±13 Bq kg(-1) with an average 30±3 Bq kg(-1) and 150±81 to 1310±154 Bq kg(-1) with an average 583±30 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The radium equivalent activity in collected soil samples was found to vary from 47 to 221 Bq kg(-1) with an average of 115 Bq kg(-1). The total absorbed gamma dose rate in this area was found to vary from 22 to 93 nGy h(-1) with an average of 55 nGy h(-1). The distribution of these radionuclides in the soil of study area is discussed in details. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Probabilistic Models For Earthquakes With Large Return Periods In Himalaya Region

    Chaudhary, Chhavi; Sharma, Mukat Lal

    2017-12-01

    Determination of the frequency of large earthquakes is of paramount importance for seismic risk assessment as large events contribute to significant fraction of the total deformation and these long return period events with low probability of occurrence are not easily captured by classical distributions. Generally, with a small catalogue these larger events follow different distribution function from the smaller and intermediate events. It is thus of special importance to use statistical methods that analyse as closely as possible the range of its extreme values or the tail of the distributions in addition to the main distributions. The generalised Pareto distribution family is widely used for modelling the events which are crossing a specified threshold value. The Pareto, Truncated Pareto, and Tapered Pareto are the special cases of the generalised Pareto family. In this work, the probability of earthquake occurrence has been estimated using the Pareto, Truncated Pareto, and Tapered Pareto distributions. As a case study, the Himalayas whose orogeny lies in generation of large earthquakes and which is one of the most active zones of the world, has been considered. The whole Himalayan region has been divided into five seismic source zones according to seismotectonic and clustering of events. Estimated probabilities of occurrence of earthquakes have also been compared with the modified Gutenberg-Richter distribution and the characteristics recurrence distribution. The statistical analysis reveals that the Tapered Pareto distribution better describes seismicity for the seismic source zones in comparison to other distributions considered in the present study.

  1. Water quality assessment of sacred glacial Lake Satopanth of Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Sharma, Ramesh C.; Kumar, Rahul

    2017-12-01

    Satopanth Lake is a glacial lake, located at an altitude of 4600 m above sea level in Garhwal Himalaya of Uttarakhand state in India where an attempt was made to assess the water quality. A total of sixteen physico-chemical parameters including temperature, hardness, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, calcium, magnesium, chlorides, nitrates, sulphates and phosphates were recorded during 2014 and 2015 between June and August in ice-free period. The mean values of pH ranged from 6.85 to 7.10; water temperature fluctuated from 0.1 to 0.3 °C; dissolved oxygen varied from 5.90 to 6.0 mg.L-1; free CO2 varied from 8.40 to 8.60 mg.L-1; total dissolved solids varied from 88.0 to 89.5 mg.L-1; calcium from 7.88 to 7.95 mg.L-1; magnesium from 0.53 to 0.66 mg.L-1. All the physico-chemical values were within the prescribed WHO/BIS limit for drinking water. Water Quality Index (WQI) calculated based on these parameters also revealed the excellent quality of lake water.

  2. Constituents of Artemisia indica Willd. from Uttarakhand Himalaya: A source of davanone.

    Haider, S Zafar; Mohan, Manindra; Andola, Harish Chandra

    2014-07-01

    The genus Artemisia is important due to its medicinal properties as well as vital aroma compounds of commercial value. The aim of the study was to explore the potential of the essential oil of Artemisia indica wildly growing in Uttarakhand. The aerial parts of Artemisia indica Willd. (Asteraceae), collected from wild growing habitat of Garhwal Himalaya, Uttarakhand (north of India) at full flowering stage were hydro-distilled and gave pale yellow oil with the yield of 0.8% (v/w). The obtained essential oil was analyzed by GC and GC-MS and identified 32 components, amounting 95.42% of the oil. Among detected compounds, the principal component was found to be davanone (30.80%), followed by β-pinene (15.30%) and germacrene-D (5.82%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on A. indica from Himalayan region of India, which detected davanone as major component. The species, collected from a specific location, can be explored for isolation of davanone for its industrial utilization and as alternate source of Artemisia pallens, which have already established commercial value.

  3. Levels and effects of natural radionuclides in soil samples of Garhwal Himalaya

    Manjulata Yadav; Mukesh Rawat; Anoop Dangwal; Mukesh Prasad; Gusain, G.S.; Ramola, R.C.

    2014-01-01

    Distribution of natural radionuclide gives significant parameter to assess the presence of gamma radioactivity and its radiological effect in our environment. Natural radionuclides are present in the form of 226 Ra, 232 Th and 40 K in soil, rocks, water, air, and building materials. Distribution of natural radionuclides depends on the type of minerals present in the soil and rocks. For this purpose gamma spectrometer is used as tool for finding the concentration of these radionuclides. The activity concentration of naturally occurring radionuclides 226 Ra, 232 Th and 40 K in these soil samples were found to vary from of 8 ± 1 Bq/kg to 50 ± 10 Bq/kg with an average 20 Bq/kg, 7 ± 1-88 ± 16 Bq/kg with an Average 26 Bq/kg and 115 ± 18-885 ± 132 Bq/kg with an average 329 Bq/kg, respectively. In this paper, we are presenting the radiological effect due to distribution of natural radionuclide present in soil of Garhwal Himalaya. (author)

  4. Multiple sources of magmatism: granitoids from southeast kohistan, nw himalayas Pakistan

    Sayab, M.; Qazi, M.S.

    2005-01-01

    The Kohistan island arc terrane in the northwestern Himalayas of N. Pakistan is sandwiched between the Indian and Karakoram plates. The base of the arc is occupied by a major stratiform ultramafic-gabbroic complex (the Sapat-Babusar complex). which overrides the crust of the Indian plate along the Indus suture (i. e., the Main Mantle Thrust; MMT). It was intruded into the base of a thick pile of metavolcanics (the Kamila belt), which comprise a tectonic collage of MORB-type tholeiitic basalts, island-arc tholeiites and calc-alkaline andesites. The Chilas complex, comprising ultramafic and gabbronorite rocks, is also intrusive into the Kamila belt. It is emplaced onto the top rather than the base of the Kamila belt. A sizeable proportion of granitoid rocks are present in the south-eastern part of Kohistan. Which intruded the Kamila amphibolites. These are predominantly dioritic in composition but include gabbros, granodiorites, granites and trondhjemites. The granitoids occur in two types: (I) large sheet-like lenticular masses, and (2) minor intrusives in the form of veins sills or dykes. Three large sheets like bodies are mapped. All these bodies are composite, comprising gabbros, diorite/tonalite. granodiorite and granite. The minor intrusions of granitic and trondhjemitic composition are abundantly present in the form of veins, sills and dykes and are characterized by variation in distribution. Strong shearing transformed the rocks into blastomylonite gneisses. The mineral assemblage consists of quartz, plagioclase, Amphibole, epidote, chlorite, biotite, muscovite, sphene, magnetite and apatite. (author)

  5. Surface soil phytoliths as vegetation and altitude indicators: a study from the southern Himalaya.

    An, Xiaohong; Lu, Houyuan; Chu, Guoqiang

    2015-10-26

    Phytoliths represent one of the few available altitudinal vegetation proxies for mountain ecosystems. This study analyzed 41 topsoil phytolith samples collected from five altitudinal zones in the southern Himalaya as far as, and beyond, the timberline, from tropical forest (up to 1,000 m a.s.l.) to subtropical forest (1,000-2,000 m a.s.l.), to temperate forest (2,000-3,000 m a.s.l.), to subalpine forest (3,000-4,100 m a.s.l.) and finally to alpine scrub (4,100-5,200 m a.s.l.). The statistical results show a good correlation between phytolith assemblages and these five altitudinal vegetation zones: the five phytolith assemblages identified effectively differentiated these five altitudinal vegetation zones. In particular, coniferous phytoliths accurately indicated the timberline. Additionally, we tested the phytolith index Ic (a proxy for estimating the percentage of Pooideae vis-à-vis the total grass content) as a quantifier of phytolith variety versus altitude. Ic increased along altitude, as expected. An investigation of phytoliths provided an initial basis for the analysis of the composition of gramineous vegetation. Furthermore, redundancy analysis and discriminant analysis also suggested a significant correlation between phytolith assemblages and altitude. Our research therefore provides an up-to-date analogue for the reconstruction of changes to palaeovegetation and palaeoaltitude in mountainous areas.

  6. An environmental record of changes in sedimentary organic matter from Lake Sattal in Kumaun Himalayas, India

    Choudhary, Preetam; Routh, Joyanto; Chakrapani, Govind J.

    2009-01-01

    Sattal a small mountainous lake in the Kumaun Himalayas has been impacted by various cultural activities in recent years. We explored the effects of human-induced changes in this lake by using various geochemical proxies. Shifts in TOC and N flux, C/N ratio, stable isotopes (δ 13 C and δ 15 N), n-alkane, and pigment concentrations in sediments indicate a steady increase in primary productivity over the last few decades. The trophic status of the lake has changed from mesotrophic to eutrophic condition. The C/N, CPI, and TAR based ratios in sediments indicate accumulation of algal matter derived primarily from in situ production, with limited input of terrestrial organic matter from the watershed. The low (between 0.1 and 1 per mille ) δ 15 N values imply N 2 -fixation by cyanobacteria, and the decrease in δ 13 C values up-core represent the effect of sewage input and land based runoff, or possible contribution from microbial biomass. The pigments change from non-N 2 fixing cyanobacterial species to the N 2 -fixing community, and are consistent with the proxy-based productivity shifts inferred in the lake. The deeper sediments are affected by post-diagenetic changes causing an increase in δ 13 C (and possibly δ 15 N) due to mineralization of organic C and N

  7. Primary Production Dynamics of Two Dominant Macrophytes in Wular Lake, a Ramsar Site in Kashmir Himalaya

    Naseer Ahmad Dar

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Growing season changes in the organic matter, organic carbon and chlorophyll content of the two dominant macrophytes, Nymphoides peltatum and Ceratophyllum demersum of Wular Lake, a Ramsar Site in Kashmir Himalaya were analysed during March- November 2011. The content of organic matter and organic carbon for Nymphoides peltatum were 114.1 g m-2 and 53.1 g C m-2 and Ceratophyllum demersum were 57.0 g m-2 and 26.4 g C m-2. Chlorophyll A (Chl a and chlorophyll A+B (Chl a+b pigments ranged from 1.75 mg g-1 (Chl a and 2.1mg g-1 (Chl a+b in Nymphoides peltatum to 4.41 mg g-1 (Chl a and 5.69 mg g-1 (Chl a+b in Ceratophyllum demersum. In full leaf out, the latter aquatic plants exceeded 15-20% coverage of the open water surface.Ceratophyllum demersum and Nymphoides peltatum achieved maximum growth in June and August respectively, but significant differences in their growth dynamics was observed. At the end of the vegetation period, these plants sink to the bottom and decompose.

  8. Hydrologically complemented deterministic slope stability analysis in part of Indian Lesser Himalaya

    John Mathew

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This study uses a deterministic approach to evaluate the factor of safety (FS of the terrain for different hydrological conditions, in part of Indian Lesser Himalaya. The results indicate sudden increase in the percentage unstable area from 7.5% to 13.8% for rainfall intensity variation from 50 to 100 mm/day. For the rainfall intensity of 15 August 2007 which caused many landslides in the study area, 18.5% of the total area was unstable and it increases to 21.7%, 23.5% and 24.7%, respectively, for rainfall intensities corresponding to 10, 25 and 50 year return periods. This increment stagnates at about 260 mm/day, making about 25% of the area unstable. Higher rainfall intensities make progressively gentler slopes unstable, but limited to 25 degrees of slope in this area. The area underlain by granitic gneiss showed 23.1% of area as unstable for 135 mm/day of rainfall intensity, and was followed by those areas underlain by amphibolite (16%, limestone (13.7% and quartzite (10.4%. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC curve analysis has given 84.2% accuracy for the model. Conversion of FS to failure probability through Z scores enables identification unstable or marginally unstable areas, for planning selective slope stabilization measures.

  9. Gender and climate change in the Indian Hindu-Kush Himalayas: global threats, local vulnerabilities

    Ogra, M. V.; Badola, R.

    2014-11-01

    Global climate change has numerous implications for members of mountain communities who feel the impacts in both physical and social dimensions. In the Western Himalayas of India, a majority of residents maintain a livelihood strategy that includes a combination of subsistence or small-scale agriculture, seasonal pastoral migration, male out-migration, and localized natural resource extraction. Particularly under conditions of heavy male outmigration, but throughout the region, mountain women play a key role in providing labor and knowledge related to the management of local natural resources, yet often lack authority in related political and economic decision-making processes. This gap has important implications for addressing the impacts of climate change: while warming temperatures, irregular patterns of precipitation and snowmelt, and changing biological systems present challenges to the viability of these traditional livelihood portfolios throughout the region, mountain women increasingly face new challenges in their roles as household managers that have not adequately been emphasized in larger scale planning for climate change adaptation and mitigation. These challenges are complex in nature, and are shaped not only by gender issues but also interacting factors such as class, caste, ethnicity, and age (among others). In this paper, we review the main arguments behind the discursive gender/climate change nexus, discuss the implications for gendered vulnerabilities and transformation of adaptive capacities in the region, and suggest ways that researchers and policymakers seeking to promote "climate justice" can benefit from the incorporation of gender-based perspectives and frameworks.

  10. Recruitment of hornbill-dispersed trees in hunted and logged forests of the Indian Eastern Himalaya.

    Sethi, Pia; Howe, Henry F

    2009-06-01

    Hunting of hornbills by tribal communities is widespread in logged foothill forests of the Indian Eastern Himalaya. We investigated whether the decline of hornbills has affected the dispersal and recruitment of 3 large-seeded tree species. We hypothesized that 2 low-fecundity tree species, Chisocheton paniculatus and Dysoxylum binectariferum (Meliaceae) bearing arillate fruits, are more dispersal limited than a prolifically fruiting drupaceous tree Polyalthia simiarum (Annonaceae), which has potential dispersers other than hornbills. We estimated the abundance of large avian frugivores during the fruiting season along transects in 2 protected and 2 disturbed forests. We compared recruitment of the tree species near (Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) were significantly lower in disturbed forests, but sites did not differ in abundances of the Mountain Imperial Pigeon (Ducula badia). Overall, tree species showed more severely depressed recruitment of seedlings (77% fewer) and juveniles (69% fewer) in disturbed than in protected forests. In disturbed forests, 93% fewer seedlings of C. paniculatus were beyond parental crowns, and a high number of all seedlings (42%) accumulated directly under reproductive adults. In contrast, D. binectariferum and P. simiarum were recruitment rather than dispersal limited, with fewer dispersed seedlings surviving in disturbed than in protected forests. Results are consistent with the idea that disturbance disrupts mutualisms between hornbills and some large-seeded food plants, with the caveat that role redundancy within even small and specialized disperser assemblages renders other tree species less vulnerable to loss of regular dispersal agents. ©2009 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Dynamic recrystallization mechanisms and their transition in the Daling Thrust (DT) zone, Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

    Ghosh, Subhajit; Bose, Santanu; Mandal, Nibir; Dasgupta, Sujoy

    2016-04-01

    The Daling Thrust (DT) delineates a zone of intense shear localization in the Lesser Himalayan Sequence (LHS) of the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya. From microstructural studies of deformed quartzite samples, we show a transition in the dynamic recrystallization mechanism with increasing distance from the DT, dominated by grain boundary bulging (BLG) recrystallization closest to the DT, and progressively replaced by sub-grain rotation (SGR) recrystallization away from the thrust. The transition is marked by a characteristic variation in the fractal dimension (D) of grain boundaries, estimated from the area-perimeter method. For the BLG regime, D ≈ 1.046, which decreases significantly to a value as low as 1.025 for the SGR regime. Using the available thermal data for BLG and SGR recrystallization, we infer increasing deformation temperatures away from the DT in the hanging wall. Based on the quartz piezometer our estimates reveal strong variations in the flow stress (59.00 MPa to 16.00 MPa) over a distance of 1.2 km from the DT. Deformation mechanism maps constructed for different temperatures indicate that the strain rates (10- 12 S- 1 to 10- 14 S- 1) comply with the geologically possible range. Finally, we present a mechanical model to provide a possible explanation for the cause of stress intensification along the DT.

  12. Seasonal Variation in Essential oil Composition of Artemisianilagirica var. septentrionalis from Foot Hills of Western Himalaya

    Rajendra Chandra Padalia

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Essential oils composition of the aerial parts of Artemisia nilagirica (Clarke Pamp. var. septentrionalis Pamp. in different seasons viz. spring, summer, rainy, autumn and winter seasons under foot hills agroclimatic conditions of western Himalaya were analyzed and compared by GC–FID and GC–MS. Essential oils were mainly composed of monoterpenoids (59.0%-77.3% and sesquiterpenoids (15.7%-31.6%. The major constituents identified were artemisia ketone (38.3%-61.2%, chrysanthenone (1.5%-7.7%, germacrene D (3.1%-6.8%, β-caryophyllene (1.9%-6.8%, germacra-4,5,10-trien-1-α-ol (1.9%-4.9% and artemisia alcohol (1.4%-3.6%. Compositional analysis showed significant variations in the terpenoid compositions due to seasonal variations. Further, this is for the first time the seasonal variations in essential oil compositions of artemisia ketone rich chemotype of A. nilagirica var. septentrionalis is being reported from India.

  13. Deformation mechanisms in the frontal Lesser Himalayan Duplex in Sikkim Himalaya, India

    Matin, Abdul; Mazumdar, Sweety

    2009-08-01

    Understanding deformation mechanisms in Himalayan rocks is a challenging proposition due to the complex nature of the deformed rocks and their genesis. Crustal deformation in the Himalayan thrust belt typically occurs in elastico-frictional (EF) or quasi-plastic (QP) regimes at depths controlled mainly by regional strain-rate and geothermal gradient. However, material property, grain-size and their progressive changes during deformation are also important controlling factors. We present evidence of EF deformation from Gondwana rocks developed during the emplacement of one of the frontal horses (Jorthang horse) in the Lesser Himalayan Duplex (LHD) structure associated with Lesser Himalayan rocks in the footwall of the Ramgarh thrust in the Rangit window near Jorthang in the Sikkim Himalaya. The rocks in the horse exhibit systematic changes in microand meso-structures from an undeformed protolith to cataclasite suggesting that it was emplaced under elastico-frictional conditions. Meso- to micro-scale shear fractures are seen developed in Gondwana sandstone and slate while intercalated fine-grained shale-coal-carbonates are deformed by cataclastic flow suggesting that material property and grain-size have played an important role in the deformation of the Jorthang horse. In contrast, the hanging wall schists and quartzites of the Ramgarh thrust exhibit quasi-plastic deformation structures. This suggests that the Jorthang horse was emplaced under shallower crustal conditions than the antiformally folded Ramgarh thrust sheet even though the Ramgarh sheet presently overlies the Jorthang horse.

  14. Biodiversity Conservation through Traditional Beliefs System: A Case Study from Kumaon Himalayas, India

    Harsh SINGH

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out in Malay Nath sacred grove of Kumaon Himalaya, India, in appreciation of its role in biodiversity conservation. The whole grove is dedicated to the local deity “Malay Nath”, and showing semi-temperate type vegetation of the region. Rituals and cultural beliefs of the local peoples of Kumaon are plays significant role in conserving biodiversity. The study aimed at the documentation and inventory of the sacred grove, its phytodiversity, threats and conservation in the Indian Himalayan of Kumaon region, and to this, systematic field surveys were conducted during 2007-2010 covering all four seasons viz., summer, rainy, winter and spring. A total of 64 species in 58 genera under 47 families were identified, of which 35 species are flowering plants and 29 species are non-flowering plants. The dominant family was Parmeliaceae of lichen which recorded the maximum 6 species. 35 plant species under 32 genera and 23 families are used as an ethno-medicinal and the information about the ethno-medicinal plants was gathered from knowledgeable elderly local peoples of the area. Hedychium spicatum, Bergenia ciliata, Origanum vulgare, Berberis asiatica, etc. are highly exploited species and need to be conserved.

  15. Tourists’ Satisfaction at Trijuginarayan: An Emerging Spiritual and Adventure Tourist Destination in Garhwal Himalaya India

    S.C. Bagri

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Tourists’ satisfaction has been acknowledged as one of the most important elements of competitive advantage and formulating effective destination management strategies because it is a reliable standard to evaluate performance of tangible and intangible elements of tourism products and services. The purpose of this study is to investigate tourists’ satisfaction by examining the relationship between destination attribute importance and performance in a tourist destination. Trijuginarayan, an emerging spiritual and adventure tourist destination located in Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand state of India was selected as the study area for this research. Importance-Performance Analysis was employed to examine the relationship between importance and performance of various destination attributes. Results revealed that attributes related to tourism product of spiritual and cultural nature, atmosphere and climate, a variety of tourist activities, hospitality and safety are significant factors in determining tourist satisfaction, whereas basic facilities such as accommodation, transportation, tourism infrastructure and hygiene and sanitation at destination are of significant importance in satisfaction evaluation. Findings also reveal that tourists were satisfied with the core products, but were dissatisfied with basic tourist facilities offered at the destination. The findings alert concerned tourism stakeholders for outlining effective strategies for holistic development and improving performance of attributes in a given destination.

  16. Variability of radon and thoron equilibrium factors in indoor environment of Garhwal Himalaya.

    Prasad, Mukesh; Rawat, Mukesh; Dangwal, Anoop; Kandari, Tushar; Gusain, G S; Mishra, Rosaline; Ramola, R C

    2016-01-01

    The measurements of radon, thoron and their progeny concentrations have been carried out in the dwellings of Uttarkashi and Tehri districts of Garhwal Himalaya, India using LR-115 detector based pin-hole dosimeter and DRPS/DTPS techniques. The equilibrium factors for radon, thoron and their progeny were calculated by using the values measured with these techniques. The average values of equilibrium factor between radon and its progeny have been found to be 0.44, 0.39, 0.39 and 0.28 for rainy, autumn, winter and summer seasons, respectively. For thoron and its progeny, the average values of equilibrium factor have been found to be 0.04, 0.04, 0.04 and 0.03 for rainy, autumn, winter and summer seasons, respectively. The equilibrium factor between radon and its progeny has been found to be dependent on the seasonal changes. However, the equilibrium factor for thoron and progeny has been found to be same for rainy, autumn and winter seasons but slightly different for summer season. The annual average equilibrium factors for radon and thoron have been found to vary from 0.23 to 0.80 with an average of 0.42 and from 0.01 to 0.29 with an average of 0.07, respectively. The detailed discussion of the measurement techniques and the explanation for the results obtained is given in the paper. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Lichen as Bioindicator for Monitoring Environmental Status in Western Himalaya, India

    Sugam Gupta

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The use of bioindicator communities (lichen to assess the environmental status of an area is a well-proved strategy to monitor any habitat without any logistic and instrumental facilities. In the present study, 13 bioindicator communities of lichen have been used to assess the environmental status of holy pilgrimage (Badrinath, western Himalaya, India. Three sites (i.e. Badrinath, Mana & pilgrimage route from Bhimpul to Vasudhara have been comparatively assessed. The results of the study reveals that Badrinath site is less polluted and experiences low degree of anthropogenic disturbances compared to Mana, and pilgrimage route (Bhimpul to Vasudhara. Human settlements, construction of civil works, vehicular emission, and trampling and trekking by tourists are the major threats on these habitats, which ultimately decrease the quality of vegetation and adjacent environment. Controlled vehicular use, promotion of modern way of cooking and managed trekking in these pilgrimage routes could be helpful to combat the decreasing vegetation and environmental quality therein.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTVolume-5, Issue-2, Mar-May 2016 page: 1-15

  18. Segmentation of the Himalayas as revealed by arc-parallel gravity anomalies

    Hetényi, György; Cattin, Rodolphe; Berthet, Théo; Le Moigne, Nicolas; Chophel, Jamyang; Lechmann, Sarah; Hammer, Paul; Drukpa, Dowchu; Sapkota, Soma Nath; Gautier, Stéphanie; Thinley, Kinzang

    2016-09-01

    Lateral variations along the Himalayan arc are suggested by an increasing number of studies and carry important information about the orogen’s segmentation. Here we compile the hitherto most complete land gravity dataset in the region which enables the currently highest resolution plausible analysis. To study lateral variations in collisional structure we compute arc-parallel gravity anomalies (APaGA) by subtracting the average arc-perpendicular profile from our dataset; we compute likewise for topography (APaTA). We find no direct correlation between APaGA, APaTA and background seismicity, as suggested in oceanic subduction context. In the Himalayas APaTA mainly reflect relief and erosional effects, whereas APaGA reflect the deep structure of the orogen with clear lateral boundaries. Four segments are outlined and have disparate flexural geometry: NE India, Bhutan, Nepal & India until Dehradun, and NW India. The segment boundaries in the India plate are related to inherited structures, and the boundaries of the Shillong block are highlighted by seismic activity. We find that large earthquakes of the past millennium do not propagate across the segment boundaries defined by APaGA, therefore these seem to set limits for potential rupture of megathrust earthquakes.

  19. ECOLOGICAL STATUS AND IMPACT OF DISTURBANCE IN AN ALPINE PASTURE OF GARHWAL HIMALAYA, INDIA

    MANOJ DHAULAKHANDI

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The alpine area in Garhwal Himalaya is highly fragile and is known for its beautiful flora and fauna. The study area was located just below the Gangotri glacier which is the origin of Bhagirathi, a holy river of India. Pilgrimage, tourism, adventure activities and mules are the factors responsible for causing disturbance in this area. There is a remarkable variation in the values of diversity, species richness, dominance, density IVI and biomass production at Bhojbasa Protected (BP and Bhojbasa Disturbed (BD sites. The value of liveshoot biomass was highest in August (444 g m-2 on BP and 80 g m-2 on BD sites. Belowground biomass was also recorded highest for BP site and lowest for BD site. The ANP value at BP site was 363 g m-2 y-1 and 26 g m-2 y-1 at BD site.This area has shown decrease in diversity and productivity, and heavy soil erosion that indicate the consequence of increasing human activities due to pilgrimage, tourism and camping and frequent movement of mules carrying goods. Therefore, this area requires strict measures for biodiversity conservation and disaster mitigation.

  20. Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India.

    Bhat, Jahangeer A; Kumar, Munesh; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2013-01-02

    Himalayan forests are the most important source of medicinal plants and with useful species for the local people. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) is situated in the interior part of the Garhwal Himalayan region. The presented study was carried out in Madhmeshwar area of KWLS for the ecological status of medicinal plants and further focused on the ethnomedicinal uses of these plants in the study area. Ecological information about ethnomedicinal plants were collected using random quadrats in a random sampling technique along an altitudinal gradient in the KWLS. Information on medicinal properties of plants encountered in the present study was generated by questionnaire survey and was also compared with relevant literature. A total of 152 medicinally important plant species were reported, in which 103 were found herbs, 32 shrubs and 17 were tree species which represented 123 genera of 61 families. A total of 18 plant species fell into the rare, endangered (critically endangered) and vulnerable status categories. The present study documented the traditional uses of medicinal plants, their ecological status and importance of these plants in the largest protected area of Garhwal Himalaya. This study can serve as baseline information on medicinal plants and could be helpful to further strengthen the conservation of this important resource.

  1. Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Bhat Jahangeer A

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Himalayan forests are the most important source of medicinal plants and with useful species for the local people. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS is situated in the interior part of the Garhwal Himalayan region. The presented study was carried out in Madhmeshwar area of KWLS for the ecological status of medicinal plants and further focused on the ethnomedicinal uses of these plants in the study area. Methods Ecological information about ethnomedicinal plants were collected using random quadrats in a random sampling technique along an altitudinal gradient in the KWLS. Information on medicinal properties of plants encountered in the present study was generated by questionnaire survey and was also compared with relevant literature. Results A total of 152 medicinally important plant species were reported, in which 103 were found herbs, 32 shrubs and 17 were tree species which represented 123 genera of 61 families. A total of 18 plant species fell into the rare, endangered (critically endangered and vulnerable status categories. Conclusion The present study documented the traditional uses of medicinal plants, their ecological status and importance of these plants in the largest protected area of Garhwal Himalaya. This study can serve as baseline information on medicinal plants and could be helpful to further strengthen the conservation of this important resource.

  2. Evolution of earthquake-triggered landslides in the Kashmir Himalaya, northern Pakistan

    Khattak, G.A.; Owen, L.A.; Kamp, U.; Harp, E.L.

    2010-01-01

    The influence of the 08 October 2005 Kashmir earthquake and subsequent snow melt and monsoon rainfall on slope stability was evaluated using repeat photography in the Kashmir Himalaya of northern Pakistan. Sixty-eight landslide-affected locations were selected and photographed in November 2005, May/June 2006, June 2007, and August 2007 to evaluate all potential geomorphic changes. Eighty percent of the locations showed no or very little change, 11% of the locations showed a partial vegetation recovery on the slopes, while 9% showed an increase in the landslide area. All those locations that showed an increase in landsliding were located along rivers and/or roads. The small change in landslide extent is remarkable given that the region experienced one of the heaviest monsoon seasons in the last decade and is counter to earlier predictions of accelerated slope erosion by landsliding in the immediate years following the earthquake. Extensive fissures and ground cracks at many localities, however, still present a potential of future landsliding under wetter conditions. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Reconnaissance Rb-Sr dates for the Himalayan Central Gneiss, Northwest India

    Powell, C. McA.; Crawford, A.R.; Armstrong, R.L.; Wynne-Edwards, H.R.; Prakash, R.

    1979-01-01

    Rb-Sr analysis of whole-rock samples and biotite and biotite - or muscovite - whole rock pairs suggests that the Himalayan Central Gneiss in the crystalline nappes of the Lesser Himalaya and the root zone in the High Himalaya was formed during Oligocene to mid-Miocene times by deformation and metamorphism of older rocks, including Precambrian. Four whole-rock samples from the Almora-Askot thrust sheets define an isochron of 1620 +- 90 Ma with a high initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratio of 0.749 +- 0.007; other single whole-rock samples give dates in the range 268 to 1065 Ma, assuming an initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratio of 0.704. These dates are considered to represent either depositional or early instructive/deformational events. Three biotite-whole rock pairs from the root zone of the Himalayan Central Gneiss in Lahaul give aqes of 16 to 19 Ma and two muscovite-whole rock pairs give similar mid-Cenozoic ages (12 and 26 Ma); two muscovite-whole rock pairs give Paleozoic ages, which suggests incomplete resetting of the muscovite by the Cenozoic metamorphism. The pattern of ages is similar to recent results from adjacent areas, and consistent with models of Himalayan tectonics involving formation of the Central Gneiss from older Indian crust during the mid-Cenozoic. (auth.)

  4. Influence of open vegetation fires on black carbon and ozone variability in the southern Himalayas (NCO-P, 5079 m a.s.l.)

    Putero, D.; Landi, T.C.; Cristofanelli, P.; Marinoni, A.; Laj, P.; Duchi, R.; Calzolari, F.; Verza, G.P.; Bonasoni, P.

    2014-01-01

    We analysed the variability of equivalent black carbon (BC) and ozone (O 3 ) at the global WMO/GAW station Nepal Climate Observatory-Pyramid (NCO-P, 5079 m a.s.l.) in the southern Himalayas, for evaluating the possible contribution of open vegetation fires to the variability of these short-lived climate forcers/pollutants (SLCF/SLCP) in the Himalayan region. We found that 162 days (9% of the data-set) were characterised by acute pollution events with enhanced BC and O 3 in respect to the climatological values. By using satellite observations (MODIS fire products and the USGS Land Use Cover Characterization) and air mass back-trajectories, we deduced that 56% of these events were likely to be affected by emissions from open fires along the Himalayas foothills, the Indian Subcontinent and the Northern Indo-Gangetic Plain. These results suggest that open fire emissions are likely to play an important role in modulating seasonal and inter-annual BC and O 3 variability over south Himalayas. -- Highlights: • Continuous black carbon (BC) and ozone (O 3 ) are measured at Nepali Himalayas (5079 m). • From March 2006 to June 2011, acute pollution events occurred for 162 days. • We examine the influence of open vegetation fires on BC and O 3 variability. • 56% of acute pollution events in Himalayas can be tagged to open vegetation fires. • Influence of regional fires emissions are maximized during pre-monsoon season. -- Open fire emissions play an important role in modulating black carbon and ozone variability over south Himalayas

  5. Missing (in-situ) snow cover data hampers climate change and runoff studies in the Greater Himalayas.

    Rohrer, Mario; Salzmann, Nadine; Stoffel, Markus; Kulkarni, Anil V

    2013-12-01

    The Himalayas are presently holding the largest ice masses outside the polar regions and thus (temporarily) store important freshwater resources. In contrast to the contemplation of glaciers, the role of runoff from snow cover has received comparably little attention in the past, although (i) its contribution is thought to be at least equally or even more important than that of ice melt in many Himalayan catchments and (ii) climate change is expected to have widespread and significant consequences on snowmelt runoff. Here, we show that change assessment of snowmelt runoff and its timing is not as straightforward as often postulated, mainly as larger partial pressure of H2O, CO2, CH4, and other greenhouse gases might increase net long-wave input for snowmelt quite significantly in a future atmosphere. In addition, changes in the short-wave energy balance - such as the pollution of the snow cover through black carbon - or the sensible or latent heat contribution to snowmelt are likely to alter future snowmelt and runoff characteristics as well. For the assessment of snow cover extent and depletion, but also for its monitoring over the extremely large areas of the Himalayas, remote sensing has been used in the past and is likely to become even more important in the future. However, for the calibration and validation of remotely-sensed data, and even more so in light of possible changes in snow-cover energy balance, we strongly call for more in-situ measurements across the Himalayas, in particular for daily data on new snow and snow cover water equivalent, or the respective energy balance components. Moreover, data should be made accessible to the scientific community, so that the latter can more accurately estimate climate change impacts on Himalayan snow cover and possible consequences thereof on runoff. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Enhanced Surface Warming and Accelerated Snow Melt in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau Induced by Absorbing Aerosols

    Lau, William K.; Kim, Maeng-Ki; Kim, Kyu-Myong; Lee, Woo-Seop

    2010-01-01

    Numerical experiments with the NASA finite-volume general circulation model show that heating of the atmosphere by dust and black carbon can lead to widespread enhanced warming over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and accelerated snow melt in the western TP and Himalayas. During the boreal spring, a thick aerosol layer, composed mainly of dust transported from adjacent deserts and black carbon from local emissions, builds up over the Indo-Gangetic Plain, against the foothills of the Himalaya and the TP. The aerosol layer, which extends from the surface to high elevation (approx.5 km), heats the mid-troposphere by absorbing solar radiation. The heating produces an atmospheric dynamical feedback the so-called elevated-heat-pump (EHP) effect, which increases moisture, cloudiness, and deep convection over northern India, as well as enhancing the rate of snow melt in the Himalayas and TP. The accelerated melting of snow is mostly confined to the western TP, first slowly in early April and then rapidly from early to mid-May. The snow cover remains reduced from mid-May through early June. The accelerated snow melt is accompanied by similar phases of enhanced warming of the atmosphere-land system of the TP, with the atmospheric warming leading the surface warming by several days. Surface energy balance analysis shows that the short-wave and long-wave surface radiative fluxes strongly offset each other, and are largely regulated by the changes in cloudiness and moisture over the TP. The slow melting phase in April is initiated by an effective transfer of sensible heat from a warmer atmosphere to land. The rapid melting phase in May is due to an evaporation-snow-land feedback coupled to an increase in atmospheric moisture over the TP induced by the EHP effect.

  7. Gene/QTL discovery for Anthracnose in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) from North-western Himalayas.

    Choudhary, Neeraj; Bawa, Vanya; Paliwal, Rajneesh; Singh, Bikram; Bhat, Mohd Ashraf; Mir, Javid Iqbal; Gupta, Moni; Sofi, Parvaze A; Thudi, Mahendar; Varshney, Rajeev K; Mir, Reyazul Rouf

    2018-01-01

    Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is one of the most important grain legume crops in the world. The beans grown in north-western Himalayas possess huge diversity for seed color, shape and size but are mostly susceptible to Anthracnose disease caused by seed born fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum. Dozens of QTLs/genes have been already identified for this disease in common bean world-wide. However, this is the first report of gene/QTL discovery for Anthracnose using bean germplasm from north-western Himalayas of state Jammu & Kashmir, India. A core set of 96 bean lines comprising 54 indigenous local landraces from 11 hot-spots and 42 exotic lines from 10 different countries were phenotyped at two locations (SKUAST-Jammu and Bhaderwah, Jammu) for Anthracnose resistance. The core set was also genotyped with genome-wide (91) random and trait linked SSR markers. The study of marker-trait associations (MTAs) led to the identification of 10 QTLs/genes for Anthracnose resistance. Among the 10 QTLs/genes identified, two MTAs are stable (BM45 & BM211), two MTAs (PVctt1 & BM211) are major explaining more than 20% phenotypic variation for Anthracnose and one MTA (BM211) is both stable and major. Six (06) genomic regions are reported for the first time, while as four (04) genomic regions validated the already known QTL/gene regions/clusters for Anthracnose. The major, stable and validated markers reported during the present study associated with Anthracnose resistance will prove useful in common bean molecular breeding programs aimed at enhancing Anthracnose resistance of local bean landraces grown in north-western Himalayas of state Jammu and Kashmir.

  8. Enhanced surface warming and accelerated snow melt in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau induced by absorbing aerosols

    Lau, William K M; Kim, Maeng-Ki; Lee, Woo-Seop; Kim, Kyu-Myong

    2010-01-01

    Numerical experiments with the NASA finite-volume general circulation model show that heating of the atmosphere by dust and black carbon can lead to widespread enhanced warming over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and accelerated snow melt in the western TP and Himalayas. During the boreal spring, a thick aerosol layer, composed mainly of dust transported from adjacent deserts and black carbon from local emissions, builds up over the Indo-Gangetic Plain, against the foothills of the Himalaya and the TP. The aerosol layer, which extends from the surface to high elevation (∼5 km), heats the mid-troposphere by absorbing solar radiation. The heating produces an atmospheric dynamical feedback-the so-called elevated-heat-pump (EHP) effect, which increases moisture, cloudiness, and deep convection over northern India, as well as enhancing the rate of snow melt in the Himalayas and TP. The accelerated melting of snow is mostly confined to the western TP, first slowly in early April and then rapidly from early to mid-May. The snow cover remains reduced from mid-May through early June. The accelerated snow melt is accompanied by similar phases of enhanced warming of the atmosphere-land system of the TP, with the atmospheric warming leading the surface warming by several days. Surface energy balance analysis shows that the short-wave and long-wave surface radiative fluxes strongly offset each other, and are largely regulated by the changes in cloudiness and moisture over the TP. The slow melting phase in April is initiated by an effective transfer of sensible heat from a warmer atmosphere to land. The rapid melting phase in May is due to an evaporation-snow-land feedback coupled to an increase in atmospheric moisture over the TP induced by the EHP effect.

  9. Mass elevation and lee effects markedly lift the elevational distribution of ground beetles in the Himalaya-Tibet orogen.

    Schmidt, Joachim; Böhner, Jürgen; Brandl, Roland; Opgenoorth, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Mass elevation and lee effects markedly influence snow lines and tree lines in high mountain systems. However, their impact on other phenomena or groups of organisms has not yet been quantified. Here we quantitatively studied their influence in the Himalaya-Tibet orogen on the distribution of ground beetles as model organisms, specifically whether the ground beetle distribution increases from the outer to the inner parts of the orogen, against latitudinal effects. We also tested whether July temperature and solar radiation are predictors of the beetle's elevational distribution ranges. Finally, we discussed the general importance of these effects for the distributional and evolutionary history of the biota of High Asia. We modelled spatially explicit estimates of variables characterizing temperature and solar radiation and correlated the variables with the respective lower elevational range of 118 species of ground beetles from 76 high-alpine locations. Both July temperature and solar radiation significantly positively correlated with the elevational ranges of high-alpine beetles. Against the latitudinal trend, the median elevation of the respective species distributions increased by 800 m from the Himalayan south face north to the Transhimalaya. Our results indicate that an increase in seasonal temperature due to mass elevation and lee effects substantially impact the regional distribution patterns of alpine ground beetles of the Himalaya-Tibet orogen and are likely to affect also other soil biota there and in mountain ranges worldwide. Since these effects must have changed during orogenesis, their potential impact must be considered when biogeographic scenarios based on geological models are derived. As this has not been the practice, we believe that large biases likely exist in many paleoecological and evolutionary studies dealing with the biota from the Himalaya-Tibet orogen and mountain ranges worldwide.

  10. Overestimation of the earthquake hazard along the Himalaya: constraints in bracketing of medieval earthquakes from paleoseismic studies

    Arora, Shreya; Malik, Javed N.

    2017-12-01

    The Himalaya is one of the most seismically active regions of the world. The occurrence of several large magnitude earthquakes viz. 1905 Kangra earthquake (Mw 7.8), 1934 Bihar-Nepal earthquake (Mw 8.2), 1950 Assam earthquake (Mw 8.4), 2005 Kashmir (Mw 7.6), and 2015 Gorkha (Mw 7.8) are the testimony to ongoing tectonic activity. In the last few decades, tremendous efforts have been made along the Himalayan arc to understand the patterns of earthquake occurrences, size, extent, and return periods. Some of the large magnitude earthquakes produced surface rupture, while some remained blind. Furthermore, due to the incompleteness of the earthquake catalogue, a very few events can be correlated with medieval earthquakes. Based on the existing paleoseismic data certainly, there exists a complexity to precisely determine the extent of surface rupture of these earthquakes and also for those events, which occurred during historic times. In this paper, we have compiled the paleo-seismological data and recalibrated the radiocarbon ages from the trenches excavated by previous workers along the entire Himalaya and compared earthquake scenario with the past. Our studies suggest that there were multiple earthquake events with overlapping surface ruptures in small patches with an average rupture length of 300 km limiting Mw 7.8-8.0 for the Himalayan arc, rather than two or three giant earthquakes rupturing the whole front. It has been identified that the large magnitude Himalayan earthquakes, such as 1905 Kangra, 1934 Bihar-Nepal, and 1950 Assam, that have occurred within a time frame of 45 years. Now, if these events are dated, there is a high possibility that within the range of ±50 years, they may be considered as the remnant of one giant earthquake rupturing the entire Himalayan arc. Therefore, leading to an overestimation of seismic hazard scenario in Himalaya.

  11. Physiological response of the lichen Phaeophyscia hispidula (Ach.) Essl., to the urban environment of Pauri and Srinagar (Garhwal), Himalayas, India.

    Shukla, Vertika; Upreti, Dalip K

    2007-12-01

    The present study was designed with an aim to observe the effect of increasing urbanization and traffic activity on the physiology of a foliose lichen, Phaeophyscia hispidula (Ach.) Essl., collected from 13 different localities, growing in their natural habitat, in Pauri and Srinagar, two cities in the Himalayas. Six parameters i.e., Chl. a, Chl. b, total pigment, chlorophyll degradation, carotenoid and total protein content, proved the most useful to assess air pollution, were measured. Chlorophyll content and protein content are an efficient parameter to measure the air quality of a region. The study indicates that P. hispidula is pollution tolerant (adaptation) and able to withstand local emissions from vehicle exhausts.

  12. K/Ar hornblende ages from the higher Himalaya: implications for India-Asia collision and Himalayan metamorphosis

    Sorkhabi, R.B.; Stump, A.K.; Jain, A.K.; Manickavasagam, R.M.; Nishimura Susumu

    1993-01-01

    Two amphibolite samples from the Higher Himalayan Crystalline (HHC) belt from the Suru Valley, Zanskar, have yielded Eocene K/Ar hornblende cooling ages between 40 and 45 Ma, thus indicating much older peak metamorphic conditions in northern parts of the Indian Plate. These ages are in conformity with almost identical ages from metamorphic complexes across the Nanga Parbat syntaxis in Pakistan and reveal a 65 to 70-Ma collision phase of the Indian indentor in the NW-Himalaya. (author). 21 refs., 2 figs

  13. A new whitefly genus and species, Himalayaleyrodes sarcococcae Dubey (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) infesting Christmas box (Buxaceae) in Western Himalaya, India.

    Dubey, Anil Kumar; Singh, Sudhir

    2017-05-24

    Puparia, immatures and adults of a new whitefly genus and species, Himalayaleyrodes sarcococcae Dubey are described from the Western Himalaya, India. The new species was found feeding on leaves as well as on green stems of Sarcococca saligna (D. Don) Muell. Biological information, habitus, line arts, photomicrographs of holotype and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images are given for this new taxon. Also, we discuss similarities and dissimilarities of puparia of the new genus with its closely related genus Bemisia Quaintance & Baker. Feeding behaviour is discussed.

  14. First description of the sexuals of Camponotus opaciventris Mayr, 1879 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with notes on distribution in Western Himalaya.

    Wachkoo, Aijaz Ahmad; Akbar, Shahid Ali

    2016-01-01

    The taxonomy of Camponotus ants in India is mostly based on the worker caste, described in about 96% of the known species (AntWeb 2016). However, nearly 48% of these ant species are only known from workers, with no record of sexual forms. To improve knowledge of Indian Camponotus , we here describe sexuals of Camponotus opaciventris Mayr 1879. The hitherto unknown sexuals of Camponotus opaciventris Mayr 1879 are described for the first time. Workers are redescribed and distribution of this ant species in Indian Western Himalaya is herewith detailed.

  15. Correlation between geology and radon levels in groundwater, soil and indoor air in Bhilangana Valley, Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Choubey, V.M.; Ramola, R.C.

    1997-01-01

    Radon concentrations were measured in soil, air and groundwater in Bhilangana Valley, Garhwal Himalaya, India by using an LR-115 plastic track detector and radon emanometer. Radon concentrations were found to vary from 1 KBq/m 3 to 57 KBq/m 3 in soil, 5 Bq/l to 887 Bq/l in water and 95 Bq/m 3 to 208 Bq/m 3 in air. The recorded values are quite high due to associated uranium mineralization in the area. Radon concentration was also found to depend on the tectonic structure and geology of the area. (orig.)

  16. The Internal and External Dimensions of Security in the Himalayas -From non-alignment to multi-alignment

    Schmidt, Johannes Dragsbæk; Thapa, Manish

    This contribution offers a critical perspective of the internal and external dimensions of security and conflicts in the Himalayas. The two main actors are India and China while Pakistan plays a role in the Kashmir conflict. With the recent rapprochement between the BJP-government led by Narendra...... Modi and the Communist party led by Xi Jinping the two countries are attempting to keep a global and regional geo-economic momentum while the US appears to be more inclined to return to a more traditional geo-political state of affairs....

  17. Isotopic composition of daily precipitation along the southern foothills of the Himalayas: impact of marine and continental sources of atmospheric moisture

    G. Jeelani

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The flow of the Himalayan rivers, a key source of fresh water for more than a billion people primarily depends upon the strength, behaviour and duration of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM and the western disturbances (WD, two contrasting circulation regimes of the regional atmosphere. An analysis of the 2H and 18O isotope composition of daily precipitation collected along the southern foothills of the Himalayas, combined with extensive backward trajectory modelling, was used to gain deeper insight into the mechanisms controlling the isotopic composition of precipitation and the origin of atmospheric moisture and precipitation during ISM and WD periods. Daily precipitation samples were collected during the period from September 2008 to December 2011 at six stations, extending from Srinagar in the west (Kashmir state to Dibrugarh in the east (Assam state. In total, 548 daily precipitation samples were collected and analysed for their stable isotope composition. It is suggested that the gradual reduction in the 2H and 18O content of precipitation in the study region, progressing from δ18O values close to zero down to ca. −10 ‰ in the course of ISM evolution, stems from regional, large-scale recycling of moisture-driven monsoonal circulation. Superimposed on this general trend are short-term fluctuations of the isotopic composition of rainfall, which might have stem from local effects such as enhanced convective activity and the associated higher degree of rainout of moist air masses (local amount effect, the partial evaporation of raindrops, or the impact of isotopically heavy moisture generated in evapotranspiration processes taking place in the vicinity of rainfall sampling sites. Seasonal footprint maps constructed for three stations representing the western, central and eastern portions of the Himalayan region indicate that the influence of monsoonal circulation reaches the western edges of the Himalayan region. While the characteristic

  18. Variation of biomass and carbon pools with forest type in temperate forests of Kashmir Himalaya, India.

    Dar, Javid Ahmad; Sundarapandian, Somaiah

    2015-02-01

    An accurate characterization of tree, understory, deadwood, floor litter, and soil organic carbon (SOC) pools in temperate forest ecosystems is important to estimate their contribution to global carbon (C) stocks. However, this information on temperate forests of the Himalayas is lacking and fragmented. In this study, we measured C stocks of tree (aboveground and belowground biomass), understory (shrubs and herbaceous), deadwood (standing and fallen trees and stumps), floor litter, and soil from 111 plots of 50 m × 50 m each, in seven forest types: Populus deltoides (PD), Juglans regia (JR), Cedrus deodara (CD), Pinus wallichiana (PW), mixed coniferous (MC), Abies pindrow (AP), and Betula utilis (BU) in temperate forests of Kashmir Himalaya, India. The main objective of the present study is to quantify the ecosystem C pool in these seven forest types. The results showed that the tree biomass ranged from 100.8 Mg ha(-1) in BU forest to 294.8 Mg ha(-1) for the AP forest. The understory biomass ranged from 0.16 Mg ha(-1) in PD forest to 2.36 Mg ha(-1) in PW forest. Deadwood biomass ranged from 1.5 Mg ha(-1) in PD forest to 14.9 Mg ha(-1) for the AP forest, whereas forest floor litter ranged from 2.5 Mg ha(-1) in BU and JR forests to 3.1 Mg ha(-1) in MC forest. The total ecosystem carbon stocks varied from 112.5 to 205.7 Mg C ha(-1) across all the forest types. The C stocks of tree, understory, deadwood, litter, and soil ranged from 45.4 to 135.6, 0.08 to 1.18, 0.7 to 6.8, 1.1 to 1.4, and 39.1-91.4 Mg ha(-1), respectively, which accounted for 61.3, 0.2, 1.4, 0.8, and 36.3 % of the total carbon stock. BU forest accounted 65 % from soil C and 35 % from biomass, whereas PD forest contributed only 26 % from soil C and 74 % from biomass. Of the total C stock in the 0-30-cm soil, about 55 % was stored in the upper 0-10 cm. Soil C stocks in BU forest were significantly higher than those in other forests. The variability of C pools of different ecosystem components is

  19. Forest structure, diversity and regeneration potential along altitudinal gradient in Dhanaulti of Garhwal Himalaya

    Saha, S.; Rajwar, G.S.; Kumar, M.

    2016-07-01

    Aim of the study: The aim of the present study was to understatnd the forest composition, structure, diversity and regeneration potential along altitudinal gradient. Area of study: The study was carried out in Dhanaulti forest which falls under temperate region of Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand state, India. Material and Methods: Vegetation analysis was carried out using 10 quadrats at each altitude using a quadrate size of 10×10 m2. In each quadrate, categories of trees >30 cm cbh were considered as trees, 10-30cm cbh as saplings and <10 cm cbh as seedlings. The data were quantitatively analyzed. Main results: In upper and middle altitudes, Cedrus deodara was reported dominant tree whereas, in lower altitude Quercus leucotrichophora was reported dominant. Tree density was highest in lower altitude which reduced middle and upper altitudes whereas, total basal cover increased with increasing altitude. The increasing total basal cover with altitude could be because of the presence of Cedrus deodara trees having higher girth classes. In tree, sapling and seedling layers, diversity (H) and equitabiltiy (EC) decreased with increasing altitude. However, concentrations of dominace (CD) and beta diversity (BD have shown reverse trend with H and EC which increased with increasing altitudes, in each layer of tree, sapling and seedling. The distribution pattern of most species in all layers of trees, saplings and seedlings was contagious. The regeneration potential of the species has shown that some of the species in the absence of tree layer are still regenerating particularly, Rhododendron arboreum, Benthamidia capitata, Neolitsea pallens etc. It indicates that most of the species are shifting upward as they are getting suitable conditions. Research highlights: Altitude influence species composition, diversity and regeneration potential of species. (Author)

  20. Seasonal emanation of radon at Ghuttu, northwest Himalaya: Differentiation of atmospheric temperature and pressure influences.

    Kamra, Leena

    2015-11-01

    Continuous monitoring of radon along with meteorological parameters has been carried out in a seismically active area of Garhwal region, northwest Himalaya, within the frame work of earthquake precursory research. Radon measurements are carried out by using a gamma ray detector installed in the air column at a depth of 10m in a 68m deep borehole. The analysis of long time series for 2006-2012 shows strong seasonal variability masked by diurnal and multi-day variations. Isolation of a seasonal cycle by minimising short-time by 31 day running average shows a strong seasonal variation with unambiguous dependence on atmospheric temperature and pressure. The seasonal characteristics of radon concentrations are positively correlated to atmospheric temperature (R=0.95) and negatively correlated to atmospheric pressure (R=-0.82). The temperature and pressure variation in their annual progressions are negatively correlated. The calculations of partial correlation coefficient permit us to conclude that atmospheric temperature plays a dominant role in controlling the variability of radon in borehole, 71% of the variability in radon arises from the variation in atmospheric temperature and about 6% of the variability is contributed by atmospheric pressure. The influence of pressure variations in an annual cycle appears to be a pseudo-effect, resulting from the negative correlation between temperature and pressure variations. Incorporation of these results explains the varying and even contradictory claims regarding the influence of the pressure variability on radon changes in the published literature. Temperature dependence, facilitated by the temperature gradient in the borehole, controls the transportation of radon from the deep interior to the surface. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Massive land system changes impact water quality of the Jhelum River in Kashmir Himalaya.

    Rather, Mohmmad Irshad; Rashid, Irfan; Shahi, Nuzhat; Murtaza, Khalid Omar; Hassan, Khalida; Yousuf, Abdul Rehman; Romshoo, Shakil Ahmad; Shah, Irfan Yousuf

    2016-03-01

    The pristine aquatic ecosystems in the Himalayas are facing an ever increasing threat from various anthropogenic pressures which necessitate better understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of pollutants, their sources, and possible remedies. This study demonstrates the multi-disciplinary approach utilizing the multivariate statistical techniques, data from remote sensing, lab, and field-based observations for assessing the impact of massive land system changes on water quality of the river Jhelum. Land system changes over a period of 38 years have been quantified using multi-spectral satellite data to delineate the extent of different anthropogenically driven land use types that are the main non-point sources of pollution. Fifteen water quality parameters, at 12 sampling sites distributed uniformly along the length of the Jhelum, have been assessed to identify the possible sources of pollution. Our analysis indicated that 18% of the forested area has degraded into sparse forest or scrublands from 1972 to 2010, and the areas under croplands have decreased by 24% as people shifted from irrigation-intensive agriculture to orchard farming while as settlements showed a 397% increase during the observation period. One-way ANOVA revealed that all the water quality parameters had significant spatio-temporal differences (p < 0.01). Cluster analysis (CA) helped us to classify all the sampling sites into three groups. Factor analysis revealed that 91.84% of the total variance was mainly explained by five factors. Drastic changes in water quality of the Jhelum since the past three decades are manifested by increases in nitrate-nitrogen, TDS, and electric conductivity. The especially high levels of nitrogen (858 ± 405 μgL(-1)) and phosphorus (273 ± 18 μgL(-1)) in the Jhelum could be attributed to the reckless application of fertilizers, pesticides, and unplanned urbanization in the area.

  2. Diversity of Medicinal Plants among Different Forest-use Types of the Pakistani Himalaya.

    Adnan, Muhammad; Hölscher, Dirk

    2012-12-01

    Diversity of Medicinal Plants among Different Forest-use Types of the Pakistani Himalaya Medicinal plants collected in Himalayan forests play a vital role in the livelihoods of regional rural societies and are also increasingly recognized at the international level. However, these forests are being heavily transformed by logging. Here we ask how forest transformation influences the diversity and composition of medicinal plants in northwestern Pakistan, where we studied old-growth forests, forests degraded by logging, and regrowth forests. First, an approximate map indicating these forest types was established and then 15 study plots per forest type were randomly selected. We found a total of 59 medicinal plant species consisting of herbs and ferns, most of which occurred in the old-growth forest. Species number was lowest in forest degraded by logging and intermediate in regrowth forest. The most valuable economic species, including six Himalayan endemics, occurred almost exclusively in old-growth forest. Species composition and abundance of forest degraded by logging differed markedly from that of old-growth forest, while regrowth forest was more similar to old-growth forest. The density of medicinal plants positively correlated with tree canopy cover in old-growth forest and negatively in degraded forest, which indicates that species adapted to open conditions dominate in logged forest. Thus, old-growth forests are important as refuge for vulnerable endemics. Forest degraded by logging has the lowest diversity of relatively common medicinal plants. Forest regrowth may foster the reappearance of certain medicinal species valuable to local livelihoods and as such promote acceptance of forest expansion and medicinal plants conservation in the region. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12231-012-9213-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

  3. Radon/helium survey of thermal springs of Parbati, Beas and Sutlej valleys in Himachal Himalaya

    Virk, H.S.; Sharma, Anand K.; Naresh Kumar

    1998-01-01

    India has more than 300 thermal springs spread over the entire geographical area of the subcontinent. Some of these springs have linkage with Indian mythology and are famous pilgrimage centres since historical times. The temperature of water recorded in these springs varies from 40 degC to that of steam. Some of them are being exploited as a source for geothermal energy. The purpose of this study is to measure radon and helium activity in the thermal springs of Himachal Himalaya. Radon is estimated in the soil and thermal waters using alpha spectrometry and scintillometry, respectively. The radon activity is maximum ( 716.3 Bq/l ) in thermal spring at Kasol and minimum ( 15.9 Bq/l ) in a natural spring ( bauli ) at Takrer. Radon concentration is highly variable in the Parbati valley with minimum value of 2230±430 Bq/m 3 recorded at Chhinjra on the banks of river Parbati and a maximum value of 57700±2050 Bq/m 3 at Dharmaur, the site of uranium ore exploitation by the AMD (DAE). Helium is estimated in the thermal springs by using a Helium Leak Detector (sniffing technique). The radon and helium contents of Kasol thermal springs are correlatable with high radioactivity in the soil of the area as revealed by Alpha Guard survey in the environs of Parbati valley. The helium content recorded in thermal springs is found to vary between 15-90 ppm. Radon and helium are well established as geochemical precursors for earthquake prediction studies. Helium/radon ratio seems to be a better predictive tool for earthquakes in comparison to individual radon and helium precursors. (author)

  4. SUSTAINABLE DIVERSIFIED AGRICULTURE AND LAND MANAGEMENT IN THE HIMALAYA: IMPLICATIONS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION

    R. M. Bajracharya

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The soil and land resources play a vital role in sustaining the local livelihoods of rural communities in the Himalaya. Most of the arable land has already been brought under cultivation, hence the ever-increasing demand for food and fiber has left farmers with no choice but to intensify agriculture. However, producing more crops and greater quantities of food, fiber and other materials on the same parcel of land can to soil fertility and productivity decline with overall degradation of land quality. Therefore, ways and means to intensify agriculture to enhance productivity without degrading the soil and land resource base have become imperative. Agro-forestry, agro-slivi-pastoral systems, and the adoption of a variety of crop, soil and water management and conservation practices offer potential to deliver multiple benefits without sacrificing the very resource upon which the human population depends. Presented herein are findings on approaches to sustainable intensification of agriculture and land management related to soil OM management and C sequestration for multiple benefits, and, agro-forestry as a crop diversification strategy with both livelihood, and climate change adaptation/mitigation benefits. The results indicate that sustainable soil management practices could lead to significant SOC accumulations (4-8 t/ha over 6 yrs. SOC and soil C stocks tend to increase with elevation due to cooler climate and slow decomposition rates. Carbon stocks for the 3 LU types was in the order CF>AF/LH>AG, suggesting that diversified cropping practices including agro-forestry have good potential sequester C while providing livelihood opportunities and climate adaptive capacity for local farming communities. Biochar amendment increased growth of both coffee plants and radish with mixed grass/weed biochar being most effective. Biochar application also significantly decreased emission of GHGs, especially N2O.

  5. Recession-based hydrological models for estimating low flows in ungauged catchments in the Himalayas

    H. G. Rees

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The Himalayan region of Nepal and northern India experiences hydrological extremes from monsoonal floods during July to September, when most of the annual precipitation falls, to periods of very low flows during the dry season (December to February. While the monsoon floods cause acute disasters such as loss of human life and property, mudslides and infrastructure damage, the lack of water during the dry season has a chronic impact on the lives of local people. The management of water resources in the region is hampered by relatively sparse hydrometerological networks and consequently, many resource assessments are required in catchments where no measurements exist. A hydrological model for estimating dry season flows in ungauged catchments, based on recession curve behaviour, has been developed to address this problem. Observed flows were fitted to a second order storage model to enable average annual recession behaviour to be examined. Regionalised models were developed, using a calibration set of 26 catchments, to predict three recession curve parameters: the storage constant; the initial recession flow and the start date of the recession. Relationships were identified between: the storage constant and catchment area; the initial recession flow and elevation (acting as a surrogate for rainfall; and the start date of the recession and geographic location. An independent set of 13 catchments was used to evaluate the robustness of the models. The regional models predicted the average volume of water in an annual recession period (1st of October to the 1st of February with an average error of 8%, while mid-January flows were predicted to within ±50% for 79% of the catchments in the data set. Keywords: Himalaya, recession curve, water resources, ungauged catchment, regionalisation, low flows

  6. Bioindicator responses and performance of plant species along a vehicular pollution gradient in western Himalaya.

    Kashyap, Rachit; Sharma, Rohit; Uniyal, Sanjay Kr

    2018-04-21

    Loss of green cover, and increasing pollution is a prime global concern. The problem calls for screening of pollution-tolerant tree species that can be integrated into plantation drives. Recognizing this, the study analyzed bio-indicator responses and performance of commonly occurring plant species along a pollution gradient in western Himalaya. Based on distance from the road, three sites viz., highly polluted (HP), moderately polluted (MP), and least polluted (LP), were identified. From these sites, leaves of commonly occurring 26 tree species were collected and analyzed for dust accumulation, total chlorophyll, relative water content (RWC), ascorbic acid, and pH using standard protocols. Later, assessment of Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) and Anticipated Performance Indices (API) was carried out. The results revealed variations in biochemical characteristics. The pH, RWC, and total chlorophyll increased with decreasing pollution while ascorbic acid increased with increasing pollution. Dust capturing potential of Ficus carica (1.191 mg/m 2 ) and Toona ciliata (0.820 mg/m 2 ) was relatively higher. Based on the results of APTI, Grevillea robusta was classified as tolerant. It scored significantly higher values (21.06, 21.19, and 19.61 in LP, MP, and HP sites, respectively). Quercus floribunda, G. robusta (68.75% each), Juglans regia (68.7%), and T. ciliata (62.50%) were good performers in HP sites. Acer caesium, Betula utilis, and Morus alba that had low API scores (43.75%) were predicted as poor performers. Thus, G. robusta, Q. floribunda, J. regia, T. ciliata, and F. carica were evaluated as best performers. They could be integrated into plantations drives for environmental management.

  7. Formation of atoll garnets in the UHP eclogites of the Tso Morari Complex, Ladakh, Himalaya

    Jonnalagadda, Mallika K.; Karmalkar, Nitin R.; Duraiswami, Raymond A.; Harshe, Shivani; Gain, Sarah; Griffin, William L.

    2017-12-01

    The eclogites of the Tso Morari Complex, Ladakh, NW Himalayas preserve both garnets with spectacular atoll textures, as well as whole porphyroblastic garnets. Whole garnets are euhedral, idiomorphic and enclose inclusions of amphibole, phengite and zoisite within the cores, and omphacite and quartz/coesite towards the rims. Detailed electron microprobe analyses and back-scattered electron images show well-preserved prograde zoning in the whole garnets with an increase in Mg and decrease in Ca and Mn contents from the core to the rim. The atoll garnets commonly consist of euhedral ring over island/peninsular core containing inclusions of phengite, omphacite and rarely amphibole between the core and ring. Compositional profiles across the studied atoll grains show elemental variations with higher concentrations of Ca and Mn with low Mg at the peninsula/island cores; contrary to this low Ca, Mn and high Mg is observed at the outer rings. Temperature estimates yield higher values at the Mg-rich atoll garnet outer rings compared to the atoll cores. Atoll garnet formation was favoured by infiltration of fluid formed due to breakdown of hydrous phases, and/or the release of structurally bounded OH from nominally anhydrous minerals at the onset of exhumation. Infiltration of fluids along pre-existing fracture pathways and along mineral inclusion boundaries triggered breakdown of the original garnet cores and released elements which were subsequently incorporated into the newly-grown garnet rings. This breakdown of garnet cores and inward re-growth at the outer ring produced the atoll structure. Calibrated geo-thermobarometers and mineral equilibria reflect that the Tso Morari eclogites attain peak pressures prior to peak temperatures representing a clockwise path of evolution.

  8. Seasonal emanation of radon at Ghuttu, northwest Himalaya: Differentiation of atmospheric temperature and pressure influences

    Kamra, Leena

    2015-01-01

    Continuous monitoring of radon along with meteorological parameters has been carried out in a seismically active area of Garhwal region, northwest Himalaya, within the frame work of earthquake precursory research. Radon measurements are carried out by using a gamma ray detector installed in the air column at a depth of 10 m in a 68 m deep borehole. The analysis of long time series for 2006–2012 shows strong seasonal variability masked by diurnal and multi-day variations. Isolation of a seasonal cycle by minimising short-time by 31 day running average shows a strong seasonal variation with unambiguous dependence on atmospheric temperature and pressure. The seasonal characteristics of radon concentrations are positively correlated to atmospheric temperature (R=0.95) and negatively correlated to atmospheric pressure (R=−0.82). The temperature and pressure variation in their annual progressions are negatively correlated. The calculations of partial correlation coefficient permit us to conclude that atmospheric temperature plays a dominant role in controlling the variability of radon in borehole, 71% of the variability in radon arises from the variation in atmospheric temperature and about 6% of the variability is contributed by atmospheric pressure. The influence of pressure variations in an annual cycle appears to be a pseudo-effect, resulting from the negative correlation between temperature and pressure variations. Incorporation of these results explains the varying and even contradictory claims regarding the influence of the pressure variability on radon changes in the published literature. Temperature dependence, facilitated by the temperature gradient in the borehole, controls the transportation of radon from the deep interior to the surface. - Highlights: • Seasonal variability of radon in borehole. • Influence of atmospheric temperature and pressure on radon variability. • Partial correlation coefficient.

  9. Effects of national forest-management regimes on unprotected forests of the Himalaya.

    Brandt, Jodi S; Allendorf, Teri; Radeloff, Volker; Brooks, Jeremy

    2017-12-01

    Globally, deforestation continues, and although protected areas effectively protect forests, the majority of forests are not in protected areas. Thus, how effective are different management regimes to avoid deforestation in non-protected forests? We sought to assess the effectiveness of different national forest-management regimes to safeguard forests outside protected areas. We compared 2000-2014 deforestation rates across the temperate forests of 5 countries in the Himalaya (Bhutan, Nepal, China, India, and Myanmar) of which 13% are protected. We reviewed the literature to characterize forest management regimes in each country and conducted a quasi-experimental analysis to measure differences in deforestation of unprotected forests among countries and states in India. Countries varied in both overarching forest-management goals and specific tenure arrangements and policies for unprotected forests, from policies emphasizing economic development to those focused on forest conservation. Deforestation rates differed up to 1.4% between countries, even after accounting for local determinants of deforestation, such as human population density, market access, and topography. The highest deforestation rates were associated with forest policies aimed at maximizing profits and unstable tenure regimes. Deforestation in national forest-management regimes that emphasized conservation and community management were relatively low. In India results were consistent with the national-level results. We interpreted our results in the context of the broader literature on decentralized, community-based natural resource management, and our findings emphasize that the type and quality of community-based forestry programs and the degree to which they are oriented toward sustainable use rather than economic development are important for forest protection. Our cross-national results are consistent with results from site- and regional-scale studies that show forest-management regimes that

  10. The role of energy in creating opportunities for income generation in the Indian Himalayas

    Kooijman-van Dijk, Annemarije L.

    2012-01-01

    Although it is clear that there are links between access to modern energy carriers and economic development, the necessary understanding of these links is lacking. Research in literature shows mixed results. This paper studies the mechanisms that link energy supply and impacts on income generation. Empirical data from 264 small scale enterprises in 16 clusters of villages in the Indian Himalayas is analysed. The steps between energy supply and impacts on enterprise are stratified, studying actual energy use of energy services. The analysis shows that for the majority of typical enterprises in rural areas, which are informal enterprises with less than 6 workers, the impacts on incomes are low even though the uptake of electricity in enterprises is high. The key factor influencing impacts on incomes is limitations in access to markets for enterprise products, especially social access. For most small scale rural entrepreneurs the main impacts of energy access are on wellbeing. The findings are discussed to come to policy recommendations in the field of energy supply and complementary fields to achieving positive impacts on rural development. - Highlights: ► Impacts of energy on income are researched in 264 small enterprises in rural India. ► Stratifying steps between supply and impacts allows analysis of actual use of energy. ► Even though uptake of electricity is high, impacts on income are low. ► Lacking networks to markets cause low impacts on incomes for small scale enterprises. ► Energy does impact incomes in the few rural enterprises with distant markets.

  11. Teaching Field Geology in the Nepal Himalaya with a Geohazards and Intercultural Emphasis

    Pratt-Sitaula, B. A.; Upreti, B. N.; Gajurel, A.

    2017-12-01

    SIT Study Abroad (School of International Training), in collaboration with Nepal's national university - Tribhuvan University, runs a seven-week summer field education called "Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalaya". The program is designed to teach core geoscience field skills as well as geohazard analysis and intercultural science collaboration. Approximately 70% of the students come from colleges across the USA and 30% come from Tribhuvan University. A key element of the learning is how to work effectively with colleagues from a different educational system and culture. The program starts with a four-day orientation in Kathmandu and then travels to the Kali Gandaki Valley of western Nepal. Everyone treks on foot while completing a geologic transect map from south to north across the main Himalayan range. More traditional field skills are learned during a detailed stratigraphic exercise. On the way back down the valley, the emphasis changes to surface processes and students complete an air photo analysis and small research project on human-earth system interactions. Once back on the road system, the students conduct both a landslide hazard analyses and an earthquake damage assessment. Throughout this time, students maintain a research ideas journal from which they develop an independent study project, which they carry out during the last two weeks of the program. The program particularly emphasizes affordable, sustainable solutions to geohazards that are appropriate for a developing country such as Nepal—a very eye-opening approach for students from the USA. The overall program mission is to promote geoscience field skill development in a societal context and more globally informed scientists, citizens, and leaders.

  12. Patterns of plant diversity in seven temperate forest types of Western Himalaya, India

    Javid Ahmad Dar

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Plant biodiversity patterns were analyzed in seven temperate forest types [Populus deltoides (PD, Juglans regia, Cedrus deodara, Pinus wallichiana, mixed coniferous, Abies pindrow (AP and Betula utilis (BU] of Kashmir Himalaya. A total of 177 plant species (158 genera, 66 families were recorded. Most of the species are herbs (82.5%, while shrubs account for 9.6% and trees represent 7.9%. Species richness ranged from 24 (PD to 96 (AP. Shannon, Simpson, and Fisher α indices varied: 0.17–1.06, 0.46–1.22, and 2.01–2.82 for trees; 0.36–0.94, 0.43–0.75, and 0.08–0.35 for shrubs; and 0.35–1.41, 0.27–0.95, and 5.61–39.98 for herbs, respectively. A total of five species were endemic. The total stems and basal area of trees were 35,794 stems (stand mean 330 stems/ha and 481.1 m2 (stand mean 40.2 m2/ha, respectively. The mean density and basal area ranged from 103 stems/ha (BU to 1,201 stems/ha (PD, and from 19.4 m2/ha (BU to 51.9 m2/ha (AP, respectively. Tree density decreased with increase in diameter class. A positive relationship was obtained between elevation and species richness and between elevation and evenness (R2 = 0.37 and 0.19, respectively. Tree and shrub communities were homogenous in nature across the seven forest types, while herbs showed heterogeneous distribution pattern.

  13. The greening of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau under climate change

    Lamsal, Pramod; Kumar, Lalit; Shabani, Farzin; Atreya, Kishor

    2017-12-01

    The possible disruption of climate change (CC) on the ecological, economic and social segments of human interest has made this phenomenon a major issue over the last couple of decades. Mountains are fragile ecosystems, projected to endure a higher impact from the increased warming. This study presents modelled CC projections with respect to the suitability for the growth of nine near-treeline plant species of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau through niche modelling technique using CLIMEX and estimates their potential future distribution and the extent of greening in the region. Two global climate models, CSIRO-MK 3.0 (CS) and MIROCH-H (MR) were used under IPCC A1B and A2 emission scenarios for the year 2050 and 2100. The results indicate that climatic suitability of the nine species expands towards higher elevations into areas that are currently unsuitable while currently suitable areas in many regions become climatically unsuitable in the future. The total climatically suitable area for the nine species at current time is around 1.09 million km2, with an additional 0.68 and 0.35 million km2 becoming suitable by 2050 and 2100 respectively. High elevation belts, especially those lying above 3500 m, will see more climatically suitable areas for the nine species in the future. Cold stress is the main factor limiting current distribution and its decrease will affect the overall expansion of climatic suitability in the region. Impacts on nature conservation and water and food security could be expected from such shift of climatic suitability in the region. The species includes (i) Abies spectabilis, (ii) Acer campbellii, (iii) Betula utilis, (iv) Juniperus indica, (v) Quercus semecarpifolia, (vi) Tsuga dumosa, (vii) Rhododendron campanulatum, (viii) Ephedra gerardiana, and (ix) Cassiope fastigiata. The species list from top to bottom are (i) Abies spectabilis, (ii) Acer campbellii, (iii) Betula utilis, (iv) Juniperus indica, (v) Quercus semecarpifolia, (vi) Tsuga

  14. Residual value analyses of the medicinal flora of the western himalayas: the Naran valley, Pakistan

    Khan, S.M.; Harper, D.; Page, S.; Ahmad, H.

    2011-01-01

    Statistical analyses of the medicinal flora of the Naran Valley in the Western Himalayas were performed using Moerman's methods and Principal Components Analysis (PCA). The results demonstrate that the valley's indigenous people utilize medicinal plants in a systematic way. Sixty-eight families of plants were identified during the study, of which 52 contained one or more species of medicinal value. The standard deviation for residual values of all the 68 families was 0.993 and the results of the residual analysis revealed that seven of these plant families were overused by the local people, indicated by residual values greater than the standard deviation. Residual values obtained from a regression analysis of plant species with their medicinal uses showed that the families with the highest rank were Polygonaceae, Gentianaceae, Lamiaceae, Rosaceae and Plantaginaceae, indicating their medicinal importance. By comparison, Poaceae, Boraginaceae, Primulaceae, Salicaceae, and Ranunculaceae were the lowest ranking families, containing few species of medicinal value. Although a few of the most species-rich families in the valley contained a high number of medicinal plants and hence displayed high residual values, some other species-rich families contained few or no species of medicinal value. For example, the third largest family, Poaceae, is the lowest in terms of its residual value, while the largest family, Asteraceae, contains only seven species noted as having medicinal uses. Sixteen plant families in the valley contained no species with reported medicinal use, while seven families contained only one species with medicinal value. In contrast, all of the species in several of the least species-rich families were recorded as having a medicinal use. The results of a Principal Components Analysis showed a gradient of medicinal plant use along the valley. Using robust statistical approaches, our study provides a clear indication that the indigenous people of this Western

  15. Litter Fall and Its Decomposition in Sapium sebiferum Roxb.: An Invasive Tree Species in Western Himalaya

    Vikrant Jaryan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recognizing that high litter fall and its rapid decomposition are key traits of invasive species, litter fall and its decay in Sapium sebiferum Roxb. were studied in Palampur. For this, litter traps of dimension 50 × 50 × 50 cm3 were placed in under-canopy and canopy gap of the species. Litter fall was monitored monthly and segregated into different components. For litter decay studies, litter bags of dimension 25 × 20 cm2 with a mesh size 2 mm were used and the same were analyzed on a fortnightly basis. Litter fall in both under-canopy and canopy gap was highest in November (1.16 Mg ha−1 y−1 in under-canopy and 0.38 Mg ha−1 y−1 in canopy gap and lowest during March. Litter production in under-canopy and canopy gap was 4.04 Mg ha−1 y−1 and 1.87 Mg ha−1 y−1, respectively. These values are comparable to sal forest (1.7 t C ha−1 y−1, chir pine-mixed forest (2.1 t C ha−1 y−1, and mixed oak-conifer forest (2.8 t C ha−1 y−1 of the Western Himalaya. The decay rate, 0.46% day−1 in under-canopy and 0.48% day−1 in canopy gap, was also fast. Owing to this the species may be able to modify the habitats to its advantage, as has been reported elsewhere.

  16. Impacts of changing climate and snow cover on the flow regime of Jhelum River, Western Himalayas

    Azmat, Muhammad

    2016-11-17

    This study examines the change in climate variables and snow cover dynamics and their impact on the hydrological regime of the Jhelum River basin in Western Himalayas. This study utilized daily streamflow records from Mangla dam, spanning a time period of 19 years (1995–2013), along with precipitation and temperature data over 52 years (1961–2013) from 12 different climate stations in the catchment. Additionally, moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) remote sensing product MOD10A2 was utilized to analyze the change in snow cover dynamics during 2000–2013. The Pearson and Kendall rank correlation tests were used to scrutinize snow cover trends and correlation between temperature, precipitation, snow cover area (SCA) and streamflows records. Basin-wide trend analysis showed a slightly increasing tendency in temperature (τ = 0.098) and precipitation (τ = 0.094), during the years 1961–2013. The changes in streamflow indicated a positive (r > 0.12) relationship with respect to temperature but variable trends (r = −0.45–0.41) with respect to precipitation during both the winter and monsoon seasons. This indicates that temperature has a significant impact on the hydrological regime of the basin. MODIS data-based investigations suggested an expansion in SCA during 2000–2013. The changes in SCA of high-altitude zones (>2000 m a.s.l.) depicted a stronger positive correlation with climate variables and streamflow compared with those obtained for low-altitude regions (<2000 m a.s.l.). Overall, these results signify that high-altitude areas contribute to the streamflow largely in the form of snow- and glacier-melt during the early summer season. The streamflow is then further augmented by monsoon rainfall in the low-elevation regions during late summer.

  17. Modeling the GLOF Hazard Process Chain at Imja Lake in the Nepal Himalaya

    Lala, J.; McKinney, D. C.; Rounce, D.

    2017-12-01

    The Hindu Kush-Himalaya region contains more glacial ice than any other non-polar region on earth. Many glacial lakes in Nepal are held in place by natural moraine dams, which are inherently unstable. Avalanches or landslides entering glacial lakes can cause tsunami-like waves that can overtop the moraines and trigger glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF). Mass loss at the Imja glacier is the highest in the Mount Everest region, and contributes to the expansion of Imja Tsho, a lake with several villages downstream. A GLOF from the lake might destroy both property and human life, making an understanding of flood triggering processes beneficial for both the downstream villages and other GLOF-prone areas globally. The process chain for an avalanche-induced GLOF was modeled numerically. The volume and velocity of debris from avalanches entering various future lake extents were calculated using RAMMS. Resulting waves and downstream flooding were simulated using BASEMENT to evaluate erosion at the terminal moraine. Wave characteristics in BASEMENT were validated with empirical equations to ensure the proper transfer of momentum from the avalanche to the lake. Moraine erosion was determined for two geomorphologic scenarios: a site-specific scenario using field samples, and a worst-case scenario based on past literature. Both cases resulted in no flooding outside the river channel at downstream villages. Worst-case scenario geomorphology resulted in increased channelization of the lake outlet and some moraine erosion but no catastrophic collapse. Site-specific data yielded similar results but with even less erosion and downstream discharge. While the models confirmed that Imja Tsho is unlikely to produce a catastrophic GLOF in the near future, they also highlight the importance of continued monitoring of the lake. Furthermore, the ease and flexibility of these methods allows for their adoption by a wide range of stakeholders for modeling other high-risk lakes.

  18. Variability of radon and thoron equilibrium factors in indoor environment of Garhwal Himalaya

    Prasad, Mukesh; Rawat, Mukesh; Dangwal, Anoop; Kandari, Tushar; Gusain, G.S.; Mishra, Rosaline; Ramola, R.C.

    2016-01-01

    The measurements of radon, thoron and their progeny concentrations have been carried out in the dwellings of Uttarkashi and Tehri districts of Garhwal Himalaya, India using LR-115 detector based pin-hole dosimeter and DRPS/DTPS techniques. The equilibrium factors for radon, thoron and their progeny were calculated by using the values measured with these techniques. The average values of equilibrium factor between radon and its progeny have been found to be 0.44, 0.39, 0.39 and 0.28 for rainy, autumn, winter and summer seasons, respectively. For thoron and its progeny, the average values of equilibrium factor have been found to be 0.04, 0.04, 0.04 and 0.03 for rainy, autumn, winter and summer seasons, respectively. The equilibrium factor between radon and its progeny has been found to be dependent on the seasonal changes. However, the equilibrium factor for thoron and progeny has been found to be same for rainy, autumn and winter seasons but slightly different for summer season. The annual average equilibrium factors for radon and thoron have been found to vary from 0.23 to 0.80 with an average of 0.42 and from 0.01 to 0.29 with an average of 0.07, respectively. The detailed discussion of the measurement techniques and the explanation for the results obtained is given in the paper. - Highlights: • Equilibrium factors for indoor radon, thoron and their progeny were measured. • Recently developed passive detector techniques were used for measurements. • The values of equilibrium factors are comparable with world's average values. • Equilibrium factor should be measured separately for individual dwelling. • Separate values of equilibrium factors are useful to produce actual radiation dose.

  19. Quantifying the added value of convection-permitting climate simulations in complex terrain: a systematic evaluation of WRF over the Himalayas

    Karki, Ramchandra; Hasson, Shabeh ul; Gerlitz, Lars; Schickhoff, Udo; Scholten, Thomas; Böhner, Jürgen

    2017-07-01

    . Nonetheless, featuring a substantial skill over D1 and D2, D3 simulates almost realistic shapes of the seasonal and diurnal precipitation and the peak timings even on valley scales. These findings clearly suggest an added value of the convective-scale resolutions in realistically resolving the topoclimates over the central Himalayas, which in turn allows simulating their interactions with the synoptic-scale weather systems prevailing over high Asia.

  20. Quantifying the added value of convection-permitting climate simulations in complex terrain: a systematic evaluation of WRF over the Himalayas

    R. Karki

    2017-07-01

     km resolution. Nonetheless, featuring a substantial skill over D1 and D2, D3 simulates almost realistic shapes of the seasonal and diurnal precipitation and the peak timings even on valley scales. These findings clearly suggest an added value of the convective-scale resolutions in realistically resolving the topoclimates over the central Himalayas, which in turn allows simulating their interactions with the synoptic-scale weather systems prevailing over high Asia.

  1. Evolutionary history of enigmatic bears in the Tibetan Plateau–Himalaya region and the identity of the yeti

    Lan, Tianying; Gill, Stephanie; Bellemain, Eva; Bischof, Richard; Nawaz, Muhammad Ali

    2017-01-01

    Although anecdotally associated with local bears (Ursus arctos and U. thibetanus), the exact identity of ‘hominid’-like creatures important to folklore and mythology in the Tibetan Plateau–Himalaya region is still surrounded by mystery. Recently, two purported yeti samples from the Himalayas showed genetic affinity with an ancient polar bear, suggesting they may be from previously unrecognized, possibly hybrid, bear species, but this preliminary finding has been under question. We conducted a comprehensive genetic survey of field-collected and museum specimens to explore their identity and ultimately infer the evolutionary history of bears in the region. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences determined clade affinities of the purported yeti samples in this study, strongly supporting the biological basis of the yeti legend to be local, extant bears. Complete mitochondrial genomes were assembled for Himalayan brown bear (U. a. isabellinus) and black bear (U. t. laniger) for the first time. Our results demonstrate that the Himalayan brown bear is one of the first-branching clades within the brown bear lineage, while Tibetan brown bears diverged much later. The estimated times of divergence of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayan bear lineages overlap with Middle to Late Pleistocene glaciation events, suggesting that extant bears in the region are likely descendants of populations that survived in local refugia during the Pleistocene glaciations. PMID:29187630

  2. On the patterns of abundance and diversity of macrolichens of Chopta-Tunganath in the Garhwal Himalaya.

    Negi, H R

    2000-12-01

    A total of 3211 colonies of macrolichens, from twelve 50 m x 10 m plots distributed across four macrohabitat (vegetation) types between 1500 m-3700 m in the Chopta-Tunganath landscape of the Garhwal Himalaya, yielded 13 families with 15 genera and 85 species. Lobaria retigera stood out as a broad-niched generalist species with moderate levels of abundance in all the three major microhabitats, viz. rock, soil and wood across 83% of all the plots sampled, whereas Umbilicaria indica emerged as an abundantly occurring specialist confined to rock substrates. Heterodermia incana and Leptogium javanicum appeared to be rare members of the community as they were encountered only once during the field survey. Woody microhabitats turned out to be richer than rock and soil substrates for macrolichens. Amongst the macrohabitats, middle altitude (2500-2800 m) Quercus forest was richest in species and genera followed by high altitude (2900-3200 m) Rhododendron forest, higher altitude grasslands (3300-3700 m) and then the lower elevation (1500 m) Quercus forest. Species, genus and family level alpha- as well as beta-diversities were significantly correlated with each other, implying that higher taxonomic ranks such as genera may be used as surrogates for species thus facilitating cost- and time-effective periodic monitoring of the biodiversity of macrolichens. Dynamics of the diversity of lichen communities in relation to various forms of environmental disturbance including livestock grazing and tourism as dominant land use activities in the higher Himalaya need further research.

  3. Detection of morphometric differentiation in Sattar snowtrout, Schizothorax curvifrons (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from Kashmir Himalaya using a truss network system.

    Mir, Farooq Ahmad; Mir, Javaid Iqbal; Chandra, Suresh

    2014-03-01

    Schizothorax curvifrons is a morphometrically and meristically most variable and economically valuable promising fish food from Kashmir Valley. Since there is a lack of information on stock structure of wild populations on this species, this study was aimed to investigate the intraspecific variation of this important snowtrout. For this, two rivers and one lake in Kashmir Himalaya were sampled from January 2011 to October 2012. Fish body measurements were taken and morphometric characters using the truss network system was constructed. Altogether, 506 fish specimens were collected. Data were subjected to principal component analysis, discriminant function analysis and univariate analysis of variance. The first principal component explained 63.44% of total variation, while second and third components explained 8.34% and 5.31%, respectively. The step-wise discriminant function analysis retained two variables that significantly discriminated the populations. Using these variables 83.4% of the original specimens were classified into their correct groups and 81.1% of the cross-validated (leave one out procedure) specimens were classified into their correct groups. All of the total 31 transformed truss measurements exhibited highly significant (pHimalaya area.

  4. Elevational plant species richness patterns and their drivers across non-endemics, endemics and growth forms in the Eastern Himalaya.

    Manish, Kumar; Pandit, Maharaj K; Telwala, Yasmeen; Nautiyal, Dinesh C; Koh, Lian Pin; Tiwari, Sudha

    2017-09-01

    Despite decades of research, ecologists continue to debate how spatial patterns of species richness arise across elevational gradients on the Earth. The equivocal results of these studies could emanate from variations in study design, sampling effort and data analysis. In this study, we demonstrate that the richness patterns of 2,781 (2,197 non-endemic and 584 endemic) angiosperm species along an elevational gradient of 300-5,300 m in the Eastern Himalaya are hump-shaped, spatial scale of extent (the proportion of elevational gradient studied) dependent and growth form specific. Endemics peaked at higher elevations than non-endemics across all growth forms (trees, shrubs, climbers, and herbs). Richness patterns were influenced by the proportional representation of the largest physiognomic group (herbs). We show that with increasing spatial scale of extent, the richness patterns change from a monotonic to a hump-shaped pattern and richness maxima shift toward higher elevations across all growth forms. Our investigations revealed that the combination of ambient energy (air temperature, solar radiation, and potential evapo-transpiration) and water availability (soil water content and precipitation) were the main drivers of elevational plant species richness patterns in the Himalaya. This study highlights the importance of factoring in endemism, growth forms, and spatial scale when investigating elevational gradients of plant species distributions and advances our understanding of how macroecological patterns arise.

  5. Antioxidant, antimicrobial activity and bioactive compounds of Bergenia ciliata Sternb.: A valuable medicinal herb of Sikkim Himalaya.

    Singh, Mithilesh; Pandey, Neha; Agnihotri, Vasudha; Singh, K K; Pandey, Anita

    2017-04-01

    Bergenia ciliata Sternb., commonly known as Paashaanbhed, is a well known herb of Sikkim Himalaya with various pharmaceutical properties. However, scientific exploration of B. ciliata , growing in the Sikkim Himalaya, for phytochemicals and pharmacological properties is in infancy. With this view, the present study was undertaken to investigate B. ciliata leaf extracts for antioxidant, antimicrobial activity and bioactive compounds. Three solvents viz., methanol, ethyl acetate and hexane were used for extraction and the respective leaf extracts were analyzed for total phenolic and flavonoid contents along with the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Amongst the tested solvents, methanol was found to be the best solvent for extraction with highest total phenolic contents and the lowest IC 50 values for the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) assays. Methanol extract also exhibited effective antimicrobial activity, particularly against bacteria and actinomycetes. Further, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis revealed that methanolic extract contains the highest amount of all the three analyzed bioactive compounds viz. bergenin, catechin and gallic acid. The current study suggests that the methanol extract of B. ciliata is a potential source of natural antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds that can be used in food and drug industries.

  6. Characterization of the diversity of mycosporine-like amino acids in lichens from high altitude region of Himalaya.

    Shukla, Vertika; Kumari, Rupender; Patel, Davendra K; Upreti, Dalip K

    2016-01-01

    Lichens are tolerant to a number of environmental variables including high-intensity solar radiations, which is mainly due to the presence of chemical substances in the thallus. Especially, cyanobacterial lichens synthesize a unique class of chemical substances known as mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) the primary characteristic of which is strong ultraviolet (UV) absorption between 300 and 360 nm. In view of its UV-protecting potential, the applicability of mass spectral fragmentation using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometric analysis for the characterization of MAAs in lichen samples was explored. MAA compounds were characterized in four cyanobacteria-containing lichen species belonging to genus Peltigera, Stereocaulon and Lobaria. Among them, Peltigera and Lobaria are true cyanobacteria containing lichens (cyanolichens) while Stereocaulon is a tripartite lichen, as it contains both green algae (in the thallus) and cyanobacteria (in the cephalodia), collected from higher altitudes of Himalaya (Tungnath-Chopta in Garhwal Himalaya, 3432 m) from an exposed locality experiencing high light intensity. Mass spectral data of distinctive fragmentation pattern revealed that all the four species have good diversity of MAA compounds, especially Lobaria retigera was found to be enriched with highest diversity of oxo and imino MAAs. Overall, different numbers of oxo and imino MAA compounds were detected in the remaining lichen species. Good diversity of imino MAAs has ecological significance which is required to be investigated further. Moreover, the impressive diversity characterized in each lichen species suggests that lichens should be thoroughly studied for their MAAs contents.

  7. The influence of meteorological parameters on 10 m deep radon: continuous three years data from Garhwal Himalaya

    Kamra, Leena; Choubey, V.M.; Arora, B.R.

    2010-01-01

    Three years of continuous radon measurements recorded from Multi Parametric Geophysical Observatory (MPGO) located at Ghuttu Garhwal Himalaya is discussed here. A 68 m deep borehole of 20 cm diameter was drilled in gneisses and schistose rocks at Ghuttu in the Garhwal Lesser Himalaya. Radon is sampled continuously at 10 m depth (from ground surface) in the air column above water table in the borehole. The height of air column above water level varies due to fluctuations of the water table in different seasons; such as the air column was 29 m (from ground surface) in summer and only 17 m in the peak of the rainy season. Monitoring of radon is carried out using a gamma ray radon monitoring probe based on 2″ diameter and 2″ thick NaT scintillation detector (PM-11, Rotem Industries, Israel). After analyzing the three years continuous radon data it was observed that there is the seasonal (annual) cycle in Rn variability, with high values in summer/rainy season and low values in the winter season. It clearly shows that there is a close relationship with atmospheric temperature and rainfall which influence the radon

  8. Variations in pollinator density and impacts on large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb. crop yield in Sikkim Himalaya, India

    Kailash S. Gaira

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb., a perennial cash crop, cultivated under an agroforestry system in the eastern Himalaya of India, is well recognized as a pollination-dependent crop. Observations on pollinator abundance in Mamlay watershed of Sikkim Himalaya were collected during the blooming season to evaluate the pollinator abundance across sites and time frames, and impact of pollinator abundance on crop yield from 2010 to 2012. The results revealed that the bumblebees and honeybees are most frequent visitors of large cardamom flowers. The abundance of honeybees, however, varied between sites for the years 2010–2012, while that of bumblebees varied for the years 2011 and 2012. The abundance of honeybees resulted in a variation within time frames for 2010 and 2011, while that of bumblebees varied for 2010 and 2012 (p<0.01. The density of pollinators correlated positively with the number of flowers of the target crop. The impact of pollinator abundance revealed that the increasing bumblebee visitation resulted in a higher yield of the crop (i.e. 17–41 g/plant and the increasing abundance of all bees (21–41 g/plant was significant (p<0.03. Therefore, the study concluded that the large cardamom yield is sensitive to pollinator abundance and there is a need for adopting the best pollinator conservation and management practices toward sustaining the yield of large cardamom.

  9. Evolutionary history of enigmatic bears in the Tibetan Plateau-Himalaya region and the identity of the yeti.

    Lan, Tianying; Gill, Stephanie; Bellemain, Eva; Bischof, Richard; Nawaz, Muhammad Ali; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2017-12-13

    Although anecdotally associated with local bears ( Ursus arctos and U. thibetanus ), the exact identity of 'hominid'-like creatures important to folklore and mythology in the Tibetan Plateau-Himalaya region is still surrounded by mystery. Recently, two purported yeti samples from the Himalayas showed genetic affinity with an ancient polar bear, suggesting they may be from previously unrecognized, possibly hybrid, bear species, but this preliminary finding has been under question. We conducted a comprehensive genetic survey of field-collected and museum specimens to explore their identity and ultimately infer the evolutionary history of bears in the region. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences determined clade affinities of the purported yeti samples in this study, strongly supporting the biological basis of the yeti legend to be local, extant bears. Complete mitochondrial genomes were assembled for Himalayan brown bear ( U. a. isabellinus ) and black bear ( U. t. laniger ) for the first time. Our results demonstrate that the Himalayan brown bear is one of the first-branching clades within the brown bear lineage, while Tibetan brown bears diverged much later. The estimated times of divergence of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayan bear lineages overlap with Middle to Late Pleistocene glaciation events, suggesting that extant bears in the region are likely descendants of populations that survived in local refugia during the Pleistocene glaciations. © 2017 The Authors.

  10. Late Miocene-Early Pliocene reactivation of the Main Boundary Thrust: Evidence from the seismites in southeastern Kumaun Himalaya, India

    Mishra, Anurag; Srivastava, Deepak C.; Shah, Jyoti

    2013-05-01

    Tectonic history of the Himalaya is punctuated by successive development of the faults that run along the boundaries between different lithotectonic terrains. The Main Boundary Fault, defining the southern limit of the Lesser Himalayan terrain, is tectonically most active. A review of published literature reveals that the nature and age of reactivation events on the Main Boundary Fault is one of the poorly understood aspects of the Himalayan orogen. By systematic outcrop mapping of the seismites, this study identifies a Late Miocene-Early Pliocene reactivation on the Main Boundary Thrust in southeast Kumaun Himalaya. Relatively friable and cohesionless Neogene sedimentary sequences host abundant soft-sediment deformation structures in the vicinity of the Main Boundary Thrust. Among a large variety of structures, deformed cross-beds, liquefaction pockets, slump folds, convolute laminations, sand dykes, mushroom structures, fluid escape structures, flame and load structures and synsedimentary faults are common. The morphological attributes, the structural association and the distribution pattern of the soft-sediment deformation structures with respect to the Main Boundary Fault strongly suggest their development by seismically triggered liquefaction and fluidization. Available magnetostratigraphic age data imply that the seismites were developed during a Late Miocene-Early Pliocene slip on the Main Boundary Thrust. The hypocenter of the main seismic event may lie on the Main Boundary Thrust or to the north of the study area on an unknown fault or the Basal Detachment Thrust.

  11. Denudational slope processes and slope response to global climate changes and other disturbances: insights from the Nepal Himalayas.

    Fort, Monique

    2016-04-01

    Hillslope geomorphology results from a large range of denudational processes mainly controlled by relief, structure, lithology, climate, land-cover and land use. In most areas of the world, the "critical zone" concept is a good integrator of denudation that operates on a long-term scale. However, in large and high mountain areas, short-time scale factors often play a significant role in the denudational pattern, accelerating and/or delaying the transfer of denudation products and fluxes, and creating specific, spatially limited disturbances. We focus on the Nepal Himalayas, where the wide altitudinal range of bio-climatic zones and the intense geodynamic activity create a complex mosaic of landforms, as expressed by the present geomorphology of mountain slopes. On the basis of examples selected in the different Himalayan mountain belts (Siwaliks hills, middle mountains, High Himalaya), we illustrate different types of slopes and disturbances induced by active tectonics, climate extremes, and climate warming trends. Special attention is paid to recent events, such as landslide damming, triggered by either intense rainfalls (Kali Gandaki and Sun Kosi valleys) or the last April-May 2015 Gorkha seismic sequence (southern Khumbu). Lastly, references to older, larger events show that despite the highly dynamic environment, landforms caused by large magnitude disturbances may persist in the landscape in the long term.

  12. Morphotectonic analysis and GNSS observations for assessment of relative tectonic activity in Alaknanda basin of Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Sharma, Gopal; Champati ray, P. K.; Mohanty, S.

    2018-01-01

    Alaknanda basin in the Garhwal Himalaya, India, is a tectonically active region owing to ongoing crustal deformation, erosion, and depositional processes active in the region. Active tectonics in this region have greatly affected the drainage system and geomorphic expression of topography and provide an ideal natural set up to investigate the influence of tectonic activity resulting from the India-Eurasia collision. We evaluated active tectonics by using high resolution digital elevation model (DEM) based on eight geomorphic indices (stream length gradient index, valley floor width-to-height ratio, hypsometric integral, drainage basin asymmetry, transverse topography symmetry factor, mountain front sinousity index, bifurcation ratio, and basin shape index) and seismicity in eight subbasins of Alaknanda basin. The integrated product, relative tectonic activity index (TAI) map, was classified into three classes such as: 'highly active' with values ranging up to 2.0; 'moderately active' with values ranging from 2.0 to 2.25; and 'less active' with values > 2.25. Further, the results were compared with relatively high crustal movement rate of 41.10 mm/y computed through high precession Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) based continuous operating reference station (CORS) data. Thus, we concluded that this new quantitative approach can be used for better characterization and assessment of active seismotectonic regions of the Himalaya and elsewhere.

  13. Central Chile

    2002-01-01

    The beginning of spring in central Chile looked like this to SeaWiFS. The snow-covered Andes mark the country's eastern border, and phytoplankton blooms and river sediment plumes fill the waters off its west coast. A large eddy due west of Concepcion is highlighted by the phytoplankton it contains.

  14. Afrique Centrale

    PR BOKO

    (Afrique Centrale) : peuplement de protozoaires ciliés et macro invertébrés ... Le lac d'Obili est un écosystème aquatique situé en plein cœur de Yaoundé en ...... électrique des eaux est assez stable, autour de 200 ; ce qui suppose que la ...

  15. Europa central

    Karel BARTOSEK

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available La investigación francesa continúa interesándose por Europa Central. Desde luego, hay límites a este interés en el ambiente general de mi nueva patria: en la ignorancia, producto del largo desinterés de Francia por este espacio después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y en el comportamiento y la reflexión de la clase política y de los medios de comunicación (una anécdota para ilustrar este ambiente: durante la preparación de nuestro coloquio «Refugiados e inmigrantes de Europa Central en el movimiento antifascista y la Resistencia en Francia, 1933-1945», celebrado en París en octubre de 1986, el problema de la definición fue planteado concreta y «prácticamente». ¡Y hubo entonces un historiador eminente, para quién Alemania no formaría parte de Europa Central!.

  16. Prevailing climatic trends and runoff response from Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalaya, upper Indus Basin

    Hasson, Shabeh ul; Böhner, Jürgen; Lucarini, Valerio

    2017-05-01

    Largely depending on the meltwater from the Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalaya, withdrawals from the upper Indus Basin (UIB) contribute half of the surface water availability in Pakistan, indispensable for agricultural production systems, industrial and domestic use, and hydropower generation. Despite such importance, a comprehensive assessment of prevailing state of relevant climatic variables determining the water availability is largely missing. Against this background, this study assesses the trends in maximum, minimum and mean temperatures, diurnal temperature range and precipitation from 18 stations (1250-4500 m a.s.l.) for their overlapping period of record (1995-2012) and, separately, from six stations of their long-term record (1961-2012). For this, a Mann-Kendall test on serially independent time series is applied to detect the existence of a trend, while its true slope is estimated using the Sen's slope method. Further, locally identified climatic trends are statistically assessed for their spatial-scale significance within 10 identified subregions of the UIB, and the spatially (field-) significant climatic trends are then qualitatively compared with the trends in discharge out of corresponding subregions. Over the recent period (1995-2012), we find warming and drying of spring (field-significant in March) and increasing early melt season discharge from most of the subregions, likely due to a rapid snowmelt. In stark contrast, most of the subregions feature a field-significant cooling within the monsoon period (particularly in July and September), which coincides well with the main glacier melt season. Hence, a decreasing or weakly increasing discharge is observed from the corresponding subregions during mid- to late melt season (particularly in July). Such tendencies, being largely consistent with the long-term trends (1961-2012), most likely indicate dominance of the nival but suppression of the glacial melt regime, altering overall hydrology of the UIB in

  17. Late Holocene Vegetation and Climate at the Mid Altitudes of the Western Himalaya

    ROY, I.; Ranhotra, P. S.; Shekhar, M.; Bhattacharyya, A.; Agrawal, S.; Kumar, P.; Patil, S. K.; Pal, A. K.

    2017-12-01

    The palynological, stable carbon isotope and magnetic susceptibility studies of a 42 cm deep sedimentary core collected from palaeolacustrine deposit at the Nachiketa area ( 2,400 m amsl) near Uttarkashi of Western Himalaya provides the late Holocene vegetation and climatic scenario of the area. Between 3200 to 1650 cal yrs BP, the high susceptibility (χlf) values along with the good frequency of fern spores might indicate the prevailing moist conditions due to high summer monsoon with good influx of the sediments. However, the low pollen concentration between 3200 to 2680 cal years BP might be due to less ground vegetation cover or poor pollen preservation in the sediments. The well represented fern spores along with the other ground vegetation taxa in the period from 1650 cal yrs BP to 600 cal yrs BP also indicates the continuous prevalence of moist conditions that can be related with the globally known medieval warm period (MWP), supported by the δ13C values around -24‰ during this time and the high χLF values. Moreover, the good representation of Cyperaceae pollen suggests the in-filling of the lake followed by the invasion of ground vegetation viz. Cheno/Ams, Apiaceae, Poaceae etc. The good pollen frequency of broadleaved taxa viz. Quercus and Alnus also supports the moist conditions. Since 600 cal years BP the lowered χLF values signifies reduced input from the surrounding suggesting the filling of the lake. The marked increase in the pollen frequency of Cheno/Ams with low values of fern spores suggest less moist conditions with reduced summer monsoon that can be related to Little Ice Age (LIA) episode. Also the low negative δ13C values (around -21‰) indicates the less ground moisture supporting the C4 taxa. The Quercus and Alnus also reduced in their pollen presence. Whereas the Pinus pollen increased gradually since nearly before 410 cal years BP till recent showing the increased invasion of this taxa to near proximity of the area. The

  18. A ˜50 ka record of monsoonal variability in the Darjeeling foothill region, eastern Himalayas

    Ghosh, Ruby; Bera, Subir; Sarkar, Anindya; Paruya, Dipak Kumar; Yao, Yi-Feng; Li, Cheng-Sen

    2015-04-01

    Pollen, phytoliths and δ 13C signatures of soil organic matter from two fluvial sedimentary sequences of the Darjeeling foothill region, eastern Himalayas are used to portray palaeoclimatic oscillations and their impact on regional plant communities over the last ˜50 ka. Quantitative palaeoclimate estimation using coexistence approach on pollen data and other proxies indicate significant oscillations in precipitation during the late part of MIS 3 (46.4-25.9 ka), early and middle part of MIS 2 (25.9-15.6 ka), and 5.4 to 3.5 ka. Middle to late MIS 3 (ca 46.4-31 ka.) was characterized by a comparatively low monsoonal activity and slightly higher temperature than that during ca 31 ka onwards. Simultaneous expansion of deciduous trees and chloridoid grasses also imply a drier and warmer phase. Between 31 and 22.3 ka (late MIS 3 to mid-MIS 2), higher precipitation and a slightly cooler temperature led to an increase in evergreen elements over deciduous taxa and wet-loving panicoid grasses over dry-loving chloridoid grasses than earlier. After ca 22.3 ka, shrinking of forest cover, expansion of C4 chloridoid grasses, Asteraceae and Cheno-ams in the vegetation with lowering of temperature and precipitation characterized the onset of the LGM which continued till 18.3 ka. End of the LGM is manifested by a restoration in the forest cover and in the temperature and precipitation regime. Later, during 5.4 to 4.3 ka, a strong monsoonal activity supported a dense moist evergreen forest cover that subsequently declined during 4.3 to 3.5 ka. A further increase in deciduous elements and non-arboreals might be a consequence of reduced precipitation and higher temperature during this phase. A comparison between monsoonal rainfall, MAT and palaeoatmospheric CO2 with floral dynamics since last ˜50 ka indicates that these fluctuations in plant succession were mainly driven by monsoonal variations.

  19. Spatio-temporal patterns and factors controlling the hydrogeochemistry of the river Jhelum basin, Kashmir Himalaya.

    Mir, Riyaz Ahmad; Jeelani, Gh; Dar, Farooq Ahmad

    2016-07-01

    River Jhelum is a major source of water for growing population and irrigation in the Kashmir Himalaya. The region is trending towards water scarcity as well as quality deterioration stage due to its highly unregulated development. The existence of few literature on various aspects of the basin prompts us to study the spatio-temporal variability of its physicochemical parameters and thereby to understand the regulating hydrogeochemical mechanisms based on 50 samples collected during high flow (June 2008) and low flow (January 2009) periods. The water chemistry exhibited significant spatial variability reflecting the mixing processes in the basin. The seasonal effect does change the concentration of ions significantly with modest variability in the order of ionic abundance. The Ca(2+) ion among cations and HCO3 (-) ion among anions dominate the ionic budget and correlates significantly with the diverse lithology of the basin. Three major water types, i.e., Ca-Mg-HCO3 (72 %), Ca-HCO3 (12 %), and Mg-Ca-HCO3 (16 %), suggest that the chemical composition of water is dominantly controlled by carbonate lithology, besides a significant contribution from silicates. However, at certain sites, the biological processes and anthropogenic activities play a major role. Relatively, the lower ionic concentration during high flow period (summer season) suggested the significant influence of higher discharge via dilution effect. The higher discharge due to higher rainfall and snow melting in response to rising temperature in this period leads to strong flushing of human and agricultural wastes into the river. The factor analysis also reflected the dominant control of varied lithology and anthropogenic sources on the water quality based on the four significant factors explaining collectively about 70-81 % of the total data variance. A two-member chloride mixing model used to estimate the discharge contribution of tributaries to the main river channel showed reliable results. It may

  20. ANN modelling of sediment concentration in the dynamic glacial environment of Gangotri in Himalaya.

    Singh, Nandita; Chakrapani, G J

    2015-08-01

    The present study explores for the first time the possibility of modelling sediment concentration with artificial neural networks (ANNs) at Gangotri, the source of Bhagirathi River in the Himalaya. Discharge, rainfall and temperature have been considered as the main controlling factors of variations in sediment concentration in the dynamic glacial environment of Gangotri. Fourteen feed forward neural networks with error back propagation algorithm have been created, trained and tested for prediction of sediment concentration. Seven models (T1-T7) have been trained and tested in the non-updating mode whereas remaining seven models (T1a-T7a) have been trained in the updating mode. The non-updating mode refers to the scenario where antecedent time (previous time step) values are not used as input to the model. In case of the updating mode, antecedent time values are used as network inputs. The inputs applied in the models are either the variables mentioned above as individual factors (single input networks) or a combination of them (multi-input networks). The suitability of employing antecedent time-step values as network inputs has hence been checked by comparative analysis of model performance in the two modes. The simple feed forward network has been improvised with a series parallel non-linear autoregressive with exogenous input (NARX) architecture wherein true values of sediment concentration have been fed as input during training. In the glacial scenario of Gangotri, maximum sediment movement takes place during the melt period (May-October). Hence, daily data of discharge, rainfall, temperature and sediment concentration for five consecutive melt periods (May-October, 2000-2004) have been used for modelling. High Coefficient of determination values [0.77-0.88] have been obtained between observed and ANN-predicted values of sediment concentration. The study has brought out relationships between variables that are not reflected in normal statistical analysis. A

  1. Prevailing climatic trends and runoff response from Hindukush–Karakoram–Himalaya, upper Indus Basin

    S. U. Hasson

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Largely depending on the meltwater from the Hindukush–Karakoram–Himalaya, withdrawals from the upper Indus Basin (UIB contribute half of the surface water availability in Pakistan, indispensable for agricultural production systems, industrial and domestic use, and hydropower generation. Despite such importance, a comprehensive assessment of prevailing state of relevant climatic variables determining the water availability is largely missing. Against this background, this study assesses the trends in maximum, minimum and mean temperatures, diurnal temperature range and precipitation from 18 stations (1250–4500 m a.s.l. for their overlapping period of record (1995–2012 and, separately, from six stations of their long-term record (1961–2012. For this, a Mann–Kendall test on serially independent time series is applied to detect the existence of a trend, while its true slope is estimated using the Sen's slope method. Further, locally identified climatic trends are statistically assessed for their spatial-scale significance within 10 identified subregions of the UIB, and the spatially (field- significant climatic trends are then qualitatively compared with the trends in discharge out of corresponding subregions. Over the recent period (1995–2012, we find warming and drying of spring (field-significant in March and increasing early melt season discharge from most of the subregions, likely due to a rapid snowmelt. In stark contrast, most of the subregions feature a field-significant cooling within the monsoon period (particularly in July and September, which coincides well with the main glacier melt season. Hence, a decreasing or weakly increasing discharge is observed from the corresponding subregions during mid- to late melt season (particularly in July. Such tendencies, being largely consistent with the long-term trends (1961–2012, most likely indicate dominance of the nival but suppression of the glacial melt regime

  2. Genetic characterization of Gaddi goat breed of Western Himalayas using microsatellite markers

    Gurdeep Singh

    2015-04-01

    Gaddi goats. This high level of polymorphism can be utilized to plan future association studies to exploit the uniqueness and adaptability of indigenous Gaddi goat breed of Western Himalayas. Most studied microsatellite markers had desired neutrality, thus proving to be good candidates for genetic characterization and diversity analysis in Gaddi breed of goats also.

  3. A Multi-analytical Approach for the Characterization of Marbles from Lesser Himalayas (Northwest Pakistan)

    Fahad, M.; Iqbal, Y.; Riaz, M.; Ubic, R.; Redfern, S. A. T.

    2015-12-01

    The KP province of Pakistan hosts widespread deposits of thermo-metamorphic marbles that were extensively used as a building and ornamental stones since the time of earliest flourishing civilization in this region known as Indus Valley Civilization (2500 BC). The macroscopic characteristics of 22 marble varieties collected from three different areas of Lesser Himalayas (Northwest Pakistan), its chemical, mineralogical, petrographic features, temperature conditions of metamorphic re-crystallization, and the main physical properties are presented in order to provide a solid basis for possible studies on the provenance and distribution of building stones from this region. The results provide a set of diagnostic parameters that allow discriminating the investigated marbles and quarries. Studied marbles overlap in major phase assemblage, but the accessory mineral content, chemistry, the maximum grain size (MGS) and other petrographic characteristics are particularly useful in the distinction between them. On the basis of macroscopic features, the studied marbles can be classifies into four groups: (i) white (ii) grey-to-brown veined, (iii) brown-reddish to yellowish and (iv) dark-grey to blackish veined marbles. The results show that the investigated marbles are highly heterogeneous in both their geochemical parameters and minero-petrographic features. Microscopically, the white, grey-to-brown and dark-grey to blackish marbles display homeoblastic/granoblastic texture, and the brown-reddish to yellowish marbles display a heteroblastic texture with traces of slightly deformed polysynthetic twining planes. Minero-petrography, XRD, SEM and EPMA revealed that the investigated marbles chiefly consist of calcite along with dolomite, quartz, muscovite, pyrite, K-feldspar, Mg, Ti and Fe-oxides as subordinates. The magnesium content of calcite coexisting with dolomite was estimated by both XRD and EPMA/EDS, indicating the metamorphic temperature of re-crystallization from 414

  4. Exploration for sandstone- type uranium mineralisation in the Siwaliks of northwestern Himalaya, India

    Swarnkar, B.M.; Kothari, P.K.; Umamaheswar, K.; Srinivasan, S.

    2002-01-01

    The Siwalik Group with a thickness of about 6000m of fluvial sediments of middle Miocene to Pleistocene age has been explored extensively over two decades for U, using various types of exploration techniques involving air-borne gamma-ray spectrometry, radiation jeep survey, hydrogeochemical survey, ground radiometric survey, radon survey, exploratory drilling and mining, Exploration effort by the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) has helped in identifying numerous uranium occurrences spread over the entire Siwalik belt between Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir) in the west and Tanakpur (Uttar Pradesh) in the east, in the northwest Himalaya. Eight significant zones were delineated, mostly confining to distinct stratigraphic horizons of the transition zone between Middle and Upper Siwaliks, and occasionally the transition zone between Lower and Middle Siwaliks. These mineralised zones have a considerable lateral extent of up to 12 km and are associated with sandstones and rarely conglomerates. Uranium mineralisation occurs in the form of peneconcordant lensoidal bodies with individual lenses traceable from a few tens of metres to 700m, sub-parallel to strike or dip, with average grades varying from 0.020 - 0.060% U 3 O 8 and thickness less than a metre to 4m. The host rock of uranium mineralisation is predominantly sandstone containing carbonaceous matter, pyrite and clay pellets. The sandstone is often arkosic and micaceous, and termed as lithic wacke and arkosic wacke. The uranium minerals present are uraninite, pitchblende, coffinite and secondary minerals such as tyuyamunite, metatyuyamunite, uranophane, bayleyite, andersonite, schoepite, liebegite, swartzite, schroekingerite, wulfenite, billictite, betauranophane, autunite and torbernite. Relatively higher concentrations or Se, Mo, Cu, Co, V and Au have been noted in a few uranirerous zones. Concentration or uranium in the Siwalik clastic sediments is controlled by the redox interface

  5. Glacier-induced Hazards in the Trans-Himalaya of Ladakh (NW-India)

    Schmidt, Susanne; Dame, Juliane; Nüsser, Marcus

    2016-04-01

    Glaciers are important water resources for irrigated crop cultivation in the semi-arid Trans-Himalaya of Ladakh (NW-India). Due to global warming, many glaciers of South Asia have retreated over the last century and further ice loss will threaten local livelihoods in the long run. In the short term, an increase of flood events caused by melting glaciers and permafrost is expected for the Himalayan region. Beside large catastrophic events, small outburst floods are 'more' regularly reported for various parts of the region. This also holds true for the Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh, where small glaciers exist at high altitudes. Caused by glacier retreat, a number of proglacial lakes have been formed, most of them dammed by ice filled moraines. The potential risk of these lakes is shown by recent reports on glacial lake outburst flood in the villages Nidder in October 2010 and Gya in August 2014. The 2014 flood destroyed several agricultural terraces, a new concrete bridge and two houses. Own remote sensing analyses shows the increase of a moraine dammed proglacial lake in the upper catchment area, which grew from about 0.03 to 0.08 km2 between 1969 and 2014. Because of the relatively stable altitude of the lake level, one can assume that the flood was caused by a piping process, initiated by melted ice bodies in the moraine. Already in the 1990s a small GLOF was observed in the village, which destroyed some fields. As in 2014, the lake was not completely spilled and a short-term decrease of the lake area is detectable in remote sensing data. Thus, further GLOF-events can be expected for the future. Beside physical risk factors, population growth and new infrastructure development along the streams and valleys increases potential damages of floods. Therefore, investigations are required to estimate the risks of these small glacial lakes and the potential flood effected area for the case study of Gya as well as for the whole region of Ladakh. Remote sensing data are

  6. Quality of water resources in Kullu Valley in Himachal Himalayas, India: perspective and prognosis

    Thakur, Nandini; Rishi, Madhuri; Sharma, Diana A.; Keesari, Tirumalesh

    2018-03-01

    The water quality in mountain regions of Himalaya is considered to be good and quantity adequate. However, recent reports suggest that urbanisation and population growth have been tremendous, which are impacting the land use/cover changes and also endangering the water resources both in quality and quantity. This paper elaborates the systematic investigation carried out on different attributes impacting the drinking water resources in Kullu valley. Two approaches were employed in this study: (1) ex-ante approach involving field survey and secondary data analysis from ancillary sources and (2) hydrochemical approach for the measurement of water quality parameters from springs. Results from ex-ante approach infer rise in population of about 15% during 2001-2011, which led to a significant change in land use pattern, microclimate and also increased water demand. Hydrochemistry of the water samples in the study area has indicated that the current status of spring waters is satisfactory for drinking purposes with a few incidences of high NO3 - which is mostly attributed to contamination from sewage, while F-, Cl- and TDS contamination is mainly confined to hot springs. From both ex-ante approach and primary hydrochemical data it can be inferred that springs need to be restored in terms of both quantity and quality. Hydrochemical interpretation suggests two main groups of samples: (1) low TDS and Ca-Mg-Cl-HCO3 type, which are mainly recharging waters with very less interaction with the aquifer material and (ii) moderate TDS and Mg-Ca-Cl, Ca-Na-HCO3, Na-Ca-Cl-SO4 and Ca-Mg-HCO3 and have undergone water-rock interaction. Based on the inferences obtained from the Piper's, Chadha's and Durov's classification no evidence of hot springs contaminating or contributing to other cold springs and shallow groundwater (hand pump) is found. The study concludes that the water resources are vulnerable to anthropogenic interventions and needs treatment prior to drinking. Periodic

  7. Missing (in-situ) snow cover data hampers climate change and runoff studies in the Greater Himalayas

    Rohrer, Mario; Salzmann, Nadine; Stoffel, Markus; Kulkarni, Anil V.

    2013-01-01

    The Himalayas are presently holding the largest ice masses outside the polar regions and thus (temporarily) store important freshwater resources. In contrast to the contemplation of glaciers, the role of runoff from snow cover has received comparably little attention in the past, although (i) its contribution is thought to be at least equally or even more important than that of ice melt in many Himalayan catchments and (ii) climate change is expected to have widespread and significant consequences on snowmelt runoff. Here, we show that change assessment of snowmelt runoff and its timing is not as straightforward as often postulated, mainly as larger partial pressure of H 2 O, CO 2 , CH 4 , and other greenhouse gases might increase net long-wave input for snowmelt quite significantly in a future atmosphere. In addition, changes in the short-wave energy balance – such as the pollution of the snow cover through black carbon – or the sensible or latent heat contribution to snowmelt are likely to alter future snowmelt and runoff characteristics as well. For the assessment of snow cover extent and depletion, but also for its monitoring over the extremely large areas of the Himalayas, remote sensing has been used in the past and is likely to become even more important in the future. However, for the calibration and validation of remotely-sensed data, and even more so in light of possible changes in snow-cover energy balance, we strongly call for more in-situ measurements across the Himalayas, in particular for daily data on new snow and snow cover water equivalent, or the respective energy balance components. Moreover, data should be made accessible to the scientific community, so that the latter can more accurately estimate climate change impacts on Himalayan snow cover and possible consequences thereof on runoff. - Highlights: • Remotely sensed snow-cover data need to be validated by in-situ measurements. • More in-situ snow measurement programs are needed along

  8. Spatial prediction of landslide susceptibility in parts of Garhwal Himalaya, India, using the weight of evidence modelling.

    Guri, Pardeep Kumar; Ray, P K Champati; Patel, Ramesh Chandra

    2015-06-01

    Garhwal Himalaya in northern India has emerged as one of the most prominent hot spots of landslide occurrences in the Himalaya mainly due to geological causes related to mountain building processes, steep topography and frequent occurrences of extreme precipitation events. As this region has many pilgrimage and tourist centres, it is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year, and in the recent past, there has been rapid development to provide adequate roads and building infrastructure. Additionally, attempts are also made to harness hydropower by constructing tunnels, dams and reservoirs and thus altering vulnerable slopes at many places. As a result, the overall risk due to landslide hazards has increased many folds and, therefore, an attempt was made to assess landslide susceptibility using 'Weights of Evidence (WofE)', a well-known bivariate statistical modelling technique implemented in a much improved way using remote sensing and Geographic Information System. This methodology has dual advantage as it demonstrates how to derive critical parameters related to geology, geomorphology, slope, land use and most importantly temporal landslide distribution in one of the data scarce region of the world. Secondly, it allows to experiment with various combination of parameters to assess their cumulative effect on landslides. In total, 15 parameters related to geology, geomorphology, terrain, hydrology and anthropogenic factors and 2 different landslide inventories (prior to 2007 and 2008-2011) were prepared from high-resolution Indian remote sensing satellite data (Cartosat-1 and Resourcesat-1) and were validated by field investigation. Several combinations of parameters were carried out using WofE modelling, and finally using best combination of eight parameters, 76.5 % of overall landslides were predicted in 24 % of the total area susceptible to landslide occurrences. The study has highlighted that using such methodology landslide susceptibility assessment

  9. Historical telecommunication in the Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalayas: An ancient early warning system for glacier lake outbursts

    Iturrizaga, Lasafam

    2016-04-01

    Mountain societies are in a crucial transition phase in terms of the management of natural hazards. Advances in geographic technologies, such as a variety of remote-sensing tools and mobile communication systems, have drastically changed the way of early warning methods in difficult accessible high mountain environments compared to those of ancient times. In order to implement new natural hazard policies, it is essential to unravel the traditional ways of disaster management which is presented here by a case study from the Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalayas. In the rugged relief of the Himalaya Region, the exchange of information was a labor-intensive and time-consuming task for remote high mountain villages before the infrastructural development and the introduction of modern communication systems. Therefore, early warning of natural hazards with long run-out distances seems to have been rather impossible. However, in the present study a historical optical long-distance and fast operating communication system over horizontal distances of several hundred kilometers was discovered during field investigations in the Hindukush-Karakoram and the transmission paths reconstructed in the following years. The so called Puberanch-system relied on a chain of fire signals as used by ancient societies in other mountain and coastal environments in the world. It was originally in use for the alert against war attacks from hostile neighboring communities. Later on, it served as an early warning system for glacier lake outbursts, which have been in the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century one of the most devastating natural hazards in the region. Remarkable is the fact that fire posts were located in extremely harsh environments at altitudes above 4000 m requiring a highly sophisticated supply system of fire wood and food. Interviews with local inhabitants, the evaluation of historical travel records and international newspapers proved, that the system has been

  10. Missing (in-situ) snow cover data hampers climate change and runoff studies in the Greater Himalayas

    Rohrer, Mario [Meteodat GmbH, Technoparkstrasse 1, CH-8005 Zurich (Switzerland); Salzmann, Nadine [Department of Geosciences, Geography, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 4, CH-1700 Fribourg (Switzerland); Stoffel, Markus, E-mail: markus.stoffel@unige.ch [Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, Chemin de Drize 7, CH-1227 Carouge, Geneva (Switzerland); Dendrolab.ch, Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, Baltzerstrasse 1+3, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland); Kulkarni, Anil V. [Divecha Center for Climate Change, Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012 (India)

    2013-12-01

    The Himalayas are presently holding the largest ice masses outside the polar regions and thus (temporarily) store important freshwater resources. In contrast to the contemplation of glaciers, the role of runoff from snow cover has received comparably little attention in the past, although (i) its contribution is thought to be at least equally or even more important than that of ice melt in many Himalayan catchments and (ii) climate change is expected to have widespread and significant consequences on snowmelt runoff. Here, we show that change assessment of snowmelt runoff and its timing is not as straightforward as often postulated, mainly as larger partial pressure of H{sub 2}O, CO{sub 2}, CH{sub 4}, and other greenhouse gases might increase net long-wave input for snowmelt quite significantly in a future atmosphere. In addition, changes in the short-wave energy balance – such as the pollution of the snow cover through black carbon – or the sensible or latent heat contribution to snowmelt are likely to alter future snowmelt and runoff characteristics as well. For the assessment of snow cover extent and depletion, but also for its monitoring over the extremely large areas of the Himalayas, remote sensing has been used in the past and is likely to become even more important in the future. However, for the calibration and validation of remotely-sensed data, and even more so in light of possible changes in snow-cover energy balance, we strongly call for more in-situ measurements across the Himalayas, in particular for daily data on new snow and snow cover water equivalent, or the respective energy balance components. Moreover, data should be made accessible to the scientific community, so that the latter can more accurately estimate climate change impacts on Himalayan snow cover and possible consequences thereof on runoff. - Highlights: • Remotely sensed snow-cover data need to be validated by in-situ measurements. • More in-situ snow measurement programs are

  11. Abundance of Royle’s pika (Ochotona roylei along an altitudinal gradient in Uttarakhand, Western Himalaya

    Sabuj Bhattacharyya

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The relative abundance of Royle’s pika (Ochotona roylei was studied in a part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand, West Himalaya along an altitudinal gradient from 2900 to 3650 m a.s.l. Pikas’ detection probability and relative abundance per month and habitat were recorded by monthly surveys consisting of three sampling sessions of four hours each. Food plant species were identified by visual observation and quantified by a standard quadrat method. The highest relative abundance was observed at man-made walls and surroundings in the alpine zone and on broken slopes in the sub-alpine one, whereas alpine meadows showed the lowest abundance. A total of 26 plant species were found to be consumed by pikas. The proportion of forage plants was the highest (77.4% on the rocky slopes of the timberline zone The results of multiple regressions suggest that rock cover is the main factor affecting the relative abundance of Royle’s pika. Rocky areas probably offer both nest-sites and temporary refuges to escape from predators.
    Riassunto Abbondanza relativa del pica di Royle (Ochotona roylei lungo un gradiente altitudinale in Uttarakhand, Himalaya occidentale. In un’area del Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (Uttarakhand, Himalaya occidentale, é stata stimata l’abbondanza relativa del pika di Royle (Ochotona roylei lungo un gradiente altitudinale compreso tra 2900 e 3650 m. Sono stati identificate tre fasce altitudinali e 10 habitat complessivi. La probabilità di osservazione e l’abbondanza relativa dei pika per ciascun mese e habitat sono state stimate tramite censimenti mensili consistenti in tre periodi di 4 ore ciascuno. Le specie vegetali consumate sono state identificate tramite osservazione diretta; la disponibilità è stata quantificata tramite rilievo fitosociologico standard. L’abbondanza relativa maggiore è stata riscontrata nella

  12. Cultivable bacterial diversity along the altitudinal zonation and vegetation range of tropical Eastern Himalaya

    Nathaniel A. Lyngwi

    2013-03-01

    that this is a biome with a vast reservoir of bacteria which decrease with increasing altitudes, and highlights the microbiological importance of the poorly studied Eastern Himalayan range, justifying efforts to explore the prevalence of novel species in the biome.La parte noreste de la India se extiende sobre una superficie de 262 379km² en la cordillera oriental del Himalaya. Es un punto de acceso con altos niveles de biodiversidad y endemismo; desafortunadamente, también es una zona poco conocida, sobre todo su diversidad microbiana. En este estudio se evaluó la diversidad de bacterias cultivables del suelo, su diversidad y distribución de las tierras bajas a las altas (34 a 3 990m.s.n.m. Se caracterizaron los parámetros físico-químicos del suelo y tipos de bosques a lo largo del gradiente altitudinal y se correlacionaron con la distribución y diversidad bacteriana. Los microbios del suelo se cultivaron en placas de agar enriquecido Muller Hinton y Luria-Bertani, e inicialmente se caracterizaron mediante métodos bioquímicos. Parámetros tales como actividad de la deshidrogenasa y ureasa, temperatura, contenido de humedad y de carbono, pH y densidad aparente del suelo se midieron en cada sitio. Aislamientos representativos también se sometieron al análisis secuencial de 16S rADN. Un total de 155 aislamientos bacterianos cultivables se caracterizaron para estimar los índices de riqueza, equidad y diversidad. Los bosques tropicales y subtropicales albergan una mayor diversidad bacteriana en comparación con los bosques templados de pino y coníferas, y los bosques subalpinos de rododendro. El análisis filogenético de 16S rARN reveló que Firmicutes fue el grupo más común, seguido de Proteobacteria y Bacteroidetes. Especies pertenecientes a los géneros Bacillus y Pseudomonas fueron las más abundantes. Las UFC bacterianas mostraron una positiva pero insignificante correlación con los parámetros del suelo, tales como pH (r=0.208, temperatura (r=0

  13. central t

    Manuel R. Piña Monarrez

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Dado que la Regresión Ridge (RR, es una estimación sesgada que parte de la solución de la regresión de Mínimos Cuadrados (MC, es vital establecer las condiciones para las que la distribución central t de Student que se utiliza en la prueba de hipótesis en MC, sea también aplicable a la regresión RR. La prueba de este importante resultado se presenta en este artículo.

  14. Central sleep apnea

    Sleep apnea - central; Obesity - central sleep apnea; Cheyne-Stokes - central sleep apnea; Heart failure - central sleep apnea ... Central sleep apnea results when the brain temporarily stops sending signals to the muscles that control breathing. The condition ...

  15. Characterization of Solang valley watershed in western Himalaya for bio-resource conservation using remote sensing techniques.

    Kumar, Amit; Chawla, Amit; Rajkumar, S

    2011-08-01

    The development activities in mountainous region though provide comfort to the human being and enhance the socioeconomic status of the people but create pressure on the bio-resources. In this paper, the current status of land use/landcover and the vegetation communities of the Solang valley watershed in Himachal Pradesh of Indian western Himalaya has been mapped and presented using remote sensing. This watershed area was dominated by alpine and sub-alpine pastures (30.34%) followed by scree slopes (22.34%) and forests (21.06%). Many tree, shrub, and herb species identified in the study area are among the prioritized species for conservation in the Indian Himalayan Region. Thus, scientific interventions and preparation of action plans based on ecological survey are required for conservation of the Solang valley watershed.

  16. Antioxidant Potential and DNA Damage Protection by the Slate Grey Saddle Mushroom, Helvella lacunosa (Ascomycetes), from Kashmir Himalaya (India).

    Shameem, Nowsheen; Kamili, Azra N; Ahmad, Mushtaq; Masoodi, F A; Parray, Javid A

    2016-01-01

    This study pertains to the radical scavenging potential of and DNA protection by Helvella lacunosa, an edible mushroom from Kashmir Himalaya (India). Different solvents, on the basis of their polarities, were used to extract all solvent-soluble bioactive compounds. Seven different antioxidant methods were also used to determine extensive radical scavenging activity. The mushroom ethanol extract and butanol extract showed effective scavenging activity of radicals at 95% and 89%, respectively. At 800 µg/mg, the ethanol extract was potent enough to protect DNA from degradation by hydroxyl radicals. It is evident from these findings that the presence of antioxidant substances signifies the use of H. lacunosa as food in the mountainous valleys of the Himalayan region.

  17. Altitudinal variation in soil organic carbon stock in coniferous subtropical and broadleaf temperate forests in Garhwal Himalaya

    Kumar Munesh

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Himalayan zones, with dense forest vegetation, cover a fifth part of India and store a third part of the country reserves of soil organic carbon (SOC. However, the details of altitudinal distribution of these carbon stocks, which are vulnerable to forest management and climate change impacts, are not well known. Results This article reports the results of measuring the stocks of SOC along altitudinal gradients. The study was carried out in the coniferous subtropical and broadleaf temperate forests of Garhwal Himalaya. The stocks of SOC were found to be decreasing with altitude: from 185.6 to 160.8 t C ha-1 and from 141.6 to 124.8 t C ha-1 in temperature (Quercus leucotrichophora and subtropical (Pinus roxburghii forests, respectively. Conclusion The results of this study lead to conclusion that the ability of soil to stabilize soil organic matter depends negatively on altitude and call for comprehensive theoretical explanation

  18. Preparation of industrial chemicals by acid leaching from the koga nepheline syenite, southern Swat, lesser Himalayas-Pakistan

    Nizami, A.R.

    2012-01-01

    This paper encompasses the study on the preparation of industrial chemicals by acid leaching from the Koga nepheline syenite, Southern Swat, Lesser Himalayas-Pakistan. These rocks have been studied in detail by many workers to exploit their industrial utility in the form of powdered rock material in glass and ceramics and steel industry. The present authors for the first time carried out acid leaching studies and prepared a number of industrial chemicals, like, alumina, aluminium sulphate, sodium and ammonium alums, sodium sulphate) and sodium bisulphate by simple chemical reactions at bench scale successfully. The developed process is simple and economically viable. It is recommended to exploit this process in cottage industry in the mountainous areas hosting these rocks for the benefit of local population. The research and development work for production of these chemicals at pilot plant and industrial scale is recommended as well. (author)

  19. 8000-year monsoonal record from Himalaya revealing reinforcement of tropical and global climate systems since mid-Holocene.

    Srivastava, Pradeep; Agnihotri, Rajesh; Sharma, Deepti; Meena, Narendra; Sundriyal, Y P; Saxena, Anju; Bhushan, Ravi; Sawlani, R; Banerji, Upasana S; Sharma, C; Bisht, P; Rana, N; Jayangondaperumal, R

    2017-11-06

    We provide the first continuous Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) climate record for the higher Himalayas (Kedarnath, India) by analyzing a 14 C-dated peat sequence covering the last ~8000 years, with ~50 years temporal resolution. The ISM variability inferred using various proxies reveal striking similarity with the Greenland ice core (GISP2) temperature record and rapid denitrification changes recorded in the sediments off Peru. The Kedarnath record provides compelling evidence for a reorganization of the global climate system taking place at ~5.5 ka BP possibly after sea level stabilization and the advent of inter-annual climate variability governed by the modern ENSO phenomenon. The ISM record also captures warm-wet and cold-dry conditions during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and Little Ice Age, respectively.

  20. Physiological response of the lichen Phaeophyscia hispidula (Ach.) Essl., to the urban environment of Pauri and Srinagar (Garhwal), Himalayas, India

    Shukla, Vertika; Upreti, Dalip K.

    2007-01-01

    The present study was designed with an aim to observe the effect of increasing urbanization and traffic activity on the physiology of a foliose lichen, Phaeophyscia hispidula (Ach.) Essl., collected from 13 different localities, growing in their natural habitat, in Pauri and Srinagar, two cities in the Himalayas. Six parameters i.e., Chl. a, Chl. b, total pigment, chlorophyll degradation, carotenoid and total protein content, proved the most useful to assess air pollution, were measured. Chlorophyll content and protein content are an efficient parameter to measure the air quality of a region. The study indicates that P. hispidula is pollution tolerant (adaptation) and able to withstand local emissions from vehicle exhausts. - Lichen response due to ambient environmental changes

  1. Seismic hazard and seismic risk assessment based on the unified scaling law for earthquakes: Himalayas and adjacent regions

    Nekrasova, A. K.; Kossobokov, V. G.; Parvez, I. A.

    2015-03-01

    For the Himalayas and neighboring regions, the maps of seismic hazard and seismic risk are constructed with the use of the estimates for the parameters of the unified scaling law for earthquakes (USLE), in which the Gutenberg-Richter law for magnitude distribution of seismic events within a given area is applied in the modified version with allowance for linear dimensions of the area, namely, log N( M, L) = A + B (5 - M) + C log L, where N( M, L) is the expected annual number of the earthquakes with magnitude M in the area with linear dimension L. The spatial variations in the parameters A, B, and C for the Himalayas and adjacent regions are studied on two time intervals from 1965 to 2011 and from 1980 to 2011. The difference in A, B, and C between these two time intervals indicates that seismic activity experiences significant variations on a scale of a few decades. With a global consideration of the seismic belts of the Earth overall, the estimates of coefficient A, which determines the logarithm of the annual average frequency of the earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 and higher in the zone with a linear dimension of 1 degree of the Earth's meridian, differ by a factor of 30 and more and mainly fall in the interval from -1.1 to 0.5. The values of coefficient B, which describes the balance between the number of earthquakes with different magnitudes, gravitate to 0.9 and range from less than 0.6 to 1.1 and higher. The values of coefficient C, which estimates the fractal dimension of the local distribution of epicenters, vary from 0.5 to 1.4 and higher. In the Himalayas and neighboring regions, the USLE coefficients mainly fall in the intervals of -1.1 to 0.3 for A, 0.8 to 1.3 for B, and 1.0 to 1.4 for C. The calculations of the local value of the expected peak ground acceleration (PGA) from the maximal expected magnitude provided the necessary basis for mapping the seismic hazards in the studied region. When doing this, we used the local estimates of the

  2. Modelling glacier-bed overdeepenings and possible future lakes for the glaciers in the Himalaya-Karakoram region

    Linsbauer, A.; Frey, H.; Haeberli, W.

    2016-01-01

    Surface digital elevation models (DEMs) and slope-related estimates of glacier thickness enable modelling of glacier-bed topographies over large ice-covered areas. Due to the erosive power of glaciers, such bed topographies can contain numerous overdeepenings, which when exposed following glacier...... retreat may fill with water and form new lakes. In this study, the bed overdeepenings for ∼28000 glaciers (40 775km2) of the Himalaya-Karakoram region are modelled using GlabTop2 (Glacier Bed Topography model version 2), in which ice thickness is inferred from surface slope by parameterizing basal shear...... stress as a function of elevation range for each glacier. The modelled ice thicknesses are uncertain (±30%), but spatial patterns of ice thickness and bed elevation primarily depend on surface slopes as derived from the DEM and, hence, are more robust. About 16 000 overdeepenings larger than 104m2 were...

  3. Simulation of Relationship between ENSO and winter precipitation over Western Himalayas: Application of Regional climate model (RegT-Band)

    Tiwari, P. R.; Mohanty, U. C.; Dey, S.; Acharaya, N.; Sinha, P.

    2012-12-01

    Precipitation over the Western Himalayas region during winter is mainly associated with the passage of midlatitude synoptic systems known as western disturbances (WDs). Recently, many observational and modeling studies reported that the relationship of the Indian southwest monsoon rainfall with El Niño- Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has weakened since around 1980. But, in contrast, only very few observational studies are reported so far to examine the relationship between ENSO and the winter precipitation over the Western Himalayas region from December to February (DJF). But there is a huge gap of modeling this phenomenon. So keeping in view of the absence of modeling studies, an attempt is made to simulate the relationship between wintertime precipitations associated with large scale global forcing of ENSO over the Western Himalayas. In the present study, RegT-Band, a tropical band version of the regional climate model RegCM4 is integrated for a set of 5 El Niño (1986-87, 1991-92, 1997-98, 2002-03, 2009-10) and 4 La Niña (1984-85, 1988-89, 1999-2000, 2007-08) years with the observed sea-surface temperature and lateral boundary condition. The domain extends from 50° S to 50° N and covers the entire tropics at a grid spacing of about 45 km, i.e. it includes lateral boundary forcing only at the southern and northern boundaries. The performance evaluation of the model in capturing the large scale fields followed by ENSO response with wintertime precipitation over the Western Himalayas region has been carried out by using National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)-Department of Energy (DOE) reanalysis 2 (NNRP2) data (2.5° x 2.5°) and Aphrodite precipitation data (0.25° x 0.25°). The model is able to delineate the mean circulation associated with ENSO over the region during DJF reasonably well and shows strong southwesterly to northwesterly wind flow, which is there in verification analysis also. The vertical structure of the low as well as upper level

  4. Koponenius gen. nov., a new genus of the millipede family Haplodesmidae from the Himalayas of India and Nepal (Diplopoda: Polydesmida).

    Golovatch, Sergei I; Vandenspiegel, Didier

    2014-12-11

    The first, apparently westernmost indigenous representatives of Haplodesmidae are reported, from the Himalayas of Nepal and India. Both new species belong to a new genus, Koponenius gen. nov., with K. unicornis sp. nov., the type species from Darjeeling District, NE India, and K. biramus sp. nov., from Nepal. The new genus is superficially very similar to Prosopodesmus Silvestri, 1910, most species of which seem to be native to tropical Australia, partly also to southern Japan. However, Koponenius gen. nov. is easily distinguished in showing only 19 body segments, a special ozopore formula (5, 7-18), 4 transverse rows of setigerous isostictic tubercles per postcollum metatergum, and a clearly helicoid, twisted prefemoral portion of the gonopod so that the seminal groove runs mostly laterally, not mesally. 

  5. Central Asia | Page 90 | IDRC - International Development Research ...

    Read more about Shifting Cultivation : Promoting Innovative Policy and Development Options in the Eastern Himalayas. Language English. Read more about Agriculture itinérante : promotion de solutions novatrices en matière de politiques et de développement dans l'est de l'Himalaya. Language French. Read more about ...

  6. Assessment of fuel resource diversity and utilization patterns in Askot Wildlife Sanctuary in Kumaun Himalaya, India, for conservation and management

    Samant, Sher S.; Dhar, Uppeandra; Rawal, Ranbeer S. [G.B. Pant Inst. of Himalayan Environment and Development, Uttar Pradesh (India)

    2000-07-01

    A general decrease in abundance of wood plant species used as sources of fuel suggests that more detailed information is urgently needed on species-level trends and their conservation. Such studies have not been carried out so far in India and elsewhere; we therefore quantified the species-wise extraction of fuel from a site (Gori Ganga Valley) in Askot Wildlife Sanctuary in the Kumaun Himalaya. In all, 31 species (26 trees and 5 shrubs) were used as fuel, of which 14 were native to the Himalaya. Utilisation patterns, distributions, probabilities of use (PU), resources use indices (RUI), preferences and availabilities in forest communities of these species were determined. Use pattern did not vary much amongst low altitude villages (Similarity: 52-74%), whereas along the vertical (elevational) gradient it varied considerably (Similarity: 15-31%). Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz, Pinus roxburghii Sarg., Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus, Macaranga pustulata King ex Hk. F., Quercus lanuginosa Don, Engelhardtia spicata Bl. and Mallotus philippensis (Lamk.) Muell. contributed most to collections, while Pyracantha crenulata (Don) Roem., Syzygium cuminii (L.) Skeels, Alnus nepalensis Don and Bauhinia vahlii Wt. and Arn. were in lesser demand. W. fruticosa, P. roxburghii, M. pustulata, Casearia elliptica Willd., E. spicata, M. philippensis, Q. leucotrichophora and Phoebe lanceolata (Nees) Nees showed high values of PU and RUI, indicating high pressure. Higher density of P. roxburghii, Rhododendron arboreum Sm., Q. lanuginosa, Q. leucotrichophora, Lyonia ovalifolia (Wall.) Drude, C. elliptica and M. pustulata amongst trees and Maesa indica A.DC., P. crenulata and W. fruticosa amongst shrubs exhibited high density but the remaining species showed low density indicating the possible depletion. Intensive management of natural habitats of species highly-referred for fuel, diversification of choice of species from natives to non-natives, large scale propagation of highly

  7. Jurassic carbonate microfacies, sea-level changes and the Toarcian anoxic event in the Tethys Himalaya (South Tibet)

    Han, Zhong; Hu, Xiumian; Garzanti, Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    Detailed microfacies analysis of carbonate rocks from the Tingri and Nyalam areas of South Tibet allowed us to reconstruct the evolution of sedimentary environments during the Early to Middle Jurassic. Based on texture, sedimentary structure, grain composition and fossil content of about 500 thin sections, 17 microfacies overall were identified, and three evolutionary stages were defined. Stage 1 (Rhaetian?-lower Sinemurian Zhamure Formation) was characterized by siliciclastic and mixed siliciclastic-carbonate sedimentation on a barrier shore environment, stage 2 (upper Sinemurian-Pliensbachian Pupuga Formation) by high-energy grainstones with rich benthic faunas thriving on a carbonate platform, and stage 3 (Toarcian-lower Bajocian Nieniexiongla Formation) by low-energy mudstones intercalated with frequent storm layers on a carbonate ramp. Besides, Carbon isotope analyses (δ13Ccarb and δ13Corg) were performed on the late Pliensbachian-early Toarcian interval, and the organic matter recorded a pronounced stepped negative excursion -4.5‰ corresponding to characteristics of the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event globally, which began just below the stage 2-stage 3 facies shifting boundary. The comparison between the Tethys Himalaya (South Tibet) and the tropical/subtropical zones of the Western Tethys and Panthalassa was carried out to discuss the factors controlling sedimentary evolution. The change from stage 1 to stage 2 was possibly induced by sea-level rise, when the Tibetan Tethys Himalaya was located at tropical/subtropical latitudes in suitable climatic and ecological conditions for carbonate sedimentation. The abrupt change from stage 2 to stage 3 is interpreted as a consequence of the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event, accompanied by obvious carbon-isotope negative excursion and sea-level rise. The failed recovery from the carbonate crisis in the early Bajocian, with continuing deposition on a low-energy carbonate ramp, is ascribed to the tectonic

  8. GIS development to monitor climate change and its geohydrological consequences on non-monsoon crop pattern in Himalaya

    Rawat, Pradeep K.

    2014-09-01

    The main objective of the study was to assess climate change and its geohydrological impacts on non-monsoon crop pattern at watershed level through GIS development on climate informatics, land use informatics, hydro-informatics and agro-informatics. The Dabka watershed constitutes a part of the Kosi Basin in densely populated Lesser Himalaya, India in district Nainital has been selected for the case illustration. This reconnaissance study analyzed the climatic database for last three decades (1982-2012) and estimates that the average temperature and evaporation loss have been rising with the rate of 0.07 °C/yr and 4.03 mm/yr respectively whereas the average rainfall has been decreasing with the rate of 0.60 mm/yr. These rates of climate change increasing with mounting elevations. Consequently the existing microclimatic zones (sub-tropical, temperate and moist temperate) shifting towards higher altitudes and affecting the favorable conditions of the land use pattern and decreased the eco-friendly forest and vegetation cover. The land use degradation and high rate of deforestation (0.22 km2 or 1.5%/yr) leads to accelerate several hydrological problems during non-monsoon period (i.e. decreasing infiltration capacity of land surface, declining underground water level, drying up natural perennial springs and streams, decreasing irrigation water availability etc.). In order to that the non-monsoon crops yield has been decreasing with the rate of 0.60% each year as the results suggest that the average crop yield is just about 58 q/ha whereas twenty five to thirty year back it was recorded about 66 q/ha which is about 12% higher (8 q/ha) than existing yield. On the other hand the population increasing with the growth rate of 2% each year. Therefore, decreasing crop yield and increasing population raised food deficiency problem and the people adopting other occupations which ultimately affecting rural livelihood of the Himalaya.

  9. Forest resource use pattern in Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary and its fringe areas (a case study from Western Himalaya, India)

    Malik, Zubair A.; Bhat, Jahangeer A.; Bhatt, A.B.

    2014-01-01

    The rural population of Himalaya has been strongly dependent on the forest resources for their livelihood for generations. The present study, carried out at three different altitudes of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS), explored forest resource-use patterns to understand rural peoples' dependency on the adjacent forests. A total of six forests were selected and the seven dependent villages were surveyed for the study of forest resource use patterns in relation to their socioeconomic status. Average fuelwood and fodder consumption were found to be 2.42 kg/capita/day and 43.96 kg/household/day respectively which was higher than the earlier reported values. Average fuelwood consumption by temporary dhaba (roadside refreshment establishments) owners (52.5 kg/dhaba/day) is much higher than the permanent villagers. Average cultivated land per family was less than 1 ha (0.56 ha). Inaccessibility of the area and deprived socio-economic status of the locals are largely responsible for the total dependency of the local inhabitants on nearby forests for fuelwood, fodder and other life supporting demands. Extensive farming of fuelwood trees on less used, barren land and establishment of fodder banks could be the alternative to bridge the gap between the demand and supply. Active participation of local people is mandatory for the conservation of these forests. - Highlights: • We studied energy consumption at different altitudes in Western Himalaya of India. • On an average, fuelwood and fodder consumption is 2.42 kg/capita/day and 43.96 kg/household/day respectively. • Maximum fuelwood (3.24 kg/capita/day) at higher and fodder consumption (1800 kg/household/day) at middle altitudes was recorded. • Dhabas (roadside refreshment establishments) consume much more fuelwood as compared to the permanent villagers (P<0.000, t-test). • Fuelwood consumption showed significant negative relationship with LPG (−0.87) and kerosene oil (−0.89)

  10. Evidence of a Large Triggered Event in the Nepal Himalaya Following the Gorkha Earthquake: Implications Toward Enhanced Seismic Hazard

    Mandal, Prantik

    2018-03-01

    A DC (double couple) constrained multiple point-source moment-tensor inversion is performed on the band-passed (0.008-0.10 Hz) displacement data of the 25 April (M w 7.8) 2015 Nepal mainshock, from 17 broadband stations in India. Our results reveal that the 25 April event (strike = 324°, dip = 14°, rake = 88°) ruptured the north-dipping main Himalayan thrust (MHT) at 16 km depth. We modeled the Coulomb failure stress changes (ΔCFS) produced by the slip on the fault plane of the 25 April Nepal mainshock. A strong correlation with occurrences of aftershocks and regions of increased positive ΔCFS is obtained below the aftershock zone of the 2015 Nepal mainshock. We notice that predicted ΔCFS at 16 km depth show a positive Coulomb stress of 0.06 MPa at the location of the 12 May 2015 event. These small modeled stress changes can lead to trigger events if the crust is already near to failure, but these small stresses can also advance the occurrence of future earthquakes. The main finding of our ΔCFS modeling implies that the 25 April event increased the Coulomb stress changes by 0.06 MPa at 16 km depth below the site of the 12 May event, and thus, this event can be termed as triggered. We propose that the seismic hazard in the Himalaya is not only caused by the mainshock slip on the MHT; rather, the occurrence of large triggered event on the MHT can also enhance our understanding of the seismic hazard in the Nepal Himalaya.

  11. Some Like it High! Phylogenetic Diversity of High-Elevation Cyanobacterial Community from Biological Soil Crusts of Western Himalaya.

    Čapková, Kateřina; Hauer, Tomáš; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, Jiří

    2016-01-01

    The environment of high-altitudinal cold deserts of Western Himalaya is characterized by extensive development of biological soil crusts, with cyanobacteria as dominant component. The knowledge of their taxonomic composition and dependency on soil chemistry and elevation is still fragmentary. We studied the abundance and the phylogenetic diversity of the culturable cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae in soil crusts along altitudinal gradients (4600-5900 m) at two sites in the dry mountains of Ladakh (SW Tibetan Plateau and Eastern Karakoram), using both microscopic and molecular approaches. The effects of environmental factors (altitude, mountain range, and soil physico-chemical parameters) on the composition and biovolume of phototrophs were tested by multivariate redundancy analysis and variance partitioning. Both phylogenetic diversity and composition of morphotypes were similar between Karakorum and Tibetan Plateau. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene revealed strains belonging to at least five genera. Besides clusters of common soil genera, e.g., Microcoleus, Nodosilinea, or Nostoc, two distinct clades of simple trichal taxa were newly discovered. The most abundant cyanobacterial orders were Oscillatoriales and Nostacales, whose biovolume increased with increasing elevation, while that of Chroococales decreased. Cyanobacterial species richness was low in that only 15 morphotypes were detected. The environmental factors accounted for 52 % of the total variability in microbial data, 38.7 % of which was explained solely by soil chemical properties, 14.5 % by altitude, and 8.4 % by mountain range. The elevation, soil phosphate, and magnesium were the most important predictors of soil phototrophic communities in both mountain ranges despite their different bedrocks and origin. The present investigation represents a first record on phylogenetic diversity of the cyanobacterial community of biological soil crusts from Western Himalayas and first record

  12. Elevational Gradients in Bird Diversity in the Eastern Himalaya: An Evaluation of Distribution Patterns and Their Underlying Mechanisms

    Acharya, Bhoj Kumar; Sanders, Nathan J.; Vijayan, Lalitha; Chettri, Basundhara

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding diversity patterns and the mechanisms underlying those patterns along elevational gradients is critically important for conservation efforts in montane ecosystems, especially those that are biodiversity hotspots. Despite recent advances, consensus on the underlying causes, or even the relative influence of a suite of factors on elevational diversity patterns has remained elusive. Methods and Principal Findings We examined patterns of species richness, density and range size distribution of birds, and the suite of biotic and abiotic factors (primary productivity, habitat variables, climatic factors and geometric constraints) that governs diversity along a 4500-m elevational gradient in the Eastern Himalayan region, a biodiversity hotspot within the world's tallest mountains. We used point count methods for sampling birds and quadrats for estimating vegetation at 22 sites along the elevational gradient. We found that species richness increased to approximately 2000 m, then declined. We found no evidence that geometric constraints influenced this pattern, whereas actual evapotranspiration (a surrogate for primary productivity) and various habitat variables (plant species richness, shrub density and basal area of trees) accounted for most of the variation in bird species richness. We also observed that ranges of most bird species were narrow along the elevation gradient. We find little evidence to support Rapoport's rule for the birds of Sikkim region of the Himalaya. Conclusions and Significance This study in the Eastern Himalaya indicates that species richness of birds is highest at intermediate elevations along one of the most extensive elevational gradients ever examined. Additionally, primary productivity and factors associated with habitat accounted for most of the variation in avian species richness. The diversity peak at intermediate elevations and the narrow elevational ranges of most species suggest important conservation implications

  13. Long-range transport biomass burning emissions to the Himalayas: insights from high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometer

    Xu, J.; Zhang, X.; Liu, Y.; Shichang, K.; Ma, Y.

    2017-12-01

    An intensive measurement was conducted at a remote, background, and high-altitude site (Qomolangma station, QOMS, 4276 m a.s.l.) in the northern Himalayas, using an Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) along with other collocated instruments. The field measurement was performed from April 12 to May 12, 2016 to chemically characterize high time-resolved submicron particulate matter (PM1) and obtain the influence of biomass burning emissions to the Himalayas, frequently transported from south Asia during pre-monsoon season. Two high aerosol loading periods were observed during the study. Overall, the average (± 1σ) PM1 mass concentration was 4.44 (± 4.54) µg m-3 for the entire study, comparable with those observed at other remote sites worldwide. Organic aerosols (OA) was the dominant PM1 species (accounting for 54.3% of total PM1 mass on average) and its contribution increased with the increase of total PM1 mass loading. The average size distributions of PM1 species all peaked at an overlapping accumulation mode ( 500 nm), suggesting that aerosol particles were internally well-mixed and aged during long-range transportations. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis on the high-resolution organic mass spectra identified three distinct OA factors, including a biomass burning related OA (BBOA, 43.7%) and two oxygenated OA (Local-OOA and LRT-OOA; 13.9% and 42.4%) represented sources from local emissions and long-range transportations, respectively. Two polluted air mass origins (generally from the west and southwest of QOMS) and two polluted episodes with enhanced PM1 mass loadings and elevated BBOA contributions were observed, respectively, suggesting the important sources of wildfires from south Asia. One of polluted aerosol plumes was investigated in detail to illustrate the evolution of aerosol characteristics at QOMS driving by different impacts of wildfires, air mass origins, meteorological conditions and

  14. Analysing Surface Exposure to Climate Dynamics in the Himalayas to Adopt a Planning Framework for Landslide Risk Reduction

    Tiwari, A.

    2017-12-01

    Himalayas rank first in the inventory of most densely populated and congested high altitude mountain regions of the planet. The region is mostly characterized by inadequate infrastructure, lack of mitigation tools along with constraints of terrain undermining the carrying capacity and resilience of urban ecosystems. Moreover, climate change has increased vulnerability of poor and marginalized population living in rapidly urbanizing mountain towns to increased frequency and severity of risks from extreme weather events. Such events pose multifold threat by easily translating to hazards, without the ability to respond and mitigate. Additionally, the recent extreme climate dynamics such as rainfall patterns have influenced the natural rate of surface/slope processes in the Himalaya. The aim of the study was to analyze the extent of interaction between climate dynamics and upland surface to develop participatory planning framework for landslide risk reduction using Integral Geographic Information System (integral GIS). At this stage, the study is limited to only rainfall triggered landslides (RTL). The study region lies in the middle Himalayan range (Himachal). Research utilized terrain analysis tools in integral GIS and identified risk susceptible surface without: 1.adding to its (often) complex fragmentation, and 2. Interference in surface/slope processes. Analysis covered most of the relevant surface factors including geology, slope instability, infrastructure development, natural and urban drainage system, land-cover and land-use as well. The outcome included an exposure-reduced model of existing terrain and the surface-process accommodated by it, with the use of local technical tools available among the poor and fragile mountain community. The final participatory planning framework successfully harmonized people's perception and adaptation knowledge, and incorporated priorities of local authorities. This research is significant as it rises above the fundamental

  15. Glaciers bring more precipitation over south slope of the Himalayas and less moisture to the Tibetan Plateau

    Yang, K.; Lin, C.; Chen, D.

    2017-12-01

    Due to the warming climate, significant retreat of glaciers in the Himalayan region is observed. Thus, it is crucial to understand whether and how the glaciers impact (feedback to) regional climate. Due to lack of observational data, most processes with glaciers are however not well documented. For instance, convergence takes place when summertime upslope flows of warm and moist air masses meet cool and dry katabatic winds over a glacier slope, which may induce local convections and precipitations. This work intends to test this hypothesis according to an experiment conducted with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model focusing on the Himalayan region. Three cases are designed for the experiment: a) a normal run as the control case; b) a sensitive run with land use ice/snow replaced by bare ground tundra and the maximum snow albedo set to 0.25; and c) a sensitive run with land use ice/snow replaced by bare ground tundra and no new snowing. According to differences between the control case and both the two sensitive cases, here we found that glaciers overall leads to less precipitation over glacier-covered areas and north of the Himalayas, which can be attributed to the suppressing of cooling glacier surfaces to upslope moist flows. By contrast, a zone of extra more precipitation (that can be up to 200 mm for JJA) is clearly found over the south slope of the Himalayas at elevation of 4-5 km where it meets the glacier terminus, accompanied with the convergence of upslope air masses and katabatic winds. Case b) reflects a smaller such effect when compared to case c), possibly because it takes a portion of energy for ice/snow melting. When it comes to impacts on water vapor transport, glaciers will result approximately 2% less moisture flowing into the Tibetan Plateau.

  16. Central hypothyroidism

    Vishal Gupta

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Central hypothyroidism is defined as hypothyroidism due to insufficient stimulation by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH of an otherwise normal thyroid gland. It has an estimated prevalence of approximately 1 in 80,000 to 1 in 120,000. It can be secondary hypothyroidism (pituitary or tertiary hypothyroidism (hypothalamus in origin. In children, it is usually caused by craniopharyngiomas or previous cranial irradiation for brain tumors or hematological malignancies. In adults, it is usually due to pituitary macroadenomas, pituitary surgeries or post-irradiation. Fatigue and peripheral edema are the most specific clinical features. Diagnosis is established by the presence of normal to low-normal TSH on the background of low-normal thyroid hormones, confirmed by the thyrotropin releasing hormone stimulation test. Therapy includes use of levothyroxine titrated to improvement in symptomology and keeping free T4 in the upper limit of normal reference range.

  17. Effect of Gamma Radiations on the Quality and Shelf Life of Strawberry Fruit of the Uttrakhand Region

    Sharma, Prianka; Rastogi, Meetu

    2016-08-01

    Present study was conducted to investigate the effect of gamma radiations on the quality and shelf life of strawberries. The aim of this study was to evaluate gamma radiation doses in range of 0.3- 1.5 kGy. The irradiated strawberries were stored in ambient (temperature 25 +- 2oC, RH 70 %) and refrigerated (3 +-1oC, RH 80%) conditions. In samples treated with dose 1.2-1.5 kGy no decay was recorded up to 9 days of ambient conditions. Under refrigerated conditions, strawberry samples of unirradiated and irradiated in the range of 0.3-0.9 kGy started decaying after 14 days of storage. No decay was observed in the samples treated with 1.2-1.5 kGy up to 28 days of refrigerated storage. Dose of 1.2 kGy was significantly effective in reducing the weight loss and in maintaining the higher overall acceptability under both the storage conditions compared to the other treatments. This dose also proved effective in retention of significantly higher levels of total sugars compared to the other treatments. Thus, it was established that irradiating strawberries with dose of 1.2 kGy can prove beneficial in facilitating the marketing of the fruit to distant places other than the local markets, thereby benefiting the growers.

  18. Background aerosol over the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau: observed characteristics of aerosol mass loading

    Liu, Bin; Cong, Zhiyuan; Wang, Yuesi; Xin, Jinyuan; Wan, Xin; Pan, Yuepeng; Liu, Zirui; Wang, Yonghong; Zhang, Guoshuai; Wang, Zhongyan; Wang, Yongjie; Kang, Shichang

    2017-01-01

    To investigate the atmospheric aerosols of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau (HTP), an observation network was established within the region's various ecosystems, including at the Ngari, Qomolangma (QOMS), Nam Co, and Southeastern Tibetan (SET) stations. In this paper we illustrate aerosol mass loadings by integrating in situ measurements with satellite and ground-based remote sensing datasets for the 2011-2013 period, on both local and large scales. Mass concentrations of these surface atmospheric aerosols were relatively low and varied with land cover, showing a general tendency of Ngari and QOMS (barren sites) > Nam Co (grassland site) > SET (forest site). Daily averages of online PM2.5 (particulates with aerodynamic diameters below 2.5 µm) at these sites were sequentially 18.2 ± 8.9, 14.5 ± 7.4, 11.9 ± 4.9 and 11.7 ± 4.7 µg m-3. Correspondingly, the ratios of PM2.5 to total suspended particles (TSP) were 27.4 ± 6.65, 22.3 ± 10.9, 37.3 ± 11.1 and 54.4 ± 6.72 %. Bimodal mass distributions of size-segregated particles were found at all sites, with a relatively small peak in accumulation mode and a more notable peak in coarse mode. Diurnal variations in fine-aerosol masses generally displayed a bi-peak pattern at the QOMS, Nam Co and SET stations and a single-peak pattern at the Ngari station, controlled by the effects of local geomorphology, mountain-valley breeze circulation and aerosol emissions. Dust aerosol content in PM2.1 samples gave fractions of 26 % at the Ngari station and 29 % at the QOMS station, or ˜ 2-3 times that of reported results at human-influenced sites. Furthermore, observed evidence confirmed the existence of the aerodynamic conditions necessary for the uplift of fine particles from a barren land surface. Combining surface aerosol data and atmospheric-column aerosol optical properties, the TSP mass and aerosol optical depth (AOD) of the Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) generally decreased as land cover changed from

  19. Remote Sensing Estimates of Glacier Mass Balance Changes in the Himalayas of Nepal

    Ambinakudige, S.; Joshi, K.

    2011-12-01

    3N and 3B were used as left and right images respectively in the process of creating the DEM. Minimum elevation in these images was 1500m and maximum elevation was 8550m. Coordinates and elevation values from topographic maps in the non-glaciated region were used as GCPs while creating absolute DEMs. Considering the high terrain of the study area, we used large number of GCPs, tie points, higher windows search area, and high terrain parameters to improve DEM accuracy. Since these images were acquired in September, the accumulation area was clearly visible. The Global land ice measurement (GLIMS) database which is maintained at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) was used to delineate glacier boundaries. The differences between the elevations in consecutive years in the accumulation area were calculated using raster calculator. The total elevation differences were then multiplied by the area to estimate the change in volume. Density of ice used in mass balance calculation was 900kg per sq. meters. The result indicated that while there was a decrease in mass balance of some glaciers, some showed an increase in mass balance during the study period. The study helped to develop a data on mass balance change in some major glaciers in the Himalayas.

  20. Diet and environment of a mid-Pliocene fauna from southwestern Himalaya: Paleo-elevation implications

    Wang, Yang; Xu, Yingfeng; Khawaja, Sofia; Passey, Benjamin H.; Zhang, Chunfu; Wang, Xiaoming; Li, Qiang; Tseng, Zhijie J.; Takeuchi, Gary T.; Deng, Tao; Xie, Guangpu

    2013-08-01

    A mid-Pliocene fauna (4.2-3.1 Ma) was recently uncovered in the Zanda (Zhada) Basin in the southwestern Himalaya, at an elevation of about 4200 m above sea level. These fossil materials provide a unique window for examining the linkage among tectonic, climatic and biotic changes. Here we report the results from isotopic analyses of this fauna and of modern herbivores and waters as well as paleo-temperature estimates from the Zanda Basin. The δ13C values of enamel samples from modern wild Tibetan asses, and domesticated horses, cows and goats in the area are -9.4±1.8‰, which indicate a diet comprising predominantly of C3 plants and are consistent with the current dominance of C3 vegetation in the region. The enamel-δ13C values of the fossil horses, rhinos, deer, and bovids are -9.6±0.8‰, indicating that these ancient mammals, like modern herbivores in the area, also fed primarily on C3 vegetation and lived in an environment dominated by C3 plants. The lack of significant C4 plants in the basin suggests that the area had reached high elevations (>2.5 km) by at least the mid-Pliocene. Taking into account the changes in the δ13C of atmospheric CO2 in the past, the enamel-δ13C values suggest that the average modern-equivalent δ13C value of C3 vegetation in the Zanda Basin in the mid-Pliocene was ∼1-2‰ lower than that of the C3 biomass in the basin today. This would imply a reduction in annual precipitation by about 200-400 mm in the area since then (assuming that the modern C3 δ13C-precipitation relationship applied to the past). Consistent with this inference from the δ13C data, the enamel-δ18O data show a significant shift to higher values after the mid-Pliocene, which also suggests a shift in climate to much drier conditions after ∼4-3 Ma. Paleo-temperature estimates derived from a fossil bone-based oxygen isotope temperature proxy as well as the carbonate clumped isotope thermometer for the mid-Pliocene Zanda Basin are higher than the present

  1. "No former travellers having attained such a height on the Earth's surface": Instruments, inscriptions, and bodies in the Himalaya, 1800-1830.

    Fleetwood, Lachlan

    2018-03-01

    East India Company surveyors began gaining access to the high Himalaya in the 1810s, at a time when the mountains were taking on increasing political significance as the northern borderlands of British India. Though never as idiosyncratic as surveyors insisted, these were spaces in which instruments, fieldbook inscriptions, and bodies were all highly prone to failure. The ways surveyors managed these failures (both rhetorically and in practice) demonstrate the social performances required to establish credible knowledge in a world in which the senses were scrambled. The resulting tensions reveal an ongoing disconnect in understanding between those displaced not only from London, but also from Calcutta, something insufficiently emphasized in previous histories of colonial science. By focusing on the early nineteenth century, often overlooked in favor of the later period, this article shows the extent to which the scientific, imaginative, and political constitution of the Himalaya was haphazard and contested.

  2. Precambrian-Cambrian boundary in the Tal formation of Garhwal Lesser Himalaya : Rb-Sr age evidence from black shales underlying phosphorites

    Sharma, K.K.; Rameshwar Rao, D.; Azmi, R.J.; Gopalan, K.; Pantulu, G.V.C.

    1991-01-01

    The recently reported faunal evidence for placing the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary within the main phosphorite unit of the Chert-Phosphorite Member of the Tal Formation, Garhwal Lesser Himalaya, is supported by the present report of 626 ± 13 myr for the whole-rock Rb-Sr isochron age of the black shales directly underlying the phosphorite band. (author). 15 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab

  3. Probiotic attributes of indigenous Lactobacillus spp. isolated from traditional fermented foods and beverages of north-western Himalayas using in vitro screening and principal component analysis

    Kumari, Anila; Angmo, Kunzes; Monika; Bhalla, Tek Chand

    2016-01-01

    The present research was designed to explore indigenous probiotic Lactic acid bacteria from traditional fermented foods and beverages of North-western Himalayas for their probiotic potential. It was achieved through a step-by step approach focused on the technological characterization, evaluation of the probiotic traits and adherence ability. Fifty one LAB isolates from traditional fermented foods and beverages were initially screened for their technological properties and among them twenty i...

  4. Influence of open vegetation fires on black carbon and ozone variability in the southern Himalayas (NCO-P, 5079 m a.s.l.).

    Putero, D; Landi, T C; Cristofanelli, P; Marinoni, A; Laj, P; Duchi, R; Calzolari, F; Verza, G P; Bonasoni, P

    2014-01-01

    We analysed the variability of equivalent black carbon (BC) and ozone (O3) at the global WMO/GAW station Nepal Climate Observatory-Pyramid (NCO-P, 5079 m a.s.l.) in the southern Himalayas, for evaluating the possible contribution of open vegetation fires to the variability of these short-lived climate forcers/pollutants (SLCF/SLCP) in the Himalayan region. We found that 162 days (9% of the data-set) were characterised by acute pollution events with enhanced BC and O3 in respect to the climatological values. By using satellite observations (MODIS fire products and the USGS Land Use Cover Characterization) and air mass back-trajectories, we deduced that 56% of these events were likely to be affected by emissions from open fires along the Himalayas foothills, the Indian Subcontinent and the Northern Indo-Gangetic Plain. These results suggest that open fire emissions are likely to play an important role in modulating seasonal and inter-annual BC and O3 variability over south Himalayas. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Creating Intentional Spaces for Sustainable Development in the Indian Trans-Himalaya: Reconceptualizing Globalization from Below

    Shah, Payal

    2014-01-01

    In an era of globalization, multifaceted and complex changes have increasingly interconnected geographically dispersed places. A central question of globalization studies concerns whether top-down forces of globalization are forging a global culture or whether processes of globalization from below are able to push back against homogenization by…

  6. Predicting Monsoonal-Driven Stream Discharge and Sediment Yield in Himalaya Mountain Basins with Changing Climate and Deforestation

    Neupane, R. P.; White, J. D.

    2014-12-01

    Short and long term effects of site water availability impacts the spectrum of management outcomes including landslide risk, hydropower generation, and sustainable agriculture in mountain systems heavily influenced by climate and land use changes. Climate change and land use may predominantly affect the hydrologic cycle of mountain basins as soil precipitation interception is affected by land cover. Using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool, we estimated stream discharge and sediment yield associated with climate and land use changes for two Himalaya basins located at eastern and western margins of Nepal that included drainages of the Tamor and Seti Rivers. Future climate change was modeled using average output of temperature and precipitation changes derived from Special Report on Emission Scenarios (B1, A1B & A2) of 16 global circulation models for 2080 as meteorological inputs into SWAT. Land use change was modeled spatially and included 1) deforestation, 2) expansion of agricultural land, and 3) increased human settlement that were produced by considering current land use with projected changes associated with viability of elevation and slope characteristics of the basins capable of supporting different land use types. We found higher annual stream discharge in all GCM-derived scenarios compared to the baseline with maximum increases of 13 and 8% in SRES-A2 and SRES-A1B for the Tamor and Seti basins, respectively. With 7% of original forest land removed, sediment yield for Tamor basin was estimated to be 65% higher, but increased to 124% for the SRES-B1 scenario. For the Seti basin, 4% deforestation yielded 33% more sediment for the SRES-A1B scenario. Our results indicated that combined effects of future, intensified monsoon rainfall with deforestation lead to dramatic potential for increased stream discharge and sediment yield as rainfall on steep slopes with thin exposed soils increases surface runoff and soil erosion in the Himalayas. This effect appears to

  7. Predicting the distributions of predator (snow leopard) and prey (blue sheep) under climate change in the Himalaya.

    Aryal, Achyut; Shrestha, Uttam Babu; Ji, Weihong; Ale, Som B; Shrestha, Sujata; Ingty, Tenzing; Maraseni, Tek; Cockfield, Geoff; Raubenheimer, David

    2016-06-01

    Future climate change is likely to affect distributions of species, disrupt biotic interactions, and cause spatial incongruity of predator-prey habitats. Understanding the impacts of future climate change on species distribution will help in the formulation of conservation policies to reduce the risks of future biodiversity losses. Using a species distribution modeling approach by MaxEnt, we modeled current and future distributions of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and its common prey, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and observed the changes in niche overlap in the Nepal Himalaya. Annual mean temperature is the major climatic factor responsible for the snow leopard and blue sheep distributions in the energy-deficient environments of high altitudes. Currently, about 15.32% and 15.93% area of the Nepal Himalaya are suitable for snow leopard and blue sheep habitats, respectively. The bioclimatic models show that the current suitable habitats of both snow leopard and blue sheep will be reduced under future climate change. The predicted suitable habitat of the snow leopard is decreased when blue sheep habitats is incorporated in the model. Our climate-only model shows that only 11.64% (17,190 km(2)) area of Nepal is suitable for the snow leopard under current climate and the suitable habitat reduces to 5,435 km(2) (reduced by 24.02%) after incorporating the predicted distribution of blue sheep. The predicted distribution of snow leopard reduces by 14.57% in 2030 and by 21.57% in 2050 when the predicted distribution of blue sheep is included as compared to 1.98% reduction in 2030 and 3.80% reduction in 2050 based on the climate-only model. It is predicted that future climate may alter the predator-prey spatial interaction inducing a lower degree of overlap and a higher degree of mismatch between snow leopard and blue sheep niches. This suggests increased energetic costs of finding preferred prey for snow leopards - a species already facing energetic constraints due to the

  8. Two Centuries of Trace Element Deposition at the Top of the Himalaya: Natural Background vs. Anthropogenic Pollution.

    Wegner, A.; Gabrielli, P.; Barker, J. D.; Sierra Hernandez, R.; Beaudon, E.; Thompson, L. G.

    2014-12-01

    South East Asia is one of the fastest developing regions on Earth and has experienced a recent large increase in atmospheric pollution. Glaciers of the nearby Himalayan mountains represent a unique archive that provides the potential to be used to determine the strength and timing of the onset of anthropogenic atmospheric pollution in the region. Within the Third Pole Project several ice cores from the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya are analyzed for their trace element concentrations. Here we present results of a new trace element record from the Dasuopu ice core spanning 1790 - 1993 AD. The Dasuopu ice core was drilled in 1997 at 7200 m altitude in the Himalaya and provides the highest elevation ice core record ever obtained. Due to the high altitude this site has the potential to archive not only contamination records of regional significance, but possibly also long distant pollution from, for example, Europe and climatic signals influenced by the North Atlantic. This area is heavily influenced by the monsoon regime providing seasonally and highly variable snow accumulation rates. The upper 50 m of the core covering the time interval from 1950 to 1997 consist of Firn and is sampled non-continuously in a resolution of approximately one sample/year. The time interval between 1790 and 1950 is presented by a continuous record in subannual resolution. Crustal enrichment factors are used to discriminate between the terrigenous and the anthropogenic contributions. In this study we focus two research topics: (1) determine the onset of the earliest anthropogenic contamination from trace elements at this elevation (7200 m) Himalayan site and (2) determine intra-annual variations of atmospheric trace elements, with a focus on discriminating between pre-monsoon season (when the aerosol input is governed by the high dust input in spring) and the monsoon and dry season. We find trace element concentrations to be very low and very variable throughout the year with

  9. Columnar aerosol characteristics and radiative forcing over the Doon Valley in the Shivalik range of northwestern Himalayas.

    Dumka, U C; Saheb, Shaik Darga; Kaskaoutis, D G; Kant, Yogesh; Mitra, D

    2016-12-01

    Spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements obtained from multi-wavelength radiometer under cloudless conditions over Doon Valley, in the foothills of the western Himalayas, are analysed during the period January 2007 to December 2012. High AOD values of 0.46 ± 0.08 and 0.52 ± 0.1 at 500 nm, along with low values of Ångström exponent (0.49 ± 0.01 and 0.44 ± 0.03) during spring (March-May) and summer (June-August), respectively, suggest a flat AOD spectrum indicative of coarse-mode aerosol abundance compared with winter (December-February) and autumn (September-November), which are mostly dominated by fine aerosols from urban/industrial emissions and biomass burning. The columnar size distributions (CSD) retrieved from the King's inversion of spectral AOD exhibit bimodal size patterns during spring and autumn, while combinations of the power-law and unimodal distributions better simulate the retrieved CSDs during winter and summer. High values of extinction coefficient near the surface (∼0.8-1.0 km -1 at 532 nm) and a steep decreasing gradient above are observed via CALIPSO profiles in autumn and winter, while spring and summer exhibit elevated aerosol layers between ∼1.5 and 3.5 km due to the presence of dust. The particle depolarisation ratio shows a slight increasing trend with altitude, with higher values in spring and summer indicative of non-spherical particles of dust origin. The aerosol-climate implications are evaluated via the aerosol radiative forcing (ARF), which is estimated via the synergy of OPAC and SBDART models. On the monthly basis, the ARF values range from ∼ -30 to -90 W m -2 at the surface, while aerosols cause an overall cooling effect at the top of atmosphere (approx. -5 to -15 W m -2 ). The atmospheric heating via aerosol absorption results in heating rates of 1.2-1.6 K day -1 during March-June, which may contribute to changes in monsoon circulation over northern India and the Himalayas.

  10. Landforms along transverse faults parallel to axial zone of folded mountain front, north-eastern Kumaun Sub-Himalaya, India

    Luirei, Khayingshing; Bhakuni, S. S.; Negi, Sanjay S.

    2017-02-01

    The shape of the frontal part of the Himalaya around the north-eastern corner of the Kumaun Sub-Himalaya, along the Kali River valley, is defined by folded hanging wall rocks of the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT). Two parallel faults (Kalaunia and Tanakpur faults) trace along the axial zone of the folded HFT. Between these faults, the hinge zone of this transverse fold is relatively straight and along these faults, the beds abruptly change their attitudes and their widths are tectonically attenuated across two hinge lines of fold. The area is constituted of various surfaces of coalescing fans and terraces. Fans comprise predominantly of sandstone clasts laid down by the steep-gradient streams originating from the Siwalik range. The alluvial fans are characterised by compound and superimposed fans with high relief, which are generated by the tectonic activities associated with the thrusting along the HFT. The truncated fan along the HFT has formed a 100 m high-escarpment running E-W for ˜5 km. Quaternary terrace deposits suggest two phases of tectonic uplift in the basal part of the hanging wall block of the HFT dipping towards the north. The first phase is represented by tilting of the terrace sediments by ˜30 ∘ towards the NW; while the second phase is evident from deformed structures in the terrace deposit comprising mainly of reverse faults, fault propagation folds, convolute laminations, flower structures and back thrust faults. The second phase produced ˜1.0 m offset of stratification of the terrace along a thrust fault. Tectonic escarpments are recognised across the splay thrust near south of the HFT trace. The south facing hill slopes exhibit numerous landslides along active channels incising the hanging wall rocks of the HFT. The study area shows weak seismicity. The major Moradabad Fault crosses near the study area. This transverse fault may have suppressed the seismicity in the Tanakpur area, and the movement along the Moradabad and Kasganj

  11. A direct evidence for high carbon dioxide and radon-222 discharge in Central Nepal

    Perrier, F.; Byrdina, S.; Richon, P.; Bollinger, L.; Bureau, S.; Richon, P.; France-Lanord, Ch.; Rajaure, S.; Koirala, Bharat Prasad; Shrestha, Prithvi Lal; Gautam, Umesh Prasad; Tiwari, Dilli Ram; Sapkota, Soma Nath; Revil, A.; Revil, A.; Contraires, S.

    2009-01-01

    Gas discharges have been identified at the Syabru-Bensi hot springs, located at the front of the High Himalaya in Central Nepal, in the Main Central Thrust zone. The hot spring waters are characterized by a temperature reaching 61 C, high salinity, high alkalinity and δ 13 C varying from +0. 7 parts per thousand to +4. 8 parts per thousand. The gas is mainly dry carbon dioxide, with a δ 13 C of -0. 8 parts per thousand. The diffuse carbon dioxide flux, mapped by the accumulation chamber method, reached a value of 19000 g m -2 day -1 , which is comparable with values measured on active volcanoes. Similar values have been observed over a two-year time interval and the integral around the main gas discharge amounts to 0. 25 ± 0. 07 mol s -1 , or 350 ± 100 ton a -1 . The mean radon-222 concentration in spring water did not exceed 2. 5 Bq L -1 , exponentially decreasing with water temperature. In contrast, in gas bubbles collected in the water or in the dry gas discharges, the radon concentration varied from 16 000 to 41000 Bq m -3 . In the soil, radon concentration varied from 25000 to more than 50000 Bq m -3 . Radon flux, measured at more than fifty points, reached extreme values, larger than 2 Bq m -2 s -1 , correlated to the larger values of the carbon dioxide flux. Our direct observation confirms previous studies which indicated large degassing in the Himalaya. The proposed understanding is that carbon dioxide is released at mid-crustal depth by metamorphic reactions within the Indian basement, transported along pre-existing faults by meteoric hot water circulation, and degassed before reaching surface. This work, first, confirms that further studies should be undertaken to better constrain the carbon budget of the Himalaya, and, more generally, the contribution of mountain building to the global carbon balance. Furthermore, the evidenced gas discharges provide a unique natural laboratory for methodological studies, and appear particularly important to study as

  12. Re-evaluation of P-T paths across the Himalayan Main Central Thrust

    Catlos, E. J.; Harrison, M.; Kelly, E. D.; Ashley, K.; Lovera, O. M.; Etzel, T.; Lizzadro-McPherson, D. J.

    2016-12-01

    The Main Central Thrust (MCT) is the dominant crustal thickening structure in the Himalayas, juxtaposing high-grade Greater Himalayan Crystalline rocks over the lower-grade Lesser Himalaya Formations. The fault is underlain by a 2 to 12-km-thick sequence of deformed rocks characterized by an apparent inverted metamorphic gradient, termed the MCT shear zone. Garnet-bearing rocks sampled from across the MCT along the Marysandi River in central Nepal contain monazite that decrease in age from Early Miocene (ca. 20 Ma) in the hanging wall to Late Miocene-Pliocene (ca. 7 Ma and 3 Ma) towards structurally lower levels in the shear zone. We obtained high-resolution garnet-zoning pressure-temperature (P-T) paths from 11 of the same rocks used for monazite geochronology using a recently-developed semi-automated Gibbs-free-energy-minimization technique. Quartz-in-garnet Raman barometry refined the locations of the paths. Diffusional re-equilibration of garnet zoning in hanging wall samples prevented accurate path determinations from most Greater Himalayan Crystalline samples, but one that shows a bell-shaped Mn zoning profile shows a slight decrease in P (from 8.2 to 7.6kbar) with increase in T (from 590 to 640ºC). Three MCT shear zone samples were modeled: one yields a simple path increasing in both P and T (6 to 7kbar, 540 to 580ºC); the others yield N-shaped paths that occupy similar P-T space (4 to 5.5 kbar, 500 to 560ºC). Five lower lesser Himalaya garnet-bearing rocks were modeled. One yields a path increasing in both P-T (6 to 7 kbar, 525 to 550ºC) but others show either sharp compression/decompression or N-shape paths (within 4.5-6 kbar and 530-580ºC). The lowermost sample decreases in P (5.5 to 5 kbar) over increasing T (540 to 580°C). No progressive change is seen from one type of path to another within the Lesser Himalayan Formations to the MCT zone. The results using the modeling approach yield lower P-T conditions compared to the Gibbs method and lower

  13. Origin and speciation of Picea schrenkiana and Picea smithiana in the Center Asian Highlands and Himalayas

    Li, Lili; Sun, Yongshuai; Zou, Jiabin; Yue, Wei; Wang, Xi; Liu, Jianquan

    2014-01-01

    Elucidating the evolutionary history of current species diversity, especially trees with large effective population sizes and long generation times, is a complicated exercise confounded by gene flow and incomplete lineage sorting. In the present study, we aim to determine the origin and speciation of Picea schrenkiana and Picea smithiana using population genetic data from chloroplast (cp), mitochondrial (mt), and nuclear (nr) genomes. These two species occur in the Central Asian Highlands and...

  14. Control on frontal thrust progression by the mechanically weak Gondwana horizon in the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

    Ghosh, Subhajit; Bose, Santanu; Mandal, Nibir; Das, Animesh

    2018-03-01

    This study integrates field evidence with laboratory experiments to show the mechanical effects of a lithologically contrasting stratigraphic sequence on the development of frontal thrusts: Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) and Daling Thrust (DT) in the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya (DSH). We carried out field investigations mainly along two river sections in the DSH: Tista-Kalijhora and Mahanadi, covering an orogen-parallel stretch of 20 km. Our field observations suggest that the coal-shale dominated Gondwana sequence (sandwiched between the Daling Group in the north and Siwaliks in the south) has acted as a mechanically weak horizon to localize the MBT and DT. We simulated a similar mechanical setting in scaled model experiments to validate our field interpretation. In experiments, such a weak horizon at a shallow depth perturbs the sequential thrust progression, and causes a thrust to localize in the vicinity of the weak zone, splaying from the basal detachment. We correlate this weak-zone-controlled thrust with the DT, which accommodates a large shortening prior to activation of the weak zone as a new detachment with ongoing horizontal shortening. The entire shortening in the model is then transferred to this shallow detachment to produce a new sequence of thrust splays. Extrapolating this model result to the natural prototype, we show that the mechanically weak Gondwana Sequence has caused localization of the DT and MBT in the mountain front of DSH.

  15. Identification of Hazard and Risk for Glacial Lakes in the Nepal Himalaya Using Satellite Imagery from 2000–2015

    David R. Rounce

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Glacial lakes in the Nepal Himalaya can threaten downstream communities and have large socio-economic consequences if an outburst flood occurs. This study identified 131 glacial lakes in Nepal in 2015 that are greater than 0.1 km2 and performed a first-pass hazard and risk assessment for each lake. The hazard assessment included mass entering the lake, the moraine stability, and how lake expansion will alter the lake’s hazard in the next 15–30 years. A geometric flood model was used to quantify potential hydropower systems, buildings, agricultural land, and bridges that could be affected by a glacial lake outburst flood. The hazard and downstream impacts were combined to classify the risk associated with each lake. 11 lakes were classified as very high risk and 31 as high risk. The potential flood volume was also estimated and used to prioritize the glacial lakes that are the highest risk, which included Phoksundo Tal, Tsho Rolpa, Chamlang North Tsho, Chamlang South Tsho, and Lumding Tsho. These results are intended to assist stakeholders and decision makers in making well-informed decisions with respect to the glacial lakes that should be the focus of future field studies, modeling efforts, and risk-mitigation actions.

  16. The role of energy in creating opportunities for income generation in the Indian Himalayas Original Research Article

    Kooijman-van Dijk, A.L.

    2012-02-15

    Although it is clear that there are links between access to modern energy carriers and economic development, the necessary understanding of these links is lacking. Research in literature shows mixed results. This paper studies the mechanisms that link energy supply and impacts on income generation. Empirical data from 264 small scale enterprises in 16 clusters of villages in the Indian Himalayas is analysed. The steps between energy supply and impacts on enterprise are stratified, studying actual energy use of energy services. The analysis shows that for the majority of typical enterprises in rural areas, which are informal enterprises with less than 6 workers, the impacts on incomes are low even though the uptake of electricity in enterprises is high. The key factor influencing impacts on incomes is limitations in access to markets for enterprise products, especially social access. For most small scale rural entrepreneurs the main impacts of energy access are on wellbeing. The findings are discussed to come to policy recommendations in the field of energy supply and complementary fields to achieving positive impacts on rural development.

  17. Genetic structure and evolutionary history of three alpine sclerophyllous oaks in East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains and adjacent regions

    Li Feng

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains (EH-HM region has a high biodiversity and harbours numerous endemic alpine plants. This is probably the result of combined orographic and climate oscillations occurring since late Tertiary. Here, we determined the genetic structure and evolutionary history of alpine oak species (including Q. spinosa, Q. aquifolioides and Q. rehderiana using both cytoplasmic-nuclear markers and ecological niche models (ENMs, and elucidated the impacts of climate oscillations and environmental heterogeneity on their population demography. Our results indicate there were mixed genetic structure and asymmetric contemporary gene flow within them. The ENMs revealed a similar demographic history for the three species expanded their ranges from the last interglacial (LIG to the last glacial maximum (LGM, which was consistent with effective population sizes changes. Effects of genetic drift and fragmentation of habitats were responsible for the high differentiation and the lack of phylogeographic structure. Our results support that geological and climatic factors since Miocene triggered the differentiation, evolutionary origin and range shifts of the three oak species in the studied area and also emphasize that a multidisciplinary approach combining molecular markers, ENMs and population genetics can yield deep insights into diversification and evolutionary dynamics of species.

  18. Holocene versus modern catchment erosion rates at 300 MW Baspa II hydroelectric power plant (India, NW Himalaya)

    Draganits, Erich; Gier, Susanne; Hofmann, Christa-Ch.; Janda, Christoph; Bookhagen, Bodo; Grasemann, Bernhard

    2014-08-01

    300 MW Baspa II is India's largest private hydroelectric facility, located at the Baspa River which is an important left-hand tributary to the Sutlej River in the NW Himalaya (India). In this valley the Sangla palaeo-lake has been dammed around 8200 yr BP behind a rock-avalanche dam and Baspa II is located exactly on top of this palaeo-lake. This special location represents a very rare possibility to evaluate the short-term, river load and hydrological parameters measured during the planning and operational stages of Baspa II with the long-term parameters gained from the palaeo-lake sediments from the catchment. Sedimentological and geomorphological investigations of the lacustrine sediments have been used to reconstruct environmental changes during >2500 years of its existence. The Mid-Holocene erosion rates of the Baspa catchment estimated from the volume and duration of deposition of the exposed lake sediments are at 0.7-1.0 mm yr-1, almost identical with the modern erosion rates calculated from river gauge data from Baspa II. Several charcoal layers and charcoal pieces from the uppermost palaeo-lake levels around 5000 cal yr BP might be related to woodland clearance and they possibly represent one of the oldest evidences for human presence in the Baspa Valley during Neolithic time.

  19. Diversity, distribution pattern and seasonal variation in moth assemblages along altitudinal gradient in Gangotri landscape area, Western Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India

    A.K. Sanyal

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Field survey was conducted at different altitudes and land-use areas in the two protected areas, viz., Gangotri National Park and Govind National Park of Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand, India. A total of 475 specimens of moth representing 436 morphospecies were collected using light trap method during the survey conducted between September 2008-May 2010. Preliminary findings show a decreasing diversity with increasing altitude. Subalpine areas were least diverse and subtropical areas had the highest diversity of moths. The greatest number of specimens were collected during the summer and post-monsoon period. The lunar phase had a significant effect on catch success with new moon days resulting in the largest catches and full moon days resulting in the least number of s