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Sample records for central himalaya uttrakhand

  1. Copycats of the Central Himalayas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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 at

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    correspondence at the millennial scale between our data and that of continental and marine records from the Indian sub-continent suggests that Goting basin responded to periods of strengthened monsoon during the Last Glacial to early Holocene. We attribute the millennial scale monsoon variability to climatic...

  3. Hydropower development in the Central Himalayas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singh, N. (Irrigation Design Organization, Rourkee (India))

    1992-10-01

    The Central Himalayas comprise eight hill districts of the State of Uttar Pradesh, India. These mountains are the source of the Ganga and its main tributaries: the Yamuna, Ramganga and Sarda rivers. The identified hydro potential of the Ganga, Yamuna, Sarda and their tributaries in the Central Himalayas is about 30 000 MW, with an annual average energy potential of 100 TWh. The projects which have been completed so far have only developed 3.2 per cent of this potential. The projects which are now under construction will exploit another 10.4 per cent of the potential. Thus, the untapped potential is as much as 85 per cent of the total. The minor tributaries also offer vast potential for mini and micro hydroelectric stations. In most conservative estimates, this potential is about 2000 MW. (author).

  4. Treeline dynamics with climate change at the central Nepal Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Treeline shifting in tandem with climate change has widely been reported from various parts of the world. In Nepal, several impacts of climate change on the physical environment have been observed, but study on the biological impacts is lacking. This dendrochronological study was carried out at the treeline in the high mountain slope of Kalchuman Lake (3750–4003 m a.s.l.) area of Manaslu Conservation Area in the central Nepal Himalaya to explore the impact of climate change ...

  5. Aerosol Characteristics at a High Altitude Location in Central Himalayas: Optical Properties and Radiative Forcing

    OpenAIRE

    Pant, P.; Hegde, P; Dumka, U. C.; Sagar, Ram; S. K. Satheesh; Moorthy, K. Krishna

    2006-01-01

    Collocated measurements of the mass concentrations of aerosol black carbon (BC) and composite aerosols near the surface were carried out along with spectral aerosol optical depths (AODs) from a high altitude station, Manora Peak in Central Himalayas, during a comprehensive aerosol field campaign in December 2004. Despite being a pristine location in the Shivalik Ranges of Central Himalayas, and having a monthly mean AOD (at 500 nm) of 0.059 $\\pm$ 0.033 (typical to this site), total suspended ...

  6. The mammalian fauna from the Central Himalaya, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hem Bahadur Katuwal

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Nepal harbors unique mammalian fauna, but it is poorly studied at higher elevation. Mammalian fauna were recorded in Manaslu Conservation Area, Dudhkunda and Dudhkoshi valley of Solukhumbu district and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area of Nepal during March 2011 to April 2013 along the trail and the study plots from 700m to 4400m a.s.l. Semi-structured interviews were made with local people to understand their behavior and habitats. Altogether, 29 mammalian fauna were recorded. Five species were recorded new for the areas. Overall, Carnivore species (nine were encountered more, followed by species of the order Cetartiodactyla (seven. The highest number of mammalian fauna (18 was identified from Manaslu Conservation Area whereas the least (11 from Dudhkunda and Dudhkoshi valley. Human wildlife conflict was frequent with Himalayan Goral (Naemorhedus goral, Barking Deer (Muntiacus vaginalis, Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus, Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta, Nepal Grey Langur (Semnopithecus schistaceus and Himalayan Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus for crop depredation in these areas. Although mammalian research started a long time ago, scenario of comprehensive research is not satisfactory in the Central Himalaya, Nepal.

  7. Treeline dynamics with climate change at the central Nepal Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

    Treeline shifting in tandem with climate change has widely been reported from various parts of the world. In Nepal, several impacts of climate change on the physical environment have been observed, but study on the biological impacts is lacking. This dendrochronological study was carried out at the treeline in the high mountain slope of Kalchuman Lake (3750-4003 m a.s.l.) area of Manaslu Conservation Area in the central Nepal Himalaya to explore the impact of climate change on the treeline dynamic. Two belt transect plots (size: 20 m wide, > 250 m long) were laid which included treeline as well as tree species limit. Ecological mapping of all individuals of dominant trees 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 years) compared to A. spectabilis (max. age 160 years). A. spectabilis contained an overwhelmingly high population (89%) of younger plants (climate change with differential pattern in regeneration condition, much wider differences are anticipated in their population status as climate continues to change throughout the century.

  8. Contrasting response of glacierized catchments in the Central Himalaya and the Central Andes to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragettli, Silvan; Pellicciotti, Francesca; Immerzeel, Walter

    2015-04-01

    The Andes of South America and the Himalaya in high-mountain Asia are two regions where advanced simulation models are of vital importance to anticipate the impacts of climate change on water resources. The two mountain systems hold the largest ice masses outside the polar regions. Major rivers originate here and downstream regions are densely populated. In the long run, glacier recession generates concerns about the sustainability of summer runoff. This study benefits from recent efforts of carefully planned short-term field experiments in two headwater catchments in the Central Andes of Chile and in the Central Himalaya in Nepal. The two study catchments contrast in terms of their climate and in the characteristics of their glaciers. A systematic approach is developed, built upon the available local data, to reduce the predictive uncertainty of a state-of-the-art glacio-hydrological model used for the projection of 21st century glacier changes and catchment runoff. The in-situ data are used for model development and step-wise, multivariate parameter calibration. Catchment runoff and remotely sensed MODIS and Landsat snow cover are used for model validation. The glacio-hydrological model simulates the water cycle with a high temporal (hourly time steps) and spatial (100 m grid cells) resolution and accounts for processes typical of both regions like glacier melt under debris cover or mass redistribution through avalanching. Future projections are based on the outputs of twelve stochastically downscaled global climate models for two emission scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). This is one of the first truly intercomparative modeling studies at the catchment scale across mountain regions of the world to assess and compare future changes in glaciers and snow cover and associated impacts on streamflow production. Both catchments will experience significant glacier mass loss throughout the twenty-first century. However, the trajectories of simulated future runoff and

  9. Treeline dynamics with climate change at Central Nepal Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (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 of past climatic trends and dynamics of the associated treeline and vegetation in the area.

  10. Treeline dynamics with climate change at Central Nepal Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. P. Gaire

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 (A. spectabilis at the rate of 2.61 m yr−1 since 1850 AD. The upper distribution limit of B. utilis was found stagnant in the past few decades. An increment in 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

  11. Carbon Stock Potential of Oak and Pine Forests in Garhwal Region in Indian Central Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

    Nanda Nautiyal; Vir Singh

    2013-01-01

    Oak (Quercus leucotichophora) and pine (Pinus roxburghii) are the two most dominant forest types occurring in Indian Central Himalayas. CO2 mitigation potential of these two forest types was observed in the present study. Carbon stock densities for AGTB, BB, LHG, DWS, AGSB and SOC were estimated and higher values were recorded in oak forest stands. Total carbon density estimated was 2420.54 Mg/ha for oak forest of Gopeshwar and 986.93 Mg/ha for pine forest of Nandprayag. CO2 mitigation potent...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. Recent temperature trends at mountain stations on the southern slope of the central Himalayas

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Dambaru Ballab Kattel; Tandong Yao

    2013-02-01

    Insufficient long-term in situ observations and complex topographic conditions pose major problems in quantifying the magnitude of climatic trends in mountainous regions such as Nepal. Presented here is three decades (1980–2009) of data on annual maximum, minimum and average temperature trends from 13 mountain stations on the southern slope of the central Himalayas. The stations are located at elevations between 1304 and 2566 m above sea level and with varied topography. Spatial analyses of the average temperature trend show warming in most of the stations. The magnitude of warming is higher for maximum temperatures, while minimum temperatures exhibit larger variability such as positive, negative or no change. These results are consistent with patterns reported in some parts of the Indian subcontinent and Upper Indus Basin, but different from conditions on the Tibetan Plateau (China), where the warming of minimum temperatures is more prominent than that of the maximum temperatures. From the temporal variations, a dramatic increase in temperature is observed in the latest decade, particularly in the average and maximum temperatures. The results from the cumulative sum chart analyses suggest that the thermal regime shifted in 1997. The dramatic enhancement of average temperature in the last decade is strongly consistent with the result of contemporary studies of the surrounding regions, where warming is attributed to an increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases. However, as in the western Himalayas and the Upper Indus Basin, the mountain stations on the southern slope of the central Himalayas show variability in temperature trends, particularly for the minimum temperature. This inhomogeneous trend is likely ascribed to the differences in topography and microclimatic regime of the observed stations.

  14. Aerosol Characteristics at a High Altitude Location in Central Himalayas: Optical Properties and Radiative Forcing

    CERN Document Server

    Pant, P; Dumka, U C; Sagar, R; Satheesh, S K; Moorthy, K K; Sagar, Ram

    2006-01-01

    Collocated measurements of the mass concentrations of aerosol black carbon (BC) and composite aerosols near the surface were carried out along with spectral aerosol optical depths (AODs) from a high altitude station, Manora Peak in Central Himalayas, during a comprehensive aerosol field campaign in December 2004. Despite being a pristine location in the Shivalik Ranges of Central Himalayas, and having a monthly mean AOD (at 500 nm) of 0.059 $\\pm$ 0.033 (typical to this site), total suspended particulate (TSP) concentration was in the range 15 - 40 micro g m^(-3) (mean value 27.1 $\\pm$ 8.3 micro g m^(-3)). Interestingly, aerosol BC had a mean concentration of 1.36 $\\pm$ 0.99 micro g m^(-3), contributed to ~5.0 $\\pm$ 1.3 % to the composite aerosol mass. This large abundance of BC is found to have linkages to the human activities in the adjoining valley and to the boundary layer dynamics. Consequently, the inferred single scattering albedo lies in the range of 0.87 to 0.94 (mean value 0.90 $\\pm$ 0.03), indicatin...

  15. Thermo-kinematic evolution of the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri Himalaya, central Nepal: The Composite Orogenic System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, A. J.; Law, R. D.; Lloyd, G. E.; Phillips, R. J.; Searle, M. P.

    2016-04-01

    The Himalayan orogen represents a "Composite Orogenic System" in which channel flow, wedge extrusion, and thrust stacking operate in separate "Orogenic Domains" with distinct rheologies and crustal positions. We analyze 104 samples from the metamorphic core (Greater Himalayan Sequence, GHS) and bounding units of the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri Himalaya, central Nepal. Optical microscopy and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analyses provide a record of deformation microstructures and an indication of active crystal slip systems, strain geometries, and deformation temperatures. These data, combined with existing thermobarometry and geochronology data are used to construct detailed deformation temperature profiles for the GHS. The profiles define a three-stage thermokinematic evolution from midcrustal channel flow (Stage 1, >700°C to 550-650°C), to rigid wedge extrusion (Stage 2, 400-600°C) and duplexing (Stage 3, <280-400°C). These tectonic processes are not mutually exclusive, but are confined to separate rheologically distinct Orogenic Domains that form the modular components of a Composite Orogenic System. These Orogenic Domains may be active at the same time at different depths/positions within the orogen. The thermokinematic evolution of the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri Himalaya describes the migration of the GHS through these Orogenic Domains and reflects the spatial and temporal variability in rheological boundary conditions that govern orogenic systems.

  16. Mapping regional distribution of land surface heat fluxes on the southern side of the central Himalayas using TESEBS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    Recent scientific studies based on large-scale climate model have highlighted the importance of the heat release from the southern side of the Himalayas for the development of South Asian Summer Monsoon. However, studies related to land surface heat fluxes are nonexistent on the southern side. In this study, we test the feasibility of deriving land surface heat fluxes on the central Himalayan region using Topographically Enhanced Surface Energy Balance System (TESEBS), which is forced by MODIS land surface products and Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) meteorological data. The model results were validated using the first eddy covariance measurement system established in the southern side of the central Himalayas. The derived land surface heat fluxes were close to the field measurements with mean bias of 15.97, -19.89, 8.79, and -20.39 W m-2 for net radiation flux, ground heat flux, sensible heat flux, and latent heat flux respectively. Land surface heat fluxes show strong contrast in pre monsoon, summer monsoon, post monsoon, and winter seasons and different land surface states among the different physiographic regions. In the central Himalayas, the latent heat flux is the dominant consumer of available energy for all physiographic regions except for the High Himalaya where the sensible heat flux is high.

  17. Investigation of aerosol characteristics from the central Himalayas and its adjacent foothills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Hema; Naja, Manish; Babu, Suresh; Satheesh, Sk; Pal Singh, Krishna; Kumar, Rajesh; Moorthy, KKrishna

    2016-04-01

    Studies on atmospheric aerosols are important in the South Asia, especially over the Himalayas owing to their crucial role in regional climate change, radiation budget etc. The present study provides some of the crucial insights into the understanding of aerosol characteristics and associated processes over the central Himalayan region. The long term ground based aerosol data from high altitude site, Nainital (29.4°N, 79.5°E, 1958 m), India, are utilized extensively and estimated trends of the aerosol optical depth (AOD) and black carbon (BC) shows the increasing trend over this region. The significant amount of aerosol abundance is also observed in spring season each year. Further, in order to understand the transport and influence of aerosols from the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) region to the nearby Himalayas, aerosols observation initiated from the low altitude site Pantnagar (29.0°N, 79.5°E, 231 m), India, are also utilized. Observations at these both sites which are merely at a distance of ~30 km show marked differences in the levels and seasonal and diurnal variations. The Himalayan site, is marked with low AOD and BC, except in spring, while IGP site is marked with high level of aerosols throughout the year. BC is maximum in winter (7.9±5.2 μg m-3) and minimum in summer-monsoon in IGP which exhibits nearly an inverse relation with mixing layer depth which is strongest in winter. On the other hand, BC reaches maximum in spring at Nainital. AOD is high throughout the year in IGP which shows annual peak (AOD500nm>0.6) in May-June, dominated by coarse mode, while fine mode aerosols dominates in late autumn and early winter. The Nainital site is marked with very low AOD in winter typical to clean site. Seasonal mean BC is found to be significantly higher at Pantnagar in winter (~652%), followed by in autumn (~577%), summer-monsoon (~318%) and spring (~248%) as compared to those at Nainital. Co-located observation of AOD along with aerosols extinction

  18. Carbon Stock Potential of Oak and Pine Forests in Garhwal Region in Indian Central Himalayas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nanda Nautiyal

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Oak (Quercus leucotichophora and pine (Pinus roxburghii are the two most dominant forest types occurring in Indian Central Himalayas. CO2 mitigation potential of these two forest types was observed in the present study. Carbon stock densities for AGTB, BB, LHG, DWS, AGSB and SOC were estimated and higher values were recorded in oak forest stands. Total carbon density estimated was 2420.54 Mg/ha for oak forest of Gopeshwar and 986.93 Mg/ha for pine forest of Nandprayag. CO2 mitigation potential of oak forest of Gopeshwar was recorded to be 8,713.94 CO2e and of pine forests 3552.95 CO2e.

  19. The hydrology of three high-altitude forests in Central Himalaya, India: a reconnaissance study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negi, G. C. S.; Rikhari, H. C.; Garkoti, S. C.

    1998-02-01

    In this preliminary study the partitioning of rain-water into various components of the hydrological cycle in three high-altitude forests of contrasting tree physiognomies (namely, Aesculus indica, Quercus semecarpifolia and Abies pindrow) were studied in the Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve, Central Himalaya, India. The results are compared with the hydrological characteristics of low-altitude forests of this region. The study has indicated a significant role of tree physiognomy with regard to rainfall partitioning into the various components of the hydrological cycle. It is suggested that A. pindrow (an evergreen tree) should be considered superior to A. indica (a deciduous tree) with regard to soil and water conservation in this region. This work is of relevance to land management programmes pertaining to afforestation, logging and regeneration.

  20. Five years of ozonesoundings from the central Himalayas: role of dynamical processes and biomass burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naja, Manish; Bhardhwaj, Piyush; Lal, Shyam; Venkataramani, Sethuram; Kumar, Rajesh

    2016-04-01

    Higher water vapour, intense solar radiation and increasing levels of trace species over the tropical Asia are making this region more complex for understanding the physical, dynamical and chemical process over here. One of the most populated regions (The Indo-Gangetic Plain, IGP) of the world and a variety of anthropogenic and biogenic emission sources are also housing in the foothill of one of the pristine region, i.e. Himalaya. Uplifting and transport of polluted air-masses to the higher heights is a major concern in the South Asia. However, observations of vertical distribution of ozone, and other trace gases including water vapour, aerosols and meteorological parameters are very limited in South Asia. In view of this, an observational facility was setup at ARIES, Nainital (29.4N, 79.5E; 1950 m) in the central Himalayas. Regular, once in a week, balloon borne measurements of ozone, RH, temperature and GPS winds are being made since January 2011. Surface observations of different trace gases (Ozone, CO, NO, NOy, light NMHCs, SO2, CO2 and other GHGs) and aerosols are also being made at this site. Here, we present five years of ozonesoundings observations. A strong seasonal cycle in the lower tropospheric ozone with highest values during spring (~ 100 ppbv) and lowest during summer-monsoon (20-40 ppbv) is discerned. Elevated ozone levels (~120 ppbv) were observed in the middle-upper troposphere along with very high wind speed (~50 m/s) which indicates the role of dynamics in bringing ozone rich air from higher altitude. The signatures of ozone downward transport have also been noticed in TES water vapour and PV. In contrast, such influence is seen to be weaker in the eastern part of the Himalayas. A very clear enhancement (20-30 ppbv) in the lower tropospheric ozone is seen that is induced by the biomass burning. Further analysis of these observations with the help of air trajectories and satellite data will be presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Reorientation of lineation in the Central Crystalline Zone, Munsiari–Milam area of the Kumaun Greater Himalaya

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A K Verma; A R Bhattacharya

    2015-03-01

    During large scale ductile shear deformation, linear features of the rocks tend to be reoriented towards the direction of bulk shear. This is demonstrated in a crustal scale shear zone of the Himalaya, the Main Central Thrust (MCT), typically exposed in the Munsiari–Milam area of eastern Kumaun Greater Himalaya. Along the MCT, the crystalline rocks of the Greater Himalaya are thrust over the younger sedimentary belt of the Lesser Himalaya. In the study area, the scatter of lineation orientation in the vicinity of the MCT has been observed to drastically reduce within 27° in a zone of about 18 km (about 13 km in the crystalline rocks and about 5 km in the sedimentary rocks). Beyond this zone, the scatter is very high, up to 70° or more. The low scatter of lineation orientation around the MCT could be related to the strong ductile shear deformation associated with the movement along this thrust due to which the linear features got reoriented towards the direction of bulk shear. Away from this zone, ductile shearing had negligible or no effect on the rocks and, therefore, the scatter of lineation remains very high.

  5. Late Quaternary tectonic landforms and fluvial aggradation in the Saryu River valley: Central Kumaun Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kothyari, Girish Ch.; Luirei, Khayingshing

    2016-09-01

    The present study has been carried out with special emphasis on the aggradational landforms to explain the spatial and temporal variability in phases of aggradation/incision in response to tectonic activity during the late Quaternary in the Saryu River valley in central Kumaun Himalaya. The valley has preserved cut-and-fill terraces with thick alluvial cover, debris flow terraces, and bedrock strath terraces that provide signatures of tectonic activity and climate. Morphostratigraphy of the terraces reveals that the oldest landforms preserved south of the Main Central Thrust, the fluvial modified debris flow terraces, were developed between 30 and 45 ka. The major phase of valley fill is dated between 14 and 22 ka. The youngest phase of aggradation is dated at early and mid-Holocene (9-3 ka). Following this, several phases of accelerated incision/erosion owing to an increase in uplift rate occurred, as evident from the strath terraces. Seven major phases of bedrock incision/uplift have been estimated during 44 ka (3.34 mm/year), 35 ka (1.84 mm/year), 15 ka (0.91 mm/year), 14 ka (0.83 mm/year), 9 ka (1.75 mm/year), 7 ka (5.38 mm/year), and around 3 ka (4.4 mm/year) from the strath terraces near major thrusts. We postulate that between 9 and 3 ka the terrain witnessed relatively enhanced surface uplift (2-5 mm/year).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-15

    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 surface soil were obtained from the northern side on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, China (TPC). Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soils were measured to determine their distribution, potential for accumulation, and sources, as well as risks to humans and the environment. Mean concentrations of Σ16PAHs were 2.4×10(2) and 3.3×10(2)ng/g dry mass (dm) in soils collected from the TPC and Nepal, respectively. Significant correlations between concentrations of lower molecular weight PAHs (LMW-PAHs) in soils and altitude were found. Total organic carbon (TOC) in soil was positively but weakly correlated with concentrations of PAHs in the study area, which suggested little role of TOC in adsorption of PAHs. The cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal and Nyemo (especially Zhangmu Port), Shigatse, and Lhasa on the TPC, were areas with relatively great concentrations of PAHs in soils. The main sources of PAHs identified by positive matrix factorization were emissions from motor vehicles and combustion of coal and biomass in the Central Himalayas. Calculated total benzo[a]pyrene potency equivalents of 0.23-44ng/gdm and index of additive cancer risk of 3.8×10(-3)-9.2×10(-1) indicated that PAHs in almost all soils investigated posed de minimis risk of additional cancer to residents via direct contact and had no significant risk of additional cancers through consumption of potable water. Mean risk quotient values indicated that 39% of soils had a slight risk to wildlife and the ambient environment of the Central Himalayas. PMID:26971206

  7. Transboundary Air Pollution over the Central Himalayas: Monitoring network and Preliminary Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qianggong; Kang, Shichang

    2016-04-01

    The Himalayas, stretching over 3000 kms along west-east, separates South Asia continent and the Tibetan Plateau with its extreme high altitudes. The South Asia is being increasingly recognized to be among the hotspots of air pollution, posing multi-effects on regional climate and environment. Recent monitoring and projection have indicated an accelerated decrease of glacier and increasing glacier runoff in the Himalayas, and a remarkable phenomenon has been recognized in the Himalayas that long-range transport atmospheric pollutants (e.g., black carbon and dust) deposited on glacier surface can promote glacier melt, and in turns, may liberate historical contaminant legacy in glaciers into downward ecosystems. To understand the air pollution variation and how they can infiltrate the Himalayas and beyond, we started to operate a coordinated atmospheric pollution monitoring network composing 11 sites with 5 in Nepal and 6 in Tibet since April 2013. Atmospheric total suspended particles ( TSP metals (particulate-bounded mercury) are measured to reveal their spatial and temporal distributions. Results revealed a consistent gradient decrease in almost all analyzed parameters along south-north gradient across the Himalayas, with a clear seasonal variation of higher values in pre-monsoon seasons. Analysis of geochemical signatures of carbonaceous aerosols indicated dominant sources from biomass burning and vehicle exhaust. PAHs concentrations and signatures from soils and aerosols indicated that low-ring PAHs can readily transport across the Himalayas. Integrated analysis of satellite images and air mass trajectories suggested that the transboundary air pollution over the Himalayas is episodic and is likely concentrated in pre-monsoon seasons. Our results emphasis the potential transport and impact of air pollution from South Asia to Himalayas and further inland Tibetan Plateau. The monitoring network will be continuously operated to provide basis for defining the

  8. Spatial and temporal evolution of tectonometamorphic discontinuities in the central Himalaya: Constraints from P-T paths and geochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jia-Min; Zhang, Jin-Jiang; Liu, Kai; Zhang, Bo; Wang, Xiao-Xian; Rai, SantaMan; Scheltens, Mark

    2016-06-01

    Recent studies evoke dispute whether the Greater Himalayan Crystalline Complex (GHC) was exhumed during more than one phase. This contribution investigates the timing of ductile shear along the South Tibetan Detachment (STD), Main Central Thrust (MCT), and hidden discontinuities within the GHC of the central Himalaya. New data from the Nyalam transect, southern Tibet, suggest that ductile shear along the STD was active from ~ 27-25 Ma to ~ 17-15 Ma, whereas ductile shear along the MCT was active from ~ 19-16 Ma to ~ 10-8 Ma. Pseudosection modeling results and published metamorphic ages indicate a P-T-t path discontinuity within the GHC and the upper GHC reached higher peak metamorphic temperatures (ΔT 100 °C), similar peak pressures and older metamorphic ages (~ 5-10 Myr), in favor of the presence of the Nyalam Discontinuity. Summarized results from literature suggest that timing of ductile shear along the STD was ~ 5-10 Myr earlier than that along the MCT across the Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan Himalayas. In addition, the GHC in Nepal can be separated into two portions by a regional-scale (> 800 km) in-sequence ductile shear zone - the High Himalayan Discontinuity. This shear zone was active coevally with the STD during 25-16 Ma, but ~ 5-10 Myr earlier than the MCT. The High Himalayan Discontinuity could possibly extend to the Sikkim Himalayas, but ends in Bhutan. The identified new architecture suggests that both in-sequence and out-of-sequence tectonometamorphic discontinuities are important components that formed the duplexing structure of the GHC in the central and eastern Himalaya, thus calling for more sophisticated numerical simulation than the current models such as the channel flow and critical taper.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:25199599

  10. Late miocene/pliocene origin of the inverted metamorphism of the Central Himalaya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrison, T.M.; Ryerson, F.J.; LeFort, P.; Yin, A. Lovera, O.M.

    1997-01-01

    The spatial association of intracontinental thrusting and inverted metamorphism, recognized in the Himalaya more than a century ago, has inspired continuing efforts to identify their causal relationship. Perhaps the best known sequence of inverted metamorphism is that found immediately beneath the Himalayan Main Central Thrust (MCT), generally thought to have been active during the Early Miocene. It has been widely assumed that the pattern of inverted metamorphism also developed at that time. Using a new approach, in situ Th-Pb dating of monazite included in garnet, we have discovered that the peak metamorphic recrystallization recorded in the footwall of the MCT fault occurred at ca. 5 Ma. The apparent inverted metamorphism resulted from activation of a broad shear zone beneath the MCT zone which juxtaposed two right-way-up metamorphic sequences. Recognition of this remarkably youthful phase of metamorphism resolves outstanding problems in Himalayan tectonics, such as why the MCT (and not the more recently initiated thrusts) marks the break in slope of the present day mountain range, and transcends others, such as the need for exceptional conditions to explain Himalayan anatexis.

  11. Evolution and outburst risk analysis of moraine-dammed lakes in the central Chinese Himalaya

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Wang Shijin; Jiao Shitai

    2015-04-01

    The recent evolution and outburst risk of two typical moraine-dammed lakes, Galong and Gangxi, central Chinese Himalaya, are analyzed using topographic maps from 1974 and Landsat satellite imagery acquired in 1988, 2000 and 2014. The datasets show the areas of Galong and Gangxi lakes increasing at rates of 0.45 and 0.34 km2/year during the period 1974–2014, an expansion of 501% and 107%, respectively, in the past 41 years, while the areas of the parent glaciers, Reqiang and Jipucong decreased by 44.22% and 37.76%, respectively. The accelerating retreat of the glaciers not only reflects their generally negative mass balance but is consistent with the rapid expansion of the moraine-dammed lakes. When acted upon by external forces such as earthquakes, heavy rainfall, rapid melting of glaciers and dead ice, and snow/ice/rock avalanches, these lakes can become extremely dangerous, easily forming outburst mudslides, which can potentially spread to the Poiqu river basin and develop into cross-border (China and Nepal) GLOF disasters. Therefore, there is an urgent need to strengthen integrated risk management of glacial lake outburst disasters with multiple objectives and modes.

  12. Noise characteristics of Continuous GPS time series of Central and Eastern Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, J. D.; Vijayan, M. S. M.; Kumar, A.

    2015-12-01

    Global positioning system measurements with its millimetre level accuracy have been widely used to monitor the crustal dynamics. Geodetic crustal deformation studies require accurate estimate of the parameters which demands realistic estimate of the uncertainties in order to constrain the signal. GPS based crustal deformation studies in tectonically active region, such as Central and Eastern Himalaya have been carried out by several groups however, proper noise characteristics of GPS time series of this study region are unknown. In this work, we attempt to address the noise characteristics of GPS position time series by analysing the GPS time series of 22 stations from North-East India, Bhutan and Nepal Himalaya spanning 2002-2013. We have employed Spectral analysis and Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) to study the noise characteristics. Power spectrum obtained by using Lomb-Scargle method reveals characteristics of white noise at the high frequencies and power law noise at lower frequencies. Estimation of the spectral index by finding the slope of the spectral curve suggests fractal white noise with overall index of -0.61. MLE was performed in two ways. First, by assuming the time series to be composed of (a) white (WN), (b) white plus flicker (FL) and (c) white plus random walk noise (WRN) and then by estimating spectral index assuming the noise to be composition of white and power law noise (WPN). The comparison of MLE values of three noise model suggest that white plus flicker noise model (FL) is the most preferred noise model. Comparison of velocity uncertainties between white noise and white plus flicker noise, obtained from MLE, suggest that velocity uncertainty is under estimated by factor of ~8 when simple white noise model is used. The spectral index estimated using MLE is -1.1 (~1) which suggests that flicker noise is the main power law noise in time series of all 22 GPS stations. A slight difference of noise amplitudes of two different monument types

  13. Distribution of natural radionuclide along Main Central Thrust in Garhwal Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.C. Ramola

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Study of natural radionuclide is important to assess the radiation level in a particular area. Radionuclide present in earth's crust is different for different geological areas because of the variety of soil and rocks present in a particular area. In present study, the estimation of natural radionuclides have been carried out along the Main Central Thrust (MCT in Uttarkashi, Budhakedar, Ukhimath and Healang regions of Garhwal Himalaya, India. The large variations in the radionuclide distribution have been estimated along the Main Central Thrust. The 226Ra, 232Th and 40K contents in MCT area varies from 8 ± 1 Bq.kg−1 to 285 ± 28 Bq.kg−1 with an average of 64 Bq.kg−1, 7 ± 1 Bq.kg−1 to 136 ± 15 Bq.kg−1 with an average 69 Bq.kg−1 and 115 ± 18 Bq.kg−1 to 1588 ± 162 Bq.kg−1 with an average 792 Bq.kg−1, respectively. The radon exhalation rate and radon concentration in the soil of study area varies from 2.20 × 10−5 Bq.kg−1h−1 to 3.2 × 10−5 Bq.kg−1h−1 and 287 Bq/m3 to 417 Bq/m3, respectively. It was observed that the distribution of natural radionuclide in the soil of study area is not uniform and concentrated along geological active region. These values of radionuclide and radon mass exhalation rate may be used as baseline data for further study in the area.

  14. Climatic and paleoclimatic forcing of erosion in the southern Central Andes and the northwestern Himalaya (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bookhagen, B.; Strecker, M. R.

    2013-12-01

    The windward flanks of the tectonically active southern Central Andes and the NW Himalaya are characterized by steep climatic, tectonic, and topographic gradients. The first windward topographic rise of these mountain ranges constitutes a significant orographic barrier resulting in high orographic rainfall causing some of the wettest places on Earth. However, the higher-elevation areas of the windward flanks of both regions become progressively drier, until arid conditions are attained in the orogen interiors (i.e., the Altiplano-Puna and Tibet plateaus). Both areas have experienced significant paleoclimatic changes with deeper penetration of moisture into the orogen and thus an orogenward shift of the climate gradient. Some of the world's largest rivers with high sediment loads emerge from these mountain belts, and understanding the relation between climate and erosion is key in predicting mass fluxes, assessing the impacts of climate variability, and long-term climate forcing of erosion on landscape evolution. Here, we quantify the impact of the climatic gradients and their spatial shifts during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. We rely on sedimentary archives, digital topography, and cosmogenic inventories of river sands (10Be) and bedrock-erosion rates (10Be and 26Al) from the Puna Plateau in NW Argentina and the interior of the western Himalaya in NW India. We make three key observations that underline the importance of present-day climatic parameters and paleoclimatic changes on the effiency of surface processes in both areas: (1) First-order spatial erosion patterns follow the climatic gradient and catchment-mean erosion rates vary by three orders of magnitude from the wet mountain fronts to the dry orogen interior. In NW Argentina, our measurements represent the fluvial transport rates and indicate very low fluvial activity in the interior of the Puna Plateau during the Late Pleistocene; (2) the spatial distribution of erosion rates can be explained by a

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 to

  16. Low-Temperature cooling history of a Modi Khola transect, central Nepalese Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadin, E. S.; Martin, A. J.

    2010-12-01

    While most of the convergence between the Indian and Eurasian plates is thought to be taken up on the Main Himalayan-Main Frontal thrust system in southern Nepal, it has been suggested that additional faults to the north are also active. Among these is the Main Central thrust (MCT), a major deformational feature that crosses the length of the Himalayan chain and whose surface trace overlies a seismically active region. Most researchers agree that motion on the MCT initiated in Early Miocene time, but debate continues regarding its post-Miocene history. In order to investigate the bedrock uplift histories in this part of the Nepalese Himalaya, we undertook fission-track and (U-Th)/He dating of apatites from Greater and Lesser Himalayan pelites and quartzites at nearly constant elevation. The transect across the Modi Khola, in the western Annapurna Range of central Nepal, also crossed slope breaks that have been attributed to recent fault motion. From the 15 samples analyzed, most fission track ages are ca. 0.8 Ma, and large uncertainties mean outliers cannot be distinguished with confidence to have a different age. Apatite He (AHe) ages are mainly ca. 0.5 Ma, also with large uncertainties. HeFTy inverse modeling of sample cooling paths, using fission-track lengths and both AHe and fission-track ages, likewise reveal no apparent differences in cooling histories between any of the samples, with the exception of the samples immediately below and above the MCT. The different cooling histories of these two samples might indicate different uplift histories for the footwall and hanging wall of the MCT within the past million years. However, other samples within 200 meters of the trace of the MCT do not show this pattern. Further, at the temporal resolution of the apatite fission-track and He data, there is little support for motion on other faults of the Modi Khola valley in the past ca. 1 Ma. Geologic map of part of the Modi Khola valley showing the study area.

  17. Meteoric fluids in the South Tibetan Detachment and palaeoaltimetry of Central Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gébelin, Aude; Mulch, Andreas; Teyssier, Christian; Jessup, Micah J.; Brunel, Maurice; Cosca, Michael A.; Law, Rick D.

    2015-04-01

    have started earlier than previously thought; (2) a strong Himalayan rain shadow characterized the Tibetan plateau already at 15 Ma, inducing a strong aridity on the Tibetan plateau over most of the Neogene. These results are further supported by very low dD values of synkinematic minerals that formed in the high strain STD footwall along a N-S transect in central Himalaya between Kodari and Nyalam.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Gradient distribution of persistent organic contaminants along northern slope of central-Himalayas, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Ping; Yao, Tan-Dong; Cong, Zhi-Yuan; Yan, Xing-Liang; Kang, Shi-Chang; Zhang, Yong

    2006-12-15

    High mountains may serve as condenser for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and the vegetation in remote areas has been used as a means to characterized atmospheric concentrations of air pollutants. In this study, organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Himalayan spruce needle samples from Zhangmu-Nyalam region (central-Himalayas) were analyzed and the altitudinal gradient of these pollutants was investigated. Total HCHs and DDTs concentration in needles were in the range of 1.3-2.9 ng g(-1) dry weight and 1.7-11 ng g(-1) dry weight, which were lower than concentrations reported in spruce needles from Alps, however higher than concentrations in conifer needles from mountain areas of Alberta. Total Himalayan spruce needle PAHs was below 600 ng g(-1) and fluorene, phenanthrene and acenaphthene were abundant individual compounds measured. The ratios of alpha-HCH/gamma-HCH in pine needles were similar with the usual values for technical HCH, implying technical HCHs might be used in this region. The high ratios of o-p'-DDT/p-p'-DDT and no p-p'-DDE measured in this study led to the suspicion that a new source of o-p'-DDT and/or p-p'-DDT existed in this region. In addition, higher ratios of low molecular weight-/high molecular weight-PAHs in this region indicated that petroleum combustion, vehicle emission and low-temperature combustion might be the major contributions of PAH source. To examine the POPs distillation, the analyte concentrations were correlated with altitude. The more volatile OCPs, alpha-HCH, gamma-HCH, aldrin and alpha-endosulfan positively correlated with altitude, however, less volatile OCPs (DDT and DDD) inversely related with elevation. Almost all PAHs detected in this area showed positive correlations with altitude. It is worthy to note that heavy PAHs (Benzo[k] fluoranthene and Benzo[a]anthracene) displayed positive correlation, which implied the sources of PAHs were near the sampling sites. The

  20. Structure and Diversity of Sal Forests in Government and Community Management Systems in kumaun Region of Central Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhawana Kapkoti

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The present study deals with structure, diversity and regeneration of Sal (ShorearobustaGaertn. forests in Kumaun region of Central Himalaya. Twoforest types were investigated i.e. Sal dominant forestandSal teak (Tectonagrandis Linn. mixed forestin KumaunHimalaya.Tree, sapling and seedling density was 650- 911, 36-1303 and 400-6656 ind.ha-1, respectively. Salshowed reverse J-shaped curve representing good regeneration and T. grandisshowed reverse bell shaped indicating fair regeneration in community management system while Sal showed poor regeneration in the government management forest. Sal showed comparatively good regeneration in Sal mixed forest in community managed while poor regeneration in Sal dominantgovernment management system. Over exploitation Sal species for basic needs of people consequentlyimpart the negative impact on regeneration of forest. Thus it is suggested that mixed forests with higher number of species reduces the pressure on individual ones species as can be brought by local people so should be managed and conserved sustainably.

  1. Erosion and Sediment Transport Across and Along Pronounced Topographic and Climatic Gradients: Examples from the Central Andes and Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bookhagen, Bodo; Strecker, Manfred; Olen, Stephanie

    2016-04-01

    Moisture impinging on high topographic barriers results in effective orographic barriers. For example, the interaction of the Indian Monsoon with the southern Himalaya and the South American Monsoon System with the eastern central Andes result in some of the most efficient orographic barriers on Earth. The steep topographic gradients, the impact of focused rainfall along the southern and eastern flanks of the range, and the northward and westward shifts of rainfall during frequent intensified storm systems are responsible for an efficient erosional regime, with some of the highest known erosion rates. The spatiotemporal correlation between various topographic, tectonic, climatic, and exhumational phenomena in these regions has resulted in the formulation of models of possible long-term erosional and tectonic feedback processes that drive the lateral expansion and vertical growth of mountain belts. However, despite an increase in thermochronologic, cosmogenic radionuclide, and sedimentological datasets that help explain some underlying mechanisms, the true nature of these relationships is still unclear and controversies particularly exist concerning the importance of the different forcing factors that drive sediment transport on different time scales. Here, we synthesize and assess these controversies with observations from studies conducted perpendicular to and along strike of the orogens, and combine them with new basin-wide erosion-rate data from the Sutlej Valley in the NW Himalaya and from the southern central Andean Plateau (Puna) in NW Argentina. At first order and across strike, erosion rates based on cosmogenic nuclide inventories on river sands suggest a correlation with rainfall rates. But along-strike rainfall gradients in the Himalaya indicate additional moderating factors, such as vegetation. Leeward of the orographic barrier, fluvial erosion variability increases and erosion processes become more stochastic. Further leeward in the high-elevation and

  2. Characteristics of Aerosol Spectral Optical Depths over Manora Peak, Nainital $-$ A High Altitude Station in the Central Himalayas

    CERN Document Server

    Sagar, R; Dumka, U C; Moorthy, K K; Pant, P

    2003-01-01

    We present for the first time spectral behaviour of aerosol optical depths (AODs) over Manora Peak, Nainital located at an altitude of ~2 km in the central Himalayas. The observations were carried out using a Multi-Wavelength Solar Radiometer during January to December 2002. The primary features of the study are (i) larger AOD during afternoon periods compared to forenoon, attributable to change in the ray path from comparatively cleaner environment in the forenoon to polluted environment in the afternoon (ii) extremely low AODs during local winter and a remarkable increase to high values in summer (iii) a distinct change in the spectral dependencies of AODs from a relatively steeper spectra during winter to a shallower one in summer representing both transparent (meteorological aerosols) and polluted summer (urban haze aerosols) skies.The mean aerosol extinction law at Nainital during 2002 is best represented by $0.10 \\lambda^{-0.61}$.

  3. A 1000-year history of large floods in the Upper Ganga catchment, central Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasson, R. J.; Sundriyal, Y. P.; Chaudhary, Shipra; Jaiswal, Manoj K.; Morthekai, P.; Sati, S. P.; Juyal, Navin

    2013-10-01

    Determining the frequency, magnitude and causes of large floods over long periods in the flood-prone Himalaya is important for estimating the likelihood of future floods. A thousand year record (with some information from 2600 years ago) of the frequency and some estimates of velocities and discharges of large floods has been reconstructed in the Upper Ganga catchment, India, using written reports, litho-stratigraphy and sedimentology, and dated by optical and radiocarbon methods. In the Upper Ganga catchment rainfall triggers large landslides that dam rivers and release large amounts of water when they burst, thereby amplifying the effects of rainfall. The large floods in the catchment may be the result of landslide dam bursts rather than glacial lake bursts, and these are likely to continue and possibly worsen as the monsoon intensifies over the next century. However preliminary information suggests that the recent devastating flood of June 2013 was the result of heavy rainfall not landslide dam bursts. The frequency record is non-random and shows a high frequency between AD 1000 and AD 1300 (omitting uncertainties), then a low frequency until a cluster of floods occurred about 200 years ago, then increased frequency. This temporal pattern is like but not identical with that in Peninsular India, and both appear to be the result of variations in the monsoon.

  4. Microstructural analysis of the Greater Himalayan Sequence, Annapurna-Dhaulagiri Himalaya, central Nepal: Channel Flow and Orogen-parallel deformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, A. J.; Phillips, R. J.; Lloyd, G. E.; Searle, M. P.; Law, R. D.

    2014-12-01

    Knowledge of deformation processes that occur in the lithosphere during orogenesis can be gained from microstructural analysis of exhumed terranes and shear zones. Here, we use Crystallographic Preferred Orientation (CPO) and Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility (AMS) data to reveal the kinematic evolution of the metamorphic core of the Himalayan orogen, the Greater Himalayan Sequence (GHS). The Himalayan orogen is commonly explained with models of channel flow, which describe the GHS as a partially molten, rheologically weak mid crustal channel. Extrusion of the channel was facilitated by coeval reverse- and normal-sense shear zones, at the lower and upper channel margins respectively. Whilst many thermobarometric studies support the occurrence of channel flow, the spatial and temporal distribution of strain within the GHS is one aspect of the model that is yet to be fully resolved. We present a quantified strain proxy profile for the GHS in the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri region of central Nepal and compare our results with the kinematic predictions of the channel flow model. Samples were collected along a NS transect through the Kali Gandaki valley of central Nepal for CPO and AMS analysis. Variations in CPO strength are used as a proxy for relative strain magnitude, whilst AMS data provide a proxy for strain ellipsoid shape. Combining this information with field and microstructural observations and thermobarometric constraints reveals the kinematic evolution of the GHS in this region. Low volumes of leucogranite and sillimanite bearing rocks and evidence of reverse-sense overprinting normal-sense shearing at the top of the GHS suggest that channel flow was not as intense as model predictions. Additionally, observed EW mineral lineations and oblate strain ellipsoid proxies in the Upper GHS, indicative of three dimensional flattening and orogen parallel stretching, cannot be explained by current channel flow models. Whilst the results do not refute the occurrence of

  5. Unified Scaling Law for Earthquakes: Seismic hazard and risk assessment for Himalayas, Lake Baikal, and Central China regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nekrasova, Anastasia; Kossobokov, Vladimir; Parvez, Imtiyaz; Tao, Xiaxin

    2015-04-01

    The Unified Scaling Law for Earthquakes (USLE), that generalizes the Gutenberg-Richter recurrence relation, has evident implications since any estimate of seismic hazard depends on the size of the territory that is used for investigation, averaging, and extrapolation into the future. Therefore, the hazard may differ dramatically when scaled down to the proportion of the area of interest (e.g. territory occupied by a city) from the enveloping area of investigation. In fact, given the observed patterns of distributed seismic activity the results of multi-scale analysis embedded in USLE approach demonstrate that traditional estimations of seismic hazard and risks for cities and urban agglomerations are usually underestimated. Moreover, the USLE approach provides a significant improvement when compared to the results of probabilistic seismic hazard analysis, e.g. the maps resulted from the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Project (GSHAP). We apply the USLE approach to evaluating seismic hazard and risks to population of the three territories of different size representing a sub-continental and two different regional scales of analysis, i.e. the Himalayas and surroundings, Lake Baikal, and Central China regions.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this paper we have discussed the result of systematic measurement of the soil gas radon concentrations and define the background values, along and around the MCT (Main Central Thrust) 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 manufacturer. The soil gas concentration was measured at different depths 10 cm, 30 cm and 50 cm with wide range of different points from the MCT respectively. 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 32500 Bq.m-3 with an average of 2387 Bq.m-3 and at 50 cm it was found to vary from 1330 to 46000 Bq.m-3 with an average of 15357 Bq.m-3. The data analysis clearly reveals anomalous values along the fault. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. R. Maurya

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 and fallow lands of Almora. Electro-chemical properties, soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC, β-glucosidase, dehydrogenase and phosphatase activities were determined following the standard procedures. Both forest and fallow land soils were acidic in nature. Content of organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium were high in range and increased with altitudes. Average content of total nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in forest lands was 2115.39, 111.89 and 2189.36 kg ha 1, respectively. Similarly for the fallow lands the corresponding values were 1491.27, 80.26 and 2650.75 kg ha-1, respectively. SMBC of forest soil was positively and significantly correlated with β-glucosidase, dehydrogenase and phosphatase activities but in fallow land soil, it was significantly correlated only with dehydrogenase activities (r=0.69. All enzymes of forest soil were positively and significantly correlated with organic carbon, total nitrogen and total potassium. For fallow lands dehydrogenase activity was positively and significantly correlated with nitrogen (r=0.65 and potassium (r=0.76 while phosphatase activity was negatively and significantly correlated with total phosphorous (r= -0.71. Concluded that altitude directly or indirectly has influenced fertility status, SMBC and enzymatic activities of forest as well fallow land soils.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. 40Ar/39Ar 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)

  11. Time Variability of Surface-Layer Characteristics over a Mountain Ridge in the Central Himalayas During the Spring Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solanki, Raman; Singh, Narendra; Kiran Kumar, N. V. P.; Rajeev, K.; Dhaka, S. K.

    2016-03-01

    We present the diurnal variations of surface-layer characteristics during spring (March-May 2013) observed near a mountain ridge at Nainital (29.4°N, 79.5°E, 1926 m above mean sea level), a hill station located in the southern part of the central Himalayas. During spring, this region generally witnesses fair-weather conditions and significant solar heating of the surface, providing favourable conditions for the systematic diurnal evolution of the atmospheric boundary layer. We mainly utilize the three-dimensional wind components and virtual temperature observed with sonic anemometers (sampling at 25 Hz) mounted at 12- and 27-m heights on a meteorological tower. Tilt corrections using the planar-fit method have been applied to convert the measurements to streamline-following coordinate system before estimating turbulence parameters. The airflow at this ridge site is quite different from slope flows. Notwithstanding the prevalence of strong large-scale north-westerly winds, the diurnal variation of the mountain circulation is clearly discernible with the increase of wind speed and a small but distinct change in wind direction during the afternoon period. Such an effect further modulates the surface-layer water vapour content, which increases during the daytime and results in the development of boundary-layer clouds in the evening. The sensible heat flux ( H) shows peak values around noon, with its magnitude increasing from March (222± 46 W m^{-2}) to May (353± 147 W m^{-2}). The diurnal variation of turbulent kinetic energy ( e) is insignificant during March while its mean value is enhanced by 30-50 % of the post-midnight value during the afternoon (1400-1600 IST), delayed by {≈ }2 h compared to the peak in H. This difference between the phase variations of incoming shortwave flux, H and e primarily arise due to the competing effects of turbulent eddies produced by thermals and wind shear, the latter increase significantly with time until nighttime during April

  12. Preliminary Black Carbon Record (1805 - 1943 AD) from the High Altitude Dasuopu Ice Core (7200 m) in the Central Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, J. D.; Kaspari, S.; Wegner, A.; Thompson, L. G.; Gabrielli, P.

    2013-12-01

    Black carbon (BC) produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil and biofuels both amplifies mid-tropospheric atmospheric warming and decreases glacier surface albedo, and thus may influence regional climatic trends and water resource availability. The rapidly developing economies in Asia have been identified as significant sources of BC to the atmosphere on a continental scale in recent decades, but records available from this region to reconstruct BC concentrations spatially and temporally are limited. The analysis of BC preserved in glacier ice can provide a record of atmospheric BC content over time. We analyzed the Dasuopu Glacier ice core (Central Himalaya) for BC concentration at ~5 cm resolution using a Single Particle Soot Photometer (Droplet Measurement Technologies), and use the resultant record to describe trends in atmospheric BC from 1805 - 1943 AD. The Dasuopu ice core is unique because it was obtained at an exceptionally high elevation (7200 m a.s.l.) which may insolate it from local BC sources and reflect BC trends in a more mixed upper troposphere. Preliminary analysis of discrete sections shows that the Dasuopu ice core captures the seasonal BC deposition signal exceptionally well, with higher BC concentrations during winter-spring and lower concentrations during the summer monsoon season. Peak winter-spring concentrations pre-1890 are 10 ng g-1, increasing to as high as 30 ng g-1 during the 1890s - 1943. Additionally, background BC concentrations prior to 1890 are less than 0.5 ng g-1, and are consistently higher than 0.5 ng g-1 during the 1890s - 1943. The early 20th century BC increases are coincident with post-colonial industrialization of the Indian subcontinent. Preliminary results from the Dasuopu ice core highlight the utility of the BC record to detect perturbations in the carbon cycle at a regional scale, and the importance of an exceptionally high altitude location for detecting and preserving an atmospheric BC record. Future analyses

  13. Sources and environmental processes of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and mercury along a southern slope of the Central Himalayas, Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokhrel, Balram; Gong, Ping; Wang, Xiaoping; Gao, Shaopeng; Wang, Chuanfei; Yao, Tandong

    2016-07-01

    Semi-volatile pollutants can undergo long-range atmospheric transport from low-altitude source regions to high-altitude regions and then accumulate in surface matrices (soil and plants). The Himalayas is the highest mountain range worldwide, but there have been limited studies on the source, transport, and deposition of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and mercury (Hg) in the region. In this study, atmospheric PAHs, and the PAHs and Hg in soil and foliage were determined along a transect on a southern slope of the Himalayas, Nepal. The study showed anthropogenic emissions of PAHs and Hg occurred in the lowland areas of Nepal, and upslope transport to the high-altitude regions happened for both pollutants. During the upslope transport, forest filter effect and snow scavenging may be the important factors that enhance the deposition of PAHs, contributing to the negative pattern between concentrations of PAHs and altitudes. On the contrary, more Hg accumulated in the high Himalayas, relating to the enhanced deposition in the high altitude caused by the higher input from upper atmosphere. Graphical abstract Distribution and environmental processes of PAHs and Hg along the southern slope of Himalayan mountain. PMID:27032636

  14. Panigarh cave stalagmite evidence of climate change in the Indian Central Himalaya since AD 1256: Monsoon breaks and winter southern jet depressions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Fuyuan; Brook, George A.; Kotlia, Bahadur S.; Railsback, L. Bruce; Hardt, Benjamin; Cheng, Hai; Edwards, R. Lawrence; Kandasamy, Selvaraj

    2015-09-01

    Variations in petrography, stable isotopes, reflectance, and luminescence along the central growth axis of a 14.5 cm stalagmite from Panigarh cave indicate cooler and slightly wetter conditions in the Himalayan foothills of northern India during the Little Ice Age (LIA), which lasted from ˜AD 1489-1889 based on deposition of calcite, and AD 1450-1820 based on rapid changes in δ18O values. Conditions were warmer and drier during the preceding Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and also in the post-LIA periods, as evidenced by deposition of aragonite. A review of currently existing stalagmite and other proxy data from south and east Asia reveals a broad spatial pattern in precipitation over south and east Asia during the LIA, with northern areas showing generally increased precipitation and southern areas reduced precipitation. During the MCA and after the LIA, the records suggest this pattern was reversed. Weaker ISM during the LIA brought drought conditions to the core ISM area but triggered more monsoon 'breaks' that brought higher precipitation to the Himalayas. At the same time, the weaker ISM may also have pushed more depressions along the path of the southern winter jet which brought more winter precipitation to the Himalayas and therefore a LIA wetter in our study area.

  15. Geochronogy of leucogranites in Yadong region: constraints on the age of the South Tibetan Detachment System in central-eastern Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhi-Chao; Wu, Fu-Yuan; Ji, Wei-Qiang; Wang, Jian-Gang; Liu, Xiao-Chi

    2016-04-01

    The South Tibetan Detachment System (STDS) is a series of low-angle normal faults with an extension of more than 2000 km along strike of the Himalaya orogen (Burchfiel et al., 1992). It separates the high-grade rocks of the Greater Himalaya Sequence (GHS) from the generally low-grade metasedimentary rocks of Tethyan Himalaya Sequence (THS) above. Knowing the timing of deformations related to the STDS is critical to understanding the exhumation history of the Himalaya. In central-eastern Himalaya, the STDS is disrupted by a major northeast-trending fault zone that was referred as Yadong Cross Structure (YCS). Exposures of the STDS either side of the YCS have been well determined, and the cessation timing of shearing have been estimated prior to 22~16 Ma for the western section and younger than 12 Ma for the eastern section (see the review in Leloup et al., 2010). It suggests that the YCS is key region that corresponds to a major timing discontinuity. However, the exposure of STDS in Yadong region and its activity timing has not been well constrained. Field mapping of the Yadong region reveals that a klippen of Cambrian biotite schist, chlorite schist, calcischists and quartzite, and Ordovician limestones of the THS units was resting on garnet-sillimanite-plagioclase gneisses, augen granitic gneisses and migmatites of the GHS basement (China University of Geosciences, 2005, unpublished). Structural relationships indicate that the contact is a low-angle normal fault, which was termed as Yadong shear zone (Xu et al., 2013). We correlate the Yadong shear zone to the STDS following the broader convention that STDS is defined as the contact between the THS and GHS. There are two leucogranite plutons within the shear zone, the Dingga pluton to the north and the Gaowu pluton to the south. They intruded into both GHS and THS, with the main bodies are undeformed and isotropic. Furthermore, there are numbers of undeformed dykes crosscut the foliations of the country rocks

  16. Short-term variability in the dates of the Indian monsoon onset and retreat on the southern and northern slopes of the central Himalayas as determined by precipitation stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Wusheng; Yao, Tandong; Tian, Lide; Ma, Yaoming; Wen, Rong; Devkota, Lochan P.; Wang, Weicai; Qu, Dongmei; Chhetri, Tek B.

    2016-07-01

    This project launched the first study to compare the stable isotopes (δ18O and δD) in daily precipitation at Kathmandu (located on the southern slope of the central Himalayas) and Tingri (located on the northern slope). The results show that low δ18O and δD values of summer precipitation at the two stations were closely related to intense convection of the Indian monsoon. However, summer δ18O and δD values at Tingri were lower than those at Kathmandu, a result of the lift effect of the Himalayas, coupled with convection disturbances and lower temperatures at Tingri. In winter, the relatively high δ18O and δD values at the two stations appears to have resulted from the influence of the westerlies. Compared with those during the summer, the subsidence of the westerlies and northerly winds resulted in relatively high δ18O and δD values of the winter precipitation at Tingri. Winter δ18O and δD values at Kathmandu far exceeded those at Tingri, due to more intense advection of the southern branch of the westerlies, and higher temperatures and relative humidity at Kathmandu. The detailed differences in stable isotopes between the two stations follow short-term variability in the onset date of the Indian monsoon and its retreat across the central Himalayas. During the sampling period, the Indian monsoon onset at Tingri occurred approximately 1 week later than that at Kathmandu. However, the retreat at Tingri began roughly 3 days earlier. Clearly, the duration of the Indian monsoon effects last longer at Kathmandu than that at Tingri. Our findings also indicate that the India monsoon travels slowly northward across the central Himalayas due to the blocking of the Himalayas, but retreats quickly.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. Two times lowering of lake water at around 48 and 38 ka, caused by possible earthquakes, recorded in the Paleo-Kathmandu lake, central Nepal Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Harutaka; Fujii, Rie; Sugimoto, Misa; Setoguchi, Ryoko; Paudel, Mukunda Raj

    2016-02-01

    Sedimentary facies and micro-fossil analyses, and AMS14C dating were performed in order to reveal the water-level fall events and draining process of the lake (Paleo-Kathmandu Lake) that existed in the past in the Central Nepal Himalaya. The sedimentary facies change from the lacustrine Kalimati Formation to the deltaic Sunakothi Formation in the southern and central Kathmandu basin, and the abrupt and prominent increase of phytoliths Bambusoideae and Pediastrum, and contemporaneous decrease of sponge spicule and charcoal grains around 48 and 38 ka support the lowering of water level at these times. According to the pollen analysis, both events occurred under rather warm and wet climate, thus supporting that they were triggered by tectonic cause and not by climate change. The first event might be linked to a possible occurrence of a large earthquake with an epicenter in the vicinity of the Paleo-Kathmandu Lake. The occurrence of a mega landslide in Langtang area close to the north of the Kathmandu Valley producing pseudotachylite dated at 51 ± 13 ka could be linked to this earthquake. Finally, the water was completely drained out from the remnant lake at the central part of the Kathmandu basin by ca.12 ka.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Measurements of radon flux and soil-gas radon concentration along the Main Central Thrust, Garhwal Himalaya, using SRM and RAD7 detectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourai, Abhay; Aswal, Sunita; Dangwal, Anoop; Rawat, Mukesh; Prasad, Mukesh; Naithani, Nagendra; Joshi, Veena; Ramola, Rakesh

    2013-08-01

    Radon in the Earth's crust or soil matrix is free to move only if its atoms find their way into pores or capillaries of the matrix. 222Rn atoms from solid mineral grains get into air, filling pores through emanation process. Then 222Rn enters into the atmosphere from air-filled pores by exhalation process. The estimation of radon flux from soil surface is an important parameter for determining the source term for radon concentration modeling. In the present investigation, radon fluxes and soil-gas radon concentration have been measured along and around the Main Central Thrust (MCT) in Uttarkashi district of Garhwal Himalaya, India, by using Scintillation Radon Monitor (SRM) and RAD7 devices, respectively. The soil radon gas concentration measured by RAD7 with soil probe at the constant depth was found to vary from 12 ± 3 to 2330 ± 48 Bq·m-3 with geometrical mean value of 302 ± 84 Bq·m-3. Th significance of this work is its usefulness from radiation protection point of view.

  2. Effect of mixed-cropping and water-stress on macro-nutrients and biochemical constituents of rhizomatous medicinal plants in Central Himalaya, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    L.S.Kandari; K.S.Rao; R.K.Maikhuri; Kusum Payal

    2012-01-01

    Plants in the alpine zone mainly depend on the reserved food materials stored in their rhizomes for the next growing season.We investigated the effect of mixed cropping (Phaseolus vulgaris L.var.Pinto)with four rhizomatous medicinal plants,i.e.,Angelica glauca,Arnebia benthamii,Rheum emodi and Pleurospermum angelicoides as well as three levels of water stress treatment under two conditions (shade net and open field) on macronutrients (NPK) and biochemicals (carbohydrates and protein).The experiment was conducted by completely randomized design (CDR).The data were analyzed with ANOVA as well as CDR.The experimental results show that in all the species shade conditions with sever water stress (SSWS) increased the level of macronutrients (NPK).However,(N) concentration was highest under shade with mixed cropping (SMIX).Under SMIX,carbohydrate content was highest than open field control conditions (CONT).This investigation results demonstrate that mixed cropping of medicinal plants with Phaseolus vulgaris could be a good livelihood option in the mountainous regions of Indian Central Himalaya.And the water-stress conditions along with mixed cropping could improve the biochemical constituents in the rhizome of these species.

  3. On-farm Conservation of Landraces of Rice (Oryza Sativa L.) through Cultivation in the Kumaun Region of Indian Central Himalaya

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The Himalayan region is a known hot spot of crop diversity. Traditional varieties (usually called primitive cultivars or landraces), having withstood the rigors of time (including harsh climatic conditions as well as attacks of insects, pests and diseases), can still be found in crop fields in rural parts of Indian Central Himalaya (ICH). These landraces harbor many desired traits from which, for example, varieties that are tolerant/resistant to abiotic/biotic stresses could be developed. In addition to the above benefits,landraces provide a basis for food security and a more varied and interesting diet. Some landraces are also known to be of medicinal value. These, along with some lesser known hill crops, are often referred to by different names such as under exploited crops, crops for marginal lands, poor person crops, and neglected mountain crops. The Himalayan region continues to be a reservoir of a large number of landraces and cultivars whose economic and ecological potential is yet to be fully understood and/or exploited. Indians have had a history of rice cultivation since ancient times. Farmers, including tribals inhabiting the IHR, still cultivate a plethora of landraces of rice and thus directly contribute towardson-farm conservation of valuable germplasm and help in the preservation of crop diversity. The present paper looks at the on-farm conservation of rice germplasm, which is still practised in the Kumaun region of ICH.

  4. Evolution of a large landslide in the High Himalaya of central Nepal during the last half-century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, F.; Lavé, J.

    2014-10-01

    Episodic and catastrophic landslides are considered to be one of the main sources of sediment in the steep, mountainous landscapes of the Himalayas. However, the evolution of a single landslide through time and its contribution to erosional processes remain poorly constrained. In this study, we focus on a single, large (0.5 km2) landslide in a small catchment on the southern flank of the Annapurnas in Nepal (the Khudi valley) in order to quantify its importance in the overall erosion of this steep Himalayan catchment. The evolution of the Saituti landslide has been continuously monitored by remote sensing for the past 46 years. During that period, the Saituti landslide displayed sustained activity, such that the area of the landslide scar increased by a factor of 4. This retrogressive failure, a consequence of several sporadic flank and crown collapses, has not been continuous. Rather, acceleration phases have alternated with more quiescent periods. Simultaneously, the upper edge moved upward by 900 m. Based on field evidence from recent activity (such as scarps and open tension cracks above the landslide) and on an analysis of slope angles, at least the next 500 m is expected to fail. Volume losses within the landslide were estimated from differences between digital elevation models (DEMs) and from changes in landslide area, using a calibrated power law relationship between landslide area and volume. Corresponding landslide-induced erosion rates at the scale of the whole Khudi catchment were found to be 2.6 ± 0.9 mm/y for the past half-century. Those rates are similar to denudation rates obtained from sediment load measurements between 1999 and 2004. Those results, along with the lack of other major landslides in the valley for the last 46 years, suggest that the Saituti landslide plays a dominant role in the modern erosion of the High Himalayan Khudi catchment for the last years and possibly for the past few decades. We propose that continuous and sustained

  5. Weak precipitation, warm winters and springs impact glaciers of south slopes of Mt. Everest (central Himalaya in the last two decades (1994–2013

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Salerno

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Studies on recent climate trends from the Himalayan range are limited, and even completely absent at high elevation. This contribution specifically explores the southern slopes of Mt. Everest (central Himalaya, analyzing the minimum, maximum, and mean temperature and precipitation time series reconstructed from seven stations located between 2660 and 5600m a.s.l. over the last twenty years (1994–2013. We complete this analysis with data from all the existing ground weather stations located on both sides of the mountain range (Koshi Basin over the same period. Overall we observe that the main and more significant increase in temperature is concentrated outside of the monsoon period. At higher elevations minimum temperature (0.072 ± 0.011 °C a−1, p −1, p > 0.1, while mean temperature increased by 0.044 ± 0.008 °C a−1, p −1, p p < 0.05, but the magnitude of this phenomenon is decidedly lower than the observed decrease of precipitation. (4 The lesser accumulation could be the cause behind the observed lower glacier flow velocity and the current stagnation condition of tongues, which in turn could have trigged melting processes under the debris glacier coverage, leading to the formation of numerous supraglacial and proglacial lakes that have characterized the region in the last decades. Without demonstrating the causes that could have led to the climate change pattern observed at high elevation, we conclude by listing the recent literature on hypotheses that accord with our observations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Detection of snow melt and freezing in Himalaya using OSCAT data

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Rajashree V Bothale; P V N Rao; C B S Dutt; V K Dadhwal

    2015-02-01

    A study of the snow cover melt and freeze using Ku band Oceansat scatterometer (OSCAT) HH polarised backscatter coefficient (0HH) for 2011 and 2012 is reported for the Himalayas, which contain the world’s largest reserve of ice and snow outside polar regions. The analysis shows spatial and temporal inter-annual variations in the onset of melt/freeze across four regions (Upper Himalaya, Western Himalaya, Central Himalaya, and Eastern Himalaya), nine elevation bands and four aspect zones. A threshold based on temperature–0HH relation and average 0HH for the months January–March was used for melt/freeze detection. When the three consecutive images (6 days) satisfied the threshold, the day of first image was selected as melt onset/freeze day. The average melt onset dates were found to be March 11 ± 11 days for Eastern Himalaya, April 3 ± 18 days for Central Himalaya, April 16 ± 27 days for Western Himalaya, and May 12 ± 18 days for Upper Himalaya. Similarly average freeze onset dates were found to be August 23 ± 27 days for Eastern Himalaya, September 08 ± 24 days for Central Himalaya, August 27 ± 11 days for Western Himalaya, and September 13 ± 11 days for Upper Himalaya. All the zones experienced the melt onset earlier by around 20 days in 2011 at elevation above 5000 m. All the zones experienced freeze earlier in 2012, with onset being 18, 19, 11, and 21 days earlier in Eastern, Central, Western, and Upper Himalaya, respectively.

  8. Long-term record of aerosol optical properties and chemical composition from a high-altitude site (Manora Peak in Central Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Ram

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available This MS reports on a long-term study of aerosol optical properties and chemical composition, conducted during February 2005–July 2008, from a high-altitude site (Manora Peak, ~2000 m a.s.l. in the central Himalaya. The chemical analyses suggest that, on average, total carbonaceous aerosols (TCA and water-soluble inorganic species (WSIS contribute nearly 25% and 10% of the total suspended particulate (TSP mass, respectively. Both, TSP and aerosol optical depth (AOD exhibit significant increase during summer months, with simultaneous increase in the abundance of mineral dust under the prevailing south-westerly winds and long-range transport from desert regions (from middle-East and Thar Desert in western India. The temporal variability in the abundance pattern of carbonaceous species (EC, OC is also significantly pronounced, with lower concentrations occurring during summertime (April–June and monsoon (July–August and relatively high during post-monsoon (September–November and wintertime (December–March. The WSOC/OC ratios (range: 0.32 to 0.83 during summer and post-monsoon suggest significant contribution from secondary organic aerosols. The mass fraction of absorbing EC (elemental carbon ranges from less than a percent (during summer and monsoon to as high as 7.6% (during winter and absorption coefficient (babs, at 678 nm varied as 0.9–33.9 Mm−1 (1 Mm−1=10−6 m−1. The linear regression analysis between (babs and EC concentration (μgC m−3 yields a slope of 12.2(±2.3 m2 g−1, referred as mass absorption efficiency (σabs of EC. However, temporal data suggests lower σabs values during winter and higher in summer and post-monsoon. The change in the mixing state of aerosols and/or variability in the emission sources could be a plausible reason for the variability in σabs at this

  9. Late Pleistocene and Holocene large magnitude earthquakes along Himalayan Frontal Thrust in the Central Seismic Gap in NW Himalaya, Kala Amb, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip, G.; Bhakuni, S. S.; Suresh, N.

    2012-12-01

    The Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) forms the southernmost active tectonic mountain front of the Himalaya. To understand the ongoing tectonics further, paleoseismological study has been carried out in the vicinity of the HFT system along the Himalayan Front near Kala Amb, India. The trench excavation survey conducted across an explicit surface exposure of the HFT exhibits two distinct faults considered to be associated with the reactivation of the HFT where the Middle Siwalik rocks (Late Miocene) have repeatedly thrust over the Late Pleistocene and Holocene sediments. Presence of large-sized coseismically induced sand-injection feature and its disposition recognized in the trench also suggest occurrence of large magnitude earthquakes in this region. An uplifted and upwarped strath terrace, 3 to 5 m thick alluvium, resting over the 15 m high Middle Siwaliks, abruptly truncated by the HFT indicates its latest activity. Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating techniques were employed to constrain the chronology of events. The long term slip rate of the abandoned terraces due to the activity of the HFT is estimated to be 3.4 mm/yr or greater since Late Holocene. The paleoseismological investigations have provided unambiguous evidences of at least two large magnitude earthquakes occurred in this region where an earthquake with 12 m or larger surface displacement and magnitude 7.5 or greater hit this region in the period between 29.3 ka and 17 ka in the Late Pleistocene and another great earthquake recurred with 20-22 m or more surface displacement and magnitude of 7.7 or greater between 5.8 ka and 2 ka in the Holocene. The present study is the first time report of multiple large magnitude paleoearthquakes in the northwestern part of the Frontal Himalaya during Late Pleistocene and Holocene. The repeated reactivation of HFT substantiates high seismic potential of the Frontal Himalaya and calls for more extensive study of paleoearthquakes of this vastly populous

  10. Arc parallel extension in Higher and Lesser Himalayas, evidence from western Arunachal Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sharmistha De Sarkar; George Mathew; Kanchan Pande

    2013-06-01

    The existence of E–W extensional features from northeast (NE) Himalaya is poorly documented. Our investigation in the western part of Arunachal Himalaya provides evidences of active Quaternary E–W arc-parallel extensional features in the Higher and Lesser Himalayas. They are represented by arcperpendicular normal faults and arc-parallel sinistral strike-slip faults. We discuss the occurrences of these arc-parallel extensional features in terms of oblique convergence and radial expansion models. The partitioning of stress due to oblique convergence is argued based on evidences of left-lateral slip in NEHimalaya, right-lateral slip in NW-Himalaya and absence of translation in the central part. The amount of arc-parallel extension in the hinterland regions is correlated to the amount of radial shortening in the foreland. The computation of arc-parallel extension in the NE Himalayan arc is carried out by defining a small-circle centered at 88° 39′ ± 0.7′E longitude and 33° 40′ ± 0.6′N latitude having a radius of 770.7 ± 15.1 km, for the segment between 92° 01′ and 95° 16′E longitudes. The amount of arc-parallel extension estimated is ∼110 km for the NE Himalayan segment. Our result agrees closely with the 104 km extension determined based on geodetically computed extension rate and age of initiation of rifting in southern Tibet.

  11. Response of monsoon variability in Himalayas to global warming

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Reconstructed annual net accumulation from the Dasuopu ice core recovered in Himalayas, with a good correlation to Indian monsoon, reflects a major precipitation trend in central Himalayas. The Dasuopu accumulation (DSP An) also shows a strong correlation to the Northern Hemispheric temperature. Generally, as the Northern Hemispheric temperature increases by 0.1 K, the accumulation decreases by about 90 mm and vise versa. Under the condition of global warming, especially since 1920, the Northern Hemispheric mean temperature has increased by about 0.5 K, whereas accumulation in Dasuopu ice core has decreased by about 450 mm. According to the relationship between accumulation and temperature, a scenario prediction of monsoon rainfall in central Himalayas is made.

  12. Hydroclimatic influence on particle size distribution of suspended sediments evacuated from debris-covered Chorabari Glacier, upper Mandakini catchment, central Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Amit; Gokhale, Anupam Anand; Shukla, Tanuj; Dobhal, Dwarika Prasad

    2016-07-01

    Sediments released from high altitude glaciers exhibit varying evacuation patterns and transport characteristics owing to the presence of thick debris cover over the glacier. Despite the recent needs for integrated hydrometeorological studies in the Himalaya, little is known about the impacts of suspended sediment on hydropower generation, reservoir sedimentation, and abrasion of turbine components. Present study involves analysis of particle size distribution of suspended sediments to understand sediment evacuation patterns and transport characteristics in variable energy conditions during the ablation season. Peak suspended sediments were evacuated during extreme rainfall events. The estimated seasonal modern sediment erosion rate varies from 0.6 to 2.3 mm y- 1 for the study period (2009-2012). The analysis shows dominance of medium silt-sized to fine sand-sized particles having sediment size of 0.0156-0.25 mm corresponding to 70-80% without any significant seasonal variation. These transported sediments show that they are poorly sorted, coarser in nature with a nearly symmetrical to coarse skewed texture and kurtosis analysis suggesting mesokurtic distribution of sediments. The particle size fraction ranges between 4.65 and 5.23 ϕ, which is dominantly medium to coarse silty in texture. Results indicate that suspended sediments are evacuated in highly variable energy conditions through subglacial transport pathways because of increase in availability of meltwater with the progressive ablation season. Bulk geochemical characterization has been carried out to differentiate the source of suspended sediments and intensity of weathering. Chemical Index of Alterations (CIA) values of sediment flux range from 54.68 to 55.18 compared to the Upper Continental Crust (UCC) ~ 50, indicating moderate intensity of weathering. Mean seasonal (2009-2012) elemental fluxes and their contribution to the suspended sediment flux reflect that Si and Al are responsible for about 85% of

  13. Himalayas as seen from STS-66 shuttle Atlantis

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    View is southeastward across China (Tibet), half of Nepal and India. The partly frozen lake near the center of the frame is Pei-Ku T'so ('Bos-tie Lake'). The central Himalaya stretches from Mount Everest on the left past Annapurna on the right. Large tributaries converge to form the Ganges River, flowing through the lowland basin south of the Himalaya. This photograph illustrates the rain shadow effect of the Himalaya Chain; wet, warm air from the Indian Ocean is driven against the mountains, lifted, and drained of water that forms ice caps, the abundant rivers, and forests of the foothills. In contrast the high plateau of Tibet is arid, composed largely of topographically-closed basins because stream flow is inadequate to form integrated drainage networks.

  14. Glacier Ecosystems of Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohshima, S.; Yoshimura, Y.; Takeuchi, N.; Segawa, T.; Uetake, J.

    2012-12-01

    Biological activity on glaciers has been believed to be extremely limited. However, we found various biotic communities specialized to the glacier environment in various part of the world, such as Himalaya, Patagonia and Alaska. Some of these glacier hosted biotic communities including various cold-tolerant insects, annelids and copepods that were living in the glacier by feeding on algae and bacteria growing in the snow and ice. Thus, the glaciers are simple and relatively closed ecosystems sustained by the primary production in the snow and ice. In this presentation, we will briefly introduce glacier ecosystems in Himalaya; ecology and behavior of glacier animals, altitudinal zonation of snow algal communities, and the structure of their habitats in the glacier. Since the microorganisms growing on the glacier surface are stored in the glacial strata every year, ice-core samples contain many layers with these microorganisms. We showed that the snow algae in the ice-core are useful for ice core dating and could be new environmental signals for the studies on past environment using ice cores. These microorganisms in the ice core will be important especially in the studies of ice core from the glaciers of warmer regions, in which chemical and isotopic contents are often heavily disturbed by melt water percolation. Blooms of algae and bacteria on the glacier can reduce the surface albedo and significantly affect the glacier melting. For example, the surface albedo of some Himalayan glaciers was significantly reduced by a large amount of dark-colored biogenic material (cryoconite) derived from snow algae and bacteria. It increased the melting rates of the surfaces by as much as three-fold. Thus, it was suggested that the microbial activity on the glacier could affect the mass balance and fluctuation of the glaciers.

  15. Seasonality controls on glacial erosion in the Himalaya and Karakoram

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherler, D.; Bookhagen, B.; Strecker, M. R.

    2009-04-01

    The waxing and waning of mountain glaciers during the Quaternary left a clear imprint of glacial erosion in form of deeply incised, U-shaped valleys in many mountain ranges around the world. Temperature changes and the availability of moisture are generally thought of as the limiting factors for the geomorphic work that glaciers accomplish. Here, we present evidence that the seasonality of moisture supply strongly affects glacial flow velocities, and thus the erosional efficiency of glaciers. We used ASTER satellite imagery to measure flow velocities of glaciers in the Himalaya and Karakoram during the last decade. Being situated in the transition between moisture sources rooted in the Indian Summer Monsoon and the Northern Hemisphere Westerlies, this region provides a natural laboratory to study the influence of seasonally different moisture sources on glacier dynamics. We interpret the measured surface velocities to reflect ice flux, and use them as a proxy for glacial erosion. We tie our observations to east-west gradients in climate and how they affect the mass balance of glaciers. In the central Himalaya, glaciers characterized by summer accumulation, flow at generally lower velocities compared to glaciers in the Karakoram in a winter accumulation regime. The data also show that most ice flux occurs near the equilibrium line altitude (ELA), and thereby provide empirical support for focused glacial erosion at distinct, climate controlled altitudinal sectors. These zones are presently located at approx. 4.8-5 +/- 0.5 km in the Karakoram and western Himalaya, and at approx. 5.5 +/- 0.5 km in the central and eastern Himalaya. A mean position of the Quaternary ELA, depressed by approx. 500 m, delineates a zone of focused glacial erosion that corresponds well with areas of western end of the Asian highlands, including the western Himalaya, the Karakoram, eastern Hindukush, and the Pamir. Here, aridity constrains the efficiency of fluvial erosion and we suggest that

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (δ18O), and major ions throughout the core. Cycles indicated by δ18O, 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)

  17. Geomorphological evidences of post-LGM glacial advancements in the Himalaya: A study from Chorabari Glacier, Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Manish Mehta; Zahid Majeed; D P Dobhal; Pradeep Srivastava

    2012-02-01

    Field geomorphology and remote sensing data, supported by Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating from the Mandakini river valley of the Garhwal Himalaya enabled identification of four major glacial events; Rambara Glacial Stage (RGS) (13 ± 2 ka), Ghindurpani Glacial Stage (GhGS) (9 ± 1 ka), Garuriya Glacial Stage (GGS) (7 ± 1 ka) and Kedarnath Glacial Stage (KGS) (5 ± 1 ka). RGS was the most extensive glaciation extending for ∼6 km down the valley from the present day snout and lowered to an altitude of 2800 m asl at Rambara covering around ∼31 km2 area of the Mandakini river valley. Compared to this, the other three glaciations (viz., GhGS, GGS and KGS) were of lower magnitudes terminating around ∼3000, ∼3300 and ∼3500 m asl, respectively. It was also observed that the mean equilibrium line altitude (ELA) during RGS was lowered to 4747 m asl compared to the present level of 5120 m asl. This implies an ELA depression of ∼373 m during the RGS which would correspond to a lowering of ∼2°C summer temperature during the RGS. The results are comparable to that of the adjacent western and central Himalaya implying a common forcing factor that we attribute to the insolation-driven monsoon precipitation in the western and central Himalaya.

  18. Climate Change in the Himalayas: Current State of Knowledge

    OpenAIRE

    Gautam, Mahesh R.; Timilsina, Govinda R.; Kumud ACHARYA

    2013-01-01

    This paper reviews the literature on the potential biophysical and economic impacts of climate change in the Himalayas. Existing observations indicate that the temperature is rising at a higher rate in Nepal and Chinese regions of the Himalayas compared with rest of the Himalayas. A declining trend of monsoon in the western Indian Himalayas and an increasing trend in the eastern Indian Him...

  19. Climate change in the Himalayas : current state of knowledge

    OpenAIRE

    Gautam, Mahesh R.; Timilsina, Govinda R.; Kumud ACHARYA

    2013-01-01

    This paper reviews the literature on the potential biophysical and economic impacts of climate change in the Himalayas. Existing observations indicate that the temperature is rising at a higher rate in Nepal and Chinese regions of the Himalayas compared with rest of the Himalayas. A declining trend of monsoon in the western Indian Himalayas and an increasing trend in the eastern Indian Himalayas have been observed, whereas increasing precipitation and stream flow in many parts of Tibetan Plat...

  20. Precipitation and snow cover in the Himalaya: from reanalysis to regional climate simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Ménégoz

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We applied a Regional Climate Model (RCM to simulate precipitation and snow cover over the Himalaya, between March 2000 and December 2002. Due to its higher resolution, our model simulates a more realistic spatial variability of wind and precipitation than those of the reanalysis of the European Centre of Medium range Weather Forecast (ECMWF used as lateral boundaries. In this region, we found very large discrepancies between the estimations of precipitation provided by reanalysis, rain gauges networks, satellite observations, and our RCM simulation. Our model clearly underestimates precipitation at the foothills of the Himalaya and in its eastern part. However, our simulation provides a first estimation of liquid and solid precipitation in high altitude areas, where satellite and rain gauge networks are not very reliable. During the two years of simulation, our model resembles the snow cover extent and duration quite accurately in these areas. Both snow accumulation and snow cover duration differ widely along the Himalaya: snowfall can occur during the whole year in western Himalaya, due to both summer monsoon and mid-latitude low pressure systems bringing moisture into this region. In Central Himalaya and on the Tibetan Plateau, a much more marked dry season occurs from October to March. Snow cover does not have a pronounced seasonal cycle in these regions, since it depends both on the quite variable duration of the monsoon and on the rare but possible occurrence of snowfall during the extra-monsoon period.

  1. Imaging the Indian subcontinent beneath the Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte-Pelkum, Vera; Monsalve, Gaspar; Sheehan, Anne; Pandey, M R; Sapkota, Som; Bilham, Roger; Wu, Francis

    2005-06-30

    The rocks of the Indian subcontinent are last seen south of the Ganges before they plunge beneath the Himalaya and the Tibetan plateau. They are next glimpsed in seismic reflection profiles deep beneath southern Tibet, yet the surface seen there has been modified by processes within the Himalaya that have consumed parts of the upper Indian crust and converted them into Himalayan rocks. The geometry of the partly dismantled Indian plate as it passes through the Himalayan process zone has hitherto eluded imaging. Here we report seismic images both of the decollement at the base of the Himalaya and of the Moho (the boundary between crust and mantle) at the base of the Indian crust. A significant finding is that strong seismic anisotropy develops above the decollement in response to shear processes that are taken up as slip in great earthquakes at shallower depths. North of the Himalaya, the lower Indian crust is characterized by a high-velocity region consistent with the formation of eclogite, a high-density material whose presence affects the dynamics of the Tibetan plateau. PMID:15988523

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Flora of the Pan-Himalayas: General guidelines

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    Editorial Committee,Flora of the Pan-Himalayas [May 2011]1.The Pan-Himalayas (the Himalayas and adjacent regions) forms a natural geographic unit,from the Wakhan Corridor and northeastern Hindu Kush eastwards to the Hengduan Mountains by way of Karakorum and the Himalayas.This region covers the northeastern corner of Afghanistan,northern Pakistan,northern India,Nepal,Bhutan,northern Myanmar,and southwest China (S Tibet,SE Qinghai,SE Gansu,W Sichuan,and NW Yunnan).

  4. CODA Q estimates for Kumaun Himalaya

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A Paul; S C Gupta; Charu C Pant

    2003-12-01

    Coda (c) estimates for the Kumaun Himalaya region have been obtained in high frequency range. Local earthquakes, recorded by a digital seismic network in the region, which fall in the epicentral distances range of 10 to 80km and with a local magnitude range of 1.4 to 2.8, have been used. The coda waves of 30 sec window length, filtered at seven frequency bands centered at 1.5, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 Hz, have been analysed using the single backscattering model. The values of c estimates vary from 65 to 283 at 1.5 Hz to 2119 to 3279 at 24.0 Hz which showed that c is frequency dependent and its value increases as frequency increases. A frequency-dependent c relationship, c = (92 ± 4.73) (1.07 ± .023), is obtained for the region representing the average attenuation characteristics of seismic waves for Kumaun Himalaya region.

  5. Stalagmite growth perturbations from the Kumaun Himalaya as potential earthquake recorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajendran, C. P.; Sanwal, Jaishri; Morell, Kristin D.; Sandiford, Mike; Kotlia, B. S.; Hellstrom, John; Rajendran, Kusala

    2016-04-01

    The central part of the Himalaya (Kumaun and Garhwal Provinces of India) is noted for its prolonged seismic quiescence, and therefore, developing a longer-term time series of past earthquakes to understand their recurrence pattern in this segment assumes importance. In addition to direct observations of offsets in stratigraphic exposures or other proxies like paleoliquefaction, deformation preserved within stalagmites (speleothems) in karst system can be analyzed to obtain continuous millennial scale time series of earthquakes. The Central Indian Himalaya hosts natural caves between major active thrusts forming potential storehouses for paleoseismological records. Here, we present results from the limestone caves in the Kumaun Himalaya and discuss the implications of growth perturbations identified in the stalagmites as possible earthquake recorders. This article focuses on three stalagmites from the Dharamjali Cave located in the eastern Kumaun Himalaya, although two other caves, one of them located in the foothills, were also examined for their suitability. The growth anomalies in stalagmites include abrupt tilting or rotation of growth axes, growth termination, and breakage followed by regrowth. The U-Th age data from three specimens allow us to constrain the intervals of growth anomalies, and these were dated at 4273 ± 410 years BP (2673-1853 BC), 2782 ± 79 years BP (851-693 BC), 2498 ± 117 years BP (605-371 BC), 1503 ± 245 years BP (262-752 AD), 1346 ± 101 years BP (563-765 AD), and 687 ± 147 years BP (1176-1470 AD). The dates may correspond to the timings of major/great earthquakes in the region and the youngest event (1176-1470 AD) shows chronological correspondence with either one of the great medieval earthquakes (1050-1250 and 1259-1433 AD) evident from trench excavations across the Himalayan Frontal Thrust.

  6. Region-wide glacier mass balances over the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya during 1999–2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Gardelle

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The recent evolution of Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya (PKH glaciers, widely acknowledged as valuable high-altitude as well as mid-latitude climatic indicators, remains poorly known. To overcome the lack of region-wide mass balance data, we compared the 2000 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM digital elevation model (DEM to recent (2008–2011 DEMs derived from SPOT5 stereo-imagery for 8 sites spread from Pamir to eastern Himalaya. The region-wide glacier mass balances were contrasted during the last decade, with moderate mass losses in eastern and central Himalaya (−0.21 ± 0.10 m yr−1 w.e. to −0.29 ± 0.09 m yr−1 w.e. and larger losses in western Himalaya (−0.41 ± 0.11 m yr−1 w.e.. Recently reported slight mass gain of glaciers in central Karakoram is confirmed for a larger area (+0.10 ± 0.19 m yr−1 w.e. and, new, also observed for glaciers in western Pamir (+0.14 ± 0.10 m yr−1 w.e.. We propose that the "Karakoram anomaly" should be renamed the "Pamir-Karakoram anomaly", at least for the last decade. The overall mass balance of PKH glaciers is estimated at −0.12 ± 0.06 m yr−1 w.e. In contrast to Indus, the relative glacier imbalance contribution to Brahmaputra and Ganges discharges is higher than previously modeled glacier seasonal contribution.

  7. Tectonic evolution of Kashmir basin in northwest Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Akhtar; Ahmad, Shabir; Bhat, M. Sultan; Ahmad, Bashir

    2015-06-01

    Geomorphology has long been recognised as a key to evaluate the interplay between tectonics and landscape geometry in the regions of active deformation. We use geomorphic signatures at varied spatial scales interpreted from SRTM-DEM/Landsat-ETM data, supplemented with field observations to review the tectonic evolution of Kashmir basin in northwest Himalayas. Geomorphic evidence is persuasive of a credible NNW-SSE trending dextral strike-slip structure (central Kashmir Fault - CKF), with the strike length of ~ 165 km, stretched centrally over the NNW-SSE length of the Kashmir basin. As a result of the strike-slip motion and subsequent erosion, significant deformation has taken place along the CKF. In addition, broad geomorphic architecture of the basin reveals typical pull-apart characteristics. Hence, we deduce that the Kashmir basin has evolved as a pull-apart Quaternary sediment depression owing to the deformation along the central Kashmir Fault. The spatial distribution pattern of seismic events (NEIC-catalogue, 1973-2013) and GPS measurements (published), collectively substantiate our geomorphic interpretations.

  8. Interpreting the geomorphometric indices for neotectonic implications: An example of Alaknanda valley, Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Naresh Rana; Sunil Singh; Y P Sundriyal; G S Rawat; Navin Juyal

    2016-06-01

    Tectonic process can influence the erosion and exert the first order impression on hydrographic networkof an area. Geomorphometry, a mathematical analysis of the configuration of the landforms, allows quantifyingthe degree of landform evolution and is widely used as a measure of tectonic deformation/uplift.Alaknanda valley lies in the tectonically active Garhwal Himalaya which has experienced two disastrouslarge earthquakes in the last two decades. Morphometric analyses of the valley were carried out in a fluvialerosion dominated regime and the morphometric indices were derived from the ASTER (30 m × 30 mpixel) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) using Arc GIS. The results of the analyses reveal two zones ofhigh deformation/uplift in the valley, viz., the zone of high deformation proximal to the Main CentralThrust (MCT) in the Inner Lesser Himalaya (ILH) and the second zone of moderate deformation/upliftin the Outer Lesser Himalaya (OLH), south of the Tons Thrust (TT). The high deformation in the ILHis ascribed to the focussed convergence and high precipitation; however, the causes for the moderatedeformation in the OLH are yet to be established.

  9. Three-dimensional velocity structure around Tehri region of the Garhwal Lesser Himalaya: constraints on geometry of the underthrusting Indian plate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanaujia, Jyotima; Kumar, Ashwani; Gupta, S. C.

    2016-05-01

    We investigate the upper crustal velocity structure beneath the Tehri region of the Garhwal Himalaya. The investigated region is situated within the 700-km-long central seismic gap of the Himalaya that has experienced three gap-filling earthquakes since 1991 including the recent 2015 Nepal earthquake (Mw 7.8). The local tomographic inversion is based on a data set of 1365 events collected from 2008 January to 2012 December by a 12-station local network that covers an area of about 100 × 80 km around Tehri Dam. We perform a simultaneous inversion for P- and S-wave velocity anomalies. Tomograms are interpreted in the backdrop of the regional geological and tectonic framework of the region. The spatial distribution of relocated events from the 3-D velocity model has shed new light on the pattern of seismicity in the vicinity of the Main Central thrust (MCT), and has elucidated the structure of the underthrusting Indian plate. Our model exhibits a significant negative velocity anomaly up to ˜5 per cent beneath the central part of the Garhwal Inner Lesser Himalaya, and a P-wave low velocity anomaly near the Chamoli region. The seismicity zone around the Chamoli region may be attributed to the presence of fluid-filled rocks. Furthermore, an area with ˜3-4 per cent positive velocity anomaly is delineated to the northwest of the Uttarkashi thrust in the vicinity of the MCT. Significant findings of the study include: a flat-ramp-flat-type subsurface geometry of the underthrusting Indian plate below the Garhwal Himalaya, high-velocity images representing the trend and configuration of Delhi-Haridwar ridge below the Sub Himalaya and Lesser Himalaya and a seismically active zone representing geometrical asperity on the basement thrust in the vicinity of the MCT.

  10. Role of vegetation in modulating denudation and topography across the Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olen, Stephanie; Bookhagen, Bodo; Strecker, Manfred

    2015-04-01

    [Godard et al., 2014; Portenga et al., 2014; Scherler et al., 2014; Olen et al., submitted]. We calculate the relationship between various topographic metrics (e.g. mean basin slope, normalized channel steepness [ksn]) and the TCN catchment-mean denudation of non-glaciated fluvial watersheds from previously published and submitted studies. The variation in vegetation density between study sites correlates with the relationship between topography and denudation in each region. In sparsely vegetated areas, denudation increases in a rapid, non-linear fashion as topographic metrics such as the normalized channel steepness (ksn) or mean basin hillslope increase. Where vegetation cover is denser, the relationship between denudation and topography becomes increasingly linear, such that lower denudation rates are maintained as hillslopes and channels steepen. Additionally, more sparsely vegetated regions appear to reach a maximum steepness lower than that observed in densely vegetated regions. We therefore observe a negative correlation between increasing annual, summer, and winter EVI and the power-law exponent p of the relationship denudation ≈ (topographic metric)p; and a positive correlation between p and differential EVI. In contrast to recent studies arguing that Himalayan denudation is primarily forced by tectonics, our study emphasizes how vegetation density, as a climatic agent, modulates erosional style and landscape development along strike across the Himalaya. Carretier, S., et al. (2013), Slope and climate variability control of erosion in the Andes of central Chile, Geology, 41(2), 195-198. Collins, D. B. G., and R. L. Bras (2010), Climatic and ecological controls of equilibrium drainage density, relief, and channel concavity in dry lands, Water Resources Research, 46(4), W04508. Collins, D. B. G., R. L. Bras, and G. E. Tucker (2004), Modeling the effects of vegetation-erosion coupling on landscape evolution, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 109(F3

  11. Snow cover trend and hydrological characteristics of the Astore River basin (Western Himalayas) and its comparison to the Hunza basin (Karakoram region)

    OpenAIRE

    A. A. Tahir; Chevallier, Pierre; Arnaud, Yves; Ashraf, M.; Bhatti, M. T.

    2015-01-01

    A large proportion of Pakistan's irrigation water supply is taken from the Upper Indus River Basin (UIB) in the Himalaya-Karakoram-Hindukush range. More than half of the annual flow in the UIB is contributed by five of its snow and glacier-fed sub-basins including the Astore (Western Himalaya - south latitude of the UIB) and Hunza (Central Karakoram - north latitude of the UIB) River basins. Studying the snow cover, its spatiotemporal change and the hydrological response of these sub-basins i...

  12. Snow cover sensitivity to black carbon deposition in the Himalayas: from atmospheric and ice core measurements to regional climate simulations

    OpenAIRE

    M. Ménégoz; G. Krinner; Balkanski, Y.; Boucher, O.; Cozic, A.; Lim, S.; Ginot, P.; Laj, P.; H. Gallée; P. Wagnon; Marinoni, A.; Jacobi, H. W.

    2014-01-01

    We applied a climate-chemistry global model to evaluate the impact of black carbon (BC) deposition on the Himalayan snow cover from 1998 to 2008. Using a stretched grid with a resolution of 50 km over this complex topography, the model reproduces reasonably well the remotely sensed observations of the snow cover duration. Similar to observations, modelled atmospheric BC concentrations in the central Himalayas reach a minimum during the monsoon and a maximum during the post- ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Treeline dynamics with climate change at Central Nepal Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    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 Manasl...

  15. The mammalian fauna from the Central Himalaya, Nepal

    OpenAIRE

    Hem Bahadur Katuwal; Bhaiya Khanal; Khadga Basnet; Bhim Rai; Shiva Devkota

    2013-01-01

    Nepal harbors unique mammalian fauna, but it is poorly studied at higher elevation. Mammalian fauna were recorded in Manaslu Conservation Area, Dudhkunda and Dudhkoshi valley of Solukhumbu district and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area of Nepal during March 2011 to April 2013 along the trail and the study plots from 700m to 4400m a.s.l. Semi-structured interviews were made with local people to understand their behavior and habitats. Altogether, 29 mammalian fauna were recorded. Five species were...

  16. Spatial variability of glacier decline in the Indian and Nepalese Himalaya since the 1960s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, R.; Rivera, A.; Collins, D. N.; Entwistle, N. S.

    2013-12-01

    Since reaching their Little Ice Age Maximums, Himalayan glaciers have generally undergone a period of retreat, evident from large moraines left at former ice limits. Currently, however, detailed assessments of Himalayan glacier fluctuations over the past century are limited and fail to compare spatially or temporally to records available in Central Europe, North America and Scandinavia. Consequently, the variability and magnitude of glacial change across the Himalayas, a region that is typified by complex climatic settings, is still yet to be fully understood. Against a back drop of poor data availability, 1960s Corona stereo-imagery and historic GLIMS glacier outlines now offer an opportunity to assess glacier extent in regions of the Himalayas pre-1980. Comparing glacier measurements derived from Corona and GLIMS datasets with those made from more contemporary ASTER data, changes in glacier area and length, between the 1960/70s and 2000s, were quantified for selected glaciers located in Uttaranchal, India (Bhagirathi and Pindar/Kali basins) and Central Nepal (Seti and Trisula basins). Most notably, results indicate that glaciers selected in the Bhagirathi and Pindar/Kali basins reduced in area by 7.97% and 7.54%, respectively. Contrastingly, glaciers located in the Seti and Trisula basins experienced a significantly higher rate of decline, reducing in area by 29.78% and 50.55%, respectively. After reviewing other Himalayan glacier change records, it is suggested that the comparatively limited decline of Uttaranchal glaciers may be attributed to the existence of a climatic transitional zone in this region where glaciers benefit from large amounts of both summer and winter snowfall enabling them to greater withstand recent climate changes. The spatial variability of glacier decline shown here has important implications when considering the future impacts of continued retreat on regional water resources across the Himalaya.

  17. Atmospheric brown clouds reach the Tibetan Plateau by crossing the Himalayas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. L. Lüthi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau region (HTP, despite being a remote and sparsely populated area, is regularly exposed to polluted air masses with significant amounts of aerosols including black carbon. These dark, light-absorbing particles are known to exert a great melting potential on mountain cryospheric reservoirs through albedo reduction and radiative forcing. This study combines ground-based and satellite remote sensing data to identify a severe aerosol pollution episode observed simultaneously in central Tibet and on the southern side of the Himalayas during 13–19 March 2009 (pre-monsoon. Trajectory calculations based on the high-resolution numerical weather prediction model COSMO are used to locate the source regions and study the mechanisms of pollution transport in the complex topography of the HTP. We detail how polluted air masses from an atmospheric brown cloud (ABC over South Asia reach the Tibetan Plateau within a few days. Lifting and advection of polluted air masses over the great mountain range is enabled by a combination of synoptic-scale and local meteorological processes. During the days prior to the event, winds over the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP are generally weak at lower levels, allowing for accumulation of pollutants and thus the formation of ABCs. The subsequent passing of synoptic-scale troughs leads to southwesterly flow in the middle troposphere over northern and central India, carrying the polluted air masses across the Himalayas. As the IGP is known to be a hotspot of ABCs, the cross-Himalayan transport of polluted air masses may have serious implications for the cryosphere in the HTP and impact climate on regional to global scales. Since the current study focuses on one particularly strong pollution episode, quantifying the frequency and magnitude of similar events in a climatological study is required to assess the total impact.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Active Faults of the Northwest Himalaya: Pattern, Rate, and Timing of Surface Rupturing Earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yule, J.; Madden, C.; Gavillot, Y.; Hebeler, A.; Meigs, A.; Hussein, A.; Malik, M.; Bhat, M.; Kausar, A.; Ramzan, S.; Sayab, M.; Yeats, R. S.

    2012-12-01

    The 2005 Kashmir earthquake (Mw 7.6) is the only Himalayan earthquake to rupture the surface since the 15th to 16th century A.D. when >Mw 8.5 earthquakes ruptured the Himalayan Frontal thrust (HFT) in the central Himalaya. Megathrust-type earthquakes like these seem to relieve a majority of the accumulated interseismic strain and concentrate permanent strain across a narrow width at the deformation front (faults within the orogen appear to accommodate little strain). The 2005 within-plate rupture in Kashmir may be a clue that a different seismotectonic model applies to the northwest Himalaya where active deformation occurs on faults distributed more than 120 km across the orogen. An asymmetric anticline marks the deformation front in Kashmir where the HFT is inferred to be blind, though ~20 m-high escarpments suggest that unrecognized thrust fault(s) may reach the surface locally. Folded river terraces and dip data also suggest that this frontal fold contains a SW-dipping back thrust. In Pakistan the Salt Range thrust system (SRT) defines the thrust front. New mapping and preliminary OSL dates from deformed Holocene sediments exposed along the westernmost SRT reveal that the fault slips at 1-7 mm/yr and last ruptured within the last several thousand years. Within the orogenic wedge to the north of the deformation front, active shortening occurs along a system of surface-rupturing reverse faults, extending from the Balakot-Bagh fault (source of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake) to the Reasi fault (RF) in Indian Kashmir to the southeast. One strand of the RF displaces a 350 m-high, 80 ± 6 ka (preliminary OSL age) fluvial terrace, yielding a minimum shortening rate of 3-5 mm/yr. Trenches excavated across the RF nearby reveal a distinct angular unconformity that likely formed during a surface rupture ~4500 yrs BP. Farther north, three northeast-dipping reverse faults cut Quaternary terraces on the southwest side of the Kashmir Valley. Trenches expose evidence for at least

  20. Late Cenozoic exhumation and timing of the deformation front of the Kashmir Himalayas from U-Th/(He) thermochronometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavillot, Y. G.; Meigs, A.; Stockli, D. F.; Malik, M. M.

    2013-12-01

    Apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He cooling ages are used to quantify the recent exhumation pattern associated with fault activity across the Kashmir Himalayas. Here we present data from thirty samples, totaling of 74 individual single-grain apatite and zircon dated aliquots. Cooling age data were collected from (1) molasse sediments of the Murree and Siwalik Formations from structures in the Sub-Himalayan belt (deformed foreland) and from (2) metasediments and plutonic rocks exhumed in the 'hinterland'. Structures of the Sub-Himalayan belt include the Suruin-Mastgarh anticline (SMA) at the deformation front, equivalent to the Himalayan Frontal thrust (HFT), and emergent local faults to the north (e.g. the Riasi thrust (RT)). In the hinterland, the Main Boundary (MBT) and Main Central (MCT) thrust sheets bound the Sub-Himalayan belt to the north. Apatite (U-Th)/He (AHe) cooling ages for the molasses sediments are consistently younger than the sediment age indicating that Sub-Himalayan belt samples are reset. Mean cooling age data based on the single grain populations from each sample ranges from ~1-10 Ma. Single grain and mean age probability density plots reveal a period of rapid cooling and exhumation between 1.8-2.75 Ma throughout the Sub-Himalaya. Distributed deformation associated with northward underthrusting along the MHT, and the onset of folding related to the SMA explains the regional exhumation of the Sub-Himalaya after ~2.75 Ma. Four samples from the hinterland MBT and MCT thrust sheets yield AHe cooling ages between ~5-21 Ma. Three of the samples have cooling ages between 4.7-7.2 Ma, likely coeval with activity of the MBT. Zircon (U-Th)/He (ZHe) samples from the hinterland are younger than the ages of the metasedimentary or plutonic source rocks. Most sample ages from the Sub-Himalaya are older or the same to the depositional age and are therefore detrital. Probability density plots of hinterland ZHe data show a pronounced spike in cooling between 16-21 Ma

  1. Detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology of the Siwalik Group of the Nepal Himalaya: implications for provenance analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baral, Upendra; Lin, Ding; Chamlagain, Deepak

    2016-04-01

    This paper deals with the provenance analysis of the Neogene foreland basin sediments of the Siwalik Group in the Nepal Himalaya. This study adopts the techniques of the optical petrography and detrital zircon U-Pb ages from two river sections: the Koshi Nadi in eastern Nepal and the Surai Khola in western Nepal Himalaya. The optical petrography data and resulting QFL plot show a "recycled orogeny" field for the studied sandstone samples, indicating northern lithotectonic units; Tethys Himalaya, Higher Himalaya and Lesser Himalaya as the source of the foreland basin sediments. The detrital zircon geochronological data set has clearly revealed that the cluster ages are younger than ~1000 Ma; however, the older grains (>1000 Ma) are significantly fewer. The obtained age spectrum is similar to the Tethys Himalaya and the upper Lesser Himalaya, but the lower Lesser Himalayan rocks were not distinct, which indicates that sediments in the Neogene foreland basin of the Nepal Himalaya were primarily sourced from the Tethys Himalaya and upper Lesser Himalaya. The minor subordinate scattered peaks that roughly correspond to the age of the Higher Himalaya and lower Lesser Himalaya may indicate that a lower proportion of the sediments might have a link with the Higher Himalaya and lower Lesser Himalaya. Therefore, the provenance of the Siwalik Group in the Nepal Himalaya might have witnessed a mixed type of provenance similar to the northwestern Himalaya.

  2. Hinterland tectonics and drainage evolution recorded by foreland basin archives: the Neogene Siwaliks of the Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huyghe, Pascale; van der Beek, Peter; Matthias, Bernet; Catherine, Chauvel; Jean-Louis, Mugnier; Laurent, Husson; François, Chirouze

    2014-05-01

    propagation of the main faults. The evolution of the sedimentary provenance can be explained by overall forward propagation of deformation in the Himalayan fold-thrust belt. In both the eastern and western syntaxes, it also shows stability of the major drainage systems of the Yarlung-Brahmaputra and Indus, respectively, suggesting that hinterland river incision kept pace with uplift of the syntaxes during the Neogene. Drainage reorganization may take place in the foreland basin because of thin-skinned tectonics but did not significantly affect sediment routing and the contribution of different sources of the upper catchment to the overall sediment budget. In contrast, major rivers in the Central Himalaya (such as the Kali Gandaki or the Karnali) could have been affected by changes in their upper catchment.

  3. Seismic properties of naturally deformed quartzites of the Alaknanda valley, Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ruchika Sharma Tandon; Vikram Gupta; Koushik Sen

    2015-08-01

    The present contribution summarizes the results of a study focusing on the influence of quartz microstructures on the seismic wave velocities in the quartzites of the Garhwal Himalaya. Quartzites being monomineralic were chosen for the present study so as to nullify the effect of other mineral constituents on the seismic velocity. Samples were collected from different tectonic settings of the Higher and Lesser Himalayas which are separated from one another by the major tectonic zone ‘Main Central Thrust’ (MCT). These are mainly Pandukeshwar quartzite, Tapovan quartzite and Berinag quartzite. The samples of Berinag quartzite were collected from near the klippen and the thrust, termed as Alaknanda Thrust. The vast differences in microstructures and associated seismic wave velocities have been noted in different quartzites. It has also been observed that quartzites of the MCT zone and Alaknanda Thrust have higher seismic velocities. This is because of their coarse-grained nature of the rocks as evidenced by the strong positive relation between seismic velocities and grain area. The coarsening is either due to the operation of grain boundary migration and grain area reduction process or high aspect ratio/shape preferred orientation. The quartzites located around Nandprayag Klippen have undergone static recrystallization and exhibit the lowest seismic wave velocities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilham, Roger; Szeliga, Walter

    2008-07-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  6. Geomorphological features of active tectonics and ongoing seismicity of northeastern Kumaun Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Vivekanand; Pant, Charu C.; Darmwal, Gopal Singh

    2015-08-01

    The northeastern part of Kumaun Lesser Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India, lying between the rupture zones of 1905, Kangra and 1934, Bihar-Nepal earthquakes and known as `central seismic gap' is a segment of an active fault known to produce significant earthquakes and has not slipped in an unusually long time when compared to other segments. The studied section forms a part of this seismic gap and is seismically an active segment of the Himalayan arc, as compared to the remaining part of the Kumaun Lesser Himalaya and it is evident by active geomorphological features and seismicity data. The geomorphological features of various river valley transects suggest that the region had a history of tectonic rejuvenation which is testified by the deposition of various levels of terraces and their relative uplift, shifting and ponding of river channels, uplifted potholes, triangular facets on fault planes, fault scarps, etc. Further, the seismic data of five-station digital telemetered seismic network along with two stand alone systems show the distribution of earthquakes in or along the analyzed fault transects. It is observed that the microseismic earthquakes (magnitude 1.0-3.0) frequently occur in the region and hypocenters of these earthquakes are confined to shallow depths (10-20 km), with low stress drop values (1.0-10 bar) and higher peak ground velocity (PGV). The cluster of events is observed in the region, sandwiched between the Berinag Thrust (BT) in south and Main Central Thrust (MCT) in north. The occurrences of shallow focus earthquakes and the surface deformational features in the different river valley transect indicates that the region is undergoing neotectonic rejuvenation. In absence of chronology of the deposits it is difficult to relate it with extant seismicity, but from the geomorphic and seismic observations it may be concluded that the region is still tectonically active. The information would be very important in identifying the areas of hazard prone and

  7. Assessment of radon variability in the borehole in Garhwal Himalaya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As a part of multi-parametric earthquake precursory studies at Ghuttu, Central Himalaya, radon concentration is being measured at two depths in a 68 m borehole. One measurement is taken at a depth of 10 m from surface in the air column above the water table and the second one at 50 m within the water column. Besides radon concentration, air temperature, water temperature, atmospheric pressure, rainfall and water level fluctuations are also recorded with sampling interval of 15 minute. The continuous time series of radon variations at 10 m depth along with other environmental parameters over 3 years (2007-2009) recording shows strong variability including well-defined seasonal, day-to-day and diurnal variations The strong seasonal variations with summer maximum and winter minimum closely follow the similar variations in atmospheric temperature with time lag of few days. The control of temperature gradient in borehole on the emission of radon is evident in the form of different patterns of daily variations. Four types of daily variations are observed (i) positive peaks in late afternoon, (ii) negative peaks in early morning hours (iii) sinusoidal with double peaks and iv) long intervals when daily variations are conspicuously absent, particularly in winter and rainy season. Examination and correlation with environmental factors has revealed that when atmospheric temperature is well below the water temperature in borehole, the later show constant value around 19℃ in all seasons. In this situation, temperature gradients are not conducive to set up the convection currents for the emanation of radon to surface. Thus, explaining the absence of daily variation in radon concentration in winter. During the rainy season, following continuous rainfalls, once the soil/rocks are saturated with water radon concentrations show fair stability. Long pauses in rainfall give jerky variability during rainy season with no clear pattern of daily variation. During rest of the seasons

  8. Morphometric analysis of Suketi river basin, Himachal Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Anil M Pophare; Umesh S Balpande

    2014-10-01

    Suketi river basin is located in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It encompasses a central inter-montane valley and surrounding mountainous terrain in the Lower Himachal Himalaya. Morphometric analysis of the Suketi river basin was carried out to study its drainage characteristics and overall groundwater resource potential. The entire Suketi river basin has been divided into five sub-basins based on the catchment areas of Suketi trunk stream and its major tributaries. Quantitative assessment of each sub-basin was carried out for its linear, areal, and relief aspects. The analysis reveals that the drainage network of the entire Suketi river basin constitutes a 7th order basin. Out of five sub-basins, Kansa khad sub-basin (KKSB), Gangli khad sub-basin (GKSB) and Ratti khad sub-basin (RKSB) are 5th order subbasins. The Dadour khad sub-basin (DKSB) is 6th order sub-basin, while Suketi trunk stream sub-basin (STSSB) is a 7th order sub-basin. The entire drainage basin area reflects late youth to early mature stage of development of the fluvial geomorphic cycle, which is dominated by rain and snow fed lower order streams. It has low stream frequency (Fs) and moderate drainage density (Dd) of 2.69 km/km2. Bifurcation ratios (Rb) of various stream orders indicate that streams up to 3rd order are surging through highly dissected mountainous terrain, which facilitates high overland flow and less recharge into the subsurface resulting in low groundwater potential in the zones of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order streams of the Suketi river basin. The circulatory ratio (Rc) of 0.65 and elongation ratio (Re) of 0.80 show elongated nature of the Suketi river basin, while infiltration number (If) of 10.66 indicates dominance of relief features and low groundwater potential in the high altitude mountainous terrain. The asymmetry factor (Af) of Suketi river basin indicates that the palaeo-tectonic tilting, at drainage basin scale, was towards the downstream right side of the

  9. Himalaya evolution at Paleogene-Neogene boundary unraveled by zircon age spectrum from Arabian Sea Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Han; Lu, Huayu; Zhang, Hanzhi

    2016-04-01

    Although virtually all the intensive orogenic activities of Himalaya occurred in Neogene, the tectonic evolution of this high mountain range in Paleogene is poorly understood. Investigations of tectonic change pattern at Paleogene-Neogene boundary are important to better understand the interaction between mountain building and climate evolution. Here we present new U-Pb ages of zircon grains from Indus Fan sediments to constrain the orogenic history of Himalaya at Paleogene-Neogene boundary. 11 samples between late Oligocene and early Miocene from ODP 117 cores are dated by the zircon U-Pb technique. We calculate relative contributions of potential sources by counting zircon grains for each sample, and the quantized results indicate Himalaya contributed sediments to the coring site, and an extremely high input from Great and Tethyan Himalaya during late Oligocene-early Miocene. Four samples in Pleistocene are also dated for comparison, which indicates that high proportion of Lesser Himalaya has contributed to the sediment in Pleistocene. Our results suggest that the high contribution of Great and Tethyan Himalaya at Paleogene-Neogene boundary might correlate with the beginning of activity of MCT and extension of STD with leucogranite intrusion along Himalaya, which give rise to the extensive Great Himalaya exhumation. Our study demonstrates that zircon U-Pb dating technique is a good tool to reconstruct erosional history of mountain building on a tectonic timescale. Key words: ODP, Himalaya, Indus Fan, zircon U-Pb dating, Paleogene-Neogene boundary

  10. Persistent organic pollutants and mercury in the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loewen, Mark

    Persistent organic pollutants and mercury are important contaminants due to their persistence in the environment and potential toxic effects on ecosystems and humans. Concerns related to these contaminants are particularly pertinent in Asia where the use of pesticides and mercury emissions have been increasing dramatically due to changing agricultural practices and rapidly expanding industrialization. Based on studies in European and North American mountain regions, evidence is increasing that alpine regions function as regional convergence zones for selected organic pollutants due to an effect called orographic cold trapping. It is hypothesized that such an effect may be particularly pronounced in the Himalaya because of dramatic elevational temperature and precipitation gradients relative to contaminant source regions in its immediate vicinity, and because of the regional monsoon system that has been shown to deliver particles and inorganic air pollutants to higher altitudes. We report here evidence for the movement of select environmentally relevant chlorinated organic pesticides into the Central Himalaya with strong seasonal differences due to the Indian monsoon. Atmospheric concentrations of these chemicals are positively correlated with altitude in summer up to an elevation of 5000m a.s.l and then decrease at higher elevation. In winter the atmospheric concentrations are negatively correlated with altitude indicating that during this season remote sites are above the boundary layer. Soil concentrations appear to follow the gradient of forestation, with maximum concentrations at 2600m a.s.l. and then declining above that altitude. Mercury in three Tibetan snow pits, well above the boundary layer shows the likelihood of particulate deposition in winter when particulate concentrations are highest. Strong dust storm activity is the largest source of mercury deposition on the plateau, though it is unsure if the mercury is transported on dust long distances or if

  11. Vertical Zonation of Horticultural Farming in the Alaknanda Basin of Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vishwambhar Prasad Sati

    2005-01-01

    Horticultural practice in the Himalayas has great importance not only for economic development but also for environmental restoration.In the entire Himalayan mountain system, from Jammu and Kashmir Himalaya to Assam Himalaya,the practice of horticulture is centuries old, which includes varieties of fruits along with availability of high quality and quantity. In terms of the Alaknanda Basin, which is centrally located in the Himalayan system, the practice of horticulture does not get commercial level; only it is cultivated domestically.The climatic conditions ranging from sub-tropical (low-lying river valleys) to alpine and frigid (highly elevated regions) are suited for varieties of fruit cultivation, yet the benefit of this could not be utilized by the residents who are working in the agricultural fields.Besides, less proportion of land is devoted for fruit cultivation along with domestic production of fruits. The varieties of fruit cultivated in the basin range from mango-guava-papaya, stone-net, citrus to apple at the different elevations. Along with the cultivated fruits, varieties of wild fruits are also found in the jungle. There are four climatic zones suitable for the production of various fruits as below:·Sub-tropical zone including the lower part of the Alaknanda, Pindar, Nandakini, and Mandakini rivers is suitable for mango, guava,and papaya;·Sub-temperate zone in the middle basin of the Alaknanda, Pindar, Nandakini and Mandakinirivers is a good place for citrus fruits,particularly orange and lemon;·Temperate zone occupying the Dauli, Vishnu Ganga, Upper Pinder, Nandakini and Mandakini rivers is highly productive for apple,nut and stone fruits;·Apline meadows in the highly elevated region are known as Bugyal famous for herb culture.Each of these zones has distinct physical features,environmental conditions and socio-economic identity for fruit cultivation. The present paper aims to discuss about the vertical zonation of the horticultural farming and

  12. Altitude-related deaths in seven trekkers in the Himalayas.

    OpenAIRE

    Dickinson, J; Heath, D.; Gosney, J.; Williams, D

    1983-01-01

    The clinical features and necropsy findings are described for seven trekkers in the Himalayas whose deaths were related to high altitude. The fatal outcome was due to serious pulmonary and cerebral disease. Oedema of the lungs and brain was prominent but so was thrombosis and haemorrhage, features of acute mountain sickness that have received insufficient recognition in the past. Most of the men were middle aged. Some began their trekking soon after flying to high altitude before becoming acc...

  13. Climate change and water resources in the Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

    Smadja, Joëlle; Aubriot, Olivia; Puschiasis, Ornella; Duplan, Thierry; Grimaldi, Juliette; Hugonnet, Mickaël; Buchheit, Pauline

    2015-01-01

    In the Himalayas, where the increase in temperatures is higher than the world average, climate change is expected to impact water resources in a particularly significant manner. Whereas climate specialists using measurements and simulations play down this statement by underlining uncertainties and differences between the west and east of the range, the media and development agencies tend to paint a uniform picture of a water shortage now and in the future. As part of an interdisciplinary prog...

  14. Electrical resistivity imaging of seismically active frontal Himalaya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Complete text of publication follows. Given the sensitivity of resistivity to rheology, magnetotelluric measurement are undertaken to study deep crustal electrical structures and their possible linkage to the space-depth distribution of seismicity. Magnetotelluric investigations at Thirty three sites along Bijnaur-Mallari profile cutting across major litho tectonic units of Himalaya starting from Indo Ganges plain, Siwalik, Lesser, Higher Himalaya to Tethys Himalaya. Observing the low solar activity during the survey period each site was occupied for five days. Longer occupancy allowed estimation of impedance tensor at periods greater than 500 sec at most of the stations. However at few stations electric field recordings were very noisy perhaps due to unbalanced power network of the region. This is reflected in larger error bars in estimated impedance tensors. Skewness and other dimensionality parameter indicate the validity of 2-D regional model. Robust impedance decomposition for the period band of 10 Hz- 1000 sec of eleven stations reveal that EM strike coincides with the geologic fabric. Considering regional strike EM field were decoupled in TE, TM mode and then inverted for frequency dependent conductivity distribution along the profile. The most conspicuous feature of the inverted resistivity section is the low resistivity zone at a shallow depth of 10 km beneath the Indo-Gangetic Plains that dips down at a low-angle and extends as a continuous plane right up to the northern limit of the profile. The geometry of this layer is correlated with the basement thrust separating the top of the under thrusting Indian Plate from the over-riding sedimentary wedge of lesser Himalaya. The paper will discuss the tectonic and rheological significance of the results of resistivity imaging using magnetotelluric method along the profile from Bijnaur to Mallari.

  15. How Bar-Headed Geese Fly Over the Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

    Scott, Graham R.; Hawkes, Lucy A.; Frappell, Peter B.; Butler, Patrick J.; Bishop, Charles M.; Milsom, William K.

    2015-01-01

    Bar-headed geese cross the Himalayas on one of the most iconic high-altitude migrations in the world. Heart rates and metabolic costs of flight increase with elevation and can be near maximal during steep climbs. Their ability to sustain the high oxygen demands of flight in air that is exceedingly oxygen-thin depends on the unique cardiorespiratory physiology of birds in general along with several evolved specializations across the O2 transport cascade.

  16. ANTI – CANCER DRUGS FROM U.P. HIMALAYA

    OpenAIRE

    Uniyal, M. R.; Tewari, L. C.

    1991-01-01

    Many ayurvedic texts mention arbuda which is considered as an equivalent of cancer. Vagbhata mentions arbuda of mouth, tongue, eyes, nose, breast and uterus. Caraka and Susruta also provide plenty of information on this dreaded group of diseases. Considering the importance of this disease in present day health care, the authors mention in this paper several plants of the Himalaya, used in the treatment of cancer.

  17. Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Surface Irradiance in the Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobreva, I. D.; Bishop, M. P.

    2014-12-01

    Climate-glacier dynamics in the Himalaya are complex. Research indicates extreme local variability in glacier fluctuations and the presence of regional trends. The glaciers in the Karakoram Himalaya depart from world trends of glacier recession, as many are advancing or surging. Nevertheless, glacier sensitivity to climate change has yet to be quantitatively assessed given numerous controlling factors. We attempt to address part of the problem by evaluating the role of topography in explaining variations in surface irradiance. Specifically, we developed a spectral-based topographic solar radiation model that accounts for multi-scale topographic effects. We evaluate surface irradiance simulations over a multitude of glaciers across the Karakoram and Nepalese Himalaya and examine spatio-temporal patterns to determine which alpine glaciers are more susceptible to radiation forcing. Simulation results reveal that many Nepalese glaciers characterized by rapid downwasting, retreat and expanding proglacial lakes, exhibit relatively high-magnitude daily irradiance patterns spatially focused over the terminus region, while other glacier surface areas received less short-wave irradiance. These results were found to be associated with basin-scale relief conditions and topographic shielding. Altitudinal variation in glacier surface irradiance was found to increase during the later portion of the ablation season, as changes in solar geometry produce more cast shadows that protect glaciers given extreme relief. Topographic effects on surface irradiance vary significantly from glacier to glacier, demonstrating the important role of glacier and mountain geodynamics on glacier sensitivity to climate change. Spatial and altitudinal patterns, coupled with information regarding supraglacial debris distribution, depth and ice-flow velocities, may potentially explain glacier sensitivity to climate change and the local variability of glacier fluctuations in the Himalaya.

  18. Prospects of Sustainable Livestock Farming in the Uttarakhand Himalaya, India

    OpenAIRE

    V. P. Sati; R. B. Singh

    2010-01-01

    Livestock farming forms an integral part in the economy of the Uttarakhand Himalaya and plays an important role in the mixed crop farming system. In addition, high diversity in livestock composition is the characteristic features of the mainland of Uttarakhand. The state obtains high potential of milk production because of availability of fodder as a form of extensive grasslands, which are locally known as bugyals or kharaks and fodder trees. Livestock, other than milk production, are widely ...

  19. Eocene Tibetan plateau remnants preserved in the northwest Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Beek, Peter; van Melle, Jérémie; Guillot, Stéphane; Pêcher, Arnaud; Reiners, Peter W.; Nicolescu, Stefan; Latif, Mohammad

    2009-05-01

    The northwest Himalaya shows strongly contrasting relief. Deeply incised mountain ranges that are characterized by extremely rapid exhumation and some of the highest peaks in the world are in contrast with high-elevation, low-relief areas such as the Deosai plateau in northern Pakistan, which lies at an altitude of 4,000m. The origin and evolution of such plateau regions at the convergence of the most active continental collision in the world remain elusive. Here we report low-temperature thermochronology data from the Deosai plateau and use thermal history modelling to show that the plateau has undergone continuous slow denudation at rates below 250mMyr-1 for the past 35Myr at least. This finding suggests tectonic and morphologic stability of the plateau since at least Eocene times, only 15-20Myr after the onset of the India-Asia collision. Our work contradicts the hypothesis that widespread low-relief surfaces in the northwest Himalaya result from efficient kilometre-scale glacial erosion during Quaternary times. We show that similarly stable surfaces exist throughout the entire northwest Himalaya and share common morphologic characteristics and denudation histories, which are comparable to those of the western Tibetan plateau. Our results suggest that these surfaces are preserved remnants of an Eocene southwestern Tibetan plateau that was more extensive than today.

  20. Tunnelling through weak and fragile rocks of Himalayas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Goel R.K.

    2014-01-01

    A considerable amount of tunnelling has been going on in India for various projects such as hydroelectric power, irrigation, roads and railways. Most of these projects are located in Himalayas, far away from the urban areas. Tunnelling through weak and jointed rock masses such as the one in the Himalayas is a challenging task for the planners, designers, engineers and geologists because of high overburden, thickly vegetated surface, weak, poor and fragile rocks and highly varying geology with the presence of numerous small and big shear zones, faults, etc. Due to these reasons, various tunnelling problems have been faced in the past and are still being encountered. Failures and the problems may be regarded as challenges and opportunities for generating new knowledge base and thereby increasing self-reliance in tunnelling. The experiences of Himalayan tunnelling through weak and fragile rocks covering varying and mixed geology, understanding on tunnelling in squeezing ground conditions and applicability of TBM in Himalayas are presented. It has also been highlighted that the probe holes planning, drilling and mon-itoring shall be followed seriously to reduce the geological surprises.

  1. Rb-Sr geochronological studies of the granitic and gneissic rocks of Chhotadara area, Himachal, Himalaya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The area under investigation forms a part of the inner zone of Crystalline Nappe which lies in the geographical Higher Himalayan belt of Himachal Himalaya. The rocks of the Central Crystalline Zone are low-grade to high-grade. McMahon and Hayden recognized Central Crystalline Zone as a major tectonic element separating fossiliferous Cambrian to Eocene marine sediments of the Tibetan Zone from unfossiliferous Pre-Tertiary rocks to the north and south of the Central Crystalline Zone, respectively.The present ratio of 87Sr/86Sr of the samples was determined in our laboratory. Six samples having a reasonable good spread of (87Sr/86Sr)present ratios were analyzed for the concentration of Rb and Sr. After digestion of samples, addition of tracers 87Rb and 86Sr separately and separation of Rb and Sr using ion exchange column was done in our laboratory, the (85Rb/87Rb)m and (88Sr/86Sr)m ratios were determined on a Thermal Ionization Mass-spectrometer (Triton) at Institute Instrumentation Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee

  2. The Local Atmosphere and the Turbulent Heat Transfer in the Eastern Himalayas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZOU Han; LI Peng; MA Shupo; ZHOU Libo; ZHU Jinhuan

    2012-01-01

    To understand the local atmosphere and heat transfer and to facilitate the boundary-layer parameterization of numerical simulation and prediction,an observational campaign was conducted in the Eastern Himalayas in June 2010.The local atmospheric properties and near-surface turbulent heat transfers were analyzed.The local atmosphere in this region is warmer,more humid and less windy,with weaker solar radiation and surface radiate heating than in the Middle Himalayas.The near-surface turbulent heat transfer in the Eastern Himalayas is weaker than that in the Middle Himalayas.The total heat transfer is mainly contributed by the latent heat transfer with a Bowen ratio of 0.36,which is essentially different from that in the Middle Himalayas and the other Tibetan regions.

  3. Cenozoic Climate-Tectonic Interactions in the Western Himalaya Recorded in the Indus Submarine Fan: Initial Results from IODP Expedition 355

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clift, Peter; Pandey, Dhananjai; Kulhanek, Denise; Andò, Sergio; Zhou, Peng; 355 Scientists Expedition

    2016-04-01

    The Indus Submarine Fan is the largest repository of clastic sediment eroded from the Western Himalayas since the start of India-Eurasia collision, likely around 50 Ma. Interpreting this sedimentary archive is central to understanding how the Asian monsoon and Himalaya have evolved together. Models indicate linkages between surface processes, controlled by climatic influences, and the tectonics of the solid Earth. The development of large-scale duplexes within the Lesser Himalaya starting in the Late Miocene may be linked to changes in erosion intensity and location, especially spanning the 7-8 Ma climatic transition previously identified in the foreland basin and offshore Oman. Although some of these issues can be addressed by studies onshore, erosion has removed much of the older record from the crystalline basement itself and the Siwalik Group foreland sediment tend to image limited stretches of the Himalayan front rather than supplying a basin-wide record. The sediment record of the Arabian Sea must be used to understand how the Indus catchment responds to changes in monsoon strength. Drilling by International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 355 in the Eastern Arabian Sea has recovered two submarine fan sections spanning the last ca. 11 Ma, predated by a mass transport deposit. These should allow us to reconstruct how the Western Himalaya have responded to climate change since the late Miocene. Autocyclic processes within the fan and a major mass transport deposit mean that the record is not continuous, but is largely complete. Initial results indicate that the Indus Submarine Fan was receiving materials from Himalayan high-grade metamorphic rocks since at least ca. 14-17 Ma and that there was a direct connection with the suture, likely close to the western syntaxis, dating from the late Miocene. However, initial postcruise results now indicate that there has been significant flux directly from the Indian Peninsular, especially since 3 Ma that disrupts the

  4. Examination of snowmelt over Western Himalayas using remote sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    Snowmelt variability in the Western Himalayas has been examined using remotely sensed snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow-covered area (SCA) datasets. It is seen that climatological snowfall and snowmelt amount varies in the Himalayan region from west to east and from month to month. Maximum snowmelt occurs at the elevation zone between 4500 and 5000 m. As the spring and summer approach and snowmelt begins, a large amount of snow melts in May. Strength and weaknesses of temperature-based snowmelt models have been analyzed for this region by computing the snowmelt factor or the degree-day factor (DDF). It is seen that average DDF in the Himalayas is more in April and less in July. During spring and summer months, melting rate is higher in the areas that have height above 2500 m. The region that lies between 4500 and 5000 m elevation zones contributes toward more snowmelt with higher melting rate. Snowmelt models have been developed to estimate interannual variations of monthly snowmelt amount using the DDF, observed SWE, and surface air temperature from reanalysis datasets. In order to further improve the estimate snowmelt, regression between observed and modeled snowmelt has been carried out and revised DDF values have been computed. It is found that both the models do not capture the interannual variability of snowmelt in April. The skill of the model is moderate in May and June, but the skill is relatively better in July. In order to explain this skill, interannual variability (IAV) of surface air temperature has been examined. Compared to July, in April, the IAV of temperature is large indicating that a climatological value of DDF is not sufficient to explain the snowmelt rate in April. Snow area and snow amount depletion curves over Himalayas indicate that in a small area at high altitude, snow is still observed with large SWE whereas over most of the region, all the snow has melted.

  5. Is rate of glacial retreat accelerated in Indian Himalaya? (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulkarni, A. V.

    2013-12-01

    The Himalaya has one of the largest concentration of glaciers and rivers like Indus, Ganga and Bramhputra originate from this region. The snow and glacier melt is an important source of water for these rivers. However, this source of water may get affected in the near future due to changes in the cryosphere. Therefore, retreat of Himalayan glaciers are discussed extensively in scientific and public forums in India. Conventionally health of glaciers is assessed using changes in glacial length, as it is widely measured. However changes in glacial length and loss in areal extent near terminus needs to be interpreted carefully, as these changes can be influenced by numerous terrain and climatically sensitive parameters. The terrain parameters which can influence glacial retreat are slope, area altitude distribution, debris cover and orientation. In addition, climatically sensitive parameters like mass balance, glacial lakes and black carbon can also influence glacier retreat. These multiple influences can produce a complex pattern of glacial retreat. In this paper long-term glacier retreat in three river basins in the Indian Himalaya as Tista, Baspa and Parbati will be discussed. These basins are located in different climatically sensitive regions and each basin has unique dominant process of mass wasting. In addition to terrain parameters, influence of process like formation and expansion of moraine dammed lakes in Tista basin, deposition of black carbon on accumulation area in Baspa basin and debris cover in Parbati basin will also be discussed. This will provide understanding on varying influence of different mass wasting processes on glacial retreat during last five decades in the Indian Himalaya.

  6. Interannual Variability of Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) over Western Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Considering the importance of snow and glaciers in the Himalayas for understanding the water cycle and for water resource management of the rivers originating from the Himalayan, interannual variability of snow accumulation process over Himalayas and surrounding region has been studied using snow water equivalent (SWE) data. Remote sensing data from National Snow and Ice Data Centre have been used. These data have been compared against ground (in situ) observations of SWE measured at several gauge stations in the Indian part of the Satluj River basin. Accumulated SWE from remote sensing data and ground observations in the Satluj River basin have good and significant correlation. These data have also been compared against the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast reanalysis-Interim (ERA-I). Upper air and surface data from the reanalyses have also been used to examine the atmospheric conditions when snowfall occurs and snow accumulates for the season. In this study, it is found that there is large interannual variation in SWE over western Himalayas and Satluj River basin (domain of interest). During excess years of snowfall, strong westerly winds are observed at 500 hPa over India. In wind anomaly, a cyclonic circulation is seen over northern parts of India with a deep trough along Pakistan, Rajasthan and Gujarat region. As a consequence of this trough, a moisture convergence zone is established in the region leading to more amount of snowfall. At the same time, during excess snow accumulation years, the air temperature from the surface to 500 hPa is colder than other years enabling the fallen snow to accumulate through the season.

  7. The Large-Bodied hominoids of the Himalayas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Trachtengerts

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The review of available data concerning to large-bodied hominoids detected in the Himalayas is presented. They are mainly footprints (photographs by E.Shipton and M.Ward, P.Bordet, F.Smythe, and A.Woodridge and also narration of one remote observation. It is shown that on the whole these data reveal basic features of the undefined creature, most probably humanlike primate, and allow describing it as a separate species. One of its features is unusual four-toed foot with two strong toes and two small toes. A taxonomic name for this hominoid is proposed ¾ Homo pardigitatus sp. nov. ("That has paired toes".

  8. Quantifying sources, transport, deposition, and radiative forcing of black carbon over the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Rudong; Wang, Hailong; Qian, Yun; Rasch, Philip J.; Easter, Richard C.; Ma, Po-Lun; Singh, Balwinder; Huang, Jianping; Fu, Qiang

    2015-01-01

    Black carbon (BC)particles over the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau (HTP), both airborne and those deposited on snow, have been shown to affect snowmelt and glacier retreat. Since BC over the HTP may originate from a variety of geographical regions and emission sectors, it is essential to quantify the source-receptor relationships of BC in order to understand the contributions of natural and anthropogenic emissions and provide guidance for potential mitigation actions. In this study, we use the Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5) with a newly developed source tagging technique, nudged towards the MERRA meteorological reanalysis, to characterize the fate of BC particles emitted from various geographical regions and sectors. Evaluated against observations over the HTP and surrounding regions, the model simulation shows a good agreement in the seasonal variation of the near-surface airborne BC concentrations, providing confidence to use this modeling framework for characterizing BC source- receptor relationships. Our analysis shows that the relative contributions from different geographical regions and source sectors depend on seasons and the locations in the HTP. The largest contribution to annual mean BC burden and surface deposition in the entire HTP region is from biofuel and biomass (BB) emissions in South Asia, followed by fossil fuel (FF) emissions from South Asia, then FF from East Asia. The same roles hold for all the seasonal means except for the summer when East Asia FF becomes more important. For finer receptor regions of interest, South Asia BB and FF have the largest impact on BC in Himalayas and Central Tibetan Plateau, while East Asia FF and BB contribute the most to Northeast Plateau in all seasons and Southeast Plateau in the summer. Central Asia and Middle East FF emissions have relatively more important contributions to BC reaching Northwest Plateau, especially in the summer. Although the HTP local emissions only contribute about 10% of BC in

  9. Geomorphological features of active tectonics and ongoing seismicity of northeastern Kumaun Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Vivekanand Pathak; Charu C Pant; Gopal Singh Darmwal

    2015-08-01

    The northeastern part of Kumaun Lesser Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India, lying between the rupture zones of 1905, Kangra and 1934, Bihar–Nepal earthquakes and known as ‘central seismic gap’ is a segment of an active fault known to produce significant earthquakes and has not slipped in an unusually long time when compared to other segments. The studied section forms a part of this seismic gap and is seismically an active segment of the Himalayan arc, as compared to the remaining part of the Kumaun Lesser Himalaya and it is evident by active geomorphological features and seismicity data. The geomorphological features of various river valley transects suggest that the region had a history of tectonic rejuvenation which is testified by the deposition of various levels of terraces and their relative uplift, shifting and ponding of river channels, uplifted potholes, triangular facets on fault planes, fault scarps, etc. Further, the seismic data of five-station digital telemetered seismic network along with two stand alone systems show the distribution of earthquakes in or along the analyzed fault transects. It is observed that the microseismic earthquakes (magnitude 1.0–3.0) frequently occur in the region and hypocenters of these earthquakes are confined to shallow depths (10–20 km), with low stress drop values (1.0–10 bar) and higher peak ground velocity (PGV). The cluster of events is observed in the region, sandwiched between the Berinag Thrust (BT) in south and Main Central Thrust (MCT) in north. The occurrences of shallow focus earthquakes and the surface deformational features in the different river valley transect indicates that the region is undergoing neotectonic rejuvenation. In absence of chronology of the deposits it is difficult to relate it with extant seismicity, but from the geomorphic and seismic observations it may be concluded that the region is still tectonically active. The information would be very important in identifying the areas of

  10. Boreal spring precipitation variability in the cold arid western Himalaya during the last millennium, regional linkages, and socio-economic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadava, Akhilesh K.; Bräuning, Achim; Singh, Jayendra; Yadav, Ram R.

    2016-07-01

    Precipitation in the monsoon shadow zone of the western Himalayan region, largely under the influence of mid-latitude westerlies, is the dominant regional socioeconomic driver. Current knowledge of long-term regional precipitation variability is scarce due to spatially and temporally limited weather and high-resolution proxy climate records. We developed the first boreal spring precipitation reconstruction for the western Himalaya covering the last millennium (1030-2011 C.E.). The annually resolved reconstruction is based on a large tree-ring data set of Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara) and neoza pine (Pinus gerardiana) from 16 ecologically homogeneous moisture stressed settings in Kinnaur, western Indian Himalaya. The precipitation reconstruction revealed persistent long-term spring droughts from the 12th to early 16th century C.E. and pluvial from the late 16th century C.E. to recent decades. The late 15th and early 16th centuries (1490-1514 C.E.) displayed the driest episode, with precipitation being ∼15% lower than the long-term mean. The early 19th century (1820-1844 C.E.) was the wettest period of the past millennium, with mean precipitation ∼13% above the long-term mean. The reconstructed boreal spring precipitation from the western Himalaya revealed large-scale consistency with hydrological records from westerly dominated regions in Central Asia, indicating synoptic-scale changes in atmospheric circulation during the major part of the Medieval and Little Ice Age periods. Protracted droughts in Central Asia could have caused severe contraction of the regional economy, as indicated by striking coherence of reconstructed drought periods and historic social upheavals and invasions of India from Central and Western Asian invaders. Vulnerability to climatic extremes underpins the need to develop a better understanding of the temporal and spatial variability in regional hydroclimate in order to devise viable water resource management plans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:24783775

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Over the course of six years (2006–2011), equivalent black carbon (eqBC), coarse aerosol mass (PM1–10), and surface ozone (O3), 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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  14. Phytoremediation potential of Phragmites australis in Hokersar wetland - a Ramsar site of Kashmir Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Syed Shakeel; Reshi, Zafar A; Shah, Manzoor A; Rashid, Irfan; Ara, Roshan; Andrabi, Syed M A

    2014-01-01

    Heavy metals are an important class of pollutants with both lethal and sublethal effects on organisms. Wetlands are cheap natural alternatives for removal of heavy metals from soils; however, wetland plants vary greatly in their degree of metal uptake. Hokersar wetland, a Ramsar site of Kashmir Himalaya, India is a game reserve of international importance that provides suitable habitat for resident birds and an excellent stopover point for migratory birds visiting from Palaearctic breeding grounds in Central Asia, China, N-Europe and Siberia. The toxicity of chronic dietary metal exposure in birds may have adverse reproductive effects which include decreased egg production, decreased hatchability, and increased hatchling mortality. Thus, the present study aimed to assess the heavy metal sequestration capability of one of the most common wetland plant species Phragmites australis in Hokersar wetland. The accumulation of the different elements was in order of Al > Mn > Ba > Zn > Cu > Pb > Mo > Co > Cr > Cd > Ni. Translocation factor, i.e. ratio of shoot to root metal concentration revealed that metals were largely retained in the roots of P. australis, thus reducing the supply of metals to avifauna and preventing their bio-accumulation. PMID:24933910

  15. Seasonal and annual mass balances of Mera and Pokalde glaciers (Nepal Himalaya since 2007

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Wagnon

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In the Everest region, Nepal, ground-based monitoring programs were started on the debris-free Mera Glacier (27.7° N, 86.9° E; 5.1 km2, 6420 to 4940 m a.s.l. in 2007 and on the small Pokalde Glacier (27.9° N, 86.8° E; 0.1 km2, 5690 to 5430 m a.s.l., ∼ 25 km North of Mera Glacier in 2009. These glaciers lie on the southern flank of the central Himalaya under the direct influence of the Indian monsoon and receive more than 80% of their annual precipitation in summer (June to September. Despite a large inter-annual variability with glacier-wide mass balances ranging from −0.77± 0.40 m w.e. in 2011–2012 (Equilibrium-line altitude (ELA at ∼ 6055 m a.s.l. to + 0.46 ± 0.40 m w.e. in 2010–2011 (ELA at ∼ 5340 m a.s.l., Mera Glacier has been shrinking at a moderate mass balance rate of −0.10± 0.40 m w.e. yr−1 since 2007. Ice fluxes measured at two distinct transverse cross sections at ∼ 5350 m a.s.l. and ∼ 5520 m a.s.l. confirm that the mean state of this glacier over the last one or two decades corresponds to a limited mass loss, in agreement with remotely-sensed region-wide mass balances of the Everest area. Seasonal mass balance measurements show that ablation and accumulation are concomitant in summer which in turn is the key season controlling the annual glacier-wide mass balance. Unexpectedly, ablation occurs at all elevations in winter due to wind erosion and sublimation, with remobilized snow likely being sublimated in the atmosphere. Between 2009 and 2012, the small Pokalde Glacier lost mass more rapidly than Mera Glacier with respective mean glacier-wide mass balances of −0.72 and −0.26 ± 0.40 m w.e. yr−1. Low-elevation glaciers, such as Pokalde Glacier, have been usually preferred for in-situ observations in Nepal and more generally in the Himalayas, which may explain why compilations of ground-based mass balances are biased toward negative values compared with the regional mean under the present-day climate.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  17. Dispersal events of Triassic-Jurassic boundary faunas, and paleoenvironment of Tibetan Himalaya

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FüRSICH; Franz; Theodor

    2009-01-01

    End-Triassic ammonoid and bivalve faunas of the Germig area, Tibetan Himalaya, lived in a tropical, shallow-water environment during the Triassic-Jurassic boundary interval. High stratigraphic resolution based on ammonite-biochrons allows to tracing the place of origin of several faunal elements. The bivalves Aguilerella and Ctenostreon occurred first in the Tibetan Himalaya and migrated from there to the eastern South Pacific, exhibiting a pantropic dispersal pattern. This dispersal route is supported by the distribution pattern of the ammonites Choristoceras, Discamphiceras, Pleuroacanthites, and Psiloceras calliphyllum. A few taxa, which went extinct everywhere else by the end of the Triassic, survived in the Tibetan Himalaya into early Early Jurassic times. They include the ammonites Choristoceras and Eopsiloceras, and the bivalves Newaagia, Terquemia, Persia, Ryderia guangdongensis, and Cultriopsis angusta. This suggests that the Tibetan Himalaya may have played a refugia role in the course of the end-Triassic mass extinction.

  18. Prevailing climatic trends and runoff response from Hindukush–Karakoram–Himalaya, upper Indus basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Hasson

    2015-03-01

    . Moreover, we find a field significant decrease (increase in late-monsoonal precipitation for lower (higher latitudinal regions of Himalayas (Karakoram and Hindukush, whereas an increase in winter precipitation for Hindukush, western- and whole Karakoram, UIB-Central, UIB-West, UIB-West-upper and whole UIB regions. We find a spring warming (field significant in March and drying (except for Karakoram and its sub-regions, and subsequent rise in early-melt season flows. Such early melt response together with effective cooling during monsoon period subsequently resulted in a substantial drop (weaker increase in discharge out of higher (lower latitudinal regions (Himalaya and UIB-West-lower during late-melt season, particularly during July. These discharge tendencies qualitatively differ to their long term trends for all regions, except for UIB-West-upper, western-Karakorum and Astore. The observed hydroclimatic trends, being driven by certain changes in the monsoonal system and westerly disturbances, indicate dominance (suppression of nival (glacial runoff regime, altering substantially the overall hydrology of UIB in future. These findings largely contribute to address the hydroclimatic explanation of the "Karakoram Anomaly".

  19. Snow cover trend and hydrological characteristics of the Astore River basin (Western Himalayas) and its comparison to the Hunza basin (Karakoram region).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahir, Adnan Ahmad; Chevallier, Pierre; Arnaud, Yves; Ashraf, Muhammad; Bhatti, Muhammad Tousif

    2015-02-01

    A large proportion of Pakistan's irrigation water supply is taken from the Upper Indus River Basin (UIB) in the Himalaya-Karakoram-Hindukush range. More than half of the annual flow in the UIB is contributed by five of its snow and glacier-fed sub-basins including the Astore (Western Himalaya - south latitude of the UIB) and Hunza (Central Karakoram - north latitude of the UIB) River basins. Studying the snow cover, its spatio-temporal change and the hydrological response of these sub-basins is important so as to better manage water resources. This paper compares new data from the Astore River basin (mean catchment elevation, 4100 m above sea level; m asl afterwards), obtained using MODIS satellite snow cover images, with data from a previously-studied high-altitude basin, the Hunza (mean catchment elevation, 4650 m asl). The hydrological regime of this sub-catchment was analyzed using the hydrological and climate data available at different altitudes from the basin area. The results suggest that the UIB is a region undergoing a stable or slightly increasing trend of snow cover in the southern (Western Himalayas) and northern (Central Karakoram) parts. Discharge from the UIB is a combination of snow and glacier melt with rainfall-runoff at southern part, but snow and glacier melt are dominant at the northern part of the catchment. Similar snow cover trends (stable or slightly increasing) but different river flow trends (increasing in Astore and decreasing in Hunza) suggest a sub-catchment level study of the UIB to understand thoroughly its hydrological behavior for better flood forecasting and water resources management. PMID:25461078

  20. Spatio-temporal snow cover change and hydrological characteristics of the Astore, Gilgit and Hunza river basins (western Himalayas, Hindukush and Karakoram region) - Northern Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahir, Adnan Ahmad; Chevallier, Pierre; Arnaud, Yves; Lane, Stuart; Terzago, Silvia; Adamowski, Jan Franklin

    2015-04-01

    A large proportion of Pakistan's irrigation water supply is drawn from the Upper Indus River Basin (UIB) situated in the Himalaya-Karakoram-Hindukush (HKH) ranges. More than half of the annual flow in the UIB is contributed by five of its high-altitude snow and glacier-fed sub-basins including the Astore (Western Himalaya - southern part of the UIB), Gilgit (Hindukush - western part of the UIB) and Hunza (Central Karakoram - northern part of the UIB) River basins. Studying the snow cover, its spatio-temporal evolution and the hydrological response of these sub-basins is important so as to better manage water resources. This study compares data from the Astore, Gilgit and Hunza River basins (mean catchment elevation, 4100, 4250 and 4650 m ASL, respectively), obtained using MODIS satellite snow cover images. The hydrological regime of these sub-catchments was analyzed using hydrological and climate data available at different altitudes from the basin areas. The results suggest that the UIB is a region undergoing a stable or slightly increasing trend of snow cover in the southern (Western Himalayas), western (Hindukush) and northern (Central Karakoram) parts. Discharge from the UIB is a combination of snow and glacier melt with rainfall-runoff in the southern part, but snow and glacier melt is dominant in the northern and western parts of the catchment. Despite similar snow cover trends (stable or slightly increasing), different river flow trends (increasing in Astore and Gilgit, decreasing in Hunza) suggest that a sub-catchment level study of the UIB is needed to understand thoroughly its hydrological behavior for better flood forecasting and water resources management and to quantify how the system is being forced by changing climate.

  1. Exploration of nifH gene through soil metagenomes of the western Indian Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

    Soni, Ravindra; Suyal, Deep Chandra; Sai, Santosh; Goel, Reeta

    2016-01-01

    This group has previously highlighted the prevalence of Csp genes from cold Himalayan environments. However, this study has explored the uncultured diazotrophs from metagenomes of western Indian Himalayas. The metagenomic nifH gene clone library was constructed from the Temperate, Subtropical and Tarai soils of Western Himalaya, India followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. After preliminary screening, selected clones were sequenced. In silico analysis of the clones was don...

  2. Use of spectral acceleration data for determination of three-dimensional attenuation structure in the Pithoragarh region of Kumaon Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, A.; Mohanty, M.; Bansal, A. R.; Dimri, V. P.; Chadha, R. K.

    2010-04-01

    Three-dimensional attenuation structures are related to the subsurface heterogeneities present in the earth crust. An algorithm for estimation of three-dimensional attenuation structure in the part of Garhwal Himalaya, India has been presented by Joshi (Curr Sci 90:581-585, 2006b; Nat Hazards 43:129-146, 2007). In continuation of our earlier approach, we have presented a method in which strong motion data have been used to estimate frequency-dependent three-dimensional attenuation structure of the region. The border district of Pithoragarh in the Higher Himalaya, India, lies in the central seismic gap region of Himalaya. This region falls in the seismic zones IV and V of the seismic zoning map of India. A dense network consisting of eight accelerographs has been installed in this region. This network has recorded several local events. An algorithm based on inversion of strong motion digital data is developed in this paper to estimate attenuation structure at different frequencies using the data recorded by this network. Twenty strong motion records observed at five stations have been used to estimate the site amplification factors using inversion algorithm defined in this paper. Site effects obtained from inversion has been compared with that obtained using Nakamura (1988) and Lermo et al. (Bull Seis Soc Am 83:1574-1594, 1993) approach. The obtained site amplification term has been used for correcting spectral acceleration data at different stations. The corrected spectral acceleration data have been used as an input to the developed algorithm to avoid effect of near-site soil amplification term. The attenuation structure is estimated by dividing the entire area in several three-dimensional block of different frequency-dependent shear wave quality factor Q β ( f). The input to this algorithm is the spectral acceleration of S phase of the corrected accelerogram. The outcome of the algorithm is given in terms of attenuation coefficient and source acceleration

  3. Back-thrusting in Lesser Himalaya: Evidences from magnetic fabric studies in parts of Almora crystalline zone, Kumaun Lesser Himalaya

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Amar Agarwal; K K K K Agarwal; R Bali; Chandra Prakash; Gaurav Joshi

    2016-06-01

    The present study aims to understand evolution of the Lesser Himalaya, which consists of (meta) sedimentaryand crystalline rocks. Field studies, microscopic and rock magnetic investigations have beencarried out on the rocks near the South Almora Thrust (SAT) and the North Almora Thrust (NAT),which separates the Almora Crystalline Zone (ACZ) from the Lesser Himalayan sequences (LHS). Theresults show that along the South Almora Thrust, the deformation is persistent; however, near theNAT deformation pattern is complex and implies overprinting of original shear sense by a youngerdeformational event. We attribute this overprinting to late stage back-thrusting along NAT, active afterthe emplacement of ACZ. During this late stage back-thrusting, rocks of the ACZ and LHS were coupled.Back-thrusts originated below the Lesser Himalayan rocks, probably from the Main Boundary Thrust,and propagated across the sedimentary and crystalline rocks. This study provides new results frommultiple investigations, and enhances our understanding of the evolution of the ACZ.

  4. Tectonic control on 10Be-derived erosion rates in the Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherler, Dirk; Bookhagen, Bodo; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2014-02-01

    Erosion in the Himalaya is responsible for one of the greatest mass redistributions on Earth and has fueled models of feedback loops between climate and tectonics. Although the general trends of erosion across the Himalaya are reasonably well known, the relative importance of factors controlling erosion is less well constrained. Here we present 25 10Be-derived catchment-averaged erosion rates from the Yamuna catchment in the Garhwal Himalaya, northern India. Tributary erosion rates range between ~0.1 and 0.5 mm yr-1 in the Lesser Himalaya and ~1 and 2 mm yr-1 in the High Himalaya, despite uniform hillslope angles. The erosion-rate data correlate with catchment-averaged values of 5 km radius relief, channel steepness indices, and specific stream power but to varying degrees of nonlinearity. Similar nonlinear relationships and coefficients of determination suggest that topographic steepness is the major control on the spatial variability of erosion and that twofold to threefold differences in annual runoff are of minor importance in this area. Instead, the spatial distribution of erosion in the study area is consistent with a tectonic model in which the rock uplift pattern is largely controlled by the shortening rate and the geometry of the Main Himalayan Thrust fault (MHT). Our data support a shallow dip of the MHT underneath the Lesser Himalaya, followed by a midcrustal ramp underneath the High Himalaya, as indicated by geophysical data. Finally, analysis of sample results from larger main stem rivers indicates significant variability of 10Be-derived erosion rates, possibly related to nonproportional sediment supply from different tributaries and incomplete mixing in main stem channels.

  5. Measurement of radon concentration in groundwater of Kumaon Himalaya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this study, radon concentration in springs and hand pumps of Kumaon Himalaya, India was measured using radon emanometry technique. The radon measurements were made in springs and groundwater from the hand pumps being used as drinking water sources by general population. The hand pumps and springs were selected near the dwellings and workplaces, where the general public utilizes these water sources for their daily needs. The water samples from springs were collected in an air-tight bottle from the original discharge point (outlet) of the spring having distinct geological unit and geohydrological regime. The water was transferred from discharge point of the spring to the bottom of the bottle using PVC tubing. For hand pumps, the water was pumped out for some time and the samples were collected in 1 L bottle directly from the pump outlet. After allowing the sample bottle to over flow for a while and when no bubbles were visually observed, the sample volume was reduced to a pre-marked position leaving 250 ml of air in the bottle above the water surface. The sample bottle was then connected in a close circuit with Lucas cell, hand operated rubber pump and a glass tube containing CaCl2 to absorb the moisture. The air was then circulated in close circuit for a period of 15 mm till the radon formed a uniform mixture with the air and the resulting alpha activity was recorded. The resulting numbers of the alpha counts were then converted into Bq/l by using the calibration factor 1 cpm = 0.0663 Bq/l. The results of radon measurements in springs and hand pumps from the study area are given. Field measurements were taken in different geological units of Kumaun region in Himalaya. The radon concentration in spring water varies from 1 Bq/l to 76 Bq/l with geometric mean 10 Bq/l, whereas in hand pumps it varies from 3 Bq/l to 392 Bq/l with geometric mean of 40 Bq/l. The higher values of radon in the water samples of hand pumps are possibly because of its greater depth, which

  6. Depositional environment and provenance of Middle Siwalik sediments in Tista valley, Darjiling District, Eastern Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abhik Kundu; Abdul Matin; Malay Mukul

    2012-02-01

    The frontal part of the active, wedge-shaped Indo-Eurasian collision boundary is defined by the Himalayan fold-and-thrust belt whose foreland basin accumulated sediments that eventually became part of the thrust belt and is presently exposed as the sedimentary rocks of the Siwalik Group. The rocks of the Siwalik Group have been extensively studied in the western and Nepal Himalaya and have been divided into the Lower, Middle and Upper Subgroups. In the Darjiling–Sikkim Himalaya, the Upper Siwalik sequence is not exposed and the Middle Siwalik Subgroup exposed in the Tista river valley of Darjiling Himalaya preserves a ∼325 m thick sequence of sandstone, conglomerate and shale. The Middle Siwalik section has been repeated by a number of north dipping thrusts. The sedimentary facies and facies associations within the lithostratigraphic column of the Middle Siwalik rocks show temporal repetition of sedimentary facies associations suggesting oscillation between proximal-, mid- and distal fan setups within a palaeo-alluvial fan depositional environment similar to the depositional setup of the Siwalik sediments in other parts of the Himalaya. These oscillations are probably due to a combination of foreland-ward movement of Himalayan thrusts, climatic variations and mountain-ward shift of fanapex due to erosion. The Middle Siwalik sediments were derived from Higher- and Lesser Himalayan rocks. Mineral characteristics and modal analysis suggest that sedimentation occurred in humid climatic conditions similar to the moist humid climate of the present day Eastern Himalaya.

  7. Timing, duration and inversion of prograde Barrovian metamorphism constrained by high resolution Lu-Hf garnet dating: A case study from the Sikkim Himalaya, NE India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anczkiewicz, Robert; Chakraborty, Sumit; Dasgupta, Somnath; Mukhopadhyay, Dilip; Kołtonik, Katarzyna

    2014-12-01

    We investigated Lu-Hf isotopic systematics in garnets from gradually higher grade metamorphic rocks from the first appearance of garnet at c. 500 °C to biotite dehydration melting at c. 800 °C in the Sikkim Himalaya, India. Exceptionally precise Lu-Hf ages obtained for the Barrovian metasedimentary sequence in the Lesser Himalaya (LH) correspond to the time of early garnet formation on a prograde path and show remarkable correlation with increasing metamorphic grade and decreasing structural depth. The youngest age is reported for the garnet zone (10.6±0.2 Ma) and then the ages become progressively older in the staurolite (12.8±0.3 Ma), kyanite (13.7±0.2 Ma) and sillimanite (14.6±0.1 Ma) zones. The oldest age of 16.8±0.1 Ma was recorded at the top of the sequence in the zone marking the onset of muscovite dehydration melting, directly below the Main Central Thrust (MCT). These ages provide a tight constraint on the timing and duration of the Barrovian sequence formation which lasted about 6 Ma. The age pattern is clearly inverted with respect to structural depth but shows "normal" correlation with the metamorphic grade, i.e. earlier garnet growth in higher grade rocks. The timing of the peak metamorphic conditions estimated for the garnet and kyanite zones suggests that thermal climax occurred in all zones within a relatively short time span about 10-13 Ma ago. The metamorphic inversion in the Sikkim Himalaya must therefore have occurred after the metamorphic peak was attained in all grades. Lu-Hf garnet ages in the overthrust Higher Himalaya (HH) continue to be older but do not show a clear progression. There is about 6 Ma jump to 22.6±0.1 Ma within the MCT zone and even older ages of 26-28 Ma were obtained for migmatites from the lower part of the HH. The Lu-Hf system in garnets from the HH records the time of melting at or near the thermal peak rather than dates initial garnet growth as in the LH. The age pattern obtained in this study provides precise

  8. Geoelectric structure estimated from magnetotelluric data from the Uttarakhand Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miglani, Rohit; Shahrukh, M.; Israil, M.; Gupta, Pravin K.; Varshney, S. K.; Elena, Sokolova

    2014-12-01

    Geoelectric strike and resistivity structure of the crust have been estimated from 37 magnetotelluric (MT) data sites along a profile from Roorkee to Gangotri in Uttarakhand Himalaya. Impedance decomposition schemes based on Bahr's, Groom Bailey and Phase tensor were implemented in a MATLAB code for the average strike estimation. Geoelectric strike direction varies with period as well as in different litho-tectonic units along the profile. In the period band from 1 to 100 s average geoelectric strike in the southern end of the profile (Indo-Gangetic Plains) is N79°W, which is slightly rotated to the north in the Lesser Himalayan region and becomes N68°W whereas it is N81°W in the Higher Himalayan region. However, average strike is stabilized to N77°W for the entire profile in the long period band (100-1000 s). Geoelectrical structure of the crust has been obtained along the profile by 2D inversion of MT data. Major features of 2D resistivity model are: (i) southern part of the model is a low resistivity (1000 Om) layer below the IGP sediments is the basement rock, representing the resistivity of the top of the subducting Indian Plate; (iii) the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) and the Main Central Thrust (MCT) zones can be seen in the electrical image. However, the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) could not be resolved and (iv) a low resistivity (<10 Om) feature in the MCT zone extending to the depth of 30 km is delineated. This low resistivity could be due to fluid-filled fractured rock matrix or partial melt zone. Hypocenters of many earthquakes are concentrated along the boundary of this low resistivity zone and relatively high resistivity blocks around it. The resulted model supports flat-ramp-flat geometry of the Main Himalayan Thrust along which the Indian Plate is subducting.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Earthquakes in India and the Himalaya: tectonics, geodesy and history

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bilham

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available The record of earthquakes in India is patchy prior to 1800 and its improvement is much impeded by its dispersal in a dozen local languages, and several colonial archives. Although geological studies will necessarily complement the historical record, only two earthquakes of the dozens of known historical events have resulted in surface ruptures, and it is likely that geological data in the form of liquefaction features will be needed to extend the historical record beyond the most recent few centuries. Damage from large Himalayan earthquakes recorded in Tibet and in Northern India suggests that earthquakes may attain M = 8.2. Seismic gaps along two-thirds of the Himalaya that have developed in the past five centuries, when combined with geodetic convergence rates of approximately 1.8 m/cy, suggests that one or more M = 8 earthquakes may be overdue. The mechanisms of recent earthquakes in Peninsular India are consistent with stresses induced in the Indian plate flexed by its collision with Tibet. A region of abnormally high seismicity in western India appears to be caused by local convergence across the Rann of Kachchh and possibly other rift zones of India. Since the plate itself deforms little, this deformation may be related to incipient plate fragmentation in Sindh or over a larger region of NW India.

  11. Geodetic and Seismic Investigation of Crustal Deformation in Northwest Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasari, S.; Dikshit, O., Sr.; Kato, T.

    2014-12-01

    Underthrusting of Indian plate beneath the Eurasian plate results into a persistent compression and strain accumulation along a north-dipping detachment zone in the Himalayan orogen, producing a number of moderate and great interplate earthquakes. In this study, we present the ongoing crustal deformation from our GPS network comprising eight continuously operating permanent stations and three profiles of campaign stations which are lined up perpendicular to the Himalayan mega thrust faults. The campaign stations clearly reveal the ongoing deformation near the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) and the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) zones. We further combine our geodetic results with the probalistic earthquake hazards of the northwestern Himalaya (280-320N, 740-800E) to provide a comprehensive report on the seismic hazard scenario of the thickly populated Himalayan cities. For this, the earthquake interevent times and conditional probabilities for events exceeding magnitude 6.0 are estimated from thirteen different probability models, namely exponential, gamma, lognormal, Weibull, Levy, Maxwell, Pareto, Rayleigh, inverse Gaussian (Brownian passage time), inverse Weibull (Frechet), exponentiated exponential, exponentiated Rayleigh (Burr type X), and exponentiated Weibull distributions.

  12. Variations in radon concentration in groundwater of Kumaon Himalaya, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourai, A A; Gusain, G S; Rautela, B S; Joshi, V; Prasad, G; Ramola, R C

    2012-11-01

    The radon content in groundwater sources depends on the radium concentration in the rock of the aquifer. Radon was measured in water in many parts of the world, mostly for the risk assessment due to consumption of drinking water. The exposure to radon through drinking water is largely by inhalation and ingestion. Airborne radon can be released during normal household activities and can pose a greater potential health risk than radon ingested with water. Transport of radon through soil and bedrock by water depends mainly on the percolation of water through the pores and along fracture planes of bedrock. In this study, the radon concentration in water from springs and hand pumps of Kumaun Himalaya, India was measured using the radon emanometry technique. Radon concentration was found to vary from 1 to 392 Bq l(-1) with a mean of 50 Bq l(-1) in groundwater in different lithotectonic units. The radon level was found to be higher in the area consisting of granite, quartz porphyry, schist, phyllites and lowest in the area having sedimentary rocks, predominantly dominated by quartzite rocks. PMID:22914330

  13. Three hitherto unreported macro-fungi from Kashmir Himalaya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

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

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    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.

  15. Meiotic studies in some selected angiosperms from the Kashmir Himalayas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Syed Mudassir JEELANI; Santosh KUMARI; Raghbir Chand GUPTA

    2012-01-01

    As a part of our program to explore and evaluate genetic diversity of flowering plants of the Kashmir Himalayas,meiotic studies have been carried out on 150 wild species.Of these,Caltha alba (2n =32),Delphinium roylei (2n =16),D.uncinatum (2n =16),Ranunculus palmatifidus (2n =28),and Sedum heterodontum (2n =14) have been cytologically worked out for the first time.New intraspecific diploid or polyploid cytotypes have been recorded for Alchemilla vulgaris (2n =34,96),Arabis amplexicaulis (2n =16),Impatiens amphorata (2n =14),Ⅰ.racemosa (2n =12),Ⅰ.sutcata (2n =16,12),Meconopsis latifolia (2n =14),Potentilla supina (2n =14),Saxifraga cernua (2n =16),Sium latijugam (2n =24),and Vicatia coniifolia (2n =44).Four species,Arabidopsis thaliana (2n =10),Berberis vulgaris (2n =28),Potentilla nubicola (2n =14),and P.sericea (2n =28),have been cytologically reported for the first time from India.A large number of meiotic abnormalities have been observed in most of these species,leading to a reduction in pollen fertility and production of heterogeneous-sized pollen grains.

  16. Deep structure over the eastern syntaxis of the Himalaya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Complete text of publication follows. Magnetotelluric surveys were conducted over two profiles for mapping the major tectonic features over the eastern syntaxial bend. These studies over the main frontal thrust and Main boundary thrust of the Himalaya and the Mishmi thrust in the Indo Burman range have shown that the signatures of these thrusts at deeper level are not coincident with their corresponding surface expressions. Thus main frontal and the main boundary thrusts are traced about 20 km south of the surface manifestations where as the Mishmi thrust at deeper levels is about 25 km west of the location observed on the surface. The global positioning studies (Gan, W, et al. (2007) J. Geophys. Res. Article No: B08416) are indicative of eastward (transverse to the strike) movements of the sedimentary overburden north of the main frontal thrust, in this region. Another conspicuous feature is the south dipping thrust / reverse fault delineated to the north of the Main frontal thrust earlier observed in the Tawang-Bomdilla region (Gokarn et al, 2008, 19th EM induction workshop, Beijing China). Its signatures at shallow depth in this region are however obscured by the presence of then supracrustal deposits of the Abhor volcanics and Yinkiang formations occurring in small discrete patches in the close vicinity of this feature.

  17. Ethnobotanical uses of biofencing plants in Himachal Pradesh, Northwest Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Pankaj; Devi, Usha

    2013-12-15

    The aim of this study is to document the traditional knowledge on the utilization of Biofencing plants of Himachal Pradesh, Northwest Himalaya. The study was imperative because of dearth in the data pertaining to Biofencing plants in the study areas. The whole study area was stratified into three zones and a widespread field survey and random sampling method was adopted to assess the live fencing diversity of the region. The region occupies total 61 species. 10 (trees), 45 (shrubs), 4 (herbs) and 2 were climbers. These belong to the 25 families. Rosaceae, Fabaceae, Berberidaceae, Elaeagnaceae and Euphorbiaceae are dominant families. Among genera, Berberis and Rosa are dominant. Of the total, 55 species are medicinally important and among these 20% are used for stomach disorders; 17% (skin complaints), 14% (asthma), 11% (fever and joint pains), 3% (aphrodisiac and snake bite), 1% (anticancerous and nerve disorders). Ethnobotanical assessment showed that 33 of the recorded species are used as fuel, 20 (edible), 8 (fodder) and 4 (fiber and ornamental). This traditional knowledge of Biofencing plants contributes to the conservation of biodiversity and provides resource of economic and ecological interest and also decreasing the pressure on forests. So there is need to encourage the practice of using plant species for fencing in this region. PMID:24517012

  18. EVALUATION OF GARHWAL HIMALAYA WILD EDIBLE TUBER DIOSCOREA DELTOIDEA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandra Subhash

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The Uttarakhand is highly enriched with edible wild tubers. Such tubers are highly potential with medicinal value and nutritional value due to the presence of bio-actives. These tubers are consumed by local inhabitants to play a significant role as supplementary food. The present study is aimed at evaluating the nutritional value, successive extraction, thin layer chromatography of medicinal plant, Dioscorea deltoidea. It is a popular wild edible tubers bearing plant of Indian Himalaya having good nutritional and medicinal potential. These will be the best source of the nutraceuticals. Since tubers are richer in micronutrients and bioactive secondary metabolites, The medicinal plant tuber contain ash value, (total ash 3.34 ± 0.15%, moisture 58.92±0.10%, crude fat 0.60±0.20% and crude fiber 7.50±0.14%, the successive extractive values were studied fresh part weight. The preliminary phytochemical analysis test showed the presence of carbohydrates and glycosides, alkaloid, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, unsaturated triterpenoids and sterol, resin.

  19. Variations in radon concentration in groundwater of Kumaon Himalaya, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The radon content in groundwater sources depends on the radium concentration in the rock of the aquifer. Radon was measured in water in many parts of the world, mostly for the risk assessment due to consumption of drinking water. The exposure to radon through drinking water is largely by inhalation and ingestion. Airborne radon can be released during normal household activities and can pose a greater potential health risk than radon ingested with water. Transport of radon through soil and bedrock by water depends mainly on the percolation of water through the pores and along fracture planes of bedrock. In this study, the radon concentration in water from springs and hand pumps of Kumaun Himalaya (India)) was measured using the radon emanometry technique. Radon concentration was found to vary from 1 to 392 Bq I-1 with a mean of 50 Bq I-1 in groundwater in different litho-tectonic units. The radon level was found to be higher in the area consisting of granite, quartz porphyry, schist, phyllites and lowest in the area having sedimentary rocks, predominantly dominated by quartzite rocks. (authors)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  1. Millenary Mw > 9.0 earthquakes required by geodetic strain in the Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, V. L.; Avouac, J.-P.

    2016-02-01

    The Himalayan arc produced the largest known continental earthquake, the Mw ≈ 8.7 Assam earthquake of 1950, but how frequently and where else in the Himalaya such large-magnitude earthquakes occur is not known. Paleoseismic evidence for coseismic ruptures at the front of the Himalaya with 15 to 30 m of slip suggests even larger events in medieval times, but this inference is debated. Here we estimate the frequency and magnitude of the largest earthquake in the Himalaya needed so that the moment released by seismicity balances the deficit of moment derived from measurements of geodetic strain. Assuming one third of the moment buildup is released aseismically and the earthquakes roughly follow a Gutenberg-Richter distribution, we find that Mw > 9.0 events are needed with a confidence level of at least 60% and must return approximately once per 800 years on average.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uttam Babu Shrestha

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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.

  3. Atmospheric aerosol brown carbon in the high Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Citizen Science in the Himalaya: The Sherpa-Scientist Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horodyskyj, U. N.; Breashears, D.; Rowe, P.

    2015-12-01

    Since the non-profit educational group, Black Ice Himalaya, launched in 2011 our goal has been to involve local communities in our research expeditions, in the form of a Sherpa-Scientist Initiative (SSI). This goes beyond simply helping with gear carries to research sites. It involves training the local Sherpa in equipment set-up, data collection, and analysis processes, with the goal of turning over this task to local communities and villages in the future. As the terrain continues to change - with the growth and expansion of glacial lakes, along with accumulation of pollutants on snow at higher altitudes - this training program presents an excellent opportunity for long-term data collection in sensitive alpine regions. In association with GlacierWorks and Midwest ROV LLC, skill training has included gigapan high-resolution photography, installing (and downloading) multiple time lapse cameras to track hour-by-hour glacial lake changes; lake bathymetry mapping using side-scan sonar from an unmanned towed platform; installing and managing weather stations; collecting and analyzing data from ASD field spectrometers; and collecting/filtering snow samples to look for contaminants (pollutants) affecting snow melt from 4000 - 6000 meters. A field manual documenting this work and intended to raise awareness of glacial trekking hazards has been disseminated to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park. In 2016-17, in collaboration with Vanguard Diving and Exploration, OpenROV, and Midwest ROV LLC, efforts will include SCUBA diving into glacial lakes to collect scientific data, with continued Sherpa training on how to assemble and use portable remotely piloted submersibles to aid in the assessment of glacial lake hazards.

  5. Phytochemical diversity of Murraya koenigii (L.) Spreng. from Western Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Ram S; Chauhan, Amit; Padalia, Rajendra C; Jat, Sanjeev K; Thul, Sanjog; Sundaresan, Velusamy

    2013-04-01

    Murraya koenigii (L.) Spreng. (Rutaceae), commonly known as 'curry leaf tree', is a popular spice and condiment of India. To explore the diversity of the essential-oil yield and aroma profile of curry leaf, growing wild in foot and mid hills of north India, 58 populations were collected during spring season. M. koenigii populations were found to grow up to an altitude of 1487 m in north India. Comparative results showed considerable variations in the essential-oil yield and composition. The essential-oil yield varied from 0.14 to 0.80% in shade-dried leaves of different populations of M. koenigii. Analysis of the essential oils by GC and GC/MS, and the subsequent classification by statistical analysis resulted in four clusters with significant variations in their terpenoid composition. Major components of the essential oils of investigated populations were α-pinene (2; 4.5-71.5%), sabinene (3; <0.05-66.1%), (E)-caryophyllene (11; 1.6-18.0%), β-pinene (4; <0.05-13.6%), terpinen-4-ol (9; 0.0-8.4%), γ-terpinene (8; 0.2-7.4%), limonene (7; 1.1-5.5%), α-terpinene (6; 0.0-4.5%), (E)-nerolidol (14; 0.0-4.1%), α-humulene (12; 0.6-3.5%), α-thujene (1; 0.0-2.5%), β-elemene (10; 0.2-2.4%), β-selinene (13; 0.2-2.3%), and myrcene (5; 0.5-2.1%). Comparison of the present results with those in earlier reports revealed new chemotypes of M. koenigii in investigated populations from Western Himalaya. The present study documents M. koenigii populations having higher amounts of sabinene (3; up to 66.1%) for the first time. PMID:23576349

  6. Accuracy assessment of gridded precipitation datasets in the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate precipitation data are vital for hydro-climatic modelling and water resources assessments. Based on mass balance calculations and Turc-Budyko analysis, this study investigates the accuracy of twelve widely used precipitation gridded datasets for sub-basins in the Upper Indus Basin (UIB) in the Himalayas-Karakoram-Hindukush (HKH) region. These datasets are: 1) Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP), 2) Climate Prediction Centre (CPC) Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP), 3) NCEP / NCAR, 4) Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC), 5) Climatic Research Unit (CRU), 6) Asian Precipitation Highly Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation of Water Resources (APHRODITE), 7) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), 8) European Reanalysis (ERA) interim data, 9) PRINCETON, 10) European Reanalysis-40 (ERA-40), 11) Willmott and Matsuura, and 12) WATCH Forcing Data based on ERA interim (WFDEI). Precipitation accuracy and consistency was assessed by physical mass balance involving sum of annual measured flow, estimated actual evapotranspiration (average of 4 datasets), estimated glacier mass balance melt contribution (average of 4 datasets), and ground water recharge (average of 3 datasets), during 1999-2010. Mass balance assessment was complemented by Turc-Budyko non-dimensional analysis, where annual precipitation, measured flow and potential evapotranspiration (average of 5 datasets) data were used for the same period. Both analyses suggest that all tested precipitation datasets significantly underestimate precipitation in the Karakoram sub-basins. For the Hindukush and Himalayan sub-basins most datasets underestimate precipitation, except ERA-interim and ERA-40. The analysis indicates that for this large region with complicated terrain features and stark spatial precipitation gradients the reanalysis datasets have better consistency with flow measurements than datasets derived from records of only sparsely distributed climatic

  7. Aerosol contents at an altitude of ~2 km in central Himalayas

    CERN Document Server

    Sagar, R; Pant, P; Dumka, U C; Moorthy, K K; Sridharan, R; Sagar, Ram

    2002-01-01

    Aerosols, both natural and anthropogenic, play an important role in the atmospheric science, by imparting radiative forcing and perturbing the radiative balance of the Earth atmosphere system as well as by degrading the environment. To understand the effect of aerosols on our geo/biosphere system, it is essential to characterize their physical and chemical properties regionally because of the regional nature of their properties and the short lifetime. As most of the aerosol sources are of terrestrial origin the variability of their properties will be very large close to the surface. At higher altitudes, above the mixing region, and in the free troposphere, the aerosol characteristics have a more synoptic perspective; would be indicative of the background level and are useful to understand long-term impacts. Such systematic measurements of aerosols at high altitudes are practically non-existing in India. Realising the potential and need for such studies, an activity has been initiated at Manora Peak, Nainital ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    construction), annual increment and annual wood extraction. Results show that the new road had significant positive effects on absolute household environmental income, but negative effects on reliance as other income options became available. Wood product extraction levels remained below increment levels......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...... level forest stand conservation is limited. This study, conducted in Mustang District in Nepal, contributes to answering the following questions: (i) what are the impacts of the establishment of rural roads on household environmental income and reliance; (ii) what are the determinants of environmental...

  9. Effects of New Roads on Environmental Resource Use in the Central Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindy Charlery

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available 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 level forest stand conservation is limited. This study, conducted in Mustang District in Nepal, contributes to answering the following questions: (i what are the impacts of the establishment of rural roads on household environmental income and reliance; (ii what are the determinants of environmental 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 construction, annual increment and annual wood extraction. Results show that the new road had significant positive effects on absolute household environmental income, but negative effects on reliance as other income options became available. Wood product extraction levels remained below increment levels, indicating that the road did not (yet have negative implications for local forest conservation.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  11. Effects of New Roads on Environmental Resource Use in the Central Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Lindy Charlery; Nielsen, Martin R.; Henrik Meilby; Carsten Smith-Hall

    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 level forest stand conservation is limited. This study, conducted in Mustang District in Nepal, contributes to answering the following questions: (i) what are the impacts of the establishment of rur...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  14. The dynamics of supraglacial water storage in the Everest region, central Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, C. Scott; Quincey, Duncan J.; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Smith, Mark W.

    2016-07-01

    The dynamics of supraglacial pond development in the Everest region are not well constrained at a glacier scale, despite their known importance for meltwater storage, promoting ablation, and transmitting thermal energy englacially during drainage events. Here, we use fine-resolution (~ 0.5-2 m) satellite imagery to reveal the spatiotemporal dynamics of 9340 supraglacial ponds across nine glaciers in the Everest region, ~ 2000-2015. Six of our nine study glaciers displayed a net increase in ponded area over their observation periods. However, large inter- and intra-annual changes in ponded area were observed of up to 17% (Khumbu Glacier), and 52% (Ama Dablam) respectively. Additionally, two of the fastest expanding lakes (Spillway and Rongbuk) partially drained over our study period. The Khumbu Glacier is developing a chain of connected ponds in the lower ablation area, which is indicative of a trajectory towards large lake development. We show that use of medium-resolution imagery (e.g. 30 m Landsat) is likely to lead to large classification omissions of supraglacial ponds, on the order of 15-88% of ponded area, and 77-99% of the total number of ponds. Fine-resolution imagery is therefore required if the full spectrum of ponds that exist on the surface of debris-covered glaciers are to be analysed.

  15. Probabilistic seismic hazard assessment of NW and central Himalayas and the adjoining region

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Madan Mohan Rout; Josodhir Das; Kamal; Ranjit Das

    2015-04-01

    The Himalayan region has undergone significant development and to ensure safe and secure progress in such a seismically vulnerable region there is a need for hazard assessment. For seismic hazard assessment, it is important to assess the quality, consistency, and homogeneity of the seismicity data collected from different sources. In the present study, an improved magnitude conversion technique has been used to convert different magnitude scales to moment magnitude scale. The study area and its adjoining region have been divided into 22 seismogenic zones based upon the geology, tectonics, and seismicity including source mechanism relevant to the region. Region specific attenuation equations have been used for seismic hazard assessment. Standard procedure for PSHA has been adopted for this study and peak ground motion is estimated for 10% and 2% probability of exceedance in 50 years at the bed rock level. For the 10% and 2% probability of exceedance in 50 years, the PGA values vary from 0.06 to 0.36 g and 0.11 to 0.65 g, respectively considering varying -value. Higher PGA values are observed in the southeast part region situated around Kaurik Fault System (KFS) and western parts of Nepal.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  17. Strong Coupled and Segmented Nature of the Himalaya and the Adjoining Gangetic Foreland Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkash, B.; Rathor, S.; Pati, P.

    2012-04-01

    Our studies in the Gangetic plains and review of the work on the Himalaya suggest that both theses features are marked by abrupt changes across the Rapti River, flowing N-S in the plains and region N to it, instead of a gradual change from E to W as postulated earlier. The Eastern Nepal Himalaya N to the Middle Gangetic Plains (east of the Rapti River) is characterized by a high rate of convergence, which sustains the highest peaks in the world, including the Mount Everest. These lofty peaks cause significant crustal loading leading to high rate of subsidence in the foreland basin and also shed large sediment load, carried by the rivers to the plains to form megafans (e.g. Kosi and Gandak megafans). In the NW and the W Nepal Himalaya, rates of crustal shortening due to movements along the Himalayan Frontal Trust (HFT) are low, which are able to support lower heights of the Himalayan ranges (< 7000 m). These ranges shed small amounts of sediments, which are carried by streams to the plains. The adjoining foreland basin, the Upper Gangetic plain lying W to the Rapti River, is subsiding at a low rate, all major rivers are incised, and form large uplands. Moderately to strongly developed soils occur on the upland plains. These situations indicate the prevalence of separate steady states between the Upper- and Middle Gangetic plains and adjoining Himalaya.

  18. Petrography, geochemistry and regional significance of crystalline klippen in the Garhwal Lesser Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R Islam; S K Ghosh; S Vyshnavi; Y P Sundriya

    2011-06-01

    Uphalda gneisses (UG) is a crystalline klippe located near Srinagar in Garhwal Himalaya. These gneisses are compared with Debguru porphyroids (DP) (≈ Ramgarh group) of Garhwal–Kumaun Himalaya and Baragaon mylonitic gneisses (BMG) of Himachal Himalaya. Petrographic study reveals that the deformation of UG was initiated at higher temperature (above 350°C) and continued till lowering of temperature and deformation led to the mylonitization. Geochemically, these granitic gneisses (UG, DP and BMG) exhibit similar composition. Features such as high molecular A/CNK value (< 1), presence of normative corundum and absence of normative diopside, enhanced Rb/Sr, Rb/Zr ratios, enrichment of Th and containing rounded zircons support their crustally-derived S-type granitic nature. The linear plot in major oxides is interpreted in terms of fractional crystallization processes. Mantle normalized multi-element spider diagram of UG illustrates depletion of Ba, Nb, Sr, P and Ti and enrichment of Th and show similarities with DP and BMG. Similarities were observed in lithology, petrographic characters and chemical composition of UG, DP, BMG and Ulleri augen gneisses (Nepal). Comparison with the rocks of Higher Himalayan crystallines (≈ Vaikrita), suggests that these rocks (UG) are not transported from Higher Himalaya as understood earlier. This study however proposes that, these gneissic bodies represent an older basement occurring as a tectonic sliver which emplaced within the cover sequence as wedges at different structural levels. This is a regional phenomena observed throughout the Lesser Himalayan region.

  19. AMS exposure dating: evolution of river valley profiles across Himalayas during late Quaternary-Holocene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    River valley profile is one geomorphic feature, which contain relict landforms inherited from past periods with changing intensities of tectonic and climatic parameters. This aspect has been a subject of current research interest, using exposure dating technique. The results of some recent studies from major river valleys across Himalayas are being discussed

  20. The role of glaciers in stream flow from the Nepal Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Alford

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent concerns related to the potential impacts of the retreat of Himalayan glaciers on the hydrology of rivers originating in the catchment basins of the Himalaya have been accompanied by few analyses describing the role of glaciers in the hydrologic regime of these mountains. This is, at least in part, a result of the relative inaccessibility of the glaciers of the Himalaya, at altitudes generally between 4000–7000 m, and the extreme logistical difficulties of: 1 reaching the glaciers, and 2 conducting meaningful research once they have been reached. It is apparent that an alternative to traditional "Alpine" glaciology is required in the mountains of the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region. The objectives of the study discussed here have been to develop methodologies that will begin to quantify the role of complete glacier systems in the hydrologic regime of the Nepal Himalaya, and to develop estimates of the potential impact of a continued retreat of these glacier, based on the use of disaggregated low-altitude data bases, topography derived from satellite imagery, and simple process models of water and energy exchange in mountain regions.

    While the extent of mesoscale variability has not been established by studies to date, it is clear that the dominant control on the hydrologic regime of the tributaries to the Ganges Basin from the eastern Himalaya is the interaction between the summer monsoon and the 8000 m of topographic relief represented by the Himalayan wall. All the available evidence indicates that the gradient of specific runoff with altitude resulting from this interaction is moderately to strongly curvilinear, with maximum runoff occurring at mid-altitudes, and minima at the altitudinal extremes. At the upper minimum of this gradient, Himalayan glaciers exist in what has been characterized as an "arctic desert".

    The methodologies developed for this study involve the relationship between area-altitude distributions of

  1. Mountain range specific analog weather forecast model for northwest Himalaya in India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    D Singh; A Ganju

    2008-10-01

    Mountain range specific analog weather forecast model is developed utilizing surface weather observations of reference stations in each mountain range in northwest Himalaya (NW-Himalaya).The model searches past similar cases from historical dataset of reference observatory in each mountain range based on current situation.The searched past similar cases of each mountain range are used to draw weather forecast for that mountain range in operational weather forecasting mode, three days in advance.The developed analog weather forecast model is tested with the independent dataset of more than 717 days (542 days for Pir Panjal range in HP)of the past 4 winters (2003 –2004 to 2006 –2007).Independent test results are reasonably good and suggest that there is some possibility of forecasting weather in operational weather forecasting mode employing analog method over different mountain ranges in NW-Himalaya.Significant difference in overall accuracy of the model is found for prediction of snow day and no-snow day over different mountain ranges, when weather is predicted under snow day and no-snow day weather forecast categories respectively.In the same mountain range,signi ficant difference is also found in overall accuracy of the model for prediction of snow day and no-snow day for different areas.This can be attributed to their geographical position and topographical differences.The analog weather forecast model performs better than persistence and climatological forecast for day-1 predictions for all the mountain ranges except Karakoram range in NW-Himalaya.The developed analog weather forecast model may help as a guidance tool for forecasting weather in operational weather forecasting mode in different mountain ranges in NW-Himalaya.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. K. Maikhuri

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Winter westerly disturbance dynamics and precipitation in the western Himalaya and Karakoram: a wave-tracking approach

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    Extratropical cyclones, including winter westerly disturbances (WWD) over central Asia, are fundamental features of the atmosphere that maintain energy, momentum, and moisture at global scales while intimately linking large-scale circulation to regional-scale meteorology. Within high mountain Asia, WWD are the primary contributor to regional precipitation during winter. In this work, we present a novel WWD tracking methodology, which provides an inventory of location, timing, intensity, and duration of events, allowing for a comprehensive study of the factors that relate WWD to orographic precipitation, on an individual event basis and in the aggregate. We identify the relationship between the strength of disturbances, the state of the background environment during their propagation, and precipitation totals in the Karakoram/western Himalaya. We observe significant differences in convective and mechanical instability contributions to orographic precipitation as a function of the relationship between the intensity of WWD and the background temperature and moisture fields, which exhibit strong intraseasonal variability. Precipitation is primarily orographically forced during intense WWD with strong cross-barrier winds, while weaker WWD with similar precipitation totals are observed to benefit from enhanced instability due to high moisture content and temperature at low levels, occurring primarily in the late winter/premonsoon. The contribution of these factors is observed to fluctuate on a per-case basis, indicating important influences of intraseasonal oscillations and tropical-extratropical interactions on regional precipitation.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlup, M.; Steck, A.; Carter, A.; Cosca, M.; Epard, J.-L.; Hunziker, J.

    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 (<10. km) by 40-30. Ma in the Tso Morari dome (northern section of the transect) and by 30-20. Ma close to frontal thrusts in the Baralacha La region. From the Oligocene to the present, exhumation continued slowly.Metamorphism started in the High Himalayan nappe prior to the Late Oligocene. High temperatures and anatexis of the subducting upper Indian crust engendered the buoyancy-driven ductile detachment and extrusion of the High Himalayan nappe in the zone of continental collision. Late extrusion of the High Himalayan nappe started about 26. Ma ago, accompanied by ductile extensional shearing in the Zanskar shear zone in its roof between 22 and 19. Ma concomitant with thrusting along the basal Main Central Thrust to the south. The northern part of the nappe was then rapidly exhumed to shallow depth (<10. km) between 20 and 6. Ma, while its southern front reached this depth at 10-5. Ma. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 NH4+ and Ca2+, whereas the main anion was HCO3−, which constituted approximately 69% of the anions, followed by NO3−, SO42− and Cl−. Data analysis suggested that Na+, Cl− and K+ were derived from the long-range transport of marine aerosols. Ca2+, Mg2+ and HCO3− were related to rock and soil dust contributions and the NO3− and SO42− 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 δ18O, and from − 0.8 to − 174‰ in δ2H, 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 (from 2

  8. Geoelectric structure estimated from magnetotelluric data from the Uttarakhand Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Rohit Miglani; M Shahrukh; M Israil; Pravin K Gupta; S K Varshney; Sokolova Elena

    2014-12-01

    Geoelectric strike and resistivity structure of the crust have been estimated from 37 magnetotelluric (MT) data sites along a profile from Roorkee to Gangotri in Uttarakhand Himalaya. Impedance decomposition schemes based on Bahr’s, Groom Bailey and Phase tensor were implemented in a MATLAB code for the average strike estimation. Geoelectric strike direction varies with period as well as in different lithotectonic units along the profile. In the period band from 1 to 100 s average geoelectric strike in the southern end of the profile (Indo-Gangetic Plains) is N79°W, which is slightly rotated to the north in the Lesser Himalayan region and becomes N68°W whereas it is N81°W in the Higher Himalayan region. However, average strike is stabilized to N77°W for the entire profile in the long period band (100–1000 s). Geoelectrical structure of the crust has been obtained along the profile by 2D inversion of MT data. Major features of 2D resistivity model are: (i) southern part of the model is a low resistivity (> 50 m) zone at shallow depth (5–7 km) representing the loose sediments of the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP), whose thickness increases in the south; (ii) highly resistive (>1000 m) layer below the IGP sediments is the basement rock, representing the resistivity of the top of the subducting Indian Plate; (iii) the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) and the Main Central Thrust (MCT) zones can be seen in the electrical image. However, the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) could not be resolved and (iv) a low resistivity (> 10 m) feature in the MCT zone extending to the depth of 30 km is delineated. This low resistivity could be due to fluid-filled fractured rock matrix or partial melt zone. Hypocenters of many earthquakes are concentrated along the boundary of this low resistivity zone and relatively high resistivity blocks around it. The resulted model supports flat-ramp-flat geometry of the Main Himalayan Thrust along which the Indian Plate is subducting.

  9. Describing earthquakes potential through mountain building processes: an example within Nepal Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhen; Zhang, Huai; Shi, Yaolin; Mary, Baptiste; Wang, Liangshu

    2016-04-01

    How to reconcile earthquake activities, for instance, the distributions of large-great event rupture areas and the partitioning of seismic-aseismic slips on the subduction interface, into geological mountain building period is critical in seismotectonics. In this paper, we try to scope this issue within a typical and special continental collisional mountain wedge within Himalayas across the 2015 Mw7.8 Nepal Himalaya earth- quake area. Based on the Critical Coulomb Wedge (CCW) theory, we show the possible predictions of large-great earthquake rupture locations by retrieving refined evolutionary sequences with clear boundary of coulomb wedge and creeping path inferred from interseismic deformation pattern along the megathrust-Main Himalaya Thrust (MHT). Due to the well-known thrusting architecture with constraints on the distribution of main exhumation zone and of the key evolutionary nodes, reasonable and refined (with 500 yr interval) thrusting sequences are retrieved by applying sequential limit analysis (SLA). We also use an illustration method-'G' gram to localize the relative positions of each fault within the tectonic wedge. Our model results show that at the early stage, during the initial wedge accumulation period, because of the small size of mountain wedge, there's no large earthquakes happens in this period. Whereas, in the following stage, the wedge is growing outward with occasionally out-of-sequence thrusting, four thrusting clusters (thrusting 'families') are clarified on the basis of the spatio-temporal distributions in the mountain wedge. Thrust family 4, located in the hinterland of the mountain wedge, absorbed the least amount of the total convergence, with no large earthquakes occurrence in this stage, contributing to the emplacement of the Greater Himalayan Complex. The slips absorbed by the remnant three thrust families result in large-great earthquakes rupturing in the Sub-Himalaya, Lesser Himalaya, and the front of Higher Himalaya. The

  10. Reassessing Catastrophic Infill of the Pokhara Valley, Nepal Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwanghart, Wolfgang; Bernhardt, Anne; Stolle, Amelie; Adhikari, Basantha; Korup, Oliver

    2014-05-01

    The Pokhara valley, home to Nepal's second largest city and a major tourist attraction (28°15'N, 83°58'E), is covered by 4-5 km3 and 50-100 m thick intramontane fan deposits that resulted from massive aggradation of the Seti Khola, a river draining the Annapurna Massif of the Greater Himalaya. Poorly sorted, gravelly fluvial facies intercalated with debris-flow and mud-flow facies known as the Pokhara Gravels attest to highly energetic transport conditions during one or several catastrophic flow events. In May 2012, a devastative flash flood/debris flow in the Seti Khola rekindled interest in the formation processes and timing of the Pokhara Gravels as they may provide constraints on the magnitudes and frequencies of similar past events. Interpretations of previous sedimentological work and radiocarbon dating (Yamanaka, 1982; Fort, 1987) culminated in the belief that the Pokhara Gravels were catastrophically emplaced only 500 to 1000 years ago, although the exact nature, timing, and triggers of the purported event(s) remain obscure. Specifically, it remains debated whether the Pokhara Gravels were deposited instantaneously, possibly within less than a year, or whether sedimentation was more protracted over perhaps decades to millennia. We present new geomorphological, sedimentological, geochemical, and radiocarbon data and re-assess a potential catastrophic infill of the Pokhara Valley during one or several high-magnitude events. Support for this scenario is given by laterally continuous long-runout (~40 km) debris-flow deposits topped by large (i.e. up to >11-m) boulders, a distinctly calcareous lithology diagnostic of a small Greater Himalayan source area tens of kilometres upstream, and by historical anecdotes of a large flood that destroyed an earlier settlement in the area. However, we show that dated outcrops of fine-grained sediments in tributaries blocked by the Pokhara Gravels yield asynchronous ages. Although our radiocarbon dates are consistent with

  11. Land Use Changes in Himalaya and Their Impacts on Environment, Society and Economy: A Study of the Lake Region in Kumaon Himalaya, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Prakash TIWARI

    2008-01-01

    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

  12. Seasonal precipitation, river discharge, and sediment flux in the western Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Wulf, Hendrik

    2012-01-01

    Rainfall, snow-, and glacial melt throughout the Himalaya control river discharge, which is vital for maintaining agriculture, drinking water and hydropower generation. However, the spatiotemporal contribution of these discharge components to Himalayan rivers is not well understood, mainly because of the scarcity of ground-based observations. Consequently, there is also little known about the triggers and sources of peak sediment flux events, which account for extensive hydropower reservoir f...

  13. Biodiversity research trends and gap analysis from a transboundary landscape, Eastern Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

    Pratikshya Kandel; Janita Gurung; Nakul Chettri; Wu Ning; Eklabya Sharma

    2016-01-01

    The Kangchenjunga landscape, a transboundary complex shared by Bhutan, India, and Nepal, is one of the biologically richest regions in the Eastern Himalayas. Owing to the remarkable biodiversity, the three countries came together to enhance regional cooperation in conservation and development in 2012. To start a strategic conservation intervention, the status of our knowledge base on biodiversity of the landscape is the most important stepping stone. In this paper, we traced the history of bi...

  14. Stemflow: A Source of Nutrients in some Naturally Growing Epiphytic Orchids of the Sikkim Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Awasthi, O. P.; Sharma, E; Palni, L. M. S.

    1995-01-01

    A study on five naturally growing epiphytic orchids viz., Bulbophyllum affine Lindl., Coelogyne ochracea Lindl., Otochilus porrecta Lindl., Cirrhopetalum cornutum Lindl. and C. cornutum (var.) was carried out in the subtropical belt of Sikkim Himalaya. Stemflow leachates formed the main source of ammonium-N and nitrate-N for uptake by these orchids. Phosphorus concentration in the tissues of these orchids was high. Phosphate-P from stemflow does not seem to be a regular source of phosphorus f...

  15. Sustainability Perspectives of Development in Leh District (Ladakh, Indian Trans-Himalaya): an Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    PELLICIARDI, VLADIMIRO

    2012-01-01

    This thesis deals with a human inhabited territory in the Indian Trans-Himalaya: the Leh District, in Ladakh, at a “crossroad of high Asia”, geographically classified “cold desert”. For many centuries the local population has led a self-reliant existence mainly based upon subsistence agriculture, pastoralism and caravan trade. Modernization, due to governmental programs, and the progressive opening to external influence and resources – i.e. globalization – characterize the current development...

  16. Local perceptions of climate change validated by scientific evidence in the Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

    Chaudhary, Pashupati; Bawa, Kamaljit S.

    2011-01-01

    The Himalayas are assumed to be undergoing rapid climate change, with serious environmental, social and economic consequences for more than two billion people. However, data on the extent of climate change or its impact on the region are meagre. Based on local knowledge, we report perceived changes in climate and consequences of such changes for biodiversity and agriculture. Our analyses are based on 250 household interviews administered in 18 villages, and focused group discussions conducted...

  17. The economics of reducing emissions from community managed forests in Nepal Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Karky, Bhaskar Singh

    2008-01-01

    The climate change agenda is more important in global politics today than ever before. This research set out to examine whether community forest management (CFM) can play a signifi cant role in reducing global emissions, by taking Nepal’s community forestry sector as a case. The thesis selects three community managed forests in Nepal’s Himalaya region to investigate the extent to which management of such forests by the local communities can successfully contribute towards reducing global atmo...

  18. Being Ladakhi and Becoming Educated: Childhoods at School in the Western Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

    Richard, Bonnie Olivia

    2015-01-01

    Young Ladakhis experience markedly different childhoods from those of their parents and previous generations. In this rural region of the western Himalayas, a transition has occurred since the 1990s wherein education is now widely supported among Ladakhis as a priority for children, and economic provisions from the government and NGOs make school accessible. While financial returns on education are not guaranteed due to slow job growth, being educated has become a valued social marker that is...

  19. ECOLOGICAL STATUS AND IMPACT OF DISTURBANCE IN AN ALPINE PASTURE OF GARHWAL HIMALAYA, INDIA

    OpenAIRE

    MANOJ DHAULAKHANDI; GOVIND S. RAJWAR; MUNESH KUMAR

    2010-01-01

    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 Bhojb...

  20. Review article: Inferring permafrost and permafrost thaw in the mountains of the Hindu Kush Himalaya region

    OpenAIRE

    Gruber, Stephan; Fleiner, Renate; Guegan, Emilie; Panday, Prajjwal; Schmid, Marc-Olivier; Stumm, Dorothea; Wester, Philippus; Zhang, Yinsheng; Zhao, Lin

    2016-01-01

    The cryosphere reacts sensitively to climate change, as evidenced by the widespread retreat of mountain glaciers. Subsurface ice contained in permafrost is similarly affected by climate change, causing persistent impacts on natural and human systems. In contrast to glaciers, permafrost is not observable spatially and therefore its presence and possible changes are frequently overlooked. Correspondingly, little is known about permafrost in the mountains of the Hindu Kush Himalaya region, despi...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  2. Hydrological response to climate change in a glacierized catchment in the Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    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 resolution combined cryospheric hydrological model was developed and calibrated that explicitly simulates glacier evolution and all major hydrological processes. The model was used to assess the future deve...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 resolution combined cryospheric hydrological model was developed and calibrated that explicitly simulates glacier evolution and all major hydrological processes. The model was used to assess the future deve...

  4. Biodiversity Conservation through Traditional Beliefs System: A Case Study from Kumaon Himalayas, India

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Harsh; Husain, Tariq; Priyanka AGNIHOTRI; Puran Chandra PANDE; Iqbal, Mudassar

    2012-01-01

    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 conservatio...

  5. Assessment, prevention and mitigation of landslide hazard in the Lesser Himalaya of Himachal Pradesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patra Punyatoya

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Landslides are destructive geological processes that have globally caused deaths and destruction to property worth billion dollars. Landslide occurrences are widespread and prolific in India covering more than 15 per cent of the total area. These are mostly concentrated in the Himalayan belt, parts of Meghalaya Plateau, Nilgiri Hills, Western and Eastern Ghats. The slope failure in the hilly terrain is due to geological processes and events. The frequency and magnitude of slope failure also increased due to anthropogenic activities such as road construction, deforestation and urban expansion. Keeping all these problems in mind research focuses on the Lesser Himalaya of Himachal Himalaya as it falls under very high risk zone in case of landslides and comprise of three objectives. They are: a to analyse the spatial pattern of landslides in the Lesser Himalaya, b to assess the causes of landslides vulnerability in the study region and c to suggests some preventive measures to mitigate landslides. In this work an attempt has been made to collect data on landslides incidences and damage from the secondary sources like Geological Survey of India, Building Material and Technology Promotion council from Ministry of Urban Affairs. The methodologies adopted for data analysis are simple tabulations, bar diagrams, statistical and mapping techniques to represent the Landslide vulnerability of the Lesser Himalaya. The analysis of the study reveals that there is increase in the number of landslides. The spatial pattern of landslide shows linear patterns, viz. along roads, rivers or lineaments/ faults. Besides, heavy rainfall, floods and earthquakes enhance the vulnerability condition. The landslides may be part and parcel of the Himalayan landscape, but they can be mitigated by some suitable measures. Few methods of landslide prevention in the study region have been suggested.

  6. Floral Biology of Aconitum heterophyllum Wall.: A Critically Endangered Alpine Medicinal Plant of Himalaya, India

    OpenAIRE

    NAUTIYAL, Bhagwati P.; NAUTIYAL, Mohan C.

    2009-01-01

    Aconitum heterophyllum Wall. is a critically endangered wild medicinal herb of alpine Himalaya and cultivation is recommended owing to its large demand in the herbal market and to ensure the conservation of wild habitats. Therefore, observations on floral biology, pollen germination, pollination, and fruit and seed setting after implying different breeding systems were carried out for its successful domestication and improvement in cultivation practices. The study reveals that the plants grow...

  7. Pull-apart basin tectonic model is structurally impossible for Kashmir basin, NW Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Shah , A.A.

    2016-01-01

    Kashmir Basin in NW Himalaya is considered a Neogene-Quatermary piggyback basin that was formed as result of the continent-continent collision of Indian and Eurasian plates. This model however is recently challenged by a pull-apart basin model, which argues that a major dextral strike-slip fault through Kashmir basin is responsible for its formation. And here it is demonstrated that the new tectonic model is structurally problematic, and co...

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

    OpenAIRE

    S Z Haider0; H C Andola; 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 (53.3...

  9. Comparative assessment of spatiotemporal snow cover changes and hydrological behavior of the Gilgit, Astore and Hunza River basins (Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalaya region, Pakistan)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahir, Adnan Ahmad; Adamowski, Jan Franklin; Chevallier, Pierre; Haq, Ayaz Ul; Terzago, Silvia

    2016-03-01

    The Upper Indus Basin (UIB), situated in the Himalaya-Karakoram-Hindukush (HKH) mountain ranges, is the major contributor to the supply of water for irrigation in Pakistan. Improved management of downstream water resources requires studying and comparing spatiotemporal changes in the snow cover and hydrological behavior of the river basins located in the HKH region. This study explored in detail the recent changes that have occurred in the Gilgit River basin (12,656 km2; western sub-basin of UIB), which is characterized by a mean catchment elevation of 4250 m above sea level (m ASL). The basin's snow cover was monitored through the snow products provided by the MODIS satellite sensor, while analysis of its hydrological regime was supported by hydrological and climatic data recorded at different altitudes. The Gilgit basin findings were compared to those previously obtained for the lower-altitude Astore basin (mean catchment elevation = 4100 m ASL) and the higher-altitude Hunza basin (mean catchment elevation = 4650 m ASL). These three catchments were selected because of their different glacier coverage, contrasting area distribution at high altitudes and significant impact on the Upper Indus River flow. Almost 7, 5 and 33 % of the area of the Gilgit, Astore and Hunza basins, respectively, are situated above 5000 m ASL, and approximately 8, 6 and 25 %, respectively, are covered by glaciers. The UIB region was found to follow a stable or slightly increasing trend in snow coverage and had a discharge dominated by snow and glacier melt in its western (Hindukush-Karakoram), southern (Western-Himalaya) and northern (Central-Karakoram) sub-basins.

  10. Late Pleistocene-Holocene morphosedimentary architecture, Spiti River, arid higher Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Pradeep; Ray, Yogesh; Phartiyal, Binita; Sharma, Anupam

    2013-03-01

    The Spiti River drains the rain shadow zone of western Himalaya. In the present study, the fluvial sedimentary record of Spiti valley was studied to understand its responses to tectonics and climate. Geomorphic changes along the river enable to divide the river into two segments: (i) upper valley with a broad, braided channel where relict sedimentary sequences rise 15-50 m high from the riverbed and (ii) lower valley with a narrow, meandering channel that incises into bedrock, and here, the fluvio-lacustrine sediments reside on a bedrock bench located above the riverbed. The transition between these geomorphic segments lies along the river between Seko-Nasung and Lingti villages (within Tethyan Himalaya). Lithofacies analyses of the sedimentary sequences show six different lithofacies. These can be grouped into three facies associations, viz. (A) a glacial outwash; (B) sedimentation in a channel and in an accreting bar under braided conditions; and (C) formation of lake due to channel blockage by landslide activities. Seventeen optically stimulated luminescence ages derived from ten sections bracketed the phases of river valley aggradation between 14-8 and 50-30 ka. These aggradation phases witnessed mass wasting, channel damming and lake formation events. Our record, when compared with SW monsoon archives, suggests that the aggradation occurred during intensified monsoon phase of MIS 3/4 and that proceeded the Last Glacial Maxima. Thus, the study reports monsoon modulated valley aggradation in the NW arid Himalaya.

  11. Identification of seismically susceptible areas in western Himalaya using pattern recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mridula; Sinvhal, Amita; Wason, Hans Raj

    2016-06-01

    Seismicity in the western Himalayas is highly variable. Several historical and instrumentally recorded devastating earthquakes originated in the western Himalayas which are part of the Alpine-Himalayan belt. Earthquakes cause tremendous loss of life and to the built environment. The amount of loss in terms of life and infrastructure has been rising continuously due to significant increase in population and infrastructure. This study is an attempt to identify seismically susceptible areas in western Himalaya, using pattern recognition technique. An area between latitude 29∘-36∘N and longitude 73∘-80∘E was considered for this study. Pattern recognition starts with identification, selection and extraction of features from seismotectonic data. These features are then subjected to discriminant analysis and the study area was classified into three categories, viz., Area A: most susceptible area, Area B: moderately susceptible area, and Area C: least susceptible area. Results show that almost the entire states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and a portion of Jammu & Kashmir are classified as Area A, while most of Jammu & Kashmir is classified as Area B and the Indo-Gangetic plains are classified as Area C.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:25383363

  13. Identification of seismically susceptible areas in western Himalaya using pattern recognition

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Mridula; Amita Sinvhal; Hans Raj Wason

    2016-06-01

    Seismicity in the western Himalayas is highly variable. Several historical and instrumentally recordeddevastating earthquakes originated in the western Himalayas which are part of the Alpine–Himalayanbelt. Earthquakes cause tremendous loss of life and to the built environment. The amount of loss interms of life and infrastructure has been rising continuously due to significant increase in population andinfrastructure. This study is an attempt to identify seismically susceptible areas in western Himalaya,using pattern recognition technique. An area between latitude 29◦–36◦N and longitude 73◦–80◦E wasconsidered for this study. Pattern recognition starts with identification, selection and extraction of featuresfrom seismotectonic data. These features are then subjected to discriminant analysis and the studyarea was classified into three categories, viz., Area A: most susceptible area, Area B: moderately susceptiblearea, and Area C: least susceptible area. Results show that almost the entire states of HimachalPradesh and Uttarakhand and a portion of Jammu & Kashmir are classified as Area A, while most ofJammu & Kashmir is classified as Area B and the Indo-Gangetic plains are classified as Area C.

  14. Effects of Absorbing Aerosols on Accelerated Melting of Snowpack in the Tibetan-Himalayas Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, William K. M.

    2011-01-01

    The impacts of absorbing aerosol on melting of snowpack in the Hindu-Kush-Tibetan-Himalayas (HKTH) region are studied using NASA satellite and GEOS-5 GCM. Results from GCM experiments shows that a 8-10% in the rate of melting of snowpack over the western Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau can be attributed to the aerosol elevated-heat-pump (EHP) feedback effect (Lau et al. 2008), initiated by the absorption of solar radiation by absorbing aerosols accumulated over the Indo-Gangetic Plain and Himalayas foothills. On the other hand, deposition of black carbon on snow surface was estimated to give rise to a reduction in snow surface albedo of 2 - 5%, and an increased annual runoff of 9-24%. From case studies using satellite observations and re-analysis data, we find consistent signals of possible impacts of dust and black carbon aerosol in blackening snow surface, in accelerating spring melting of snowpack in the HKHT, and consequentially in influencing shifts in long-term Asian summer monsoon rainfall pattern.

  15. Tree ring imprints of long-term changes in climate in western Himalaya, Indi

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R R Yadav

    2009-11-01

    Tree-ring analyses from semi-arid to arid regions in western Himalaya show immense potential for developing millennia long climate records. Millennium and longer ring-width chronologies of Himalayan pencil juniper (Juniperus polycarpos), Himalayan pencil cedar (Cedrus deodara) and Chilgoza pine (Pinus gerardiana) have been developed from different sites in western Himalaya. Studies conducted so far on various conifer species indicate strong precipitation signatures in ring-width measurement series. The paucity of weather records from stations close to tree-ring sampling sites poses difficulty in calibrating tree-ring data against climate data especially precipitation for its strong spatial variability in mountain regions. However, for the existence of strong coherence in temperature, even in data from distant stations, more robust temperature reconstructions representing regional and hemispheric signatures have been developed. Tree-ring records from the region indicate multi-century warm and cool anomalies consistent with the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age anomalies. Significant relationships noted between mean premonsoon temperature over the western Himalaya and ENSO features endorse utility of climate records from western Himalayan region in understanding long-term climate variability and attribution of anthropogenic impact.

  16. Influence of tree water potential in inducing flowering in Rhododendron arboreum in the central Himalayan region

    OpenAIRE

    Tewari A; Bhatt J; Mittal A

    2016-01-01

    Rise in temperature has been reported as the principal cause of variation in flowering phenology in several tree species around the globe. In this study, we hypothesized that not only temperature but also rainfall periodicity, soil moisture and the related changes of twig water potential (ψ) in winter and early spring are important drivers of bud expansion and flowering in Rhododendron arboreum in central Himalayas. To this purpose, phenological and physiological variables (flowering time, fl...

  17. An SEM study of the nuchal organ in Daphnia himalaya (nov. sp. embryos and neonates collected from the Khumbu region (Nepalese Himalayas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina MANCA

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Zooplankton from the Khumbu region in Nepal are rarely studied, and little is known regarding their morphology and physiology. During the EV-K2-CNR Project, a collaboration between the Government of the Republic of Italy and the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST as part of “The long distance transport of micro-pollutants”, zooplankton samples revealed the presence of small head shields’ remains in the sediment possessing a hole in the dorsal margin. This observation led to the hypothesis that Daphnia himalaya neonates must possess a nuchal organ for osmoregulation in these alpine lakes. Here we report the presence of a nuchal organ in embryos and neonates, and explore its development, noting that the nuchal organ is retained up until the first post-embryonic moult. We also examine the chemistry of the lakes and in particular their conductivity, which is lower in lakes having D. himalaya than in lakes that do not (16 μS and 32 μS cm-1 respectively.

  18. Regional Glacier Sensitivity to Climate Change in the Monsoonal Himalaya: Implications for Water Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupper, S.; Maurer, J. M.; Schaefer, J. M.; Tsering, K.; Rinzin, T.; Dorji, C.; Johnson, E. S.; Cook, E. R.

    2014-12-01

    The rapid retreat of many glaciers in the monsoonal Himalaya is of potential societal concern. However, the retreat pattern in the region has been very heterogeneous, likely due in part to the inherent heterogeneity of climate and glaciers within the region. Assessing the impacts of glacier change on water resources, hydroelectric power, and hazard potential requires a detailed understanding of this potentially complex spatial pattern of glacier sensitivity to climate change. Here we quantify glacier surface-mass balance and meltwater flux across the entire glacierized region of the Bhutanese watershed using a full surface-energy and -mass balance model validated with field data. We then test the sensitivity of the glaciers to climatic change and compare the results to a thirty-year record of glacier volume changes. Bhutan is chosen because it (1) sits in the bulls-eye of the monsoon, (2) has >600 glaciers that exhibit the extreme glacier heterogeneity typical of the Himalayas, and (3) faces many of the economic and hazard challenges associated with glacier changes in the Himalaya. Therefore, the methods and results from this study should be broadly applicable to other regions of the monsoonal Himalaya. Our modeling results show a complex spatial pattern of glacier sensitivity to changes in climate across the Bhutanese Himalaya. However, our results also show that 90% of the total meltwater flux, and that these glaciers are uniformly the glaciers most sensitive to changes in temperature (and less sensitive to other climate variables). We compare these results to a thirty-year record of glacier volume changes over the same region. In particular, we extract DEMs and orthorectified imagery from 1976 historical spy satellite images and 2006 ASTER images. DEM differencing shows that the glaciers that have changed most over the past thirty years also have the highest modeled temperature sensitivity. These results suggest that, despite the complex glacier heterogeneity in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Implication of the southern Tethyan Himalaya (Sutlej section, India) for the extrusion of the Higher Himalaya and the geometry of the mid-crustal channel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Soumyajit

    2013-04-01

    In the last three years, various combinations of channel flow and critical taper mechanisms have been suggested as plausible mechanism for the extrusion of the Higher Himalaya (HH, Beaumont and Jamieson 2010; Chambers et al., 2011; Larson et al., 2011; Corrie et al., 2012; Long et al. 2012; Mukherjee, in press). An alternate and rather less popular model of the HH has been southward droop of the northern boundary of the HH viz. the 'South Tibetan Detachment System-Upper (STDSU)' (Exner et al. 2006). Had the later been true, drag folds with southward vergence would be expected immediately north of the STDSU. In a SW to NE traverse from Morang up to Spillo along the Sutlej river valley (Himachal Pradesh, India), such folds do occur within the southern part of the Tethyan Himalaya. On close observation, the primary shear planes of top-to~S shear are overturned by folds with broad rounded hinges and with ~ NE dipping axial planes and limbs. The shear sense indicated by the sigmoid fabrics matches with the asymmetry of the folds. Northward from Spillo, large-scale folds (antiforms) with down-dip extensional shear in both limbs indicate 'irregular' doming of the Tethyan sediments. One of the best exposures of this shear sense that could be deciphered even from a distance is where the National Highway 22 running along the river valley joins the road to Nasang village. Below the Tethyan sediments, a mid-crustal sub-horizontal channel is widely accepted to allow the Higher Himalayan rock materials to flow from beneath south Tibet. Much north of Spillo, the Leo Pargil granite-gneiss dome has been suggested as an exposure of the channel materials. Thus, this work suggests (i) flap of the STDSU might have triggered the extrusion of the HH; and (ii) doming of a part of the Tethyan Himalaya could be due to the rise of low-density hot, partially molten rocks through the sub-horizontal channel. This would imply that the upper boundary of the sub-horizontal channel was flexible

  1. Detrital apatite (U-Th)/He constraints on the exhumational histories of the Arunachal Pradesh Himalaya and the Shillong Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staisch, L. M.; Clark, M. K.; Niemi, N. A.; Avdeev, B.

    2010-12-01

    Erosion in the Himalaya is driven largely by a strongly coupled system of extreme climatic conditions and active tectonic processes. Spatial and temporal variations in erosion rates along strike are presumably controlled by differences in local climate, seismicity, deformation rates, and lithology. Quantifying the contribution of each of these parameters to the erosional budget of the Himalaya, however, is a nontrivial problem. The easternmost portion of the Himalayan arc offers a natural laboratory to explore the role of climatic influence on erosion rates. Deformation and uplift of the Shillong Plateau since ~8 Ma has created an orographic barrier ~400 km long that shields the eastern Himalaya, in Arunachal Pradesh, India, from a significant proportion of the precipitation carried by the South Asian Monsoon. Long-term exhumation rates derived from the Himalaya west and east of this orographic barrier have been shown to differ by a factor of ~2, a difference ascribed to reduced climatic forcing of erosion in the lee of the Shillong Plateau. Here we present apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology data from modern detrital samples collected from northeast India. Between 18-20 single grain ages from each catchment were analyzed in order to calculate erosion rates on a 106 yr timescale. Recently developed Bayesian techniques for the inverse modeling of detrital data were used to derive time-temperature histories for each sample. Recent erosion rates modeled for a single south-facing catchment on the Shillong Plateau are modest, ~0.25 km Myr-1, and show a clear increase in exhumation rates at ~8 Ma from rates of indicate that the easternmost Himalaya, as a whole, experienced a significant increase in exhumation rate in the late Miocene, although the absolute rates are lower than observed throughout the Bhutanese and Nepalese Himalaya. The temporal correlation of this increase suggests a regional cause, possibly reflecting changes in the stress field across the India

  2. Sr–Nd isotope composition of the Bay of Bengal sediments: Impact of climate on erosion in the Himalaya

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Tripathy, G.R.; Singh, S.K.; Bhushan, R.; Ramaswamy, V.

    using Sr-Nd isotopes (France-Lanord et al., 1993; Colin et al., 1999; Pierson-Wickmann et al., 2001; Ahmad et al., 2005; Kessarkar et al., 2005; Galy et al., 2008). Over Ma time scale, the sources of sediments to the BoB have remained roughly the same... since the Miocene (Bouquillon et al., 1990; France-Lanord et al., 1993). The sources are dominated by contributions from the Higher Himalaya (HH) with subordinate supply from the Lesser Himalaya (LH). However, on millennial timescale...

  3. ECOLOGICAL FEATURES AND CONSERVATION OF ARNEBIA EUCHROMA. A CRITICALLY ENDANGERED MEDICINAL PLANT IN WESTERN HIMALAYA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koushalya Nandan SINGH

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Arnebia euchroma (Royle ex Benth. Johnston, commonly known as ‘Ratanjot’ is an important medicinal plant species and is found distributed in the western Himalaya at elevations ranging between 3200 - 4500 m above sea level. Considering its potent medicinal properties, cultural significance, declining population density and critically endangered status of this taxon, the present investigation was carried out for the assessment of its availability in the natural alpine landscapes of the Spiti cold desert of western Himalaya in Himachal Pradesh (India. We focused our study on its ecological features, population dynamics and performance in natural habitats, so as to formulate conservation plans. In order to achieve the objectives of the present study, a total of 620 areas were set by using a random sampling technique at six different locations where A. euchroma was found distributed naturally. The highest population density was recorded in undulating meadows (5.30 individuals/m2 with a maximum circumference (4.18±1.80cm at an elevation of 4240 m above sea level, with maximum frequency of occurrence (100%. Ecological surveys revealed that distribution was restricted in specific habitats rich in soil nutrients with high pH (8.025 - 8.37. The significance of the role of various ecological variables is explained in detail in the present paper. Habitat specificity, low population, and anthropogenic pressure justify the rarity status of this taxon in the Spiti valley. The authors discussed different implications to develop appropriate strategies for a long-term monitoring and sustainability of A. euchroma in the Spiti cold desert of western Himalaya.

  4. Role of climate and vegetation density in modulating denudation rates in the Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olen, Stephanie M.; Bookhagen, Bodo; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2016-07-01

    Vegetation has long been hypothesized to influence the nature and rates of surface processes. We test the possible impact of vegetation and climate on denudation rates at orogen scale by taking advantage of a pronounced along-strike gradient in rainfall and vegetation density in the Himalaya. We combine 12 new 10Be denudation rates from the Sutlej Valley and 123 published denudation rates from fluvially-dominated catchments in the Himalaya with remotely-sensed measures of vegetation density and rainfall metrics, and with tectonic and lithologic constraints. In addition, we perform topographic analyses to assess the contribution of vegetation and climate in modulating denudation rates along strike. We observe variations in denudation rates and the relationship between denudation and topography along strike that are most strongly controlled by local rainfall amount and vegetation density, and cannot be explained by along-strike differences in tectonics or lithology. A W-E along-strike decrease in denudation rate variability positively correlates with the seasonality of vegetation density (R = 0.95, p < 0.05), and negatively correlates with mean vegetation density (R = - 0.84, p < 0.05). Vegetation density modulates the topographic response to changing denudation rates, such that the functional relationship between denudation rate and topographic steepness becomes increasingly linear as vegetation density increases. We suggest that while tectonic processes locally control the pattern of denudation rates across strike of the Himalaya (i.e., S-N), along strike of the orogen (i.e., E-W) climate exerts a measurable influence on how denudation rates scatter around long-term, tectonically-controlled erosion, and on the functional relationship between topography and denudation.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:27551216

  7. A New Species of the Genus Tylototriton (Amphibia:Urodela:Salamandridae) from Eastern Himalaya

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Janak Raj KHATIWADA; Bin WANG; Subarna GHIMIRE; Karthikeyan VASUDEVAN; Shanta PAUDEL; Jianping JIANG

    2015-01-01

    A new species of the genus Tylototriton is described from eastern Himalaya based on molecular and morphological comparisons. The new species is diagnosable from the closely-related species by having light brown colouration in dorsal region in life, flat and blunt snout, greatly separated dorsolateral bony ridges on head and straight-thick tailfin. In addition to head morphology, the new species is also morphologically distinguishable from its closely-related species Tylototriton shanorum by having 16 dorsal warts and average smaller Snout Vent Length (SVL).

  8. Stemflow: A Source of Nutrients in some Naturally Growing Epiphytic Orchids of the Sikkim Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awasthi, O P; Sharma, E; Palni, L M

    1995-01-01

    A study on five naturally growing epiphytic orchids viz., Bulbophyllum affine Lindl., Coelogyne ochracea Lindl., Otochilus porrecta Lindl., Cirrhopetalum cornutum Lindl. and C. cornutum (var.) was carried out in the subtropical belt of Sikkim Himalaya. Stemflow leachates formed the main source of ammonium-N and nitrate-N for uptake by these orchids. Phosphorus concentration in the tissues of these orchids was high. Phosphate-P from stemflow does not seem to be a regular source of phosphorus for these orchids. Absorption/desorption results indicate that organic-N from stemflow leachates is not utilized by these orchids. PMID:21247907

  9. Seasonal dynamics of ichthyodiversity in a hill stream of the Darjeeling Himalaya, West Bengal, india

    OpenAIRE

    M.L. Acharjee; Barat, S.

    2014-01-01

    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 n...

  10. Volatile organic compounds over Eastern Himalaya, India: temporal variation and source characterization using Positive Matrix Factorization

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    A first ever study on the characterization of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has been made over a Himalayan high altitude station in India. A total of 18 VOCs (mono aromatics-BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), non-BTEX substituted aromatics and halocarbon) have been measured over Darjeeling (27.01° N, 88.15° E, 2200 m a.s.l.) in the eastern Himalaya in India during the period of July 2011–June 2012. The annual average concentration of the sum of 18 tar...

  11. The long-range transport of atmospheric aerosols from South Asia to Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Zhiyuan; Kang, Shichang; Kawamura, Kimitaka

    2016-04-01

    High levels of carbonaceous aerosol exist over South Asia, the area adjacent to the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. Little is known about if they can be transported across the Himalayas, and as far inland as the Tibetan Plateau. To resolve such scientific questions, aerosol samples were collected weekly from August 2009 to July 2010 at Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) Station for Atmospheric and Environmental Observation and Research(QOMS, 4276 m a.s.l.). In the laboratory, major ions, elemental carbon, organic carbon, levoglucosan, water-soluble organic carbon, and organic acids were analyzed. The concentration levels of OC and EC at QOMS are comparable to those at high-elevation sites on the southern slopes of the Himalayas (Langtang and NCO-P), but 3 to 6 times lower than those at Manora Peak, India, and Godavari, Nepal. Sulfate was the most abundant anion species followed by nitrate. The dust loading, represented by Ca2+ concentration, was relatively constant throughout the year. OC, EC and other ionic species (NH+4 , K+, NO‑ and SO2‑) exhibited a pronounced peak in the pre-monsoon period and a minimum in the monsoon season, being similar to the seasonal trends of aerosol compo-sition reported previously from the southern slope of the Himalayas. The strong correlation of OC and EC in QOMS aerosols with K+ and levoglucosan indicates that they mainly originated from biomass burning. Molecular distributions of dicarboxylic acids and related compounds (malonic acid/ succinic acid, maleic acid/fumaric acid) further support this finding. The fire spots observed by MODIS and backward air-mass trajectories further demonstrate that in pre-monsoon season, agricultural and forest fires in northern India and Nepal were most likely sources of carbonaceous aerosol at QOMS. In addition to large-scale atmospheric circulation, the unique mountain/valley breeze system can also have an important effect on air-pollutant transport.With the consideration of the darkening force of

  12. Performance of an Age Series of Alnus–Cardamom Plantations in the Sikkim Himalaya: Nutrient Dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    G. Sharma; Sharma, R.; SHARMA, E.; SINGH, K. K.

    2002-01-01

    Nutrient cycling, nutrient use efficiency and nitrogen fixation in an age series of Alnus–cardamom plantations were studied in the eastern Himalaya. The impact of stand age (5, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40 years) on the nutrient dynamics of mixtures of N2‐fixing (Alnus nepalensis) and non‐N2‐fixing (large cardamom) plants was assessed. Foliar nutrient concentrations of Alnus decreased with advancing age groups of plantations and showed an inverse relationship with stand age. Annual N fixation inc...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  14. Seismic slip deficit along Nepal Himalayas: implications for seismic hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bollinger, Laurent; Tapponnier, Paul; Nath Sapkota, Soma; Klinger, Yann

    2016-04-01

    In 1255, 1344 and 1408 AD, then again in 1833, 1934 and 2015, large earthquakes, devastated Kathmandu. The 1255 and 1934 surface ruptures have been identified east of the city, along comparable segments of the Main Frontal Thrust (MFT). Whether the other two pairs of events were similar, is unclear. Taking into account charcoal's "Inbuilt-ages", we revisit the timing of terrace offsets at key sites, to compare them with the seismic record since 1200 AD. The location, extent, and seismic moment of the 1833 and 2015 events imply that they released only a small part of the regional slip deficit, on a deep thrust segment that stopped north of the Siwaliks. By contrast, the 1344 or 1408 AD earthquake may have ruptured the MFT up to the surface in central Nepal between Kathmandu and Pokhara, East of the surface trace of the great 1505 AD earthquake which affected Western Nepal. If so, the whole megathrust system in Nepal ruptured during a sequence of earthquakes that lasted less than three centuries and propagated the rupture up to the surface from East to West. Today's situation in the himalayan seismic sequence might be close to that of the 14th century.

  15. A palaeomagnetic reconnaissance of Kashmir, northwestern Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klootwijk, Chris T.; Shah, S. K.; Gergan, Jozef; Sharma, Madan Lal; Tirkey, Biras; Gupta, B. K.

    1983-05-01

    Thermal demagnetization studies of 800 Palaeozoic and Lower Mesozoic samples, mainly carbonates, from 14 localities in Kashmir, showed four magnetic components: (A)A recent field component of normal polarity and large intensity. (B)A Middle to Late Tertiary secondary component of large intensity and of reversed and normal polarity, which indicates clockwise rotation of central and eastern Kashmir over approximately 45° with respect to peninsular Indo-Pakistan. (C)Primary magnetic components of Triassic, Late Permian, Early Carboniferous, Siluro-Ordovician and Middle to Early Ordovician age. The Triassic and Late Permian components show a 20-30° cumulative counterclockwise offset with respect to the Indo-Pakistan apparent polar wander path (APWP). This indicates a post-Middle to -Late Triassic counterclockwise rotational movement of Kashmir over 65-75° with respect to peninsular Indo-Pakistan. (D)A component of low inclination and predominantly east-west declination, which is observed only in rocks of pre-Panjal Traps age. A secondary origin associated with extrusion of the Panjal Traps flows is surmised, but could not be established beyond doubt. Alternatively, this component may be related to the regional foliation. The Triassic and Late Permian primary component directions are predominantly of normal polarity. This suggests a pre-Punjabian (Late Permian) upper age limit for the Permo-Carboniferous (Kiaman) reversed polarity interval, which is earlier than the Early to Late Tatarian limit observed in the U.S.S.R.

  16. Y-STR markers from Ladakh in the Himalayas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Benedico, David; Chennakrishnaiah, Shilpa; Gayden, Tenzin; Rowold, Diane J; Garcia-Bertrand, Ralph; Herrera, Rene J

    2016-07-01

    A total of 223 samples from the general population of Ladakh in Northwestern India were amplified at 17 Y-STR loci using the AmpFlSTR® Yfiler™ system. The DNA profiles generated were employed to generate allelic frequencies, gene diversity, haplotype diversity and discrimination capacity values as well as number of different haplotypes, fraction of unique haplotypes and Rst pair wise genetic distances. Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) and Correspondence Analysis (CA) were performed with the Rst values and allelic frequencies, respectively. The 17-loci discrimination capacity of Ladakh was found to be 0.8093. Eleven out of the 16 loci have diversity values greater than 0.6, and 13 loci possess values greater than 0.5. Ladakh exhibits no significant genetic difference to seven of the 15 reference forensic databases after Bonferroni correction, three of which are located in South Central Asian and four are from the Himalayan region. Rst genetic distance values before and after Bonferroni corrections illustrate the capacity of the Yfiler system to discriminate among Himalayan populations. The intermediate position of the Ladakh population in the MDS and CA plots likely reflects genetic flow and admixture with neighboring populations. In addition, the longitudinal partition of populations in the MDS and CA plots likely reflect human dispersals such as the silk road migrations. PMID:27497330

  17. Antioxidant Properties of Honey from Different Altitudes of Nepal Himalayas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neupane Bishnu Prasad

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Twenty two multifloral honey samples representing central western parts of Nepal were examined spectrophotometrically for their antioxidant properties and total phenol content. The modified Folin-Ciocalteu method was used to determine total phenol content and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radicals (DPPH• assay for antiradical activity. In all samples, physicochemical parameters like moisture, reducing sugar, sucrose, ash, free acidity and water insoluble matter were also measured according to harmonized methods of the International Honey Commission (IHC. The results of physicochemical analysis showed that all the values, except for moisture of a small number of high altitude honey samples, are in good agreement with the current Nepalese standard. The total phenolic contents of honey, collected from high and low altitude, ranged from 154.87 to 41.90 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE/100 g respectively, at corresponding antiradical activity using DPPH• expressed as percent inhibition of 76.66% and 25.69%. The IC50 values of selected high altitude honey samples ranged from 56 to 72 mg/mL. The total antioxidant properties were correlated (P<0.01 between total phenol content and antiradical activity (r=0.992. The obtained results demonstrate that the Nepalese honey collected from high altitude region contained more antioxidants than honey of low altitude region.

  18. Diet of Threatened Pheasant Species in Himalayas, India – A Faecal Analysis Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Shah Hussain

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to determine diet composition of threatened pheasant species i.e. Satyr Tragopan Tragopan satyra, Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus, Kaleej Lophura leucomelana and Koklass Pucrasia macrolopha in their native forest which was never studied earlier. A study was conducted in the Kumaon region of western Himalaya for two years by collecting dropping material. Faeces were identified through direct sighting of defecating species. The diet items of each pheasant species mainly comprised plant materials followed by invertebrates and grit. A significant difference was observed in consuming food items by all pheasant species. Monal emerged as a specialist feeder on plants which were not eaten by other species. The Satyr and Koklass were more similar in terms of diet composition in both seasons while Kaleej and Monal were least similar, only invertebrates and grit were common in the diet of these species. No significant difference was observed in diet composition in different seasons of all pheasant species. The results expected to provide valuable information for the management of these pheasants in Himalayas.

  19. Landslide susceptibility mapping along road corridors in the Indian Himalayas using Bayesian logistic regression models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Iswar; Stein, Alfred; Kerle, Norman; Dadhwal, Vinay K.

    2012-12-01

    Landslide susceptibility mapping (LSM) along road corridors in the Indian Himalayas is an essential exercise that helps planners and decision makers in determining the severity of probable slope failure areas. Logistic regression is commonly applied for this purpose, as it is a robust and straightforward technique that is relatively easy to handle. Ordinary logistic regression as a data-driven technique, however, does not allow inclusion of prior information. This study presents Bayesian logistic regression (BLR) for landslide susceptibility assessment along road corridors. The methodology is tested in a landslide-prone area in the Bhagirathi river valley in the Indian Himalayas. Parameter estimates from BLR are compared with those obtained from ordinary logistic regression. By means of iterative Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation, BLR provides a rich set of results on parameter estimation. We assessed model performance by the receiver operator characteristics curve analysis, and validated the model using 50% of the landslide cells kept apart for testing and validation. The study concludes that BLR performs better in posterior parameter estimation in general and the uncertainty estimation in particular.

  20. Observed linear trend in few surface weather elements over the Northwest Himalayas (NWH) during winter season

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Dan Singh; Vikas Sharma; Vikas Juyal

    2015-04-01

    Linear trends in few surface weather variables such as air temperatures (maximum temperature, minimum temperature), snow and rainy days, snowfall and rainfall amounts, rainfall contribution to seasonal total precipitation amount, seasonal snow cover depth and snow cover days (duration) are examined from winter-time observations at 11 stations located over the Northwest Himalayas (NWH). This study indicates that snowfall tends to show a decline in this region, while the rainfall tends to increase during the winter months. Seasonal snow cover depth and seasonal snow cover days also tend to show a decline over the NWH. Decrease in seasonal snow cover depth and duration have reduced the winter period in terms of availability of seasonal snow cover over the NWH during the last 2–3 decades. Other surface weather variables also exhibited significant temporal changes in recent decades. Observed trends in temperature and precipitation over the NWH in recent decades are also supported by long data series of temperature over the western Himalayas (WH), north mountain India (NMI) rainfall data and reanalysis products.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.)

  2. Headwall erosion rates from cosmogenic (10) Be in supraglacial debris, Chhota Shigri Glacier, Indian Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherler, Dirk; Egholm, David

    2016-04-01

    Debris-covered glaciers are widespread within the Himalaya and other steep mountain ranges. They testify to active erosion of ice-free bedrock hillslopes that tower above valley glaciers, sometimes more than 1 km high. It is long known that debris cover significantly reduces surface ablation rates and thereby influences glacial mass balances; but its dynamic evolution along with climatic and topographic changes is poorly studied. Better understanding the coupling of ice-free bedrock hillslopes and glaciers in steep mountains requires means to assess headwall erosion rates. Here, we present headwall erosion rates derived from 10Be concentrations in the ablation-dominated medial moraine of the Chhota Shigri Glacier, Indian Himalaya. We combine our empirical, field-based approach with a numerical model of headwall erosion and glacial debris transport to assess permissible patterns of headwall erosion on the ice-free bedrock hillslopes surrounding the Chhota Shigri Glacier. Our five samples, each separated by approximately 500 m along the glacier, consist of an amalgamation of >1000 surface clasts with grain sizes between ˜1 and ˜30 mm that were taken from the medial moraine. Our results show that 10Be concentrations increase downglacier from ˜3×104 to ˜6×104 atoms g‑1, yielding headwall erosion rates of ˜1.3-0.6 mm yr‑1. The accumulation of 10Be during debris residence on the ice surface can only account for a small fraction (cracking, e.g., spatially uniform versus temperature dependent.

  3. Analysis of climatic variability and snow cover in the Kaligandaki River Basin, Himalaya, Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Bhogendra; Babel, Mukand S.; Tripathi, Nitin K.

    2014-05-01

    Various remote sensing products and observed data sets were used to determine spatial and temporal trends in climatic variables and their relationship with snow cover area in the higher Himalayas, Nepal. The remote sensing techniques can detect spatial as well as temporal patterns in temperature and snow cover across the inaccessible terrain. Non-parametric methods (i.e. the Mann-Kendall method and Sen's slope) were used to identify trends in climatic variables. Increasing trends in temperature, approximately by 0.03 to 0.08 °C year-1 based on the station data in different season, and mixed trends in seasonal precipitation were found for the studied basin. The accuracy of MOD10A1 snow cover and fractional snow cover in the Kaligandaki Basin was assessed with respect to the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer-based snow cover area. With increasing trends in winter and spring temperature and decreasing trends in precipitation, a significant negative trend in snow cover area during these seasons was also identified. Results indicate the possible impact of global warming on precipitation and snow cover area in the higher mountainous area. Similar investigations in other regions of Himalayas are warranted to further strengthen the understanding of impact of climate change on hydrology and water resources and extreme hydrologic events.

  4. Contrasting Subduction Modes with Slab Tearing beneath Eastern Himalaya: Evidence from Teleseismic P-wave Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, M.; Jiang, M.; Li, Z. H.; Xu, Z.; Chen, Y.; Chan, W. W. W.; Wang, Y.; Yu, C.; Lei, J.

    2014-12-01

    On the eastern margin of the Himalayan orogenic belt, the rapid uplift of the Namche Barwa metamorphic terrane and the significant bending of the Yarlung Zangbo suture zone occur. However, the formation mechanism and dynamics of the Eastern Himalayan Syntaxis is still debated. In order to better understand the deep structures beneath eastern Himalaya, we further deployed 35 broadband seismic stations (2010-2013) around the Namche Barwa Mountain, which is integrated with the existing Lehigh data sets of 45 stations (2003-2004). We totally selected 18,979 high-quality P-wave arrival times from 2,140 teleseismic events to image P-wave teleseismic tomography. The results demonstrate complex deep structures and significantly different subduction modes in the eastern Himalaya. In contrast to the steep subduction of the Indian lithosphere beneath the Eastern Himalayan Syntaxis, the Indian slab flatly subducted in the west, which might extend close to the Bangong-Nujiang Suture and then steeply sink and bend over. The contrasting subduction model results in the tearing and fragmentation of the Indian lithosphere in the transition zone between the flat and steep subduction. Consequently, the upwelling of hot asthenospheric mantle may occur through the slab tear window, which might further lead to the rapid uplift of Namche Barwa and the formation of the Eastern Himalayan Syntaxis. The lateral variation in subduction mode and slab tearing induced asthenospheric mantle upwelling is similar to that observed in the Hellenide and Anatolide domains of the Tethyan orogen.

  5. Wintertime land surface characteristics in climatic simulations over the western Himalayas

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A P Dimri

    2012-04-01

    Wintertime regional climate studies over the western Himalayas with ICTP-RegCM3 simulations through 22 years has shown systematic biases in precipitation and temperature fields. The model simulated precipitation shows systematically wet bias. In surface temperature simulations, positive and negative biases of 2°–4°C occurred. Experiment without (CONT) and with subBATS (SUB) shows that later scheme performs better, especially for precipitation. Apart from the role of topography and model internal variability, land surface characteristics also have profound impact on these climatic variables. Therefore, in the present study, impacts of land surface characteristics are investigated through cool/wet and warm/dry winter climate by CONT and SUB simulations to assess systematic biases. Since SUB experiment uses detailed land-use classification, systematic positive biases in temperature over higher elevation peaks are markedly reduced. The change has shown reduced excessive precipitation as well. Most of the surface characteristics show that major interplay between topography and western disturbances (WDs) takes place along the foothills rather than over the higher peaks of the western Himalayas.

  6. Recent atmospheric dust deposition in an ombrotrophic peat bog from the Himalaya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ombrotrophic peat bogs, are important natural archives for records of atmospheric pollution by heavy metals. As continental geochemical archives in exclusively recording past atmospheric deposition, they have the unique advantage of a wide global distribution relative to ice cores. Mean annual depositional fluxes of these elements across the peat bog surface are mainly controlled by the atmospheric concentration and total rainfall. To characterize historical trends in the extent and sources of environmental pollution, a peat core from the Pinder Valley (30.05°N, 79.93°E) in the Himalaya was collected. 210Pb and 137Cs radionuclides, with well-define fallout records are used for dating the past 150 years of peat accumulation. Beyond this, 14C AMS dating was used for dating the core. The activities of radionuclides were measured using High Purity Germanium Gamma detector and the concentrations of refractory lithogenic (AI, Ca, Fe, Mn, V and Ti) and trace elements (Pb, Cu, Zn, Co, Ni, Mo, Cr, Sr and Ba) using ICP-MS. In this study, the historical records obtained from the peat bog from the Himalaya extending up to 5000 years show evidence for rising anthropogenic inputs of trace metals to the remote high altitude atmosphere since 1970s, resulting largely from fossil fuel consumption, non-ferrous metal production, coal-powered electricity generation and fertilizer use. Geochemistry of peat and the analysis of past environmental changes will be presented. (author)

  7. Bamboo stumps as mosquito larval habitats in Darjeeling Himalayas,India:A spatial scale analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gautam Aditya; Rakesh Tamang; Dipendra Sharma; Francis Subba; Goutam K.Saha

    2008-01-01

    Bamboo stumps can be a congenial breeding habitat of the mosquitoes.In view of this,a preliminary assessment of the dipteran immatures inhabiting the stumps of bamboo groves in the Darjeeling Himalayas was carried out at a spatial scale.Of the 104 stumps of Dendrocalamus hamiltoni surveyed,70 were found to host immatures of three dipteran species,the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus and the midges Chironomus sp.in varying densities.Though the stumps varied in diameter,in each stump on average 12.1 immatures were found.The abundance of the immatures was positively correlated with the diameter of the stumps (r = +0.382;P < 0.001) but negatively with the pH of the water present in the stumps (r = -0.336;P < 0.01).The coefficient of association was found to be +8.4 for the Ae.aegypti and Chironomus immatures,while in the rest of the species pair the association seemed to be independent.Thus it can be concluded that the stumps in the bamboo groves of Darjeeling Himalayas provides a favourable habitat for the mosquito and chironomid immatures.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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/m3 and thus are within safe limits

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

    CERN Multimedia

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27143226

  11. Use of objective analysis to estimate winter temperature and precipitation at different stations over western Himalaya

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Jagdish Chandra Joshi; Ashwagosha Ganju

    2010-10-01

    Temperature and fresh snow are essential inputs in an avalanche forecasting model.Without these parameters,prediction of avalanche occurrence for a region would be very difficult.In the complex terrain of Himalaya,nonavailability of snow and meteorological data of the remote locations during snow storms in the winter is a common occurrence.In view of this persistent problem present study estimates maximum temperature,minimum temperature,ambient temperature and precipitation intensity on different regions of Indian western Himalaya by using similar parameters of the neighbouring regions.The location at which parameters are required and its neighbouring locations should all fall in the same snow climatic zone.Initial step to estimate the parameters at a location,is to shift the parameters of neighbouring regions at a reference height corresponding to the altitude of the location at which parameters are to be estimated.The parameters at this reference height are then spatially interpolated by using Barnes objective analysis.The parameters estimated on different locations are compared with the observed one and the Root Mean Square Errors (RMSE)of the observed and estimated values of the parameters are discussed for the winters of 2007 –2008.

  12. The Internal and External Dimensions of Security in the Himalayas -From non-alignment to multi-alignment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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: 2.973, year: 2014

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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: 2.973, year: 2014

  15. [Who heals the healer? Shaman practice in the Himalayas].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppitz, M

    1993-11-01

    The question has been put before: By which means or intervention does the shaman or faith healer effect his healing results? A new answer is attempted in this article in which a concrete example is being described and analysed: What do the shamanic healers of the Northern Magar in NW Central Nepal do, when confronted with a complicated birth? As neither medication or herbal treatment, nor any massage or obstetric manipulation is employed (methods well applied by the local midwife), the healing séance of the shaman has to be classified as a psychological manipulation of the patient. This is based on three elements: ritual acts during the séance; performance of mythical chants; and the presence of an audience. As for the chanted myths, it may be stressed that they relate stories which allude to the actual situation of the patient, insofar as their protagonist is in a similar situation as herself--only much worse. This overdramatisation permits the listening patient to first identify with and then to dis-identify from her mythical similé and to anticipate a happier end for herself than that related in the myth, which is always violent and tragic. The mechanism of healing (in our case: a successful birth) ensues from a gradual process of disidentification of the patient from the mythical heroine. This observation may be confirmed, if one compares the Magar case with similar ethnographic facts from other regions, both in Nepal and elsewhere. The described process of healing, effected through shamanic treatment, invites to a new comparison between this form of practice and that of Western psychoanalysis. PMID:8278567

  16. A preliminary assessment of the role of glaciers in the hydrologic regime of the Nepal Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, R.; Alford, D.; Racoviteanu, A.

    2009-04-01

    The hydrologic regime of the Himalaya is not well-defined and there is a lack of a basic data to support the understanding of the runoff sources and timing in many mountain rivers of the region. Because of this absence of data, applying of hydrologic concepts and models developed for mountain catchments in Europe or North America is often impossible and likely to be inappropriate. Thus, determining the impact of the retreat of Himalayan glaciers on regional-scale water supplies is problematic. Current concerns about the retreat of Himalayan glaciers have been accompanied by little, if any, comprehensive analysis of the actual role of glaciers in the total hydrologic regime and such assessments have typically disregarded mass balance relationships across the approximately 3,000 meters of topographic relief between the glacier termini and the highest accumulation zones. The ultimate purpose of the study described here is to assess, and begin to quantify, the role of complete glacier systems in the hydrologic regime of the Nepal Himalaya, and to develop estimates of the potential impact of a continued retreat of these glaciers. There are approximately 3250 glaciers in the Nepal Himalaya, covering an area of slightly more than 5,300 km2, and containing some 460 km3 of ice. These glaciers cover approximately 4% of the total 147,000 km2 surface area of Nepal, and are located on, or near, the crest of the Himalaya, with the bulk of the ice contained in basins that are at altitudes generally between 4,000 - 6000 meters above sea level. In this study we apply methods which disaggregate available data sets to reflect the altitudinal gradients that define the mountain hydrologic regime. For glacier mass balance estimates, the input variables are: 1) surface areas of both basins and glaciers, 2) basin and glacier area-altitude distributions, 3) glacier equilibrium line altitudes, 4) slope of the ablation gradient for the glaciers of Nepal, 5) maximum altitude of the 00 C

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  18. Influence of active fault on the evolution of landscape and drainage: Evidence from lateral propagation of a branching out fault along Himalayan front and deflection of Dabka River, Kumaun Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, A.; Malik, J.; Lohani, B.

    2012-04-01

    Ongoing tectonic activity along the Central Kumaun Himalaya is well revealed by the occurrence of moderate to large magnitude earthquakes as well as by the existence of the prominent tectonically controlled geomorphic indicators. Shaded-relief images created from the digital elevation models (DEMs) are helpful in indentifying faults in mountains terrains. Coupled with the detailed and high resolution CORONA and Google images, a number of active faults were mapped. These faults branch out from the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) and the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) in the vicinity of Nainital foot hills. The compelling evidence of uplifted gravel deposits of recent alluvial fan surfaces together with the changing pattern of streams suggest that these faults are actively propagating and therefore, modifies drainage patterns. These faults are located close the major towns of Ramnagar and Kotabagh region of Nainital foothills, which are populated areas. Thus, the earthquake hazard in this region is to be reassessed.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  1. Seasonal variations in species diversity, dry matter and net primary productivity of herb layer of Quercus leucotrichophora-Pinus roxburghii mixed forest in Kumaun Himalaya, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mukesh Joshi; Y.S.Rawat; J.Ram

    2012-01-01

    Plant biomass,species diversity and net primary productivity are presented for herb layer of banj oak (Quercus leucotrichophora A.Camus)-chir pine (Pinus roxburghii Sarg.) mixed forest in Kumaun,central Himalaya,India.The species diversity declined from a maximum (3.56) in September to a minimum (2.11) in December.The monthly live shoots biomass exhibited a single peak growth pattern with highest live shoot biomass of 185 g·m-2 in August.The seasonal pattern showed that the maximum above-ground production (131 g·m-2) occurred during the rainy season and the minimum (1 g·m-2) during winter season.The below-ground production was maximum during winter season (84 g·m-2) and minimum during summer season (34 g·m-2).The annual net shoot production was 171 g·m-2 and total below-ground production was 165 g·m-2.Of the total input 61% was channeled to above-ground parts and 39% to below-ground parts.Transfer of live shoots to dead shoots compartments and that of dead shoots to litter compartments was 61% and 66%,respectively.The total dry matter disappearance was 61% of the total input within annual cycle.The herb layer showed a net accumulation of organic matter,indicating the seral nature of the community.

  2. A seismic hazard scenario in the Sikkim Himalaya from seismotectonics, spectral amplification, source parameterization, and spectral attenuation laws using strong motion seismometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nath, Sankar Kumar; Vyas, Madhav; Pal, Indrajit; Sengupta, Probal

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, we present a seismic hazard map of the Indian Himalayan State of Sikkim, lying between Nepal and Bhutan Himalaya, in terms of horizontal peak ground accelerations with 10% exceedance probability over the next 50 years. These figures, the first for the region, were calculated through a stepwise process based on (1) an estimation of the maximum credible earthquake (MCE) from the seismicity of the region and Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program considerations and (2) four seismotectonic parameters abstracted from accelerograms recorded at nine stations of the Sikkim Strong Motion Array, specifically installed for this study. The latter include (1) the frequency-dependent power law for the shear wave quality factor, QS, (2) the site response function at each station using receiver function analysis and generalized inversion, (3) source parameterization of various events recorded by the array and application of the resulting relationships between M0 and MW, and corner frequency, fc and MW to simulate spectral accelerations due to higher-magnitude events corresponding to the estimated MCE, and (4) abstraction of regional as well as site specific local spectral attenuation laws at different geometrically central frequencies in low-, moderate-, and high-frequency bands.

  3. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  4. Towards an improved inventory of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veh, Georg; Walz, Ariane; Korup, Oliver; Roessner, Sigrid

    2016-04-01

    The retreat of glaciers in the Himalayas and the associated release of meltwater have prompted the formation and growth of thousands of glacial lakes in the last decades. More than 2,200 of these lakes have developed in unconsolidated moraine material. These lakes can drain in a single event, producing potentially destructive glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Only 44 GLOFs in the Himalayas have been documented in more detail since the 1930s, and evidence for a change, let alone an increase, in the frequency of these flood events remains elusive. The rare occurrence of GLOFs is counterintuitive to our hypothesis that an increasing amount of glacial lakes has to be consistent with a rising amount of outburst floods. Censoring bias affects the GLOF record, such that mostly larger floods with commensurate impact have been registered. Existing glacial lake inventories are also of limited help for the identification of GLOFs, as they were created in irregular time steps using different methodological approach and covering different regional extents. We discuss the key requirements for generating a more continuous, close to yearly time series of glacial lake evolution for the Himalayan mountain range using remote sensing data. To this end, we use sudden changes in glacial lake areas as the key diagnostic of dam breaks and outburst floods, employing the full archive of cloud-free Landsat data (L5, L7 and L8) from 1988 to 2015. SRTM and ALOS World 3D topographic data further improve the automatic detection of glacial lakes in an alpine landscape that is often difficult to access otherwise. Our workflow comprises expert-based classification of water bodies using thresholds and masks from different spectral indices and band ratios. A first evaluation of our mapping approach suggests that GLOFs reported during the study period could be tracked independently by a significant reduction of lake size between two subsequent Landsat scenes. This finding supports the feasibility

  5. Glacier Sensitivity to Climate Change in the Monsoonal Himalaya: Past, Present, and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupper, S.; Maurer, J.; Schaefer, J. M.; Cook, E. R.; Putnam, A. E.; Krusic, P.; Smith, R. G.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are particularly sensitive to climate change, making them vulnerable elements of the environment. Of potential concern for societies is the rapid glacier retreat of Himalayan glaciers. However, the temporally short and spatially sparse instrumental records of climate, and arguably shorter and sparser glacier records, make it extremely difficult to quantify glacier sensitivity to climatic change or to place recent glacier changes into a longer, historical context. Here we address many of these issues by quantifying the glacier-climate sensitivity in the Bhutanese Himalaya over the past 800 years using a combination of remote sensing data, paleoclimate data, glacier modeling, and glacial geochronology. Bhutan is chosen for two key reasons. First, Bhutan exemplifies an area where little data on glacier changes are available and where it is logistically difficult to obtain field-based studies, a common problem for many regions of the Himalayas. Thus the methods developed here will be directly applicable to other regions. Second, glaciers in Bhutan, just as neighboring glaciers in India, Nepal, and Southwest China, sit in the bulls-eye of high snow accumulation glaciers. Sensitivity tests using a surface energy- and mass-balance model show that high accumulation regions are extremely temperature-sensitive. Therefore, Bhutan's glaciers form a highly suitable natural laboratory to investigate glacier sensitivity and response to temperature change in the monsoonal Himalaya. In this study, we map Bhutan glacierized area and volume changes over the past forty years, and show significant changes and rapid retreat of these glaciers over this period of time. In addition, we map the former glacier extents for key glacierized regions of Bhutan, and produce a 10Be chronology for glacier fluctuations for one region. Finally, we model the glacierized changes over the past 800 years using Bhutan tree-ring temperature reconstructions as climate input. Our results show that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Natural hazards versus climate change and their potential impacts in the dry, northern Himalayas: focus on the upper Kali Gandaki (Mustang District, Nepal)

    OpenAIRE

    Fort, Monique

    2014-01-01

    In the Himalayas, the consequences of climate change are a fairly debated issue, mainly questioning the availability of water resources to the lowland population. North of the monsoon Himalayas, a semi-arid, continental climate prevails and settlements rely economically mostly on irrigated crops, high altitude rangelands, trade and tourism. The upper Kali Gandaki (Mustang) is situated in this area, with sharp contrasts between valley bottoms (\\3,000 m) and high, glaciated peaks (up to [8,000 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Paleoseismic evidence of a giant medieval earthquake in the eastern Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Rajeeb Lochan; Singh, I.; Pandey, A.; Rao, P. S.; Sahoo, H. K.; Jayangondaperumal, R.

    2016-06-01

    We present here the results of a paleoseismic investigation carried across a ~10 m high fault scarp at Panijhora village, West Bengal in northeastern India. Accelerator Mass Spectrometer analyzed 14C radiocarbon age constraints from six detrital charcoal samples ranging between 1688 B.C. and A.D. 1152 are consistent with the great medieval earthquake of A.D. 1255 that is interpreted to have produced a minimum observed fault slip of ~5 m in the trench exposure. Recalibration of radiocarbon ages from previous studies at Harmutty, Nameri, and Marha in the eastern Himalaya using Bayesian statistical analyses further substantiates the possibility that the A.D. 1255 earthquake might have ruptured the Himalayan front over a length of ~800 km from ~85.87° to 93.76°E longitudes.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  12. Rb-Sr geochronology of the rocks of the Himalayas, Eastern Nepal, (2)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rb-Sr isotopic measurements are made on the Makalu granite, which is one of leucocratic granite occurring sporadically in the high range of the Himalayas. The granite is intruded between the Himalayan gneiss and the Tethyan sediments. In this study, Rb-Sr analyses have been made on both whole rock and small sliced rock. The Rb-Sr isotopic analytical results on whole rock of the Makalu granite define the age of 92.7 +- 9.4 m.y. The analytical results on small slabs suggest that Sr isotopic redistribution occurred after the intrusion of the granite. The initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of the Makalu granite is 0.7433 +- 0.0019 and is remarkably high. Such high ratio indicates that the granite originated from the remelting or partial remelting of old crustal materials such as Himalayan gneiss. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. Variations of the crustal thickness in Nepal Himalayas based on tomographic inversion of regional earthquake data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Koulakov

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available We estimate variations of the crustal thickness beneath the Nepal Himalayas based on tomographic inversion of regional earthquake data. We have obtained a low-velocity anomaly in the upper part of the model down to depths of 40 to 80 km and proposed that the lower limit of this anomaly represents variations of the Moho depth. This statement was supported by results of synthetic modeling. The obtained variations of crustal thickness match fairly well with the free-air gravity anomalies: thinner crust patterns correspond to lower gravity values and vice versa. There is also some correlation with magnetic field: higher magnetic values correspond to the major areas of thicker crust. We propose that elevated magnetic values can be associated with more rigid segments of the incoming Indian crust which cause more compression in the thrust zone and leads to stronger crustal thickening.

  15. Similarities and differences of aerosol optical properties between southern and northern slopes of the Himalayas

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    C. Xu

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The Himalayas is located at the southern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and it acts as a natural barrier for the transport of atmospheric aerosols, e.g. from the polluted regions of South Asia to the main body of the Tibetan Plateau. In this study, we investigate the seasonal and diurnal variations of aerosol optical properties measured at the three Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET sites over the southern (Pokhara station and EVK2-CNR station in Nepal and northern (Qomolangma (Mt. Everest station for Atmospheric and Environmental Observation and Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (QOMS_CAS in Tibet, China slopes of the Himalayas. While observations at QOMS_CAS and EVK2-CNR can generally be representative of a remote background atmosphere, Pokhara is an urban site with much higher aerosol load due to the influence of local anthropogenic activities. The annual mean of aerosol optical depth (AOD during the investigated period was 0.06 at QOMS_CAS, 0.04 at EVK2-CNR and 0.51 at Pokhara, respectively. Seasonal variations of aerosols are profoundly affected by large scale atmospheric circulation. Vegetation fires, peaking during April in the Himalayan region and northern India, contribute to a growing fine mode AOD at 500 nm at the three stations. Dust transported to these sites results in an increase of coarse mode AOD during the monsoon season at the three sites. Meanwhile, coarse mode AOD at EVK2-CNR is higher than QOMS_CAS from July to September, indicating the Himalayas blocks the coarse particles carried by the southwest winds. The precipitation scavenging effect is obvious at Pokhara, which can significantly reduce the aerosol load during the monsoon season. Unlike the seasonal variations, diurnal variations are mainly influenced by meso-scale systems and local topography. In general, precipitation can lead to a decrease of the aerosol load and the average particle size at each station. AOD changes in a short time with the emission rate near

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Nilotpol; Mazumdar, Abhijit

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25947870

  17. Prenanthes violaefolia Decne.(Asteraceae)-a new report from Kashmir Himalaya, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Parvaiz; Ahmad; Lone; Ajay; Kumar; Bhardwaj; Kunwar; Wajahat; Shah

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To enumerate the diversity of important medicinal plants used traditionally by the local populace in biodiversity rich and temperate Himalayan ranges of Bandipora district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Methods: Methods used to explore the plants with medicinal value and to record associated ethnomedicinal knowledge included semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and walk-in-the-woods with local knowledgeable persons, traditional practitioners called "Bhoeris" and tribals(Gujjars and Bakkerwals). Results: During plant exploration in this floristically rich Himalayan region, a very interesting and less-known species of the genus Prenanthes L.,(Asteraceae) was recorded. On examination, the species was identified as Prenanthes violaefolia Decne., which represents a first report from Kashmir Himalaya, India. Conclusions: Prenanthes violaefolia could serve as an important source of new potent compounds provided that it is subjected to thorough phytochemical and pharmacological investigations.

  18. Prenanthes violaefolia Decne. (Asteraceae)-a new report from Kashmir Himalaya, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Parvaiz Ahmad Lone; Ajay Kumar Bhardwaj; Kunwar Wajahat Shah

    2015-01-01

    Objective:To enumerate the diversity of important medicinal plants used traditionally by the local populace in biodiversity rich and temperate Himalayan ranges of Bandipora district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Methods:Methods used to explore the plants with medicinal value and to record associated ethnomedicinal knowledge included semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and walk-in-the-woods with local knowledgeable persons, traditional practitioners called“Bhoeris”and tribals (Gujjars and Bakkerwals). Results:During plant exploration in this floristically rich Himalayan region, a very interesting and less-known species of the genus Prenanthes L., (Asteraceae) was recorded. On examination, the species was identified as Prenanthes violaefolia Decne., which represents a first report from Kashmir Himalaya, India. Conclusions: Prenanthes violaefolia could serve as an important source of new potent compounds provided that it is subjected to thorough phytochemical and pharmacological investigations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 3. Mass Movements, Erosion Patterns and Sediment Transport along the Sutlej River (NW-Himalaya)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bookhagen, B.; Thiede, R. C.; Strecker, M. R.

    2003-04-01

    The spatial and temporal distribution of mass movements in active orogens can provide valuable insights into the relation between sedimentation and erosion processes. In areas of high relief, hillslope processes dominate surface geomorphology and can lead to the damming of rivers and formation of lakes upstream. These basins provide a record of natural climatic variations along the river profile and divide the regions in different sedimentational and erosional compartments. To characterize the variations, digital elevation models were used for quantitative analysis of topography, basin-fill volume, and active channel gradients. High-resolution spatial data (digitized 1:25,000 to 1:100,000 topographic maps) and ASTER-derived digital elevation models (DEM) were processed to analyze topography. Combined with geological field measurements and observations we could distinguish erosional patterns within several study areas in the NW Himalayas. Precipitation data were derived from calibrated passive microwave satellite data (SSMI), providing information on a 10 year time series at sufficient spatial resolution (12.5 km2). Modern sediment flux and transport, discharge, geomorphic field observations including river width and slope define the boundary conditions for surface erosion calculations. The Sutlej Valley (32N, 78E) in NW India is dominated by the antecedent Sutlej River, the third-largest river in the Himalayas. It flows perpendicular through the orogen and cuts through all major geologic units of the Tethyan Himalaya, High and Lesser Himalayan Crystallines, and Lower Himalayan units. The geomorphologic changes across thrust faults bounding these units provide valuable insights into the evolution of the orogen. Tectonically active sectors of the orogen are manifested by pronounced knickpoints in longitudinal river profiles that cross active thrust faults. In contrast to other parts of the Himalayas, no (re-) activation of the MCT and STDS can be seen in the

  1. Radon variations in an active landslide zone from Himalaya: A preliminary study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The radon concentration was measured in soil and water samples from an active landslide zone in the Garhwal Himalaya. The landslide is compound in nature i.e. slump in the crown portion and debris slide in the lower part. The measured radon concentration varies from 3.1 to 18.3 Bq/l in water whereas in soil/debris samples it varies from 2.3 to 12.2 kBq/m3. The crown portion (upper portion) show higher radon values in comparison to distal portion. The higher radon concentration in crown portion may be because of the failure plane of landslide associated with high fracturing and crushing whereas, increased porosity of debris of slide does not allow radon to accumulate in soil and water in the lower portion. (author)

  2. Seasonal succession of crustacean zooplankton in Wular Lake of the Kashmir Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shah Javaid Ahmad

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study was undertaken on Wular Lake, a Ramsar Site in Kashmir Himalaya, to study the seasonal succession of crustacean zooplankton from September 2010 to August 2011. A total of 42 crustacean taxa belonging to Cladocera (23, Copepoda (16 and Ostracoda (3 were identified at five different sampling sites. Among the crustaceans, Cladocera was numerically the most dominant group at sites III, IV and V, followed by Copepoda at sites I and II. On an average basis total crustacean density ranged from 416 ind./l in winter to 1567.6 ind./l in summer. On the basis of Sorensen’s similarity index, study sites IV and V showed close similarity (88.13%.

  3. Pictorial keys for predominant Bactrocera and Dacus fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae of north western Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. S. Prabhakar

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available A pictorial key for 13 species of fruit flies under 2 genera namely Bactrocera and Dacus of subfamily Dacinae (Diptera: Tephritidae is presented in this paper based on actual photographs of fruit flies collected from north western Himalaya of India during 2009-2010. Among these, Bactrocera diversa (Coquillett, Bactrocera scutellaris (Bezzi, Bactrocera tau (Walker, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett, Bactrocera zonata (Saunders, Bactrocera correcta (Bezzi, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel, Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel and Dacus ciliatus Loew are the pests of agricultural and horticultural ecosystems. Bactrocera latifrons, Bactrocera nigrofemoralis White and Tsuruta, Dacus longicornis Wiedemann and Dacus sphaeroidalis (Bezzi are the new records from the region of which host range has yet to be investigated. The pictorial keysdeveloped for these species will help the researchers for their easy and accurate identification.

  4. 10-year record of atmospheric composition in the high Himalayas: source, transport and impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  5. Constituents of Artemisia gmelinii Weber ex Stechm. from Uttarakhand Himalaya: A source of artemisia ketone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Z Haider

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26676354

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

    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

  8. Selection of suitable lichen bioindicator species for monitoring climatic variability in the Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajpai, Rajesh; Shukla, Vertika; Upreti, D K; Semwal, Manoj

    2014-10-01

    Interspecific comparison in metals and PAHs profile in three lichen species, Flavoparmelia caperata, Phaeophyscia hispidula and Pyxine sorediata, were studied in different altitudinal gradients of the Western Himalayas. The species collected from 14 sites, enroute from Dehradun to Morinda (243 Km) including the trekking route 42 Km from Taluka to Morinda having an altitudinal gradient between 850-3,750 m, were analysed for their metals and PAHs. The species showed similar metal as well as PAHs profile under similar altitudinal gradients in the sequence of F. caperata > P. hispidula > P. sorediata. The difference in pollutant concentrations within each lichen species may be related to intrinsic attributes of the species, such as thallus morphology and the presence of lichen substances which are responsible for the sensitivity and accumulation potential of a particular species. Novelty of the present study lies on the fact that all the species show a similar efficiency of reflecting the environmental condition of the area, albeit the coefficient values of individual species for individual pollutant obtained by three-factor ANOVA revealed that the bioaccumulation affinity of F. caperata is significantly higher than P. hispidula and P. sorediata. For individual metals, F. caperata has a higher affinity for Al, Cr, Fe, Pb and Zn while P. hispidula has a significant positive affinity for Fe and Pb. PCA analysis of sites with respect to pollutant revealed the segregation of sites based on source and distance. Combining the bioaccumulation potential parameters along with geostatistical (GIS) techniques establishes that F. caperata species is a better accumulator of metals and PAHs in comparison to P. hispidula and P. sorediata in the temperate regions of the Himalaya. PMID:24888615

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulf, H.; Bookhagen, B.; Scherler, D.

    2012-07-01

    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 more frequent

  11. Climatic control on extreme sediment transfer from Dokriani Glacier during monsoon, Garhwal Himalaya (India)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Amit; Verma, Akshaya; Dobhal, Dwarika Prasad; Mehta, Manish; Kesarwani, Kapil

    2014-02-01

    In the Himalayas, most of the glaciers are covered by thick debris, especially in the ablation zone. Supraglacial debris cover might play an important role for sediment budget of the glaciated area or for the ablation of ice masses mantled in debris. During summer season, proglacial meltwater carries considerable amount of suspended sediment. The deglaciated area provides a ready source of sediment during Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). The heavy sediment load from the glaciers affects the hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. Therefore, to understand the sediment delivery from glaciated basins, characteristics and variation of the suspended sediment concentrations in the proglacial meltwater stream, Dokriani Glacier, have been monitored during the ablation season (May-September). Suspended sediment samples were collected near the snout of Dokriani Glacier, Garhwal Himalaya, in 2010 and 2011. Results show that mean monthly suspended sediment concentrations (SSC) were 1499, 2303, 3845 and 1649 mg/l for the months June, July, August, and September, respectively, indicating highest concentration in August followed by July. Over the period of recording, daily mean suspended concentration in the melt stream varied from 13-9798.2 mg/l, which is very high, caused due to a flash flood event during the monitoring period. The mean daily suspended sediment concentration was computed to be 2196 mg/l. The suspended sediment concentration begins to increase with discharge from May and reduces in September. Present study provides TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) derived and field based hydro-meteorological insight about severe rainstorms during the years 2010 and 2011 in the study area, which transported large amounts of sediment.

  12. Forest structure, diversity and regeneration potential along altitudinal gradient in Dhanaulti of Garhwal Himalaya

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    Sushil Saha

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available 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. Key words: Distribution pattern; tree diversity; regeneration; mountains; temperate; Himalaya.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Eocene to Oligocene retrogression and recrystallization of the Stak eclogite in northwest Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouketsu, Yui; Hattori, Kéiko; Guillot, Stéphane; Rayner, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    Highly retrogressed eclogite is present in the Stak massif located on the northern edge of the Indian continental margin in northern Pakistan. Garnet in foliated samples contains omphacite inclusions (Xjd = 0.33-0.40) and quartz inclusions and latter retain Raman spectroscopic evidence for high residual pressures up to 0.52 GPa. These garnet grains do not show apparent compositional zoning. By contrast, one sample contains euhedral grains of garnet with quartz inclusions that show residual pressures as low as 0.25 GPa. These garnet grains do not contain omphacite inclusions, and show different compositional zoning compared to the omphacite-bearing garnet. The metamorphic condition of this sample was estimated to be 1.0-1.4 GPa/650-710 °C using residual pressure values of quartz inclusions in garnets and the garnet-clinopyroxene geothermometer. The U-Pb ages of zircon grains range from 158 to 28 Ma with a cluster between at ca. 32 Ma, which is younger than that of the peak ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic ages of eclogitic massifs in the northwestern Himalaya, e.g. Kaghan and Tso Morari. We suggest that the retrogressed eclogitic rocks in the Stak massif were heated by nearby Nanga Parbat Haramosh massif at ca. 32 Ma, subsequent to peak eclogite facies conditions. During this heating, part of the eclogite was largely recrystallized to form euhedral garnet grains. These results suggest that the Stak massif resided at a lower crustal depth while other ultrahigh-pressure massifs were exhumed in western Himalaya.

  15. Fluid–rock interaction across the South Tibetan Detachment, Garhwal Himalaya (India): Mineralogical and geochemical evidences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Anubhooti Saxena; Himanshu K Sachan; Pulok K Mukherjee; Dilip K Mukhopadhya

    2012-02-01

    The Malari Leucogranite in the Garhwal Himalaya is cut across by a continental-scale normal fault system called the South Tibetan Detachment (STD). A mineralogical, geochemical and fluid inclusion study of samples from the fault zone of the Malari Granite was performed to reveal the imprints of fluid–rock interaction. Fluid inclusion assemblages observed in the alteration zone indicate the presence of NaCl-dominated aqueous fluids with varied salinity of 6 –16 wt.% of NaCl equivalent. Mineralogical changes include the alteration of feldspar to muscovite and muscovite to chlorite. This alteration took place at temperatures of 275°–335°C and pressures between 1.9 and 4.2 kbars as revealed by the application of chlorite thermometry, fluid isochores, and presence of K-feldspar+muscovite+chlorite+quartz mineral assemblage. Geochemical mass-balance estimates predict 32% volume loss during alteration. An estimated fluid/rock ratio of 82 is based on loss of silica during alteration, and reveals presence of a moderately low amount of fluid at the time of faulting. Results of fluid inclusion and alteration mineralogy indicate that the Malari Leucogranites were exhumed due to normal faulting along the STD and erosion from mid-crustal levels. Most of the leucogranites in the Himalayas occur along the STD and possibly a regional-scale fluid flow all along the STD might have caused similar alteration of leucogranites along this tectonic break. Regional fluid flow was probably concentrated along the STD and channelized through mesoscopic fractures, microcracks and grain boundaries.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uttam Babu Shrestha

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Ahlers

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available 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 Himalaya 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 characterised 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:25180515

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:23001554

  1. Subduction-related metamorphism beneath ophiolites (Oman) and during early stages of continental collision (Himalaya)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Searle, Mike; Waters, David; Cowan, Robert; Cherry, Alan; Cooper, Charles

    2014-05-01

    Subduction-related metamorphism occurs beneath ophiolites (Oman), beneath island arcs (Kohistan) and during the early stages of continental collision (Kaghan, Tso Morari; Himalaya). Ophiolite obduction necessarily involves subduction of first oceanic, then continental crust to mantle depths beneath the ophiolite. In Oman an inverted pressure and temperature profile is exposed beneath the Semail ophiolite from garnet+clinopyroxene-bearing granulite to hornblende+plagioclase amphibolite down through epidote amphibolite and a variety of greenschist facies meta-sediments, dominantly cherts, marbles and quartzites. Thermobarometry on Grt+Cpx-bearing amphibolites immediately beneath the contact with mantle sequence harzburgites shows that the upper sole rocks formed at PT conditions of 770-900°C and 11-13 kbar, equivalent to depths of 30-40 km in oceanic lithosphere. Heat for metamorphism can only have been derived from the overlying mantle peridotites. Pressures are higher than can be accounted for by the thickness of the preserved ophiolite (15-20 km). Timing of peak metamorphism was synchronous with formation of the ophiolite gabbroic - trondhjemite crustal sequence and eruption of the pillow lavas (Cenomanian; 96-95 Ma). During the later stages of obduction the continental margin was dragged down to depths of nearly 100 km and basaltic sills within calc-schists were converted to eclogites (20-25 kbar; 500-560oC; 79.1 Ma), then exhumed back up the same subduction channel. Apparent 'extensional' fabrics throughout the HP units are related to upward flow of deeply buried rocks in a wholly compressional environment. Eclogites in a similar structural position occur along the Himalaya in the northernmost exposures of Indian plate rocks. These eclogites formed either during the latest stage of ophiolite obduction or the earliest stage of continental collision.

  2. Analysis of soil moisture variation by forest cover structure in lower western Himalayas, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    J.v.Tyagi; Nuzhat Qazi; S.P.Rai; M.P.Singh

    2013-01-01

    Soil moisture affects various hydrological processes,including evapotranspiration,infiltration,and runoff.Forested areas in the lower western Himalaya in India constitute the headwater catchments for many hill streams and have experienced degradation in forest cover due to grazing,deforestation and other human activities.This change in forest cover is likely to alter the soil moisture regime and,consequently,flow regimes in streams.The effect of change in forest cover on soil moisture regimes of this dry region has not been studied through long term field observations.We monitored soil matric potentials in two small watersheds in the lower western Himalaya of India.The watersheds consisted of homogeneous land covers of moderately dense oak forest and moderately degraded mixed oak forest.Observations were recorded at three sites at three depths in each watershed at fortnightly intervals for a period of three years.The soil moisture contents derived from soil potential measurements were analyzed to understand the spatial,temporal and profile variations under the two structures of forest cover.The analysis revealed large variations in soil moisture storage at different sites and depths and also during different seasons in each watershed.Mean soil moisture storage during monsoon,winter and summer seasons was higher under dense forest than under degraded forest.Highest soil moisture content occurred at shallow soil profiles,decreasing with depth in both watersheds.A high positive correlation was found between tree density and soil moisture content.Mean soil moisture content over the entire study period was higher under dense forest than under degraded forest.This indicated a potential for soil water storage under well managed oak forest.Because soil water storage is vital for sustenance of low flows,attention is needed on the management of oak forests in the Himalayan region.

  3. Climatic control on extreme sediment transfer from Dokriani Glacier during monsoon, Garhwal Himalaya (India)

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Amit Kumar; Akshaya Verma; Dwarika Prasad Dobhal; Manish Mehta; Kapil Kesarwani

    2014-02-01

    In the Himalayas, most of the glaciers are covered by thick debris, especially in the ablation zone. Supraglacial debris cover might play an important role for sediment budget of the glaciated area or for the ablation of ice masses mantled in debris. During summer season, proglacial meltwater carries considerable amount of suspended sediment. The deglaciated area provides a ready source of sediment during Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). The heavy sediment load from the glaciers affects the hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. Therefore, to understand the sediment delivery from glaciated basins, characteristics and variation of the suspended sediment concentrations in the proglacial meltwater stream, Dokriani Glacier, have been monitored during the ablation season (May– September). Suspended sediment samples were collected near the snout of Dokriani Glacier, Garhwal Himalaya, in 2010 and 2011. Results show that mean monthly suspended sediment concentrations (SSC) were 1499, 2303, 3845 and 1649 mg/l for the months June, July, August, and September, respectively, indicating highest concentration in August followed by July. Over the period of recording, daily mean suspended concentration in the melt stream varied from 13–9798.2 mg/l, which is very high, caused due to a flash flood event during the monitoring period. The mean daily suspended sediment concentration was computed to be 2196 mg/l. The suspended sediment concentration begins to increase with discharge from May and reduces in September. Present study provides TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) derived and field based hydro-meteorological insight about severe rainstorms during the years 2010 and 2011 in the study area, which transported large amounts of sediment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26748929

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  6. Thermochronologic constraints on the Miocene slip history of the South Tibetan detachment system in the Everest region, central Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, M.; Hodges, K. V.; Van Soest, M. C.; Wartho, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    North-dipping, low-angle normal faults of the South Tibetan detachment system (STDS) can be traced for a distance of more than 2000 km along strike and represent an important tectonic characteristic of the Miocene Himalayan-Tibetan orogenic system. Nowhere is the STDS better exposed than the N-S-trending Rongbuk Valley in southern Tibet, where it can be traced down dip from the summit of Everest for a distance of over 30 km before disappearing beneath the valley floor. This places a minimum constraint on Miocene displacement on the feature in this area, but some research groups have suggested ~200 km of displacement based on the difference in metamorphic pressures across the STDS and the very low (sillimanite gneisses and leucogranites. Data obtained thus far indicate relatively rapid cooling of the footwall after the intrusion of deformed leucogranites at ca. 16.7 Ma to muscovite 40Ar/39Ar closure temperatures (ca. 15.5-14.2 Ma) and zircon (U-Th)/He closure temperatures (ca. 14.5-11 Ma). We attribute this cooling to tectonic denudation related to ca. 16 Ma STDS slip. Although the (U-Th)/He systematics of apatites from these rocks is complex, our current interpretation of available data places cooling through the ca. 75˚C closure isotherm at ca. 8-9 Ma, which would suggest a significant reduction in cooling rate that is observed in our inverse model runs of the 1D program, HeFTy. Ongoing analyses of footwall samples from ~8 km to the north of our Rongbuk sample localities in the Ra Chu river valley will greatly strengthen our datasets. With the Ra Chu analyses, our datasets will constrain the cooling history of the footwall for more than 20 km perpendicular to the strike of the detachment. Our presentation will also incorporate results from the program Pecube that will contribute to our calculation of the slip rate by specifying the appropriate exhumation rate.

  7. Carbon sequestration in Chir-Pine (Pinus roxburghii Sarg.) forests un-der various disturbance levels in Kumaun Central Himalaya

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Harshit Pant; Ashish Tewari

    2014-01-01

    We studied variations in tree biomass and carbon sequestra-tion rates of Chir Pine (Pinus roxburghii. Sarg.) forest in three categories of forest disturbance, protected, moderately disturbed, and highly dis-turbed. In the first year, total biomass was 14.7 t⋅ha-1 in highly disturbed site, 94.46 t⋅ha-1 in moderately disturbed forest, and 112.0 t⋅ha-1 in pro-tected forest. The soil organic carbon in the top 20 cm of soil ranged from 0.63 to 1.2%. The total rate of carbon sequestration was 0.60 (t/ha)·a-1on the highly disturbed site, 1.03 (t/ha)·a-1 on the moderately disturbed site, and 4.3 (t/ha)·a-1 on the protected site.

  8. Effect of A Nitrogen-Fixing Actinorhizal Shrub on Herbaceous Vegetation in A Mixed Conifer Forest of Central Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiran Bargali

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we examined the effect of a nitrogen-fixing shrub Coriaria nepalensis Wall on herb species composition, diversity and biomass. The effect was measured in terms of species richness, diversity and biomass of herb species in three sites varying in Coriaria density viz. site 1 (low Coriaria density; 20 ha-1, site-2 (medium Coriaria density; 120 ha-1 and site-3 (high Coriaria density 190 ha-1. Species richness was minimum at Site-1 (16 species, and maximum at site-2 (27 species. G. aparine dominated site-1 and Arthraxon sp dominated site-2 and 3. The individual herb density ranged between 0.40 - 42.40 m-2, and total herb density ranged between 138- 170.4 m-2 and was maximum at site-2. Value for species richness (27 and Shannon Index (3.72 was highest for medium Coriaria density site and lowest for low Coriaria density site. Simpson Index ranged between 0.11 and 0.14 and was lowest for site-2(medium Coriaria density indicating that at this the dominance was shared by many species. Along the gradient of Coriaria density, maximum biomass was recorded at site-3 with highest Coriaria density and lowest at site-2 with medium Coriaria density. This may be due to the symbiotic nitrogen fixing ability of Coriaria that improve the habitat quality. The facilitative effect of C. nepalensis in terms of soil amelioration and herb growth can be used to regenerate degraded forest ecosystems.

  9. Tectonic implication of drainage set-up in the Sub-Himalaya: A case study of Papumpare district, Arunachal Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devi, R. K. Mrinalinee; Bhakuni, S. S.; Bora, Pabon Kumar

    2011-04-01

    The Sub-Himalaya, deformed between the Main Boundary Thrust and/or Bomdila Thrust towards north and the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) towards south, is characterized by the presence of fault-propagated folds and an imbricate thrust system. Along the HFT, the mountain front is offset for about 10 km sinistrally along a NW-SE trending transverse fault, the Banderdewa Fault, which runs through the Dikrang River valley that seems to have followed a pull-apart basin developed along the Banderdewa Fault. The western part of study area, associated with a major folding, faulting and the development of fault-bounded Quaternary basins with normal faulting along their northern margins, is interpreted to be tectonically more transported towards southeast than the eastern part where no Quaternary basins are developed. The channel forms and landforms have been studied in relation to the neotectonics of the area. The watersheds exhibit their structurally controlled nature, with drainages following tectonic alignments. Rivers/streams experienced compressed meandering, narrowing, widening and deflection of channels. Longitudinal profiles of river/stream channels exhibit knick points. Unpaired terraces are observed at higher levels. Factors like the unconsolidated Siwalik rocks, tectonic instability along faults and high rainfall with the advent of the Holocene, led to the development of the present-day drainage set-up. A tectonic model is proposed for development of tectonic geomorphology of the area influenced by ultra-tremor to low magnitude earthquakes in seismically very active northeastern India, as moderate to big earthquakes (M ≥ 6.0) are scarce in this region.

  10. Geometry and development of the Jhajara thrust: An example of neotectonic activity in the Pinjaur Dun, NW Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Vimal; Tandon, SK.; Singh, Vaibhava; Mukul, Malay; Thamó-Bozsó, Edit

    2008-01-01

    Mountain fronts of orogenic belts are marked by dynamic landscape changes under the influence of contemporary tectonic activity. Longitudinal valleys (locally called as Duns) constitute important landforms associated with some segments of the Himalayan mountain front. A neotectonic feature – the Jhajara thrust, has been identified in the Pinjaur Dun of NW Himalaya on the basis of structural mapping and tectonic geomorphological analysis. Optically stimulated luminescence dating on quartz sand...

  11. Temporal and spatial variations in erosion rate in the Sikkim Himalaya as a function of climate and tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrahami, Rachel; Huyghe, Pascale; van der Beek, Peter; Carcaillet, Julien

    2014-05-01

    The Tista River is a major tributary of the Brahmaputra drainage system (Eastern Himalaya). Its headwaters are located in the glaciated northernmost parts of the Sikkim and its catchment area amounts to more than 12,000 km2 including a depositional megafan (extending mostly in Bangladesh and West Bengal-India). The Tista has recently incised its megafan at the topographic front of the mountain range by about 30 meters. Neither the timing of deposition/incision of the megafan sediments, nor the erosion rates of the source areas as well as their potential relationships, have been investigated in detail. Comparing these data is essential to distinguish between a climatic and/or tectonic control of the evolution of the Sikkim Himalaya and piedmont. To constrain erosion rates in the hinterland at different temporal scales (respectively millenial and geological timescales), we report cosmogenic nuclide (10Be) and thermochronological (apatite fission-tracks) data on modern river sands. Results were mapped to evidence spatial variations of erosion/exhumation rates in the Tista catchment. Cosmogenic nuclides were also used to date the onset of incision of the megafan and relate it to potential changes in hinterland erosion. In addition, isotope geochemistry (ɛNd and 87Sr/86Sr) performed on modern river sands and Late-Quaternary megafan sediments allows characterizing the isotopic signature of the different source areas and constraining variations in provenance of the Tista megafan deposits through time in response to changing climatic conditions. Results show that the Tista fan deposits are mainly sourced from the High Himalayan Crystalline domain with excursions more influenced by the Lesser Himalaya domain. These data provide a new comprehensive view on modern erosion and long-term exhumation of the Sikkim Himalaya. This study of a "closed system" will help our knowledge and understanding of erosional processes and sediment fluxes in mountainous environments as a

  12. In situ fermentation dynamics during production of gundruk and khalpi, ethnic fermented vegetable products of the Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

    Tamang, Buddhiman; Tamang, Jyoti Prakash

    2010-01-01

    Gundruk is a fermented leafy vegetable and khalpi is a fermented cucumber product, prepared and consumed in the Himalayas. In situ fermentation dynamics during production of gundruk and khalpi was studied. Significant increase in population of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) was found during first few days of gundruk and khlapi fermentation, respectively. Gundruk fermentation was initiated by Lactobacillus brevis, Pediococcus pentosaceus and finally dominated by Lb. plantarum. Similarly in khalpi ...

  13. A comparison of different methods of evaluating glacier response characteristics: application to glacier AX010, Nepal Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Adhikari, S; Marshall, S. J.; Huybrechts, P.

    2009-01-01

    Himalayan glaciers are considered to be amongst the most sensitive glaciers to climate change. However, the response behaviour of these glaciers is not well understood. Here we use several approaches to estimate characteristic timescales of glacier AX010, a small valley glacier in the Nepal Himalaya, as a measure of glacier sensitivity. Assuming that temperature solely defines the mass budget, glacier AX010 waits for about 8 yr (r...

  14. Comparison of multiple glacier inventories with a new inventory derived from high-resolution ALOS imagery in the Bhutan Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    NAGAI, Hiroto; Fujita, Koji; Sakai,Akiko; Nuimura, Takayuki; Tadono, Takeo; 永井, 裕人; 藤田, 耕史; 坂井,亜規子; 縫村, 崇行; 田殿, 武雄

    2016-01-01

    Digital glacier inventories are invaluable data sets for revealing the characteristics of glacier distribution and for upscaling measurements from selected locations to entire mountain ranges. Here, we present a new inventory of Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) imagery and compare it with existing inventories for the Bhutan Himalaya. The new inventory contains 1583 glaciers (1487 plus or minus 235 sq km, km2), thereof 219 debris-covered glaciers (951 plus or minus 193 sq km, km2) and...

  15. Radon Monitoring in Soil Gas and Ground Water for Earthquake Prediction Studies in North West Himalayas, India

    OpenAIRE

    Surinder Singh; Arvind Kumar; Bikramjit Singh Bajwa; Sandeep Mahajan; Vinod Kumar; and Sunil Dhar

    2010-01-01

    Continuous monitoring of soil gas radon at Sarol and the daily monitoring of radon concentration in water at Banikhet is carried out in Chamba valley of North West Himalayas, India _ well known seismic _ to study the correlation of radon anomalies in relation to seismic activities of the region. Radon monitoring in soil gas was carried out by using Barasol probe manufactured by Algade France and the radon content in water was recorded using RAD7 radon monitoring system of Durridge Company, US...

  16. Brief Communication: Contending estimates of 2003–2008 glacier mass balance over the Pamir–Karakoram–Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Kääb, A.; D. Treichler; C. Nuth; Berthier, E.

    2015-01-01

    We present glacier thickness changes over the entire Pamir–Karakoram–Himalaya arc based on ICESat satellite altimetry data for 2003–2008. We highlight the importance of C-band penetration for studies based on the SRTM elevation model. This penetration seems to be of potentially larger magnitude and variability than previously assumed. The most negative rate of region-wide glacier elevation change (

  17. Quantitative Analysis of Tree Species Diversity in Different Oak (Quercus spp.) Dominated Forests in Garhwal Himalaya, India

    OpenAIRE

    Gajendra SINGH; Gopal S. RAWAT

    2012-01-01

    Himalayan broad-leaved forests are mainly dominated by oak (Quercus spp.) species. Oak species with other tree species provide numerous ecosystem services and serve as lifeline for local inhabitants. Overall tree diversity and their status in different oak dominated forests viz., Quercus leucotrichophora (1500-2200 m), Q. floribunda (2201-2700 m) and Q. semecarpifolia (2701-3300 m) were studied in Garhwal, Himalaya. A total of 54 tree species (40 genera) in Q. leucotrichophora, 43 tree specie...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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...

  20. Effect of Cooking on the Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid and Antioxidant Properties of Small Indigenous Fish Species of the Eastern Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

    Wahengbam Sarjubala Devi; Ch. Sarojnalini

    2014-01-01

    The effect of cooking method on the polyunsaturated fatty acid and antioxidant properties of small indigenous freshwater fish species, Amblypharyngodon mola and Puntius sophore of the Eastern Himalayas were determined. In the raw and fried samples, docosahexaenoic acid was significantly higher (2.907 and 1.167mg/100g) in Amblypharyngodon mola and lowest (0.749 and 0.291mg/100g) were recorded in Puntius sophore. The eicosapentaenoic acid of raw, fried and curried samples of Amb...

  1. A model study of the energy and mass balance of Chhota Shigri glacier in the Western Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Pithan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The impact of climate change on Himalaya mountain glaciers is increasingly subject of public and scientific debate. However, observational data are sparse and important knowledge gaps remain in the understanding of what drives changes in these glaciers' mass balances. The present study investigates the glacier regime on Chhota Shigri, a benchmark glacier for the observation of climate change in the monsoon-arid transition zone of Western Himalaya. Results of an energy-balance model driven by reanalysis data and the observed mass balances from three years on 50 m altitude intervals across the glacier display a correlation coefficient of 0.974. Contrary to prior assumptions, monsoon precipitation accounts for a quarter to a third of total accumulation. It has an additional importance because it lowers the surface albedo during the ablation season. Results confirm radiation as the main energy source for melt on Himalaya glaciers. Latent heat flux acts as an important energy sink in the pre-monsoon season. Mass balance is most sensitive to changes in atmospheric humidity, changing by 900 mm w.e. per 10% change in humidity. Temperature sensitivity is 220 mm w.e.K−1. Model results using 21st century anomalies from a regional climate model based on the SRES A2 scenario suggest that a monsoon increase might offset the effect of warming.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Earthquake hazard in northeast India – A seismic microzonation approach with typical case studies from Sikkim Himalaya and Guwahati city

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sankar Kumar Nath; Kiran Kumar Singh Thingbaijam; Abhishek Raj

    2008-11-01

    A comprehensive analytical as well as numerical treatment of seismological, geological, geomorphological and geotechnical concepts has been implemented through microzonation projects in the northeast Indian provinces of Sikkim Himalaya and Guwahati city, representing cases of contrasting geological backgrounds – a hilly terrain and a predominantly alluvial basin respectively. The estimated maximum earthquakes in the underlying seismic source zones, demarcated in the broad northeast Indian region, implicates scenario earthquakes of 8.3 and 8.7 to the respective study regions for deterministic seismic hazard assessments. The microzonation approach as undertaken in the present analyses involves multi-criteria seismic hazard evaluation through thematic integration of contributing factors. The geomorphological themes for Sikkim Himalaya include surface geology, soil cover, slope, rock outcrop and landslide integrated to achieve geological hazard distribution. Seismological themes, namely surface consistent peak ground acceleration and predominant frequency were, thereafter, overlaid on and added with the geological hazard distribution to obtain the seismic hazard microzonation map of the Sikkim Himalaya. On the other hand, the microzonation study of Guwahati city accounts for eight themes – geological and geomorphological, basement or bedrock, landuse, landslide, factor of safety for soil stability, shear wave velocity, predominant frequency, and surface consistent peak ground acceleration. The five broad qualitative hazard classifications – `low’, `moderate’, `high’, `moderate high’ and `very high’ could be applied in both the cases, albeit with different implications to peak ground acceleration variations. These developed hazard maps offer better representation of the local specific seismic hazard variation in the terrain.

  4. Large landslides lie low: Vertical domains of denudation processes in the arid Himalaya-Karakoram orogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blöthe, Jan Henrik

    2014-05-01

    Large bedrock landslides (defined here as affecting >0.1 km2 in planform area) are thought to substantially contribute to denuding active mountain belts, and limiting the growth of topographic relief produced by concurrent tectonic uplift and fluvial or glacial incision. While most research on large landslides has focused on tectonically active, humid mountain belts with varying degrees of rainstorm and earthquake activity, lesser attention has been devoted to arid mountain belts. Especially in the Himalaya, where high denudation rates are commonly associated with high landslide activity, previous work has largely ignored landslide processes in the arid compartments of the orogen. This was motivation for us to compile a landslide inventory covering the arid Himalaya-Karakoram of NW India and N Pakistan within the Indus catchment. Our data set contains 493 rock-slope failures that we compiled from published studies and mapping from remote sensing imagery. Using an empirical volume-area scaling approach we estimate the total landslide volume at >250 km3. This is more than thousand times the contemporary annual sediment load in the Indus River. We analyse the distribution of these volumetrically significant landslides with respect to the regional hypsometry, contemporary glacier cover, and the distribution of rock glaciers. We find that large bedrock landslides in the arid Himalaya-Karakoram region preferentially detach near or from below the study area's median elevation, while glaciers and rock glaciers occupy higher elevations almost exclusively. This trend holds true for both the study area and parts thereof. The largest and highest-lying landslides occur in the Karakoram mountains, where local relief exceeds 6 km, and >90% of the landslide areas lie below the region's median elevation. Our analysis reveals a hitherto unrecognized vertical layering of denudation processes, with landslides chiefly operating below the median elevation, whereas mass transport by

  5. Drainage migration and out of sequence thrusting in Bhalukpong, Western Arunachal Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sarkar, Sharmistha; Mathew, George; Pande, Kanchan; Phukon, Parag; Singhvi, Ashok Kumar

    2014-11-01

    In the foreland regions of the Western Arunachal Himalaya (WAH), geological studies along the Kameng river (between Tipi village and the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT)) reveal four levels of unpaired terraces and a paired terrace. In WAH, wrench deformation of HFT zone resulted in a SE propagation of the Balipara anticline and it is suggested that the Mikir high basement controls its orientation. Ages of terrace surfaces from Siwaliks suggest that since the Late Pleistocene, Kameng River migrated at a rate varying between ∼7.5 cm/yr in upper reaches and ∼13.5 cm/yr towards northeast due to HFT related uplift. In the Brahmaputra plains, luminescence ages of abandoned paleochannel deposits suggest eastward shifting of the Kameng river at an average rate of ∼1 m/yr. Field evidences between Bhalukpong and Tipi villages show Pliocene strath and Quaternary terrace surfaces, displaced by faults that do not correspond to the mapped faults in the foreland region. We interpret them as out-of-sequence thrusts (OOSTs). This is the first such report of OOST in the NE Himalaya. Presence of active OOST is inferred by similar age (∼1 ka) and differing incision rates of the surface of same terrace (T2b) in adjacent locations. This suggests that OOSTs in the western Arunachal Siwalik are <1 ka. Average slip rate and horizontal shortening rate on OOST during the Holocene, are calculated as ∼12 mm/yr and 7 mm/yr respectively. Thus any estimation of Holocene shortening in the Siwalik therefore, needs to incorporate slip along the OOSTs given that it accommodates a significant amount of N-S compression of the Himalayan fold-and-thrust belt. The reason for OOST in the WAH Siwalik foreland is discussed in terms of the critical wedge dynamics arising from erosion via tectonics-climate interaction. We estimate a minimum slip rate of Siwalik as ∼27 mm/yr during the Holocene and suggest acceleration in shortening rates east of Bhutan.

  6. The physical basis of enhanced temperature index ice melt parameterizations in the Nepal Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litt, Maxime; Shea, Joseph; Koch, Inka; Wagnon, Patrick

    2016-04-01

    Glacier melt is an important component of seasonal water flows in the Himalayas. Due to scarce data availability and computational convenience, most glaciological projections in the Himalayan region derive ice melt from temperature index (TI) or enhanced temperature index (ETI) parameterizations, which require only temperature and solar radiation as inputs. Still, the processes linking these variables to melt remain poorly documented under high-altitude climates, where the air is cold, and the main input is shortwave radiation. In this study, we question the physical basis of enhanced temperature index (ETI) melt parameterizations in the Nepal Himalayas. Using atmospheric weather station (AWS) installed on Yala glacier at 5090 m a.s.l and Mera glaciers at 6350 m a.s.l., we study the surface energy balance (SEB) during one melt season, i.e, the monsoon and surrounding weeks, in 2014. The SEB estimates provide insights into the atmospheric controls on the glaciers. We study the variability of correlation coefficients linking daily means of temperature, SEB and SEB components. On Yala at 5090 m a.s.l, energy inputs are high during the pre-monsoon due to low surface albedo and strong incoming solar radiation near the solstice, and melt is strong. The temperature correlates moderately with the SEB (R = 0.58) mainly through sublimation and net longwave radiation. During the monsoon snow deposition reduces the magnitude of net shortwave radiation, thus dampening the melt rates. Strong longwave emission from clouds compensates for the surface emission, and the correlation of temperature with the SEB, mainly explained through net shortwave radiation, decreases (R = 0.49). During the post-monsoon, high albedo, heat losses through sublimation and clear-skies favoring longwave losses at the surface lead to a near zero SEB, and reduced melt. Temperature correlates well with the SEB (R = 0.88) through net longwave radiation. On Mera at 6300 m a.s.l, high surface albedo and

  7. Preliminary assessment of active rock slope instabilities in the high Himalaya of Bhutan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dini, Benedetta; Manconi, Andrea; Leith, Kerry; Loew, Simon

    2016-04-01

    The small kingdom of Bhutan, nested between India and Tibet (between 88° and 92° east and 26° and 28° north), is characterised by markedly different landscapes and climatic zones. V-shaped, forest-covered valleys in the south, affected by the monsoonal rains, give gradually way to steep, barren slopes of U-shaped valleys in the drier north, host of the highest peaks, a large number of glaciers and glacial lakes. A transition zone of vegetated, elevated plateaus collects the towns in which most of the population lives. Landslides in the high Himalaya of Bhutan have not been extensively studied despite the primary and secondary hazards related to them. The regulations and restrictions to travel to and within Bhutan imposed by the government, as well as the extremely rugged terrain hinder the accessibility to remote slopes and valleys, both of which have resulted in lack of data and investigations. In this work, we aim at producing an inventory of large rock slope instabilities (> 1 million m3) across the high Himalaya of Bhutan, identifying types of failure, assessing the activity and analysing the distribution of landslides in combination with predisposing and preparatory factors, such as lithology, tectonic structures, hypsometry, deglaciation, fluvial erosive power and climate. At this stage, we rely on the information retrieved through satellite remote sensing data, i.e. medium and high resolution DEMs, optical images and space borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. An initial inventory was compiled based on the identification of geomorphological features associated with slope instabilities using the available Google Earth images. Moreover, we assessed the SAR data coverage and the expected geometrical distortions by assuming different sensors (ERS, Envisat, and ALOS Palsar-1). As we are mainly interested in detecting the surface deformation related to large unstable slopes by applying Differential SAR, we also computed the percentage of potentially

  8. Annual and seasonal mass balances of Chhota Shigri Glacier (benchmark glacier, Western Himalaya), India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandal, Arindan; Ramanathan, Alagappan; Farooq Azam, Mohd; Wagnon, Patrick; Vincent, Christian; Linda, Anurag; Sharma, Parmanand; Angchuk, Thupstan; Bahadur Singh, Virendra; Pottakkal, Jose George; Kumar, Naveen; Soheb, Mohd

    2015-04-01

    Several studies on Himalayan glaciers have been recently initiated as they are of particular interest in terms of future water supply, regional climate change and sea-level rise. In 2002, a long-term monitoring program was initiated on Chhota Shigri Glacier (15.7 square km, 9 km long, 6263-4050 m a.s.l.) located in Lahaul and Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. This glacier lies in the monsoon-arid transition zone (western Himalaya) and is a representative glacier in Lahaul and Spiti Valley. While annual mass balances have been measured continuously since 2002 using the glaciological method, seasonal scale observations began in 2009. The annual and seasonal mass balances were then analyzed along with meteorological conditions in order to understand the role of winter and summer balances on annual glacier-wide mass balance of Chhota Shigri glacier. During the period 2002-2013, the glacier experienced a negative glacier-wide mass balance of -0.59±0.40 m w.e. a-1 with a cumulative glaciological mass balance of -6.45 m w.e. Annual glacier-wide mass balances were negative except for four years (2004/05, 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11) where it was generally close to balanced conditions. Equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for steady state condition is calculated as 4950 m a.s.l. corresponding to an accumulation area ratio (AAR) of 62% using annual glacier-wide mass balance, ELA and AAR data between 2002 and 2013. The winter glacier-wide mass balance between 2009 and 2013 ranges from a maximum value of 1.38 m w.e. in 2009/10 to a minimum value of 0.89 in 2012/13 year whereas the summer glacier-wide mass balance varies from the highest value of -0.95 m w.e. in 2010/11 to the lowest value of -1.72 m w.e. in 2011/12 year. The mean vertical mass balance gradient between 2002 and 2013 was 0.66 m w.e. (100 m)-1 quite similar to Alps, Nepalese Himalayas etc. Over debris covered area, the gradients are highly variable with a negative mean value of -2.15 m w.e. (100 m)-1 over 2002

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Spatial Coupling Among Landslides, Geological Structures, Cataclinal Slopes, and Fluvial Knick Zones in Nepal Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojha, T. P.; DeCelles, P. G.

    2014-12-01

    This work aims to identify potential landslide hazard zones in the event of heavy precipitation and seismic activity by examining spatial relationships among existing landslides, earthquake epicenters, fault zones, cataclinal (dip) slopes, anaclinal (escarp) slopes, and river steepness index in the Nepal Himalaya. In order to understand this relationship we have mapped existing landslides on Google Earth images and ESRI base maps, assembled high-resolution digital topographic data by digitizing Nepal Government published topographic maps, and gathered geological data from detailed field mapping and compilation of published geological maps. Slope angle and aspect, and dip direction and angle were extracted from GIS-based digital topographical and geological datasets to develop the new slope maps with cataclinal (dip) and anaclinal (escarp) slope distributions. Longitudinal river profiles were also extracted from high resolution DEM's derived from manually digitized contours. The slope maps with cataclinal and anaclinal slope distributions, earthquake epicenters, major geological structures, longitudinal river profiles, and landslide inventories were visualized in ESRI ArcMap 10.2 to examine the spatial correlation among landslides, fault zones, cataclinal slopes and river steepness index. We have found that landslides are spatially correlated with cataclinal slopes and fluvial knick zones with high steepness index in certain thrust boundaries. The main finding of this work is that the topographic slope threshold alone is a crude measure of landslide susceptibility. The analysis of slope using the geometric relationship among topography and geological bedding is crucial for determining landslide susceptibility in the Himalayan region.

  13. Sackung and Rockslide Denudation In Baltoro, Braldu, and Shigar Areas, Karakoram Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shroder, J. J.; Bishop, M. P.

    2005-12-01

    In the K2 Project to investigate landform evolution in the Karakoram Himalaya, four major mass-movement complexes (Ghoro Choh rock avalanche complex, Busper sackung, Gomboro slope failure complex, Urdokas rockslide complex) were mapped and analyzed in summer 2005. The 3-4 km of local relief, coupled with steep slopes and high to intermediate magnitude and frequency, snow and rain storms, and freeze-thaw events there provide considerable potential-, gravitational-, thermal-, and kinetic-energy sources that drive the varied mass-movement processes. The products of these mass movements and other types are ubiquitous, including failure of entire massive slopes of crystalline rock (gneisses, metasediments, granites) to depths of hundreds of m, piling up considerable colluvial sediment depths on valley floors and sidewalls, causing river-damming inundations and catastrophic breakout floods, or forming the extensive supraglacial debris covers so characteristic of the glaciers of the region. The role of lithology, foliation, faulting, and jointing is important in controlling style and magnitude of failure, as well as glacial-erosion shear-strength reduction and downwasting-ice, valley-wall debuttressing, water and ice loading, and freeze and thaw.

  14. Geospatial tools for assessing land degradation in Budgam district, Kashmir Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Mehnaz Rashid; Mahjoor Ahmad Lone; Shakil Ahmad Romshoo

    2011-06-01

    Land degradation reduces the ability of the land to perform many biophysical and chemical functions. The main aim of this study was to determine the status of land degradation in the Budgam area of Kashmir Himalaya using remote sensing and geographic information system. The satellite data together with other geospatial datasets were used to quantify different categories of land degradation. The results were validated in the field and an accuracy of 85% was observed. Land use/land cover of the study area was determined in order to know the effect of land use on the rate of land degradation. Normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI) and slope of the area were determined using LANDSAT-enhanced thematic mapper plus (ETM+) data, advanced space-borne thermal emission and reflection radiometer, and digital elevation model along with other secondary data were analysed to create various thematic maps, viz., land use/land cover, geology, NDVI and slopes used in modelling land degradation in the Kashmir Himalayan region. The vegetation condition, elevation and land use/land cover information of the area were integrated to assess the land degradation scenario in the area using the ArcGIS ‘Spatial Analyst Module’. The results reveal that about 13.19% of the study area has undergone moderate to high degradation, whereas about 44.12% of the area has undergone slight degradation.

  15. Gender and climate change in the Indian Hindu-Kush Himalayas: global threats, local vulnerabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. V. Ogra

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  16. Seedling growth and survival of selected wild edible fruit species of the Sikkim Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundriyal, Manju; Sundriyal, R. C.

    2005-07-01

    In the Sikkim Himalaya, an enormous variety of wild growing plants are exploited at large scale for collection of their edible parts, of which six most prominently utilized fruit species (viz., Baccaurea sapida, Diploknema butyracea, Elaeagnus latifolia, Eriolobus indica, Machilus edulis and Spondias axillaris) were investigated. The growth of nursery raised seedlings was measured at 3 month intervals until two years old in terms of absolute growth rate (AGR), relative growth rate (RGR), net assimilation rate (NAR), leaf area ratio (LAR), leaf weight ratio (LWR), stem weight ratio (SWR), root weight ratio (RWR) and root-shoot ratio (RSR). Spondias axillaris and Machilus edulis had the maximum AGR, RGR, LAR and SWR among all species. LWR was highest for B. sapida. RGR, LAR and LWR declined with the age of seedlings. RGR was negatively correlated with NAR, SWR, RWR and RSR, though it showed a positive relationship with LAR. For all species, seedlings attained significant sizes after one year of age, and showed reasonable survival after transplantation into the farmers' fields. It is expected that information on the growth behaviour of these species would be useful while they are adopted into agroforestry systems. It is suggested that these species should be multiplied at large scale and distributed to the local inhabitants to reduce pressure on them in natural stands as well as provide economic benefit to the subsistence farmers.

  17. Atmospheric water budget over the western Himalayas in a regional climate model

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A P Dimri

    2012-08-01

    During winter months (December, January, February – DJF), the western Himalayas (WH) receive precipitation from eastward moving extratropical cyclones, called western disturbances (WDs) in Indian parlance. Winter precipitation–moisture convergence–evaporation (P–C–E) cycle is analyzed for a period of 22 years (1981–2002: 1980(D)–1981(J, F) to 2001(D)–2002(J, F)) with observed and modelled (RegCM3) climatological estimates over WH. Remarkable model skills have been observed in depicting the hydrological cycle over WH. Although precipitation biases exist, similar spatial precipitation with well marked two maxima is simulated by the model. As season advances, temporal distribution shows higher precipitation in simulation than the observed. However, P–C–E cycle shows similar peaks of moisture convergence and evaporation in daily climatologies though with varying maxima/minima. In the first half of winter, evaporation over WH is mainly driven by ground surface and 2 m air temperature. Lowest temperatures during mid-winter correspond to lowest evaporation to precipitation ratio as well.

  18. An environmental record of changes in sedimentary organic matter from Lake Sattal in Kumaun Himalayas, India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choudhary, Preetam [Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247667 (India); Routh, Joyanto [Department of Geology and Geochemistry, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm (Sweden)], E-mail: joyanto.routh@geo.su.se; Chakrapani, Govind J. [Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247667 (India)

    2009-04-01

    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 ({delta}{sup 13}C and {delta}{sup 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 ) {delta}{sup 15}N values imply N{sub 2}-fixation by cyanobacteria, and the decrease in {delta}{sup 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{sub 2} fixing cyanobacterial species to the N{sub 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 {delta}{sup 13}C (and possibly {delta}{sup 15}N) due to mineralization of organic C and N.

  19. Dynamic recrystallization mechanisms and their transition in the Daling Thrust (DT) zone, Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Biomass and diversity of dry alpine plant communities along altitudinal gradients in the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namgail, T.; Rawat, G.S.; Mishra, C.; van Wieren, S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    A non-linear relationship between phytodiversity and altitude has widely been reported, but the relationship between phytomass and altitude remains little understood. We examined the phytomass and diversity of vascular plants along altitudinal gradients on the dry alpine rangelands of Ladakh, western Himalaya. We used generalized linear and generalized additive models to assess the relationship between these vegetation parameters and altitude. We found a hump-shaped relationship between aboveground phytomass and altitude. We suspect that this is engendered by low rainfall and trampling/excessive grazing at lower slopes by domestic livestock, and low temperature and low nutrient levels at higher slopes. We also found a unimodal relationship between plant species-richness and altitude at a single mountain as well as at the scale of entire Ladakh. The species-richness at the single mountain peaked between 5,000 and 5,200 m, while it peaked between 3,500 and 4,000 m at entire Ladakh level. Perhaps biotic factors such as grazing and precipitation are, respectively, important in generating this pattern at the single mountain and entire Ladakh. ?? 2011 The Author(s).

  1. Study of natural radionuclide and absorbed gamma dose in Ukhimath area of Garhwal Himalaya, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rautela, B S; Yadav, M; Bourai, A A; Joshi, V; Gusain, G S; Ramola, R C

    2012-11-01

    Natural radiation is the largest contributor to the collective radiation dose of the world population. It is widely distributed in different geological formations such as soil, rocks, air and groundwater. In the present investigation, (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K were measured in soil samples of the Ukhimath region of Garhwal Himalaya, India using NaI(Tl) gamma-ray spectrometry. The activity concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclides (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K were found to vary from 38.4 ± 6.1 to 141.7 ± 11.9 Bq kg(-1) with an average of 80.5 Bq kg(-1), 57.0 ± 7.5 to 155.9 ± 12.4 Bq kg(-1) with an average of 118.9 Bq kg(-1) and 9.0 ± 3.0 to 672.8 ± 25.9 Bq kg(-1) with an average of 341 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The total absorbed gamma dose rate varies from 70.4 to 169.1 nGy h(-1) with an average of 123.4 nGy h(-1). This study is important to generate a baseline data of radiation exposure in the area. Health hazard effects due to natural radiation exposure are discussed in details. PMID:22908360

  2. Analysis of natural radionuclides in soil samples of Purola area of Garhwal Himalaya, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:25935014

  3. Seasonal Variation in Essential oil Composition of Artemisianilagirica var. septentrionalis from Foot Hills of Western Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Mountain Commons: Changing Space and Status at Community Levels in the Himalayas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Narpat S. JODHA

    2007-01-01

    This paper deals with the imperatives of nature-society interaction in the Himalayas as seen through CPR (Common Property Resources). It specifically looks at the process and factors that characterize the dynamics of the above interactions,with particular reference to the changing status and governance of CPRs at community levels. The paper puts together the synthesis of observations and inferences of different studies by ICIMOD and others in mountain regions, particularly in different parts of Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China and Pakistan. Rural CPRs (providing sustenance supplies and services)as an important component of a community's natural resource base, manifest the institutional arrangements evolved by the communities to facilitate their adaptations to nature.The above process can be more clearly illustrated with reference to specific characteristics of mountain areas,called mountain specificities.However, over time, the situation of CPRs in terms of their extent and status, governance and management as well as contributions to community sustenance, has changed. The paper attempts to indicate potential lead lines for searching options for rehabilitation of CPRs, based on a closer understanding of the factors contributing to their decline.

  5. Plant Species Diversity along an Altitudinal Gradient of Bhabha Valley in Western Himalaya

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Amit Chawla; S. Rajkumar; K.N. Singh; Brij Lal; R.D. Singh; A. K. Thukral

    2008-01-01

    The present study highlights the rich species diversity of higher plants in the Bhabha Valley of western Himalaya in India. The analysis of species diversity revealed that a total of 313 species of higher plants inhabit the valley with a charactersfic of moist alpine shrub vegetation. The herbaceous life forms dominate and increase with increasing altitude. The major representations are from the families Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Lamiaceae and Poaceae, suggesting thereby the alpine meadow nature of the study area. The effect of altitude on species diversity displays a hump-shaped curve which may be attributed to increase in habitat diversity at the median ranges and relatively less habitat diversity at higher altitudes. The anthropogenic pressure at lower altitudes results in low plant diversity towards the bottom of the valley with most of the species being exotic in nature. Though the plant diversity is less at higher altitudinal ranges, the uniqueness is relatively high with high species replacement rates. More than 90% of variability in the species diversity could be explained using appropriate quantitative and statistical analysis along the altitudinal gradient. The valley harbours 18 threatened and 41 endemic species, most of which occur at higher altitudinal gradients due to habitat specificity.

  6. Tourists’ Satisfaction at Trijuginarayan: An Emerging Spiritual and Adventure Tourist Destination in Garhwal Himalaya India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Local perceptions of climate change validated by scientific evidence in the Himalayas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, Pashupati; Bawa, Kamaljit S

    2011-10-23

    The Himalayas are assumed to be undergoing rapid climate change, with serious environmental, social and economic consequences for more than two billion people. However, data on the extent of climate change or its impact on the region are meagre. Based on local knowledge, we report perceived changes in climate and consequences of such changes for biodiversity and agriculture. Our analyses are based on 250 household interviews administered in 18 villages, and focused group discussions conducted in 10 additional villages in Darjeeling Hills, West Bengal, India and Ilam district of Nepal. There is a widespread feeling that weather is getting warmer, the water sources are drying up, the onset of summer and monsoon has advanced during last 10 years and there is less snow on mountains than before. Local perceptions of the impact of climate change on biodiversity included early budburst and flowering, new agricultural pests and weeds and appearance of mosquitoes. People at high altitudes appear more sensitive to climate change than those at low altitudes. Most local perceptions conform to scientific data. Local knowledge can be rapidly and efficiently gathered using systematic tools. Such knowledge can allow scientists to test specific hypotheses, and policy makers to design mitigation and adaptation strategies for climate change, especially in an extraordinarily important part of our world that is experiencing considerable change. PMID:21525050

  8. Natural Resource Conditions and Economic Development in the Uttaranchal Himalaya, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vishwambhar Prasad Sati

    2005-01-01

    Uttaranchal is bestowed with numerous rivers, huge forest resources ranging from tropical to temperate, tourists' places, pilgrimages and feasible climatic conditions for growing fruits, vegetables,food grains, livestock rearing, tea garden practices, etc.The economic development, on the other hand, could not take place partly due to lack of modern technology with innovation in agricultural system and also unwillingness of the people towards using it.Furthermore, due to its harsh climatic conditions,rigorous terrain and distinct identity, as a part of Uttar Pradesh state, the development could not take place and today the state is believed to be one of the poorer states. Infrastructurally, this region is lagged behind due to its inaccessibility. The ideal geographical and agrarian conditions might be used evenly for the developmental processes. Ecologically,the whole region is fragile. The diverse socio-economic activities, harsh traditional beliefs and hard working potentials further change the entire scenario of the state. Only the need of the hours is to frame and implementation of the rational policies and planning for sustainable development of the state.What had appeared during the past, pertaining to the economic development, needs radical changes in policies, planning and beliefs. This paper aims to evaluate the present conditions of resources as a form of natural vegetation, agricultural crops, horticultural farming, herbs, tea garden practices, livestock rearing,hydropower projects and economic development of the Uttaranchal Himalaya.

  9. Bioprospecting of plant growth promoting psychrotrophic Bacilli from the cold desert of north western Indian Himalayas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Ajar Nath; Sachan, Shashwati Ghosh; Verma, Priyanka; Saxena, Anil Kumar

    2016-02-01

    The plant growth promoting psychrotrophic Bacilli were investigated from different sites in north western Indian Himalayas. A total of 247 morphotypes were obtained from different soil and water samples and were grouped into 43 clusters based on 16S rDNA-RFLP analysis with three restriction endonucleases. Sequencing of representative isolates has revealed that these 43 Bacilli belonged to different species of 11 genera viz., Desemzia, Exiguobacterium, Jeotgalicoccus, Lysinibacillus, Paenibacillus, Planococcus, Pontibacillus, Sinobaca, Sporosarcina, Staphylococcus and Virgibacillus. With an aim to develop microbial inoculants that can perform efficiently at low temperatures, all representative isolates were screened for different plant growth promoting traits at low temperatures (5-15 degrees C). Among the strains, variations were observed for production (%) of indole-3-acetic acid (20), ammonia (19), siderophores (11), gibberellic acid (4) and hydrogen cyanide (2); solubilisation (%) of zinc (14), phosphate (13) and potassium (7); 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase activity (6%) and biocontrol activity (4%) against Rhizoctonia solani and Macrophomina phaseolina. Among all the strains, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus muralis, Desemzia incerta, Paenibacillus tylopili and Sporosarcina globispora were found to be potent candidates to be developed as inoculants as they exhibited multiple PGP traits at low temperature. PMID:26934782

  10. Diversity and regeneration status of Sarkot Van Panchyat in Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nazir A. Pala; A. K. Negi; Yogesh Gokhale; Jahangeer A. Bhat; N. P. Todaria

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the floristic composition,phytosociological and regeneration status of Sarkot Van Panchyat (community forest) in Chamoli district of Garhwal Himalaya.A total of 52 plant species of 46 genera and 26families were recorded,which included 12 trees,18 shrubs and 22 herb species.Quercus leucotrichophora was dominant tree species in sapling and seedling layers,followed by Lyonia ovalifolia and Rhododendron arboreum.Out of 12 tree species,7 species in seedling stage and 8 species in sapling stage were recorded in the study area.The 44.41% species in the study area showed good regeneration status,16.66% species were fairly regenerating,and 8.33% species showed poor regeneration status,while 33% species were not regenerating.Number of individuals from lower girth classes (0-10 cm and 10-30 cm) showed decreasing trend with the increase in size of girth class.Shannon index (H) for trees,shrubs and herbs was recorded as 1.82,2.24 and 2.41 respectively.Simpsons index (CD) was recorded as 0.21,0.12and 0.12 for trees,shrubs and herbs respectively.The forest should be divided into compartments for better management purpose and each compartment should be closed for five years to assist regeneration and enrichment planting may also be carried out for sustainable management.

  11. POPULATION STATUS ANDCONSERVATION PR IORITIZATION OF SOME THREATENED MEDICINAL PLANTS OF KASHMIR HIMALAYAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilal Ahmad Baig

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Himalaya is credited all over the world as a treasure ofmedicinal and aromatic plants, which in turn prove as treasures of bioactive agents. These medicinal plants taking refuge in the sub alpine and alpine zones are facing the brunt of varied threats. Strategies have been proposed by various environmentalists to conserve biodiversity at regional, national and global levels. Assessment of plant populations is one of the basic activities of conservation biology that can be mainly valuable for sustaining species with minor populations. In the present study, threat status of the 6 medicinal plant species (Arnebia benthamiI Wall. Ex G. Don, Meconopsis aculeate Royle, Rheum webbianum Royle, Aconitum heterophyllum Wallish Ex Royle, Podophyllum hexandrum Royle and Aquilegia fragrans Benth. have been assessed in accordance with IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria 2010 version 8.1 following Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional Levels 2003 version 3.0criteria. Out of 6 species, 2 were categorized as vulnerable, 3 species as endangered and 1 species as critically endangered. The three factors of over exploitation, overgrazing and habitat degradation have been known as main threats to the medicinal plants. Consequently, monitoring of population and habitats, development of conservative protocol and establishment of species in-situ conditions has been proposed.

  12. Fluvial trace fossils in the Middle Siwalik (Sarmatian-Pontian) of Darjeeling Himalayas, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abhijit Chakraborty; Stephen T Hasiotis; Bhaskar Ghosh; Harendra Nath Bhattacharya

    2013-08-01

    Trace fossils that record animal and plant activity are described for the first time from the Middle Siwalik, Neogene deposits of Darjeeling Himalaya. Sedimentary facies association attests to a channel–interchannel floodplain fluviatile setting. The intimate association of the burrows with phytoliths, rhizoliths, leaf compressions and coal lenses suggest that the tracemakers dominated a floodplain habitat. Point bar deposits host a low diversity Planolites-Naktodemasis-Macanopsis-Cylindricum equilibrium ichnocoenosis in the heterolithic fine sandstone-siltstone-shale facies that alternates with dense, monospecific colonization of Planolites as opportunistic pioneers relocating under stressed condition. Interlayered floodplain deposits in the fluvial successions preserve enigmatic large diameter, vertical tubes within thin to thick-bedded, dark silty shale facies. These tubes bear mixed characters assignable to both crayfish burrows and large-diameter rhizoliths. Further work on these tubes is necessary to make more accurate interpretations of those structures. Shallow to moderate burrow depths; intermittent, short-lived colonization events and preservation of rhizoliths and rhizohalos under fluctuating moisture content indicate short-term fluctuations of a relatively high water table (close to the paleosurface) in an imperfectly drained proximal floodplain setting. Ichnotaxa distribution and their inferred ethology provide significant faunal data that may put constraints on the reconstruction of Middle Siwalik depositional environment.

  13. ECOLOGICAL STATUS AND IMPACT OF DISTURBANCE IN AN ALPINE PASTURE OF GARHWAL HIMALAYA, INDIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Primary Production Dynamics of Two Dominant Macrophytes in Wular Lake, a Ramsar Site in Kashmir Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. The cost of carbon abatement through community forest management in Nepal Himalaya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

  17. ASTER based velocity profile of glaciers in the Nanga Parbat region, western Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkes, A. T.; Haritashya, U. K.

    2011-12-01

    Glaciers, in general, are highly sensitive to climate fluctuations making them important indicators of climate change. Overall, lack of data on this region is troubling for the amount of hydrological importance and climatic forecasts these glaciers hold. Therefore, this study aims to measure glacier velocity on selected glaciers using cross-correlation techniques. One of the main problems with determining the amount of loss or perhaps gain in glacier mass is determining their velocity. The Himalayan glaciers are inaccessible in most areas and field measurements can be impossible, which creates a problem when determining the velocity of glaciers. Consequently, we generated velocity profiles of glaciers in the Nanga Parbat region of the western Himalaya using 2009 and 2010 ASTER satellite data. Our glacier fluctuation study have shown oscillating behavior of these glaciers; however, our preliminary velocity result indicates high velocity on most of these glaciers. These results are the first ever velocity profile generated for this region and would be able to help understand glacier dynamics in a much more comprehensive manner.

  18. Decentralisation and Water Resources Management in the Indian Himalayas: The Contribution of New Institutional Theories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Biodiversity Conservation through Traditional Beliefs System: A Case Study from Kumaon Himalayas, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. Multifractal analysis of earthquakes in Kumaun Himalaya and its surrounding region

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    P N S Roy; S K Mondal

    2012-08-01

    Himalayan seismicity is related to continuing northward convergence of Indian plate against Eurasian plate. Earthquakes in this region are mainly caused due to release of elastic strain energy. The Himalayan region can be attributed to highly complex geodynamic process and therefore is best suited for multifractal seismicity analysis. Fractal analysis of earthquakes (mb ≥ 3.5) occurred during 1973–2008 led to the detection of a clustering pattern in the narrow time span. This clustering was identified in three windows of 50 events each having low spatial correlation fractal dimension () value 0.836, 0.946 and 0.285 which were mainly during the span of 1998 to 2005. This clustering may be considered as an indication of a highly stressed region. The Guttenberg Richter -value was determined for the same subsets considered for the estimation. Based on the fractal clustering pattern of events, we conclude that the clustered events are indicative of a highly stressed region of weak zone from where the rupture propagation eventually may nucleate as a strong earthquake. Multifractal analysis gave some understanding of the heterogeneity of fractal structure of the seismicity and existence of complex interconnected structure of the Himalayan thrust systems. The present analysis indicates an impending strong earthquake, which might help in better hazard mitigation for the Kumaun Himalaya and its surrounding region.

  1. Selecting and weighting spatial predictors for empirical modeling of landslide susceptibility in the Darjeeling Himalayas (India)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Saibal; Carranza, Emmanuel John M.; van Westen, Cees J.; Jetten, Victor G.; Bhattacharya, Dipendra N.

    2011-08-01

    In this paper, we created predictive models for assessing the susceptibility to shallow translational rocksliding and debris sliding in the Darjeeling Himalayas (India) by empirically selecting and weighting spatial predictors of landslides. We demonstrate a two-stage methodology: (1) quantifying associations of individual spatial factors with landslides of different types using bivariate analysis to select predictors; and (2) pairwise comparisons of the quantified associations using an analytical hierarchy process to assign predictor weights. We integrate the weighted spatial predictors through multi-class index overlay to derive predictive models of landslide susceptibility. The resultant model for shallow translational landsliding based on selected and weighted predictors outperforms those based on all weighted predictors or selected and unweighted predictors. Therefore, spatial factors with negative associations with landslides and unweighted predictors are ineffective in predictive modeling of landslide susceptibility. We also applied logistic regression to model landslide susceptibility, but some of the selected predictors are less realistic than those from our methodology, and our methodology gives better prediction rates. Although previous predictive models of landslide susceptibility indicate that multivariate analyses are superior to bivariate analyses, we demonstrate the benefit of the proposed methodology including bivariate analyses.

  2. Evaluation of Future Precipitation Scenario Using Statistical Downscaling MODEL over Three Climatic Region of Nepal Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigdel, M.

    2014-12-01

    Statistical downscaling model (SDSM) was applied in downscaling precipitation in the three climatic regions such as humid, sub-humid and arid region of Nepal Himalaya. The study includes the calibration of the SDSM model by using large-scale atmospheric variables encompassing NCEP reanalysis data, the validation of the model and the outputs of downscaled scenarios A2 (high green house gases emission) and B2 (low green house gases emission) of the HadCM3 model for the future. Under both scenarios H3A2 and H3B2, during the prediction period of 2010-2099, the change of annual mean precipitation in the three climatic regions would present a tendency of surplus of precipitation as compared to the mean values of the base period. On the average for all three climatic regions of Nepal the annual mean precipitation would increase by about 13.75% under scenario H3A2 and increase near about 11.68% under scenario H3B2 in the 2050s. For the 2080s there would be increase of 8.28% and 13.30% under H3A2 and H3B2 respectively compared to the base period.

  3. Fluvial trace fossils in the Middle Siwalik (Sarmatian-Pontian) of Darjeeling Himalayas, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Abhijit; Hasiotis, Stephen T.; Ghosh, Bhaskar; Bhattacharya, Harendra Nath

    2013-08-01

    Trace fossils that record animal and plant activity are described for the first time from the Middle Siwalik, Neogene deposits of Darjeeling Himalaya. Sedimentary facies association attests to a channel-interchannel floodplain fluviatile setting. The intimate association of the burrows with phytoliths, rhizoliths, leaf compressions and coal lenses suggest that the tracemakers dominated a floodplain habitat. Point bar deposits host a low diversity Planolites-Naktodemasis-Macanopsis-Cylindricum equilibrium ichnocoenosis in the heterolithic fine sandstone-siltstone-shale facies that alternates with dense, monospecific colonization of Planolites as opportunistic pioneers relocating under stressed condition. Interlayered floodplain deposits in the fluvial successions preserve enigmatic large diameter, vertical tubes within thin to thick-bedded, dark silty shale facies. These tubes bear mixed characters assignable to both crayfish burrows and large-diameter rhizoliths. Further work on these tubes is necessary to make more accurate interpretations of those structures. Shallow to moderate burrow depths; intermittent, short-lived colonization events and preservation of rhizoliths and rhizohalos under fluctuating moisture content indicate short-term fluctuations of a relatively high water table (close to the paleosurface) in an imperfectly drained proximal floodplain setting. Ichnotaxa distribution and their inferred ethology provide significant faunal data that may put constraints on the reconstruction of Middle Siwalik depositional environment.

  4. An assessment of the FlowCapt acoustic sensor for measuring snowdrift in the Indian Himalayas

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R K Das; P Datt; A Acharya

    2012-12-01

    Wind caused snow drifting plays a dominant role in the redistribution of snow mass that restructures a snowpack. Strong wind activity at the mountain tops results in uneven distribution of snow with erosion on windward side and deposition on leeward areas. Such snowdrift events are responsible for the formation of cornices, increase in the loading of avalanche release zones on the leeward side and consequent increase in the level of avalanche hazard. In this paper, we present the results of snowdrift measurement using an acoustic snow-drift meter, the FlowCapt, built by IAV Engineering, which was used during winter seasons of 2007–2010 at a field research station of Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) in the western Himalayas. The aim of the study was to evaluate the suitability of the instrument in measuring snowdrift in the Himalayan weather conditions. Results proved the utility of the instrument as a useful tool to study drifting snow in remote areas. However, in the absence of conventional snow gauges for validation, the quality of the absolute snow flux data could not be ascertained.

  5. Deformation mechanisms in the frontal Lesser Himalayan Duplex in Sikkim Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abdul Matin; Sweety Mazumdar

    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.

  6. Estimation of snow cover distribution in Beas basin, Indian Himalaya using satellite data and ground measurements

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    H S Negi; A V Kulkarni; B S Semwal

    2009-10-01

    In the present paper,a methodology has been developed for the mapping of snow cover in Beas basin,Indian Himalaya using AWiFS (IRS-P6)satellite data.The complexities in the mapping of snow cover in the study area are snow under vegetation,contaminated snow and patchy snow. To overcome these problems,field measurements using spectroradiometer were carried out and reflectance/snow indices trend were studied.By evaluation and validation of different topographic correction models,it was observed that,the normalized difference snow index (NDSI)values remain constant with the variations in slope and aspect and thus NDSI can take care of topography effects.Different snow cover mapping methods using snow indices are compared to find the suitable mapping technique.The proposed methodology for snow cover mapping uses the NDSI (estimated using planetary re flectance),NIR band reflectance and forest/vegetation cover information.The satellite estimated snow or non-snow pixel information using proposed methodology was validated with the snow cover information collected at three observatory locations and it was found that the algorithm classify all the sample points correctly,once that pixel is cloud free.The snow cover distribution was estimated using one year (2004 –05)cloud free satellite data and good correlation was observed between increase/decrease areal extent of seasonal snow cover and ground observed fresh snowfall and standing snow data.

  7. Fuelwood consumption pattern at different altitudes in rural areas of Garhwal Himalaya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

  8. Metabolic responses during initial days of altitude acclimatization in the Eastern Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, C. K.; Gautam, R. K.; Sharma, R. P.; Kumar, H.; Tomar, O. S.; Sawhney, R. C.; Selvamurthy, W.

    1996-09-01

    The study was carried out on 16 men (aged 20 30 years) to evaluate daily metabolic responses during the early phase of altitude acclimatization at moderate altitudes between 3100 and 4200 m in the Eastern Himalayas. Resting (R) and submaximal exercise (E) oxygen consumption (| VO2) at 100 W at sea level (SL) were 3.25 (SEM 0.15) and 20.31 (SEM 0.77) ml/kg per min respectively. On day 1 at 3110 m both R and E | VO2 decreased ( Paltitudes. Pulmonary ventilation (|VE) increased consistently ( Paltitude. The arterial oxygen saturation ( S a O2) at different altitudes was lower ( Paltitude; the values at 3110 and 3445 m were significantly lower ( PBlood pressure (BP) increased ( Paltitude. The systolic BP tended to decline towards SL values but the diastolic BP remained high ( Pblood lactic acid concentration, [ la -] bl , showed a decline ( Paltitude of 3445 m can be safely avoided where rapid ascent to higher altitude is required.

  9. Resource use pattern and agroecosystem functioning in Rawanganga micro-watershed in Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagendra Prasad Todaria

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Agro-ecological resource use pattern in a traditional hill agricultural watershed in Garhwal Himalaya was analysed along an altitudinal transect. Thirty one food crops were found, although only 0.5% agriculture land is under irrigation in the area. Fifteen different tree species within agroforestry systems were located and their density varied from 30-90 trees/ha. Grain yield, fodder from agroforest trees and crop residue were observed to be highest between 1200 and 1600 m a.s.l. Also the annual energy input- output ratio per hectare was highest between 1200 and 1600 m a.s.l. (1.46.This higher input- output ratio between 1200-1600 m a.s.l. was attributed to the fact that green fodder, obtained from agroforestry trees, was considered as farm produce. The energy budget across altitudinal zones revealed 95% contribution of the farmyard manure and the maximum output was in terms of either crop residue (35% or fodder (55% from the agroforestry component. Presently on average 23%, 29% and 41% cattle were dependent on stall feeding in villages located at higher, lower and middle altitudes respectively. Similarly, fuel wood consumption was greatly influenced by altitude and family size. The efficiency and sustainability of the hill agroecosystem can be restored by strengthening of the agroforestry component. The approach will be appreciated by the local communities and will readily find their acceptance and can ensure their effective participation in the programme.

  10. Evolution of earthquake-triggered landslides in the Kashmir Himalaya, northern Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Multiple sources of magmatism. granitoids from southeast Kohistan, NW Himalayas, Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  12. Multiple sources of magmatism: granitoids from southeast kohistan, nw himalayas Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  13. Study of natural radionuclide and absorbed gamma dose in Ukhimath area of Garhwal Himalaya (India))

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natural radiation is the largest contributor to the collective radiation dose of the world population. It is widely distributed in different geological formations such as soil, rocks, air and groundwater. In the present investigation, 226Ra, 232Th and 40K were measured in soil samples of the Ukhimath region of Garhwal Himalaya (India)) using NaI(Tl) gamma-ray spectrometry. The activity concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclides 226Ra, 232Th and 40K were found to vary from 38.4±6.1 to 141.7±11.9 Bq kg-1 with an average of 80.5 Bq kg-1, 57.0±7.5 to 155.9±12.4 Bq kg-1 with an average of 118.9 Bq kg-1 and 9.0±3.0 to 672.8±25.9 Bq kg-1 with an average of 341 Bq kg-1, respectively. The total absorbed gamma dose rate varies from 70.4 to 169.1 nGy h-1 with an average of 123.4 nGy h-1. This study is important to generate a baseline data of radiation exposure in the area. Health hazard effects due to natural radiation exposure are discussed in details. (authors)

  14. Gender and climate change in the Indian Hindu-Kush Himalayas: global threats, local vulnerabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Radon generation and decay from soil and groundwater of Budhakedar, Garhwal Himalaya, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radon in the atmosphere is considered to be the most important contributor to the health risk. It comes from the top few meter of the ground. Diffusion of radon through soil is strongly affected by the degree of water saturation of the soil pores. The Rn emanation power of soil samples are reported in Budhakedar area of Garhwal Himalaya India. The formulations are applied to the experimentally measured radon data for soil from the study regions. The estimated rate of generation and decay of radon in Budhakedar area range from 6.8 x 10-5 Bq m-3s-1 to 89.9 x 10-5 Bq.m-3s-1 and 1.4 x 10-5 Bq.m-3s-1 to 42.9 x 10-5 Bq.m-3s-1, respectively. The quantity of radon present in soil or in groundwater depends directly on trace concentration of radium in the earth's crust. It is observed that the total generated radon in soil of the earth crust is more than the decay of radon in the same medium. The generation and decay of radon can be described with the traditional single phase diffusion advection equation. Generated radon values are validated with the radon emanation rate measured by plastic track detector (LR-115 type II) technique for two different seasons of a year. (author)

  16. Can grass phytoliths and indices be relied on during vegetation and climate interpretations in the eastern Himalayas? Studies from Darjeeling and Arunachal Pradesh, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Oindrila; Ghosh, Ruby; Paruya, Dipak Kumar; Mukherjee, Biswajit; Thapa, Kishore Kumar; Bera, Subir

    2016-02-01

    While documenting the vegetation response to climatic changes in mountains, the use of grass phytolith data relies on the ability of phytolith assemblages or indices to differentiate the elevationally stratified vegetation zones. To infer the potential and limitations of grass phytolith assemblages and indices to reconstruct vegetation vis-à-vis climate in the Himalayan mountain regions, we analyzed phytolith assemblages from 66 dominant grasses and 153 surface soils from four different forest types along the c. 130-4000 m a.s.l. elevation gradients in the Darjeeling and Arunachal Himalayas. Grass short cell phytolith assemblages from modern grasses show significant variability with rising elevation. To test the reliability of the above observation, phytoliths from the soil samples were subjected to linear discriminant analysis (DA). DA classified 85.3% and 92.3% of the sites to their correct forest zones in the Darjeeling and Arunachal Himalayas respectively. Relative abundance of bilobate, cross, short saddle, plateau saddle, rondel and trapeziform types allow discrimination of the phytolith assemblage along the elevation gradient. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) on the soil phytolith data further revealed their relationships with the climatic variables. Temperature and evapotranspiration were found to be the most influential for differential distribution of grass phytolith assemblages with rising elevation in the eastern Himalayas. We also tested the reliability of phytolith indices (Ic, Iph and Fs) for tracing the dominance of different grass subfamilies in the eastern Himalayas. Ic proved to be most reliable in discriminating C3/C4 grass along the elevation gradient while Iph and Fs proved to be less reliable. We observed that in the monsoon dominated eastern Himalayas, a little adjustment in Ic index may enhance the accuracy of interpretations. In future studies more precise identification of phytolith sub-types from additional sites in the eastern

  17. Missing (in-situ) snow cover data hampers climate change and runoff studies in the Greater Himalayas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:24268383

  18. Impact of climate change on human-wildlife-ecosystem interactions in the Trans-Himalaya region of Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aryal, Achyut; Brunton, Dianne; Raubenheimer, David

    2014-02-01

    The Trans-Himalaya region boasts an immense biodiversity which includes several threatened species and supports the livelihood of local human populations. Our aim in this study was to evaluate the impact of recent climate change on the biodiversity and human inhabitants of the upper Mustang region of the Trans-Himalaya, Nepal. We found that the average annual temperature in the upper Mustang region has increased by 0.13 °C per year over the last 23 years; a higher annual temperature increase than experienced in other parts of Himalaya. A predictive model suggested that the mean annual temperature will double by 2161 to reach 20 °C in the upper Mustang region. The combined effects of increased temperature and diminished snowfall have resulted in a reduction in the area of land suitable for agriculture. Most seriously affected are Samjung village (at 4,100 m altitude) and Dhey village (at 3,800 m) in upper Mustang, where villagers have been forced to relocate to an area with better water availability. Concurrent with the recent change in climate, there have been substantial changes in vegetation communities. Between 1979 and 2009, grasslands and forests in the Mustang district have diminished by 11 and 42 %, respectively, with the tree line having shifted towards higher elevation. Further, grasses and many shrub species are no longer found in abundance at higher elevations and consequently blue sheep ( Pseduois nayaur) move to forage at lower elevations where they encounter and raid human crops. The movement of blue sheep attracts snow leopard ( Panthera uncia) from their higher-elevation habitats to lower sites, where they encounter and depredate livestock. Increased crop raiding by blue sheep and depredations of livestock by snow leopard have impacted adversely on the livelihoods of local people.

  19. Enhanced Surface Warming and Accelerated Snow Melt in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau Induced by Absorbing Aerosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Hazard Assessment of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood and Potential of ICTs for Coping: A Case of Eastern Himalaya of Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattarai, D. R.

    2015-12-01

    Retreat of glaciers and formation of glacial lakes in Nepal Himalaya have been reported to be related with the temperature rise in the region. Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) are the growing climate induced hazards in the Himalaya. GLOF has increased the vulnerability of community and fragile ecosystem in the mountain valleys. This study has analyzed the potential impacts from GLOF in the highland of eastern Nepal and the potential role of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) to cope with such impacts. I analyzed the trend of climatic pattern (temperature and precipitation) of the Eastern Himalaya Region of Nepal available from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Government of Nepal, and prepared the latest location map of the glacial lakes using google earth and ArcGIS applications in the highland of the Kanchanjungha Conservation Area of the region. Tiptala glacial lake, located at an elevation of 4950 m, within the conservation area, was selected for the GLOF hazard assessment. I used semi-structured questionnaire survey and key informants' interviews in the community in order to assess the potential hazard of GLOF. With the varying sizes, 46 glacial lakes were located in the region, which covers over 2.57 sq. km in total. Though the larger portion of the downstream area of the Tiptala glacial lake fall in the remote location away from major residential area, few villages, major pasture lands for Yaks, foot trails, and several bridges across the Tamor River below the lake are in risk of GLOF. Poor access due to extreme geographical remoteness and capacity to afford the modern technologies in the community are the major limiting factor to the knowledge and information about the climate change and related impacts. Modern ICTs has high potential to reduce the risk of climate related hazards in the remote area by information dissemination and awareness.

  1. Enhanced surface warming and accelerated snow melt in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau induced by absorbing aerosols

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  2. K/Ar hornblende ages from the higher Himalaya: implications for India-Asia collision and Himalayan metamorphosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. Foreland out-of Sequence thrusting and rapid Pleistocene exhumation of Higher Himalayan crustal rocks in the Western Arunachal Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathew, G.; De Sarkar, S.; Pande, K.

    2012-04-01

    The Siwaliks foreland in the western part of Arunachal Himalaya reveal that the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) related uplift in the foreland resulted in abandonment of the Kameng River initially, and it later migrated parallel to the uplift. The HFT related uplift commenced from west and slowly propagated towards east during Late Pleistocene to Mid Holocene. For the first time, evidences of out-of-sequence thrusts (OOSTs) have been observed from the NE Himalaya that falls outside the Higher Himalaya. The OOST is argued as a result of precipitation related pronounced focused erosion of the Siwaliks, leading the wedge to a sub-critical state. This resulted in the initiation of the frontal wedge to grow its topography by means of the OOSTs to attain a critical state. Apatite Fission Track (AFT) investigation of the metamorphic crustal rocks from the Higher Himalaya reveal two phases of rapid exhumation. The first phase indicates an exhumation rate of 0.44 mm/yr, while the second rapid phase shows 3.62 mm/yr for the high grade gneisses and migmatites. The second phase samples have been collected from deeply incised 1.5 km valley. Four samples at 400m intervals along the vertical face of the valley show close AFT cooling ages of 1.0 ± 0.2 Ma. The cooling ages thus indicate rapid exhumation of the lower ~ 1.5 km crustal rocks in this valley region. We envisage that the wide spread glaciation during Pleistocene acted as an efficient eroding agent to remove cover rocks. Land sliding and efficient removal of the eroded materials by the river in the valley and incision further aided the mass removal from the region. The deep river incision and removal of material by rapid erosion have driven the hot lower-mid crustal ductile material towards the weak valley zone. Focused and effective erosion steepens the local geothermal gradient concentrating the hot material flow towards the weak zone, and as thus a positive feedback mechanism of rapid exhumation of topography occurred

  4. Comparison of multiple glacier inventories with a new inventory derived from high-resolution ALOS imagery in the Bhutan Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Nagai, H.; Fujita, K; Sakai, A.; T. Nuimura; Tadono, T.

    2016-01-01

    Digital glacier inventories are invaluable data sets for revealing the characteristics of glacier distribution and for upscaling measurements from selected locations to entire mountain ranges. Here, we present a new inventory of Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) imagery and compare it with existing inventories for the Bhutan Himalaya. The new inventory contains 1583 glaciers (1487 ± 235 km2), thereof 219 debris-covered glaciers (951 ± 193 km2) and 1364 debris-free gla...

  5. From self-sufficiency to dependence on imported food-grain in Leh District (Ladakh, Indian Trans-Himalaya)

    OpenAIRE

    Vladimiro Pelliciardi

    2013-01-01

    For many centuries the population of Ladakh (Indian Trans-Himalaya) has led a self-reliant existence mainly based upon subsistence agriculture (self-sufficient in food-grainproduction), pastoralism and caravan trade. Since several decades, Leh District, a part ofLadakh, whose population is doubled from about 70000 in 1981 to 145000 in 2011, is nomore self-sufficient in food-grain production. To overcome the demand-supply imbalancea large quantity of rice and flour wheat is imported every year...

  6. Incidence of Cold Injury and Effects of Reduced Air Pressure in High Altitude Areas of the Himalayas

    OpenAIRE

    B. D. Varma

    1984-01-01

    Data covering the three-year period, 1981-1984, from the forward area hospitals, receiving patients from units operating in high altitude areas of the Himalaya reveal an average admission of 247 and 171 cases of cold injury and effects of reduced air pressure respectively. Chillblain was the commonest (85.8%) form of cold injury and high altitude pulmonary oedema the commonest (76.2%) clinical syndrome in the hopoxia group. In both groups, the disease was mild in 61 per cent cases and severe ...

  7. Reconstruction of the Ice Age Glaciation in the Southern Slopes of Mt. Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse and Makalu (Himalaya) (Part 1)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Matthias Kuhle

    2006-01-01

    In the Khumbu- and Khumbakarna Himalaya an ice stream network and valley glacier system has been reconstructed for the last glacial 18 Ka BP, Stage o) with glaciogeomorphological and sedimentological methods. It was a part of the glacier system of the Himalaya and has communicated across transfluence passes with the neighbouring ice stream networks toward the W and E. The ice stream network has also received inflow from the N, from a Tibetan ice stream network, by the Kyetrak-Nangpa-Bote Koshi Drangka (Valley) in the W, by the W-Rongbuk glacier valley into the Ngozumpa Drangka (Valley), by the Central Rongbuk glacier valley into the Khumbu Drangka (Valley) and by the antecedent Arun Nadi transverse-valley in the E of the investigation area.The ice thickness of the valley glacier sections, the surface of which was situated above the snow-line,amounted to 1000~1450 m. The most extended parent valley glaciers have been measured approx. 70 km in length (Dudh Koshi glacier), 67 km (BarunArun glacier) and 80 km (Arun glacier). The tongue end of the Arun glacier has flowed down to c. 500 m and that of the Dudh Koshi glacier to c. 900 m asl. At heights of the catchment areas of 8481 (or 8475) m (Makalu), i.e., 8848 (or 8872) m (Mt. Everest,Sagarmatha, Chogolungma) this is a vertical distance of the Ice Age glaciation of c. 8000 m. The steep faces 6000~7000 m-high surfaces of the ice stream network were located 2000~5000 m above the ELA.Accordingly, their temperatures were so low, that their rock surfaces were free of flank ice and ice balconies. From the maximum past glacier extension up to the current glacier margins, 13 (altogether 14)glacier stages have been differentiated and in part 14C-dated. They were four glacier stages of the late glacial period, three of the neoglacial period and six of the historical period. By means of 130 medium-sized valley glaciers the corresponding ELA-depressions have been calculated in comparison with the current courses of the

  8. Glacier sensitivity to climate change in the Nepalese Himalaya quantified using higher-order modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowan, A. V.; Egholm, D. L.; Glasser, N. F.; Quincey, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies of glaciers in the eastern Himalaya have identified rapid changes in ice volume with small changes in climate indicating that these glaciers are highly sensitive to primary climate variables (e.g. daily variations in air temperature and monsoon precipitation). However, quantifying Himalayan glacier sensitivity to climate change is challenging due to: (1) a lack of information about how glaciological and geomorphological factors influence the balance of large debris-covered glaciers; (2) the local modification of meteorological variables by the interaction of high topography with regional atmospheric circulation systems; and (3) the simple representation of ice dynamics in many numerical glacier models which limits their usefulness in regions with steep terrain. To quantify the sensitivity of Himalayan glaciers to climate change we apply the integrated second-order shallow ice approximation (iSOSIA) [Egholm et al. 2011, Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface] to large debris-covered glaciers on the southern slopes of Mt. Everest in the Khumbu Himal, Nepal. iSOSIA considers both the longitudinal and transverse stresses that drive mountain glacier flow in regions with steep terrain--a more suitable approach for Himalayan glaciers than those models based on approximations developed for shallow ice sheets. We apply iSOSIA at a 100-m resolution on a regular grid using a daily timestep to Nepalese glaciers including Khumbu, Ngozumpa and Lhotse. Our mass balance model development has focused on the dynamic representation of snow avalanching onto the glacier surfaces as this accounts for up to 75% of accumulation. We investigate Himalayan glacier sensitivities to primary climatological, glaciological and geological variables including air temperature, supraglacial debris cover, and catchment hypsometry. Furthermore, we aim to improve the representation of climate in glacier models for the Himalaya by testing a range of methods to describe these

  9. Variation of biomass and carbon pools with forest type in temperate forests of Kashmir Himalaya, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Rapid long-term erosion in the rain shadow of the Shillong Plateau, Eastern Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adlakha, Vikas; Lang, Karl A.; Patel, R. C.; Lal, Nand; Huntington, Katharine W.

    2013-01-01

    Geodynamic models of collisional orogens suggest that precipitation gradients profoundly influence spatial patterns of exhumation and deformation in active collisional mountain ranges. A basic tenet of this hypothesis is that in unglaciated areas, spatial patterns of long-term precipitation, erosion and exhumation should be correlated. A correlation of this type has been observed in the Eastern Himalaya, where uplift of the Shillong Plateau by Pliocene time drastically reduced monsoonal rainfall in the Himalayan range downwind. Existing apatite fission-track data suggest that the resulting precipitation gradient caused a twofold gradient in long-term erosion rates across an area with similar geology, suggesting a strong influence of climate on the region's geomorphic and tectonic evolution. We extend this dataset by presenting 53 new bedrock apatite and zircon fission-track ages from deeper within the rain shadow. We expected latest Miocene to Pliocene apatite ages, similar to previously published ages from neighboring areas in the rain shadow. Instead, apatites as young as 1.3 ± 0.2 Ma and zircons as young as 4.5 ± 1.0 Ma (2σ) demonstrate that spatial gradients in precipitation do not correlate with variations in long-term erosion and crustal strain as predicted by geodynamic models. Thermal-kinematic modeling of these data suggests that local exhumation patterns reflect gradients in rock uplift dictated by fault kinematics in this rapidly deforming area, despite a dramatic precipitation gradient. These findings both highlight the need to better understand how erosive processes scale with precipitation amount and intensity in such settings, and suggest a disconnect between the predictions of orogen-scale geodynamic models and the relationship between erosion and tectonics at the regional scale.

  11. Residual value analyses of the medicinal flora of the western himalayas: the Naran valley, Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  12. Carbon allocation, sequestration and carbon dioxide mitigation under plantation forests of north western Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bandana Devi

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The organic carbon and soils of the world comprise bulk of the terrestrial carbon and serve as a major sink and source of atmospheric carbon. Increasing atmospheric concentrations of green house gases may be mitigated by increasing carbon sequestration in vegetation and soil. The study attempted to estimate biomass production and carbon sequestration potential of different plantation ecosystems in north western Himalaya, India. Biomass, carbon density of biomass, soil, detritus, carbon sequestration and CO2 mitigation potential were studied under different plantation forest ecosystems comprising of eight different tree species: Quercus leucotrichophora, Pinus roxburghii, Acacia catechu, Acacia mollissima, Albizia procera, Alnusnitida, Eucalyptus tereticornis and Ulmus villosa. Above (185.57±48.99tha-1 and below ground (42.47±10.38 tha-1 biomass was maximum in Ulmus villosa. The vegetation carbon density was maxium in Albizia procera(118.37±1.49 tha-1 and minimum (36.50±9.87 tha-1 in Acacia catechu. Soil carbon density was maximum (219.86±10.34 tha-1 in Alnus nitida, and minimum (170.83±20.60 tha-1 in Pinus roxburghii. Detritus was higher in Pinus roxburghii (6.79±2.0 tha-1. Carbon sequestration (7.91±3.4 tha-1 and CO2 mitigation potential (29.09±12.78 tha-1 was maximum in Ulmus villosa. Pearson correlation matrix revealed significant positive relationship of ecosystem carbon with plantation biomass, soil carbon and CO2 mitigation potential. With the emerging threat of climate change, such assessment of forest and soil carbon inventory would allow to devise best land management and policy decisions for sustainable management of fragile hilly ecosystem.

  13. Hydrological modelling improvements required in basins in the Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalayas region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Asif; Richards, Keith S.; McRobie, Allan; Booij, Martijn

    2016-04-01

    Millions of people rely on river water originating from basins in the Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalayas (HKH), where snow- and ice-melt are significant flow components. One such basin is the Upper Indus Basin (UIB), where snow- and ice-melt can contribute more than 80% of total flow. Containing some of the world's largest alpine glaciers, this basin may be highly susceptible to global warming and climate change, and reliable predictions of future water availability are vital for resource planning for downstream food and energy needs in a changing climate, but depend on significantly improved hydrological modelling. However, a critical assessment of available hydro-climatic data and hydrological modelling in the HKH region has identified five major failings in many published hydro-climatic studies, even those appearing in reputable international journals. The main weaknesses of these studies are: i) incorrect basin areas; ii) under-estimated precipitation; iii) incorrectly-defined glacier boundaries; iv) under-estimated snow-cover data; and v) use of biased melt factors for snow and ice during the summer months. This paper illustrates these limitations, which have either resulted in modelled flows being under-estimates of measured flows, leading to an implied severe water scarcity; or have led to the use of unrealistically high degree-day factors and over-estimates of glacier melt contributions, implying unrealistic melt rates. These effects vary amongst sub-basins. Forecasts obtained from these models cannot be used reliably in policy making or water resource development, and need revision. Detailed critical analysis and improvement of existing hydrological modelling may be equally necessary in other mountain regions across the world.

  14. Tectonic constraints on watershed development on frontal ridges: Mohand Ridge, NW Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Tejpal; Jain, Vikrant

    2009-05-01

    Uplifting frontal ridges are one of the most conspicuous geomorphic features that mark the frontal parts of actively converging mountain belts. Growth of these ridges can lead to the simultaneous development of a drainage system that is defined by watersheds, stream network and long profiles of channels. In the present study, shape parameters of watersheds, stream network characteristics and pattern of network growth, shape of long profiles, and the SL index have been investigated in a part of NW Himalaya to understand the relationship between endogenic tectonic processes and exogenic fluvial processes. This explains the tectonic control on drainage systems in the uplifting frontal ridge. This watershed analysis was carried out using a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and a number of anomalies have been identified and analysed. The most striking is the asymmetric development of watersheds on either side of an almost straight ridge crest. Watershed asymmetry along the ridge crest is characterized by larger area and less elongated watersheds in the southern flank (forelimb) in comparison to the northern flank (backlimb). Drainage network and long profile analysis establishes that the larger watershed area in the forelimb is due to dominance of headward erosion and its impact on drainage network growth. Dominance of headward erosion is due to slope variation in response to forelimb development along a fault-related fold. Even through, headward erosion has shifted the ridge crest; it is parallel with the trace of the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT). The parallel ridge crest with reference to the HFT is indicative of the tectonic control of the HFT on the development of the watersheds. Hence, a well developed linkage between tectonic processes (fold development) and surface processes (headward erosion) is responsible for variation in watershed and drainage network pattern across the ridge crest. The study also investigates the role of planform ridge curvature on watershed

  15. Response of Kolahoi Glacier, Kashmir Himalaya to climate change: A preliminary Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeelani, G.; Hasnain, S. I.

    2010-12-01

    Kolahoi Glacier (340 07-340 12 N: 75016- 750 23 E), Liddar Valley, Kashmir Himalaya is one of the largest glacier in the Kashmir valley. The glacier is nourished by westerly system during winter and ablation takes place during summer period with no impact of SW monsoon system. Liddar Valley covers an area of 1282.55 km2 and sustain about 48 glaciers with total ice covered area of about 39 km2. The melt water feeds the west and east Liddar rivers and downstream in the valley they joined and forms River Jhelum which is the main source of water and livelihood to entire Kashmir valley. The major concern is that melting glaciers in the Kashmir valley will have ‘cascading effects’ across ecosystems, creating chain reactions on the food and water security of marginalised communities. An analysis of the available records is presented in this study. It appears that considerable recession of the snout has taken place since 1857. The glacier has receded about 1.6 km from 1857-1909 (52 years ?), 0.82 km from 1912-1961 (50 years), and 1.0 km from 1962-2008 (47 years). The area of the glacier is decreased by about 15% (0.04 Km2/year) from 1962 to 2008. The data indicate that there is significant increase in the rate of glacier recession for last few decades. It appears that global and regional warming, below normal precipitation occurred during the period of snow accumulation are perhaps the main reasons for accelerating the rate of melting during recent times. The stream (West Liddar) fed by the Kolahoi glacier also shows an increase in the discharge for last few decades as compared to the other streams fed dominantly by snow melt.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Wulf

    2012-01-01

    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, earthquake records, and Schmidt hammer rock strength measurements, 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, 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.

  17. Recession-based hydrological models for estimating low flows in ungauged catchments in the Himalayas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  18. Radon/helium survey of thermal springs of Parbati, Beas and Sutlej valleys in Himachal Himalaya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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/m3 recorded at Chhinjra on the banks of river Parbati and a maximum value of 57700±2050 Bq/m3 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)

  19. Climate-driven sediment aggradation and incision since the late Pleistocene in the NW Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Saptarshi; Thiede, Rasmus C.; Schildgen, Taylor F.; Wittmann, Hella; Bookhagen, Bodo; Scherler, Dirk; Jain, Vikrant; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2016-09-01

    Deciphering the response of sediment routing systems to climatic forcing is fundamental for understanding the impacts of climate change on landscape evolution. In the Kangra Basin (northwest Sub-Himalaya, India), upper Pleistocene to Holocene alluvial fills and fluvial terraces record periodic fluctuations of sediment supply and transport capacity on timescales of 103 to 105 yr. To evaluate the potential influence of climate change on these fluctuations, we compare the timing of aggradation and incision phases recorded within remnant alluvial fans and terraces with climate archives. New surface-exposure dating of six terrace levels with in-situ cosmogenic 10Be indicates the onset of incision phases. Two terrace surfaces from the highest level (T1) sculpted into the oldest preserved alluvial fan (AF1) date back to 53.4 ± 3.2 ka and 43.0 ± 2.7 ka (1σ). T2 surfaces sculpted into the remnants of AF1 have exposure ages of 18.6 ± 1.2 ka and 15.3 ± 0.9 ka, while terraces sculpted into the upper Pleistocene-Holocene fan (AF2) provide ages of 9.3 ± 0.4 ka (T3), 7.1 ± 0.4 ka (T4), 5.2 ± 0.4 ka (T5) and 3.6 ± 0.2 ka (T6). Together with previously published OSL ages yielding the timing of aggradation, we find a correlation between variations in sediment transport with oxygen-isotope records from regions affected by the Indian Summer Monsoon. During periods of increased monsoon intensity and post-Last Glacial Maximum glacial retreat, aggradation occurred in the Kangra Basin, likely due to high sediment flux, whereas periods of weakened monsoon intensity or lower sediment supply coincide with incision.

  20. Massive land system changes impact water quality of the Jhelum River in Kashmir Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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. PMID:26903209

  1. Carbon allocation, sequestration and carbon dioxide mitigation under plantation forests of north western Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bandana Devi

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The organic carbon and soils of the world comprise bulk of the terrestrial carbon and serve as amajorsink and source of atmospheric carbon. Increasing atmospheric concentrations of green house gases may be mitigated by increasing carbon sequestration in vegetation and soil. The study attempted to estimate biomass production and carbon sequestration potential of different plantation ecosystems in north western Himalaya, India. Biomass, carbon density of biomass, soil, detritus, carbon sequestration and CO2 mitigation potential were studied underdifferent plantation forest ecosystems comprising of eight different tree species viz. Quercus leucotrichophora, Pinus roxburghii, Acacia catechu, Acacia mollissima, Albizia procera, Alnus nitida, Eucalyptus tereticornis and Ulmus villosa. Above (185.57 ą 48.99 tha-1 and below ground (42.47 ą 10.38 tha-1 biomass was maximum in Ulmus villosa. The vegetation carbon density was maxium in Albizia procera (118.37 ą 1.49 tha-1 and minimum (36.50 ą 9.87 tha-1 in Acacia catechu. Soil carbon density was maximum (219.86ą 10.34 tha-1 in Alnus nitida, and minimum (170.83ą 20.60 tha-1in Pinus roxburghii. Detritus was higher in Pinus roxburghii (6.79 ą 2.0 tha-1. Carbon sequestration (7.91ą 3.4 tha-1 and CO2 mitigation potential (29.09 ą 12.78 tha-1 was maximum in Ulmus villosa. Pearson correlation matrix revealed significant positive relationship of ecosystem carbon with plantation biomass, soil carbon and CO2 mitigation potential. With the emerging threat of climate change, such assessment of forest and soil carbon inventory would allow to devise best land management and policy decisions forsustainable management of fragile hilly ecosystem. 

  2. Litter Fall and Its Decomposition in Sapium sebiferum Roxb.: An Invasive Tree Species in Western Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. The role of energy in creating opportunities for income generation in the Indian Himalayas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  4. Upper lithospheric seismic characteristics beneath the Himalaya and the southern Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    de La Torre, Thomas L.

    The continent-continent convergence of India with Asia 40-60 Myr ago produced some of the most spectacular topographical features on Earth. The Himalayan Nepal Tibet Seismic Experiment (HIMNT), a temporary broadband seismic network in eastern Nepal and the southern Tibetan Plateau from 2001-2003, was an attempt to better define the upper lithospheric structure, deformation processes, and to examine how 40 mm/yr of plate convergence is absorbed in the region. This study focused on (1) background seismic noise analysis, (2) earthquake processes, and (3) body wave attenuation and its implications. Spectral analysis of the ambient seismic signals shows levels within low and high global models and noise variations independent of vault type. Synthesis of body waves and moment tensor inversion from local earthquakes within and near the HIMNT network show that convergence processes are accommodated not only in the shallow crust, but in the upper mantle of India beneath the Himalaya. From the pressure and tension axes orientations, body forces appear to contribute to earthquake deformation in the crust, whereas convergent forces dominate in the upper mantle. Focal depths determined near and below the crust-mantle boundary supports the bimodal strength model for the continental lithosphere. Spectral modeling of P and S phases reveals nearly equal seismic attenuation in the upper lithosphere and large attenuation sources in the Tibetan crust. These attenuation measurements suggest that sources of seismic energy loss other than partial melt in the Tibetan Plateau crust, a key component for many Himalayan formation scenarios, may be the dominant attenuation mechanisms. These attenuation mechanisms include partially saturated crust from metamorphic dehydration processes or crustal heating from crustal thickening processes.

  5. Argon behaviour in an inverted Barrovian sequence, Sikkim Himalaya: The consequences of temperature and timescale on 40Ar/39Ar mica geochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mottram, Catherine M.; Warren, Clare J.; Halton, Alison M.; Kelley, Simon P.; Harris, Nigel B. W.

    2015-12-01

    40Ar/39Ar dating of metamorphic rocks sometimes yields complicated datasets which are difficult to interpret in terms of timescales of the metamorphic cycle. Single-grain fusion and step-heating data were obtained for rocks sampled through a major thrust-sense shear zone (the Main Central Thrust) and the associated inverted metamorphic zone in the Sikkim region of the eastern Himalaya. This transect provides a natural laboratory to explore factors influencing apparent 40Ar/39Ar ages in similar lithologies at a variety of metamorphic pressure and temperature (P-T) conditions. The 40Ar/39Ar dataset records progressively younger apparent age populations and a decrease in within-sample dispersion with increasing temperature through the sequence. The white mica populations span ~ 2-9 Ma within each sample in the structurally lower levels (garnet grade) but only ~ 0-3 Ma at structurally higher levels (kyanite-sillimanite grade). Mean white mica single-grain fusion population ages vary from 16.2 ± 3.9 Ma (2σ) to 13.2 ± 1.3 Ma (2σ) from lowest to highest levels. White mica step-heating data from the same samples yields plateau ages from 14.27 ± 0.13 Ma to 12.96 ± 0.05 Ma. Biotite yield older apparent age populations with mean single-grain fusion dates varying from 74.7 ± 11.8 Ma (2σ) at the lowest structural levels to 18.6 ± 4.7 Ma (2σ) at the highest structural levels; the step-heating plateaux are commonly disturbed. Temperatures > 600 °C at pressures of 0.4-0.8 GPa sustained over > 5 Ma, appear to be required for white mica and biotite ages to be consistent with diffusive, open-system cooling. At lower temperatures, and/or over shorter metamorphic timescales, more 40Ar is retained than results from simple diffusion models suggest. Diffusion modelling of Ar in white mica from the highest structural levels suggests that the high-temperature rocks cooled at a rate of ~ 50-80 °C Ma- 1, consistent with rapid thrusting, extrusion and exhumation along the Main

  6. Europa central

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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!.

  7. Variations in pollinator density and impacts on large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb. crop yield in Sikkim Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. On the patterns of abundance and diversity of macrolichens of Chopta-Tunganath in the Garhwal Himalaya

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hans Raj Negi

    2000-12-01

    A total of 3211 colonies of macrolichens, from twelve 50 m × 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.

  9. Atmospheric Mercury Depositional Chronology Reconstructed from Lake Sediments and Ice Core in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Shichang; Huang, Jie; Wang, Feiyue; Zhang, Qianggong; Zhang, Yulan; Li, Chaoliu; Wang, Long; Chen, Pengfei; Sharma, Chhatra Mani; Li, Qing; Sillanpää, Mika; Hou, Juzhi; Xu, Baiqing; Guo, Junming

    2016-03-15

    Alpine lake sediments and glacier ice cores retrieved from high mountain regions can provide long-term records of atmospheric deposition of anthropogenic contaminants such as mercury (Hg). In this study, eight lake sediment cores and one glacier ice core were collected from high elevations across the Himalaya-Tibet region to investigate the chronology of atmospheric Hg deposition. Consistent with modeling results, the sediment core records showed higher Hg accumulation rates in the southern slopes of the Himalayas than those in the northern slopes in the recent decades (post-World War II). Despite much lower Hg accumulation rates obtained from the glacier ice core, the temporal trend in the Hg accumulation rates matched very well with that observed from the sediment cores. The combination of the lake sediments and glacier ice core allowed us to reconstruct the longest, high-resolution atmospheric Hg deposition chronology in High Asia. The chronology showed that the Hg deposition rate was low between the 1500s and early 1800, rising at the onset of the Industrial Revolution, followed by a dramatic increase after World War II. The increasing trend continues to the present-day in most of the records, reflecting the continuous increase in anthropogenic Hg emissions from South Asia. PMID:26878654

  10. New species of Himalmartensus Wang & Zhu, 2008 (Araneae: Amaurobiidae with the first description of a male from the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Western Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shazia Quasin

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available A new species of the genus Himalmartensus Wang & Zhu, 2008 (Family: Amaurobiidae is described from Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Western Himalaya, India. In this study, a male specimen of this genus is described for the first time from India.

  11. Duration of inverted metamorphic sequence formation across the Himalayan Main Central Thrust (MCT), Sikkim

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cioldi, Stefania; Moulas, Evangelos; Tajcmanová, Lucie; Burg, Jean-Pierre

    2016-04-01

    Collision between the Indian and Eurasian plates since the Eocene (50 Ma) caused the closure of the Neo-Tethys and the underthrusting of India beneath the Tibetan Plateau, generating the 2500 km extended Himalayan belt. The Main Central Thrust (MCT) marks the boundary of the underlying Midland Lower Himalaya metasediments zone (LH) in the south from the overlying high grade metamorphic Higher Himalaya (HH) in the north. Several models considering petrochronology, geothermobarometry and structural geology have been discussed to explain the inverted metamorphic gradient in the LH metasediments without reaching a common agreement. This study investigates the tectonic setting and the timescale of inverted isograds related to crustal-scale thrusting at the MCT in the Sikkim region, northeast India. The aim is to contribute to the understanding of the link between mechanical and thermal evolution of major thrust zones and to clarify the nature and the origin of orogenic heat applying garnet geospeedometry. Garnets provide a sensitive record of metamorphic conditions and are potential chronometer. Their compositional zoning is used as a gauge for rate estimates of element diffusion within the mineral and allows estimating the absolute time of the thermal evolution. Inverse-fitting numerical model considering FRactIonation and Diffusion in GarnEt (FRIDGE) calculates garnet composition profiles by introducing P-T-t paths and bulk-rock composition of a specific sample. P-T conditions were estimated by convectional geothermobarometry supported by phase equilibria modelling and measured garnet chemical compositions. Simulation were compared with measured garnet profiles. Simple step function and FRIDGE preliminary results of Fe-Mg - Ca - Mn garnet fractionation-diffusion modelling indicate very short timescale (between 3 and 6 Ma) for peak metamorphic conditions in the northeast Himalayan collisional system. This duration does not allow thermal re-equilibration. It is an

  12. Topographic position of large slope failures revealed by excess topography in the Himalaya-Karakoram Ranges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blöthe, Jan; Korup, Oliver; Schwanghart, Wolfgang

    2015-04-01

    Large slope failures (defined here as affecting >0.1 km² in planform area) substantially contribute to denuding hillslopes, thereby limiting the growth of topographic relief in active mountain belts produced by tectonic uplift and fluvial or glacial incision. The region around Nanga Parbat, situated in the Himalaya-Karakoram ranges (HKR), has been shown to exhibit one of the largest clusters of large scale slope failure known. However, a thorough analysis of the pattern of landslides in the wider region, let alone an inventory of large slope failure is lacking. We take this as a motivation to create a landslide inventory covering the upper Indus catchment located in the HKR of NW India and N Pakistan. Our data set contains 492 large landslides that we compiled from published studies and mapping from remote sensing imagery. Using an empirical volume-area scaling approach we estimate the total landslide volume at >250 km³. This is more than thousand times the contemporary annual sediment load in the Indus River. We analyse the distribution of these landslides with respect to the regional hypsometry, contemporary glacier cover, and the distribution of rock glaciers. We further introduce excess topography ZE, which quantifies the vertical column of rock material above a hypothetical failure plane, as a first-order metric of potentially unstable rock slopes. We find that large bedrock landslides in the HKR preferentially detach near or from below the study area's median elevation, while glaciers and rock glaciers occupy higher elevations almost exclusively. This picture is supported by the distribution of excess topography ZE that peaks along major fluvial and glacial inner gorges, which is where the majority of large rock-slope failures occur. Our analysis suggests a hitherto unrecognised vertical layering of denudation processes, with landslides chiefly operating below the median elevation, whereas mass transport in higher elevations seems to be dominated by

  13. ANN modelling of sediment concentration in the dynamic glacial environment of Gangotri in Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. A Multi-analytical Approach for the Characterization of Marbles from Lesser Himalayas (Northwest Pakistan)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Glacier-induced Hazards in the Trans-Himalaya of Ladakh (NW-India)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Genetic characterization of Gaddi goat breed of Western Himalayas using microsatellite markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Monitoring of High Mountain Glaciers in the Vicinity of Everest (Himalaya) using Remote Sensing Capability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakuri, S.; Salerno, F.; Bolch, T.; Smiraglia, C.; Tartari, G.

    2014-12-01

    studies in the high mountain Asia and conclude that the shrinkage of these glaciers are less than that of western and eastern Himalaya, and southern and eastern Tibetan Plateau. The location in higher elevations have likely reduced the impact of warming on these glaciers, but have not been excluded from a relentlessly continuous and slow recession process over the past 50 yrs.

  18. Economics, energy, and environmental assessment of diversified crop rotations in sub-Himalayas of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Raman Jeet; Meena, Roshan Lal; Sharma, N K; Kumar, Suresh; Kumar, Kuldeep; Kumar, Dileep

    2016-02-01

    carbon inputs particularly in sub-Himalayas of India. PMID:26739009

  19. Thermal supplementing soil nutrients through biocomposting of night-soil in the northwestern Indian Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oinam, Santaram S; Rawat, Yashwant S; Kuniyal, Jagdish C; Vishvakarma, S C R; Pandey, Dinesh C

    2008-01-01

    Agriculture is one of the prime activities of the hill people residing in the northwestern Indian Himalaya. However, poor soil fertility in these areas is a big hurdle to sustainable farming. The effects of washout of topsoil and its nutrients, year after year, due to the abundance of snowfall, avalanches, landslides and erosion further add to the woes of the farmers. In the cold and harsh climatic conditions of the region, with grass and vegetation cover being scanty, it is not possible to maintain large herds of cattle for the adequate production of farmyard manure. Faced with this situation, the locals have relied heavily on obtaining organic manure derived from composting of human excreta. In earlier times the dire necessity of the farmers helped them overcome the revulsion associated with the practice of handling human excreta, but now with the advent of modernisation and the easy availability of chemical fertilisers, the people are distancing themselves from this age-old practice. More and more people are opting for modern toilets and leaving behind the traditional toilets that made possible the harvesting of manure from night-soil. As a result, this primitive practice is on the verge of extinction. This eco-friendly practice, that has sustained the land for so many generations, needs to be continued and strengthened as the long-term consequences of excessive and indiscriminant use of chemical fertilisers are becoming too obvious to ignore. Traditional knowledge needs to be combined with modern scientific know-how to make this practice safer and more acceptable. If the composting operation is managed properly, the handling will be less loathsome and the concerns of health and hygiene too will stand addressed. The present study attempts a detailed profile of the practice of 'supplementing soil nutrients through biocomposting of night-soil' in the cold desert region of Lahaul Valley. Four villages running from the northwestern part to the southeastern part of

  20. Spatio-temporal patterns and factors controlling the hydrogeochemistry of the river Jhelum basin, Kashmir Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Highly fractionated Late Eocene (~ 35 Ma) leucogranite in the Xiaru Dome, Tethyan Himalaya, South Tibet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhi-Chao; Wu, Fu-Yuan; Ding, Lin; Liu, Xiao-Chi; Wang, Jian-Gang; Ji, Wei-Qiang

    2016-01-01

    The Xiaru dome is located in the middle section of the North Himalayan Gneiss Domes belt in southern Tibet. The leucogranite, which crops out in the core of the Xiaru dome, is a typical medium-grained garnet + tourmaline + muscovite leucogranite. U-(Th)-Pb dating of zircon and monazite from the leucogranite yielded ages of approximately 35 Ma. This finding supports a growing body of evidence indicating that an extensive magmatic event occurred during the late Eocene in the Himalayas. This leucogranite is strongly peraluminous with A/CNK values of 1.08-1.52 and characterized by evolved geochemical composition with high contents of SiO2 and alkali elements; low levels of CaO, MgO, TiO2, and FeOT; enriched large-ion lithophile elements (such as Rb); and depleted of high-field-strength elements (such as Nb, Zr, and Hf). The non-CHARAC (CHarge-And-Radius-Controlled) trace element behaviors, which are typical of a highly fractionated granite system, were recorded in the whole rock and the accessory minerals of the Xiaru leucogranite. Furthermore, the magmatic zircon overgrowths have extremely high content of Hf, consistent with those from the highly fractionated aqueous-like fluid system. In addition, whole-rock geochemical fractionation trends were observed, which can be explained by crystal fractionation of biotite, K-feldspar, zircon, xenotime, and monazite. These geochemical features indicate that the Xiaru leucogranite is a typical highly fractionated granite. The geochronological and geochemical features of the inherited zircons from the Xiaru leucogranite show a close affinity to those of the country rocks, suggesting a certain degree of assimilation from the country rocks during melt ascent and emplacement. Although a restricted range of εHf(t) values from - 12.8 to - 6.6 with Hf TDM2 model ages of 1.2-1.6 Ga was obtained from the late Eocene zircons, it is invalid to constrain the source of the parental magma due to the strong fractionation and assimilation

  2. A ˜50 ka record of monsoonal variability in the Darjeeling foothill region, eastern Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Changes in Agricultural Biodiversity: Implications for Sustainable Livelihood in the Himalaya

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    K.G. Saxena; R.K. Maikhuri; K.S. Rao

    2005-01-01

    Himalayan mountain system is distinguished globally for a rich biodiversity and for its role in regulating the climate of the South Asia.Traditional crop-livestock mixed farming in the Himalaya is highly dependent on forests for fodder and manure prepared from forest leaf litter and livestock excreta. Apart from sustaining farm production, forests provide a variety of other tangible and intangible benefits, which are critical for sustainable livelihood of not only 115 million mountain people, but also many more people living in the adjoining plains. Extension of agricultural landuse coupled with replacement of traditional staple food crops by cash crops and of multipurpose agroforestry trees by fruit trees are widespread changes. Cultivation of Fagopyrum esculentum,Fagopyrum tataricum, Panicum miliaceum, Setaria italica and Pisum arvense has been almost abandoned. Increasing stress on cash crops is driven by a socio-cultural change from subsistence to market economy facilitated by improvement in accessibility and supply of staple food grains at subsidized price by the government. Farmers have gained substantial economic benefits from cash crops. However, loss of agrobiodiversity implies more risks to local livelihood in the events of downfall in market price/demand of cash crops, termination of supply of staple food grains at subsidized price, pest outbreaks in a cash crop dominated homogeneous landscape and abnormal climate years. Indigenous innovations enabling improvement in farm economy by conserving and/enhancing agrobiodiversity do exist, but are highly localized. The changes in agrobiodiversity are such that soil loss and run-off from the croplands have dramatically increased together with increase in local pressure on forests. As farm productivity is maintained with forest-based inputs, continued depletion of forest resources will result in poor economic returns from agriculture to local people,apart from loss of global benefits from Himalayan forests

  4. Decline in snowfall in response to temperature in Satluj basin, western Himalaya

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Riyaz Ahmad Mir; Sanjay K Jain; Arun K Saraf; Ajanta Goswami

    2015-03-01

    Snow is an essential resource present in the Himalaya. Therefore, monitoring of the snowfall changes over a time period is important for hydrological and climatological purposes. In this study, variability of snowfall from 1976–2008 were analysed and compared with variability in temperature (max and min) from 1984–2008 using simple linear regression analysis and Mann–Kendall test in the Satluj Basin. The annual, seasonal, and monthly analyses of average values of snowfall and temperature (max and min) have been carried out. The study also consists an analysis of average values of annual snowfall and temperature over six elevation zones (<1500 to >4000 m amsl). During the study, it was observed that the snowfall exhibited declining trends in the basin. The snowfall trends are more sensitive to the climate change below an elevation of 4000 m amsl. Over the elevation zones of 3000–3500 and 4000–4500 m amsl, positive trends of mean annual values of snowfall were observed that may be due to higher precipitation as snowfall at these higher elevations. Although, both negative and positive snowfall trends were statistically insignificant, however, if this decreasing trend in snowfall continues, it may result in significant however, changes in future. Furthermore, the min is also increasing with statistically significant positive trend at 95% confidence level for November, winter season, annually as well as for the elevation zones of 2500–3000, 3000–3500, and 3500–4000 m amsl. There are dominantly increasing trends in max with negative trends for February, June–September, monsoon season, and for elevation zone <1500 m amls. It is important to state that in the present basin, during the months of winter season, most of the precipitation is produced as snowfall by the westerly weather disturbances. Thus, the declining nature in snowfall is concurrent with the positive trends in temperature particularly min, therefore, reflecting that the positive trends in

  5. Understanding the Contribution of Glacier and Snowmelt in the Himalaya using a Spatially-Distributed Energy Balance Model and Remotely Sensed Data: Implications for Water Security in the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M. E.; Racoviteanu, A.; Tarboton, D. G.; Bajracharya, S.; Artan, G. A.; Shrestha, M.; Policelli, F.; Habib, S.; Ouyang, H.

    2011-12-01

    Snow and ice constitute an important component of the hydrologic regime of many large mountain ranges and regions, including the Himalayas. However, the hydrologic regime of Himalayan catchment basins, and the role of glaciers in the hydrologic regime of this mountain range (particularly their contribution to base flow) are not well understood. There are concerns about the impact of climate change on cryosphere as well as population growth, changing economic activity, land use change, rapid urbanization and inefficient water use on water resources. The HIMALA project, funded by the NASA's Applied Sciences Program and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Integrated Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal, addresses the urgent need for integrated snow and ice hydrology in the Himalaya. Specific objectives are to: (i) introduce the use of NASA Earth Science products and models to ICIMOD and its member countries through collaboration with USAID and USGS and (ii) enhance the decision making capacity of ICIMOD and its member countries for management of water resources (floods, agricultural water) in the short (snow, rainfall) and the long-term (glaciers). Here we present methodology and preliminary results for a sub-basin hydrological model for Langtang watershed in Nepal, that includes modeling both snow and glacier-melt water contributions to streamflow. Snow- and glacier-melt and outflow is estimated using a spatially distributed version of the Utah Energy Balance (UEB) snow accumulation and ablation model, driven by remotely sensed data (TRMM) downscaled model data (MERRA) and meteorological data. Glacier outlines and glacier characterization parameters (albedo and volume) are derived from Landsat (1980s to present) and ASTER data (2000 to present) and used as input to the UEB model. Snow cover and albedo are acquired from MODIS data. We estimate the relative contribution by snow and glacier melt

  6. Earthquake slip estimation from the scarp geometry of Himalayan Frontal Thrust, western Himalaya: implications for seismic hazard assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayangondaperumal, R.; Mugnier, J. L.; Dubey, A. K.

    2013-03-01

    Geometric and kinematic analyses of minor thrusts and folds, which record earthquakes between 1200 AD and 1700 AD, were performed for two trench sites (Rampur Ghanda and Ramnagar) located across the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) in the western Indian Himalaya. The present study aims to re-evaluate the slip estimate of these two trench sites by establishing a link between scarp geometry, displacements observed very close to the surface and slip at deeper levels. As geometry of the active thrust beneath the scarp is unknown, we develop a parametric study to understand the origin of the scarp surface and to estimate the influence of ramp dip. The shortening estimates of Rampur Ghanda trench by line length budget and distance-displacement (D-d) method show values of 23 and 10-15 %, respectively. The estimate inferred from the later method is less than the line length budget suggesting a small internal deformation. Ramnagar trench shows 12 % shortening by line length budget and 10-25 % by the D-d method suggesting a large internal deformation. A parametric study at the trenched fault zone of Rampur Ghanda shows a slip of 16 m beneath the trailing edge of the scarp, and it is sufficient to raise a 8-m-high scarp. This implies that the Rampur Ghanda scarp is balanced with a single event with 7.8-m-coseismic slip in the trenched fault zone at the toe of the scarp, 8-15 % mean deformation within the scarp and 16-m slip at depth along a 30° ramp for a pre-1400 earthquake event. A 16-m slip is the most robust estimate of the maximum slip for a single event reported previously by trench studies along the HFT in the western Indian Himalaya that occurred between 1200 AD and 1700 AD. However, the Ramnagar trenched fault zone shows a slip of 23 m, which is larger than both line length and D-d methods. It implies that a 13-m-high scarp and 23-m slip beneath the rigid block may be ascribed to multiple events. It is for the first time we report that in the south-eastern extent of

  7. Missing (in-situ) snow cover data hampers climate change and runoff studies in the Greater Himalayas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. - 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Multiple sources of the Upper Triassic flysch in the eastern Himalaya Orogen, Tibet, China: Implications to palaeogeography and palaeotectonic evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xianghui; Mattern, Frank; Zhang, Chaokai; Zeng, Qinggao; Mao, Guozheng

    2016-01-01

    The Upper Triassic flysch-Langjiexue Group (tentatively named the "Shannan Terrane") of the eastern Himalaya Orogen has been tectonically assigned either to the Tethys Himalaya or the Yarlung Zangbo Suture Zone (YZSZ). In this work, geochronology of detrital zircon U-Pb isotope shows that the Shannan Terrane is characterized by the population of ~ 260-200 Ma (peak ca. 240 Ma), strongly supporting the view of no affinity to the Tethys Himalaya. The detrital zircons dated as ~ 400-290 Ma display relatively positive εHf(t) values of - 5.0 to + 15.0 with TDMC ages of 2.6-1.3 Ga for the Shannan Terrane, whereas highly negative are of - 20.0 to - 5.0 for the Lhasa Terrane, indicating that the two terranes have different Devonian-Carboniferous sources. Numerous Cr-spinels found in the Shannan Terrane but not in the Lhasa Terrane, exhibit contents in Cr2O3 and Cr# of mainly 44-100% and 48-95%, in TiO2 of 0.01-1.0%, and in Al2O3 of 5-257%, respectively, denoting several parent lithologies. These differences suggested that the Shannan Terrane has multiple sources, not only from the Lhasa Terrane, but also from oceanic (island) arc/seamount and mid-ocean ridge areas as well as likely from Greater India and Australia. Considering the Early Cretaceous diabase dykes within the Upper Triassic flysch defined to the Comei-Bunbury Large Igneous Province, we propose that the Langjiexue Group could have been deposited on the ocean between India and Australia, and would have not stopped till the Lhasa Terrane was separated from Australia during the terminal Triassic. According to the Cenozoic deformation and metamorphic history and palaeogeography of the Langjiexue Group, we postulate that the Shannan Terrane could have been loaded onto the Greater India during the middle Early Cretaceous, and subsequently drifted northward to the collision zone of India and Asia, implying that it does not represent an accretionary prism within the YZSZ.

  11. Abundance of Royle’s pika (Ochotona roylei along an altitudinal gradient in Uttarakhand, Western Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Rapid Last Glacial Maximum deglaciation in the Indian Himalaya coeval with midlatitude glaciers: New insights from 10Be-dating of ice-polished bedrock surfaces in the Chandra Valley, NW Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eugster, Patricia; Scherler, Dirk; Thiede, Rasmus C.; Codilean, Alexandru T.; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2016-02-01

    Despite a large number of dated glacial landforms in the Himalaya, the ice extent during the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) from 19 to 23 ka is only known to first order. New cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages from well-preserved glacially polished surfaces, combined with published data, and an improved production rate scaling model allow reconstruction of the LGM ice extent and subsequent deglaciation in the Chandra Valley of NW India. We show that a >1000 m thick valley glacier retreated >150 km within a few thousand years after the onset of LGM deglaciation. By comparing the recession of the Chandra Valley Glacier and other Himalayan glaciers with those of Northern and Southern Hemisphere glaciers, we demonstrate that post-LGM deglaciation was similar and nearly finished prior to the Bølling/Allerød interstadial. Our study supports the view that many Himalayan glaciers advanced during the LGM, likely in response to global variations in temperature.

  14. Brief Communication: Contending estimates of early 21st century glacier mass balance over the Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Kääb

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available We present glacier thickness changes over the entire Pamir-Karakoram-Himalaya arc based on ICESat satellite altimetry data for 2003–2008. The strongest thinning (−1 is observed for the East Nyainqêntanglha Shan. Conversely, glaciers of the West Kunlun Shan are slightly gaining volume, and Pamir and Karakoram seem to be on the western edge of an anomaly rather than its centre. For the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra basins, the glacier mass change reaches −22 ± 3 Gt yr−1, about 10% of the current glacier contribution to sea-level rise. For selected catchments over the study area we estimate glacier imbalance contributions to river runoff from a few percent to far over 10%. We highlight the importance of C-band penetration for studies based on the SRTM elevation model. To the very east and west of our study area, this penetration seems to be of larger magnitude and variability than previously assumed.

  15. Modelling glacier-bed overdeepenings and possible future lakes for the glaciers in the Himalaya-Karakoram region

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  16. Plant diversity at Chilapatta Reserve Forest of Terai Duars in sub-humid tropical foothills of Indian Eastern Himalayas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gopal Shukla; Rajib Biswas; A. P. Das; Sumit Chakravarty

    2014-01-01

    From March 2007 to March 2009 we quantified plant diversity at Chilapatta Reserve Forest in Terai Duars in the Indian eastern Himala-yas. We sampled stratified random nested quadrats. Species richness was 311, representing 167 genera and 81 families. The species diversity index and concentration of dominance of the forest were 2.20 and 0.0072, respectively. Shannon-Wiener index and evenness indices were 4.77 and 1.44, respectively. The Importance Value Index (IVI) of species ranged from 0.13 to 37.94. The estimated diversity indices indicated heterogene-ity of the forest in its composition, structure, function and dynamics. Rich forest plant diversity supports the need for continued conservation of tropical forests.

  17. A comparison of different methods of evaluating glacier response characteristics: application to glacier AX010, Nepal Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Adhikari

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Himalayan glaciers are considered to be amongst the most sensitive glaciers to climate change. However, the response behaviour of these glaciers is not well understood. Here we use several approaches to estimate characteristic timescales of glacier AX010, a small valley glacier in the Nepal Himalaya, as a measure of glacier sensitivity. Assuming that temperature solely defines the mass budget, glacier AX010 waits for about 8 yr (reaction time to exhibit its initial terminus response to changing climate. On the other hand, it takes between 29–56 yr (volume response time and 37–70 yr (length response time to adjust its volume and length following the changes in mass balance conditions, respectively. A numerical ice-flow model, the only method that yields both length and volume response time, confirms that a glacier takes longer to adjust its length than its volume.

  18. Sesquiterpene lactones from Inula falconeri, a plant endemic to the Himalayas, as potential anti-inflammatory agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Xiangrong; Zeng, Qi; Ren, Jie; Qin, Jiangjiang; Zhang, Shoude; Shen, Yunheng; Zhu, Jiaxian; Zhang, Fei; Chang, Ruijie; Zhu, Yan; Zhang, Weidong; Jin, Huizi

    2011-11-01

    A phytochemical investigation of Inula falconeri, a plant endemic to the Himalayas, afforded 10 new sesquiterpenoids and 26 known sesquiterpene lactones, including those bearing guaiane, pseudoguaiane, xanthane, eudesmane, germacrane, rare secocaryophyllane, chromolaevane, and carabrane frameworks. The structures were elucidated via spectroscopic analysis and compared with data from literature. All the isolates were assessed for their inhibitory effects against LPS-induced nitric oxide production in RAW264.7 macrophages. Compounds 4, 11, 24, and 31 showed stronger inhibitory activities than the positive control with IC(50) values of 0.13, 0.07, 0.11, and 0.11 μM, respectively. These studies also led to a better understanding of the structure-activity relationships for the sesquiterpene lactone family of compounds. PMID:21924800

  19. Is the Growth of Birch at the UPPER Timberline in the Himalayas Limited By Moisture or By Temperature?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, E.; Dawadi, B.; Pederson, N.; Eckstein, D.

    2014-12-01

    Birch (Betula) trees and forests are found across much of the temperate and boreal zones of the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, despite being an ecologically-significant genus, it is much less-well studied compared to common genera like Pinus, Picea, Juniperus, Quercus, and Fagus. In the Himalayas, Himalayan birch (Betula utilis) is a widespread, important broadleaf timberline species that survives in mountain rain shadows via access to water from snowmelt. Because precipitation in the Nepalese Himalayas decreases with increasing elevation, we hypothesized that the growth of birch at the upper timberlines between 3,900 and 4,150 m a.s.l. is primarily limited by moisture availability rather than by low temperature. To verify this assumption, a total of 292 increment cores were extracted from 211 birch trees at nine timberline sites. The synchronous occurrence of narrow rings and high inter-series correlations within and among sites evidenced a reliable cross-dating and a common climatic signal in the tree-ring widths variations. From March-May, all nine tree-ring width site chronologies showed a strongly positive response to total precipitation and a less strongly negative response to temperature. During the instrumental meteorological record (after 1960), years with a high percentage of missing rings coincided with pre-monsoon drought events. Periods of below-average growth are in phase with well-known drought events all over monsoon Asia, showing additional evidence that Himalayan birch growth at the upper timberlines is persistently limited by moisture availability. Our study describes the rare case of a drought-induced altitudinal timberline that is composed by a broadleaf tree species.

  20. Fossil cladoceran record from Lake Piramide Inferiore (5067 m asl in the Nepalese Himalayas: biogeographical and paleoecological implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liisa Nevalainen

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available We investigated 2500 years of community succession in Cladocera from the sediments of a mountain lake (Lake Piramide Inferiore located in the Khumbu Valley close to Mt. Everest in the Nepalese Himalayas. Our objective was to determine late Holocene changes in cladoceran species composition and abundance in a biogeographical context and with respect to previous proxy-based paleolimnological data (algal pigments and organic content. The results suggested that cladoceran fauna of Lake Piramide Inferiore was species-poor and dominated by Chydorus cf. sphaericus throughout the sequence. The sediment profile recorded the occurrence of Alona guttata type individuals, which were attributed to Alona werestschagini Sinev 1999 based on their morphology and the species' current distributional range, and this was the first record of its presence in the Himalayas. In addition, a periodic long-term succession of melanic Daphnia (Ctenodaphnia fusca Gurney, 1907 and non-melanic D. (Daphnia dentifera Forbes 1893 was observed in the sediments. The millennia-long cladoceran community changes, although subtle due to the C. cf. sphaericus dominance, were in general agreement with the previous proxy-data of lake productivity following the regional paleoclimatic development and apparently partly driven by bottom-up mechanisms. The periodic occurrence and success of D. fusca and D. dentifera throughout the late Holocene in Lake Piramide Inferiore, combined with the knowledge of their phenotypic properties (i.e. carapace melanization and previous investigations on their contemporary and past distribution in Khumbu Valley, suggested that they may have responded to altered underwater UV radiation regimes. Furthermore, they may have even periodically excluded each other subsequent to changes in the underwater UV environment. The results indicated the usefulness of fossil cladoceran analysis as a tool in biogeographical research, since the occurrence of species in space and

  1. From self-sufficiency to dependence on imported food-grain in Leh District (Ladakh, Indian Trans-Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimiro Pelliciardi

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available For many centuries the population of Ladakh (Indian Trans-Himalaya has led a self-reliant existence mainly based upon subsistence agriculture (self-sufficient in food-grainproduction, pastoralism and caravan trade. Since several decades, Leh District, a part ofLadakh, whose population is doubled from about 70000 in 1981 to 145000 in 2011, is nomore self-sufficient in food-grain production. To overcome the demand-supply imbalancea large quantity of rice and flour wheat is imported every year by traders, cooperatives andcentral government. However to be self-sufficient is an important issue for this landlocked territory which has not trade restrictions but severe constraint in transportation.Importing goods to Ladakh necessitates the shipping of goods by truck across theHimalayas, with passes as high as 5300 m, covering the distance of Manali to Leh (480 kmor Srinagar to Leh (420 km will takes about three days. By plain is only one hour of flybut cargo airfares are very costly.The stocking of the essential items, like food grains, inLadakh, by the Jammu and Kashmir government, is an annual practice ahead of harshwinters which cuts off by road, for seven-height months, the twin districts of Leh andKargil from the rest of the country. Filling the gap between the required quantity to feedthe growing population and the quantity locally produced can be a difficult task in thishigh altitude cold desert region. Quantifying those “needs” helps developing policy andprogrammatic decision in regard to the local food security problem. In this study, the LehDistrict dependence on imported food-grain is investigated and results are presented asImport Dependency Ratio (IDR in 2012 and the expected value in 2025.

  2. Water-rock interaction on the development of granite gneissic weathered profiles in Garhwal Lesser Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyshnavi, S.; Islam, R.

    2015-07-01

    The development and sustainability of weathered profiles are very difficult in the Himalaya due to its complex lithology, tectonic history and fast erosion. Despite this, two weathered profiles namely WPa (weathered profile a) and WPb (weathered profile b) which have sustained erosion are developed on porphyry granite gneiss and granite gneissic lithology in Alaknanda valley of the Garhwal Lesser Himalaya. Systematic sampling of these two weathered profiles was done from bottom to top and they were chemically analysed to understand the elemental mobility in each profile. Major, trace and rare earth element studies show dissimilar behaviour with the advancement of weathering. In WPa profile, the CIA value of LAR (LAR) is 50 which reveals that the rock has not suffered any alteration but in WPb profile, the CIA value of LAR is 64 which indicates significant amount of chemical alteration. A-CN-K projection also exhibits similar behaviour. Further, the relative mobility of all the major and trace elements show variable elemental distribution in both the profiles. Enrichment of Mg, Fe, Ti, Al, Co, Ni, Zr, LREE and depletion of Na, K, P, Ca, Si, LILE and HFSE are observed in WPa profile; while the depletion of Na, K, Ca, P, Si, HREE and enhancement of Fe, Mn, Ti, Sc, Co, Zr, LREE are noticed in WPb profile. The rare earth elements also show a dissimilar mobilization pattern in both the profiles due to their strong dependency on lithology, and corresponding climate and tectonic interaction. Contrasting elemental mobility in both the profiles depict the major role in disparity of lithological characters and subsequent development of fractures produced by the major thrust system (Ramgarh thrust) which made an easy passage for rain water, thus causing the development of a chemically altered profile in the Lesser Himalayan region. Further, the present study infers the climate and tectonic milieu which is responsible for the development of such weathered profiles in Himalayan

  3. Jurassic carbonate microfacies, sea-level changes and the Toarcian anoxic event in the Tethys Himalaya (South Tibet)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Forest resource use pattern in Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary and its fringe areas (a case study from Western Himalaya, India)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  5. Quantitative Analysis of Tree Species Diversity in Different Oak (Quercus spp. Dominated Forests in Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gajendra SINGH

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Himalayan broad-leaved forests are mainly dominated by oak (Quercus spp. species. Oak species with other tree species provide numerous ecosystem services and serve as lifeline for local inhabitants. Overall tree diversity and their status in different oak dominated forests viz., Quercus leucotrichophora (1500-2200 m, Q. floribunda (2201-2700 m and Q. semecarpifolia (2701-3300 m were studied in Garhwal, Himalaya. A total of 54 tree species (40 genera in Q. leucotrichophora, 43 tree species (30 genera in Q. floribunda and 23 tree species (16 genera in Q. semecarpifolia dominated forests were recorded. Lauraceae was the dominant family in Q. leucotrichophora and Q. floribunda forests (6 and 8 species respectively, while Ericaceae (3 species was the dominant family in Q. semecarpifolia dominated forests. Pinaceae and Taxaceae were only two gymnospermic family represented by Pinus roxburghii at low, Abies pinrow at mid, Abies spectabilis and Taxus wallichiana at higher elevational oak forests. There was no significant variation (p=0.8 between overall tree density in different oak forests which ranges from 337�51 individual/ha in Q. semecarpifolia to 433�92 individual/ha in Q. leucotrichophora forests. The seedling density has significant variation (p=0.01 in different oak forests where highest density was recorded in Q. leucotrichophora forests (1981 individual/ha and lowest in Q. semecarpifolia forests (348 individual/ha. The Total Basal Area (TBA reported from Q. leucotrichophora (88.06 m2/ha and Q. floribunda (110.5 m2/ha forests was higher than those of earlier reported from the region, while basal area of Q. semecarpifolia (90.16 m2/ha was comparable with the forests of western Himalaya.

  6. Attenuation characteristics in eastern Himalaya and southern Tibetan Plateau: An understanding of the physical state of the medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sagar; Singh, Chandrani; Biswas, Rahul; Mukhopadhyay, Sagarika; Sahu, Himanshu

    2016-08-01

    Attenuation characteristics of the crust in the eastern Himalaya and the southern Tibetan Plateau are investigated using high quality data recorded by Himalayan Nepal Tibet Seismic Experiment (HIMNT) during 2001-2003. The present study aims to provide an attenuation model that can address the physical mechanism governing the attenuation characteristics in the underlying medium. We have studied the Coda wave attenuation (Qc) in the single isotropic scattering model hypothesis, S wave attenuation (Qs) by using the coda normalization method and intrinsic (Qi-1) and scattering (Qsc-1) quality factors by the multiple Lapse Time Window Analysis (MLTWA) method under the assumption of multiple isotropic scattering in a 3-D half space within the frequency range 2-12 Hz. All the values of Q exhibit frequency dependent nature for a seismically active area. At all the frequencies intrinsic absorption is predominant compared to scattering attenuation and seismic albedo (B0) are found to be lower than 0.5. The observed discrepancies between the observed and theoretical models can be corroborated by the depth-dependent velocity and attenuation structure as well as the assumption of a uniform distribution of scatterers. Our results correlate well with the existing geo-tectonic model of the area, which may suggest the possible existence of trapped fluids in the crust or its thermal nature. Surprisingly the underlying cause of high attenuation in the crust of eastern Himalaya and southern Tibet makes this region distinct from its adjacent western Himalayan segment. The results are comparable with the other regions reported globally.

  7. Giant submarine landslide grooves in the Neoproterozoic/Lower Cambrian Phe Formation, northwest Himalaya: Mechanisms of formation and palaeogeographic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draganits, E.; Schlaf, J.; Grasemann, B.; Argles, T.

    2008-04-01

    Giant groove casts have been found in the upper Proterozoic to Lower Cambrian Phe Formation (Haimanta Group), a siliciclastic sandstone/shale succession in the Tethyan Zone of the Higher Himalaya tectonic unit. The grooves are among the largest linear erosion structures related to submarine mass-movements observed in the geologic record. They are up to 4 m wide, about 0.2 m deep and can be traced for more than 35 m without changing their character. The grooves are straight, subparallel to cross-cutting striations with shallow semi-circular cross-sections and well-defined superimposed minor ridges and grooves. Groove casts exist on the soles of several sandstone beds within a 73 m thick logged section, commonly associated with flute casts. Their characteristics were compared with several other types of ancient and modern submarine linear erosion structures. A sand-rich, non-channelized basin floor depositional environment is inferred from the lithofacies, the combination of sedimentary structures, the lack of coarse-grained pebbly facies, the lateral continuity of beds, and the lack of channel structures. The grooves probably formed by laminar debris flows/concentrated density flows dragging blocks of already lithified sediment across the basin floor. When the bedding is structurally rotated back to horizontal, the groove casts show consistent North-South oriented palaeocurrent trends, with South-directed palaeocurrent directions indicated by flute casts. These palaeocurrent orientations contrast with previous palaeogeographic reconstructions of this area, which propose sediment delivery from the South. We therefore suggest a new "double provenance" model for the spatial relationship of late Proterozoic to Early Cambrian strata of the Himalaya, in which Lesser and Tethyan Himalayan age-equivalent sediment was deposited in a connected basin, where the former received detritus from the South, and the latter from a hitherto unknown source in the North. One possible

  8. Water–rock interaction on the development of granite gneissic weathered profiles in Garhwal Lesser Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S Vyshnavi; R Islam

    2015-07-01

    The development and sustainability of weathered profiles are very difficult in the Himalaya due to its complex lithology, tectonic history and fast erosion. Despite this, two weathered profiles namely WPa (weathered profile a) and WPb (weathered profile b) which have sustained erosion are developed on porphyry granite gneiss and granite gneissic lithology in Alaknanda valley of the Garhwal Lesser Himalaya. Systematic sampling of these two weathered profiles was done from bottom to top and they were chemically analysed to understand the elemental mobility in each profile. Major, trace and rare earth element studies show dissimilar behaviour with the advancement of weathering. In WPa profile, the CIA value of LAR (LAR) is 50 which reveals that the rock has not suffered any alteration but in WPb profile, the CIA value of LAR is 64 which indicates significant amount of chemical alteration. A–CN–K projection also exhibits similar behaviour. Further, the relative mobility of all the major and trace elements show variable elemental distribution in both the profiles. Enrichment of Mg, Fe, Ti, Al, Co, Ni, Zr, LREE and depletion of Na, K, P, Ca, Si, LILE and HFSE are observed in WPa profile; while the depletion of Na, K, Ca, P, Si, HREE and enhancement of Fe, Mn, Ti, Sc, Co, Zr, LREE are noticed in WPb profile. The rare earth elements also show a dissimilar mobilization pattern in both the profiles due to their strong dependency on lithology, and corresponding climate and tectonic interaction. Contrasting elemental mobility in both the profiles depict the major role in disparity of lithological characters and subsequent development of fractures produced by the major thrust system (Ramgarh thrust) which made an easy passage for rain water, thus causing the development of a chemically altered profile in the Lesser Himalayan region. Further, the present study infers the climate and tectonic milieu which is responsible for the development of such weathered profiles in

  9. Effect of Gamma Radiations on the Quality and Shelf Life of Strawberry Fruit of the Uttrakhand Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Diet and environment of a mid-Pliocene fauna from southwestern Himalaya: Paleo-elevation implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. Probing orographic controls in the Himalayas during the monsoon using satellite imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. P. Barros

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The linkages between the space-time variability of observed clouds, rainfall, large-circulation patterns and topography in northern India and the Himalayas were investigated using remote sensing data. The research purpose was to test the hypothesis that cloudiness patterns are dynamic tracers of rainstorms, and therefore their temporal and spatial evolution can be used as a proxy of the spatial and temporal organization of precipitation and precipitation processes in the Himalayan range during the monsoon. The results suggest that the space-time distribution of precipitation, the spatial variability of the diurnal cycle of convective activity, and the terrain (landform and altitudinal gradients are intertwined at spatial scales ranging from the order of a few kms (1–5km up to the continental-scale. Furthermore, this relationship is equally strong in the time domain with respect to the onset and intra-seasonal variability of the monsoon. Infrared and microwave imagery of cloud fields were analyzed to characterize the spatial and temporal evolution of mesoscale convective weather systems and short-lived convection in Northern India, the Himalayan range, and in the Tibetan Plateau during three monsoon seasons (1999, 2000 and 2001. The life cycle of convective systems suggests landform and orographic controls consistent with a convergence zone constrained to the valley of the Ganges and the Himalayan range, bounded in the west by the Aravalli range and the Garhwal mountains and in the East by the Khasi Hills and the Bay of Bengal, which we call the Northern India Convergence Zone (NICZ. The NICZ exhibits strong night-time activity along the south-facing slopes of the Himalayan range, which is characterized by the development of short-lived convection (1–3h aligned with protruding ridges between 1:00 and 3:00 AM. The intra-annual and inter-annual variability of convective activity in the NICZ were assessed with respect to large-scale synoptic

  12. The influence of physico-chemical parameters on phytoplankton distribution in a head water stream of Garhwal Himalayas: A case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramesh C. Sharma

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Physico-chemical parameters play a major role in determining the density, diversity and occurrence of phytoplankton in a headwater stream. The present study was conducted to assess the relationship between physico-chemical parameters and phytoplankton assemblages of Baldi stream of Garhwal Himalayas, India. Results showed an increased concentration in physico-chemical parameters (turbidity, total dissolved solids, nitrates and phosphates has an adverse impact on the density of phytoplankton during monsoon season at the sampling site S2, where maximum disturbances were recorded. Karl Pearson’s correlation coefficient calculated between physico-chemical parameters and density of phytoplankton revealed that as sediment load increases in the stream, the growth of phytoplankton decreases. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA between environmental variables and dominant taxa of phytoplankton indicated the influence of physico-chemical parameters on phytoplankton distribution in freshwater ecosystem of Baldi stream of Garhwal Himalayas, India.

  13. Effect of Storage Conditions and Storage Periods on Seed Germination in Eleven Populations of Swertia chirayita: A Critically Endangered Medicinal Herb in Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Pradhan, Bharat K.; Hemant K. Badola

    2012-01-01

    Effect of different storage conditions (room temperature, 4°C, and −15°C) and different storage periods over 24 months on seed germination in Swertia chirayita collected from different altitudes in Sikkim Himalaya was determined. Multivariate ANOVA revealed significant ( < 0 . 0 0 0 1 ) effect of storage condition and storage period on seed germination and mean germination time. Seed germination percentage significantly ( < 0 . 0 1 ) varied between 87.78% (Sc5) and 100% (Sc2) during initi...

  14. Evidence of Recombinant Citrus tristezavirus Isolate Occurring in Acid Lime cv. Pant Lemon Orchard in Uttarakhand Terai Region of Northern Himalaya in India

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Jaywant Kumar; Tarafdar, Avijit; Sharma, Susheel Kumar; Biswas, Kajal Kumar

    2012-01-01

    The present study for the first time describes biological and molecular characterization of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) occurring in the Terai area of Uttarakhand State in Northern Himalaya region of India. Direct antigen coated-ELISA and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) detected the CTV infection in Acid lime cv. Pant lemon (Citrus aurantifolia) orchards of Pantnagar with an estimated disease incidence of 16.6–20.5 %. To know the biological and genetic properties, an ...

  15. Market Oriented Smallholder Dairy Farming as an Option for Improving the Livelihoods of Small and Marginal Farmers in the Hindu Kush – Himalaya

    OpenAIRE

    Tulachan, Pradeep M; Jabbar, Mohammad A.

    2003-01-01

    A rapid appraisal study carried out by ICIMOD and ILRI in collaboration with National Partner Institutions (NPIs) in four regions in the Hindu Kush Himalaya has demonstrated the fact that promotion of market oriented smallholder dairy farming in the hills/mountains can contribute positively to improving the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers, while conserving the fragile ecosystem. In the region, smallholder dairy farming is not a specialized enterprise, rather it is an integral part o...

  16. Creating Intentional Spaces for Sustainable Development in the Indian Trans-Himalaya: Reconceptualizing Globalization from Below

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  17. The Pinjaur dun (intermontane longitudinal valley) and associated active mountain fronts, NW Himalaya: Tectonic geomorphology and morphotectonic evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Vimal; Tandon, S. K.

    2008-12-01

    The Himalayan orogenic belt, formed as a result of collision tectonic processes, shows abundant evidence of neotectonic activity, active tectonics, and the occurrence of historical earthquakes. Its frontal deformation zone is characterized, in some segments, by intermontane longitudinal valleys (duns). Such frontal segments of the Himalaya are marked by the occurrence of multiple mountain fronts. In one such segment of the foothills of the NW Himalaya, the Pinjaur dun is developed and marked by three mountain fronts: MF1A and MF1B associated with the southernmost Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT), MF2 associated with the Sirsa fault, and MF3 associated with the Barsar thrust along the southern margin of the relatively higher main part of the sub-Himalaya. Geomorphic responses to the tectonic activity of these and related structural features have been analyzed through the use of geomorphic indices, drainage density, stream longitudinal profiles, drainage anomalies, and hypsometric analysis. Also, fault and fold growth and their expression on landform development was studied using a combination of surface profiles and field observations. The values of valley floor width to height ratio ( Vf) for valleys associated with MF1 ranged between 0.07 and 0.74, and for valleys associated with MF2 ranged from 1.02-5.12. Vf for the four major valleys associated with MF1B ranged from 1.1-1.7. The asymmetry factor for 26 drainage basins related to MF1A indicate these have developed under the influence of a transverse structure. These results taken together with those obtained from the Hack profiles and SL index values, hypsometry, drainage density, and drainage anomalies suggest that the faults associated with the mountain fronts and related structures are active. Active tectonics and neotectonic activity have led to the formation of four surfaces in the Pinjaur dun. In addition, an important drainage divide separating the Sirsa and Jhajara drainage networks also developed in the

  18. Central Pain Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Enhancing Diversity Find People About NINDS NINDS Central Pain Syndrome Information Page Table of Contents (click to ... being done? Clinical Trials Organizations What is Central Pain Syndrome? Central pain syndrome is a neurological condition ...

  19. Characterizing the impacts of water resources infrastructure, humans, and hydrologic nonstationarity on changes in flood risk across the Himalaya region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tullos, D. D.

    2014-12-01

    As flood control infrastructure reaches its design life, and climate change, population growth, and urban migration increase flood risk, the historical paradigm of store-then-release floodwaters behind rigid infrastructure is of decreasing physical and socioeconomic value. Instead, a new paradigm of sustainable flood management is emerging, which can be framed in the context of three elements that can contribute to and/or mitigate flood risk: 1) water resources infrastructure, 2) policies and socioeconomics, and 3) changing climates and land use. In this presentation, I present the results of analysis on the role of these three elements in contributing to flood risk of the Sutlej River (India) and the Koshi River (Nepal) basins for six historical flood events. The Himalaya region was selected based on the a) increasing intensity of monsoonal rains, b) increasing prevalence of glacial lake outburst floods, c) water resources management that achieves short-term development goals but lacks long-term sustainability, and d) other socio-economic, environmental, and geopolitical factors. I develop and apply a flood risk management framework that is based on metrics for characterizing the losses associated with the three elements contributing to major floods in the Himalaya region. Derived from a variety of data sources, results highlight how, across different hydrogeologic settings and various flood magnitudes, the largest influences on high flood losses are associated with inflexible water resources infrastructure and inappropriate development and flood management policies. Particularly for the most destructive events, which are generally associated with landslides and other natural hazards in this region, the effectiveness of some types of traditional and inflexible flood management infrastructure, including large dams and levees, is limited. As opposed to the probability of a particular flood event, findings illustrate the importance of the damages side of the flood

  20. Monitoring of time and space evolution of glaciers' flow at the scale of the Karakoram and Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehecq, Amaury; Gourmelen, Noel; Trouvé, Emmanuel; Wegmuller, Urs; Cheng, Xiao

    2014-05-01

    Climate warming over the 20th century has caused drastic changes in mountain glaciers globally, and of the Himalayan glaciers in particular. The stakes are high; glaciers and ice caps are the largest contributor to the increase in the mass of the world's oceans, and the Himalayas play a key role in the hydrology of the region, impacting on the economy, food safety and flood risk to a large population. Partial monitoring of the Himalayan glaciers has revealed a mixed picture; while many of the Himalayan glaciers are retreating, in some cases locally stable or advancing glaciers in this region have also been observed. But recent controversies have highlighted the need to understand the glaciers dynamic and its relationship with climate change in this region. Earth Observation provides a mean for global and long-term monitoring of mountain glaciers' dynamics. In the frame of the Dragon program, a partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese Center for Earth Observation (NRSCC), we begun a monitoring program aimed at quantifying multidecadal changes in glaciers' flow at the scale of the entire Himalayas and Karakoram from a 40 years' archive of Earth Observation. Ultimately, the provision of a global and time-sensitive glaciers velocity product will help to understand the evolution of the Himalayan glaciers in lights of glaciological (e.g. presence of debris-cover, surges, proglacial lakes) and climatic conditions. In this presentation, we focus on the analysis of the Landsat archive spanning the 1972 to 2012 period, which is global and provide multidecadal and continuous observation. We present the processing strategy including preprocessing of the images, image-matching and merging of the various results obtained from the repetitivity of the acquisitions in order to obtain a more robust, precise and complete glaciers velocity fields. We show that the recent archive (Landsat 4, 5 and 7, from 1982 to 2013) allows an estimate of the velocity for

  1. Tectonic control on Pleistocene basin-filling processes and landscape evolution: the intermontane Kangra Basin, NW Sub-Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Saptarshi; Thiede, Rasmus; Schildgen, Taylor; Strecker, Manfred

    2015-04-01

    The growth of a collisional mountain belt like the Himalaya is dynamically coupled both to tectonics and climate and can result in strong temporal variations in the delivery of sediment to intermontane basins and the foreland. Orogenic critical taper models have been helpful to explain the processes controlling the evolution of mountain fronts in such settings. Rapid and voluminous sediment accumulations might destabilize the orogenic wedge and force architectural re-organization by outward propagation of the deformation front, while basin evacuation can induce out-of-sequence-thrusting to return the wedge to a critical taper. Structural reentrants along the Himalayan front are promising locations to study sediment delivery, storage, and sediment-evacuation mechanisms, as those areas commonly expose extensive transiently stored foreland-basin sediments. The Kangra re-entrant in the NW Sub-Himalaya hosts intermontane valley fills of Pleistocene age, eroded from the Dhauladhar Range. The sediments were unconformably deposited on top of Neogene foreland-basin sediments (i.e. the Siwaliks) in the hanging wall of the NW-SE striking Jwalamukhi Thrust. This major sediment accumulation phase appears to have preceded a phase of sediment evacuation in the course of episodic re-incision into the fill unit, which carved a series of fill-terrace levels. Angular unconformities, differential fluvial incision, tilted fluvial terraces, drainage re-organization, and steepened river segments in the hanging wall of the Jwalamukhi Thrust indicate post-depositional shortening and uplift in the Kangra re-entrant. From this evidence, we infer a primary importance of the Jwalamukhi Thrust in controlling the Quaternary sediment deposition in the Kangra re-entrant - however, we cannot exclude the influence of climate as the main trigger for sediment aggradation and subsequent excavation. However, knickpoints and steep river-channel gradients crossing other tectonic structures within the

  2. Climate change effects on Glacier recession in Himalayas using Multitemporal SAR data and Automatic Weather Station observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, V.; Singh, S. K.; Venkataraman, G.

    2009-04-01

    The Himalaya is the highest but the youngest mountain belt (20 to 60 million years B.P.) of the earth running in arc shape for about 2500 km. It has more than 90 peaks above 6000 m and contains about 50% of all glaciers outside of the polar environments (Bahadur, 1993). All glaciers in this region are in general recession since last 150 years (Paul et al.,1979). Gangotri, Siachen, Bara Shigri and Patsio are major glaciers in this region which are showing retreat with different rates and their respective tributary glaciers are completely disconnected from main body of glaciers. Spaceborne synthetic aperture radar data provide an important tool for monitoring the fluctuation of the glaciers. In this paper attempt has been made for quantifying the glacier retreat using multitemporal synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data. SAR intensity and phase information will be exploited separately under SAR intensity tracking and interferometric SAR (InSAR) coherence tracking (Strozzi et al., 2002) respectively. Glacier retreat study have been done using time series coregistered multi temporal SAR images. Simultaneously InSAR coherence thresholding is applied for tracking the snout of Gangotri glacier. It is observed that glacier is retreating at the rate of 21 m/a. Availability of high resolution spotlight mode TerraSAR-X SAR data will supplement the ENVISAT ASAR and ERS-1/2 based observations. The observatory in the proximity of Gangotri glacier has been made functional at Bhojbasa and all weather parameters viz. Snow fall, temperature, pressure, air vector, column water vapor and humidity are recorded twice a day as per WMO standards manually and automatically. Three Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) have been established in the glacier area at Bhojbasa , Kalindipass and Nandaban. Since Himalayan environment is presently under great stress of decay and degeneration, AWS data will be analyzed in the context of climate change effects on fluctuation of glaciers. References 1.Jagdish

  3. Predicting Monsoonal-Driven Stream Discharge and Sediment Yield in Himalaya Mountain Basins with Changing Climate and Deforestation

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Characteristics of Precipitation Features and Annual Rainfall during the TRMM Era in the Central Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohr, Karen I.; Slayback, Daniel; Yager, Karina

    2014-01-01

    The central Andes extends from 7 deg to 21 deg S, with its eastern boundary defined by elevation (1000m and greater) and its western boundary by the coastline. The authors used a combination of surface observations, reanalysis, and the University of Utah Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation features (PF) database to understand the characteristics of convective systems and associated rainfall in the central Andes during the TRMM era, 1998-2012. Compared to other dry (West Africa), mountainous (Himalayas), and dynamically linked (Amazon) regions in the tropics, the central Andes PF population was distinct from these other regions, with small and weak PFs dominating its cumulative distribution functions and annual rainfall totals. No more than 10% of PFs in the central Andes met any of the thresholds used to identify and define deep convection (minimum IR cloud-top temperatures, minimum 85-GHz brightness temperature, maximum height of the 40-dBZ echo). For most of the PFs, available moisture was limited (less than 35mm) and instability low (less than 500 J kg(exp -1)). The central Andes represents a largely stable, dry to arid environment, limiting system development and organization. Hence, primarily short-duration events (less than 60 min) characterized by shallow convection and light to light-moderate rainfall rates (0.5-4.0 mm h(exp -1)) were found.

  5. A direct evidence for high carbon dioxide and radon-222 discharge in Central Nepal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perrier, F.; Byrdina, S. [Inst Phys Globe, UMR 7154, Equipe Geomagnetisme, F-75005 Paris (France); Univ Paris Diderot, F-75005 Paris (France); Richon, P.; Bollinger, L.; Bureau, S. [CEA Bruyeres le Chatel, DIF, Dept Anal Surveillance Environm, 91 (France); Richon, P. [Inst Phys Globe, UMR 7154, Equipe Geol Syst Volcan, F-75005 Paris (France); France-Lanord, Ch. [CNRS, Ctr Rech Petrog and Geochim, F-54501 Vandoeuvre Les Nancy (France); Rajaure, S.; Koirala, Bharat Prasad; Shrestha, Prithvi Lal; Gautam, Umesh Prasad; Tiwari, Dilli Ram; Sapkota, Soma Nath [Natl Seism Ctr, Dept Mines and Geol, Kathmandu (Nepal); Revil, A. [Colorado Sch Mines, Dept Geophys, Golden, CO 80401 (United States); Revil, A. [Univ Savoie, Equipe Volcans, CNRS, LGIT, UMR 5559, Chambery (France); Contraires, S. [Inst Phys Globe, Equipe Geomat and Environm, F-75005 Paris (France)

    2009-02-15

    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 {delta}{sup 13}C varying from +0. 7 parts per thousand to +4. 8 parts per thousand. The gas is mainly dry carbon dioxide, with a {delta}{sup 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{sup -2}day{sup -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{sup -1}, or 350 {+-} 100 ton a{sup -1}. The mean radon-222 concentration in spring water did not exceed 2. 5 Bq L{sup -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{sup -3}. In the soil, radon concentration varied from 25000 to more than 50000 Bq m{sup -3}. Radon flux, measured at more than fifty points, reached extreme values, larger than 2 Bq m{sup -2}s{sup -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

  6. A direct evidence for high carbon dioxide and radon-222 discharge in Central Nepal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 δ13C varying from +0. 7 parts per thousand to +4. 8 parts per thousand. The gas is mainly dry carbon dioxide, with a δ13C of -0. 8 parts per thousand. The diffuse carbon dioxide flux, mapped by the accumulation chamber method, reached a value of 19000 g m-2day-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-2s-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 a function of time

  7. Decision Tree and Texture Analysis for Mapping Debris-Covered Glaciers in the Kangchenjunga Area, Eastern Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adina Racoviteanu

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study we use visible, short-wave infrared and thermal Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER data validated with high-resolution Quickbird (QB and Worldview2 (WV2 for mapping debris cover in the eastern Himalaya using two independent approaches: (a a decision tree algorithm, and (b texture analysis. The decision tree algorithm was based on multi-spectral and topographic variables, such as band ratios, surface reflectance, kinetic temperature from ASTER bands 10 and 12, slope angle, and elevation. The decision tree algorithm resulted in 64 km2 classified as debris-covered ice, which represents 11% of the glacierized area. Overall, for ten glacier tongues in the Kangchenjunga area, there was an area difference of 16.2 km2 (25% between the ASTER and the QB areas, with mapping errors mainly due to clouds and shadows. Texture analysis techniques included co-occurrence measures, geostatistics and filtering in spatial/frequency domain. Debris cover had the highest variance of all terrain classes, highest entropy and lowest homogeneity compared to the other classes, for example a mean variance of 15.27 compared to 0 for clouds and 0.06 for clean ice. Results of the texture image for debris-covered areas were comparable with those from the decision tree algorithm, with 8% area difference between the two techniques.

  8. Organic persistent toxic substances in soils, waters and sediments along an altitudinal gradient at Mt. Sagarmatha, Himalayas, Nepal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are important classes of compounds of serious environmental concern. These compounds were measured in waters, sediments and soils from several high altitude sites in the Sagarmatha National Park (Nepal) and included in the Himalayan ridge. In water samples, low-level substituted PCBs and PBDEs, along with more volatile PAHs, were the most common contaminants. In sediment and soil samples, the PCB profile was mainly composed of medium-level chlorinated congeners and significantly correlated with altitude. The PAH profile for water and soil samples showed the main contribution of pyrogenic PAHs due to emissions of solid combustion, whereas the profile for sediments indicated the main contribution of pyrogenic PAHs from gasoline emissions. The PAH levels measured in Himalayan samples must be considered as low to medium contaminated, whereas the regarded Himalayan stations can be considered undisturbed remote areas concerning PCB, PBDE and OC compounds. - Highlights: → POPs were measured in environmental samples from remote lakes in the Himalaya ridge. → It was confirmed the hypothesis of Long-Range Atmospheric Transport for lighter POPs. → PAH levels in Himalayan samples must be considered as low to medium contaminated. → The stations can be considered undisturbed remote areas concerning PCB, PBDE and OCC. - Organic PTSs in environmental matrices in remote regions of the Himalayan ridge.

  9. Antioxidant capacities and total polyphenol contents of hydro-ethanolic extract of phytococktail from trans-Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhar, P; Tayade, A B; Bajpai, P K; Sharma, V K; Das, S K; Chaurasia, O P; Srivastava, R B; Singh, S B

    2012-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antioxidant potential of hydro-ethanolic extract of a novel phytococktail comprising of sea buckthorn, apricot, and Rhodiola (SAR) from trans-Himalaya. The 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) activity of the extract increased in a dose-dependent manner (upto 0.1 mg/mL), and was found to be about 38% of that of ascorbic acid at 0.1 mg/mL. The hydro-ethanolic extract of SAR also scavenged the ABTS(.+) radical generated by ABTS/potassium persulfate (PPS) system and was found to be about 62% of that of ascorbic acid at 0.1 mg/ mL. The total antioxidant power of the extract was determined by ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. Total phenolic content was found to be 1.28016 × 10(-3) mol gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g extract. Total flavonoid and flavonol contents were estimated to be 2.5970 × 10(-4) mol and 4.87 × 10(-4) mol quercetin equivalent/g extract, respectively. The hydro-ethanolic extract of this phytococktail indicated presence of essential phytoconstituents of polyphenols, flavonoids, flavonols, and ascorbic acid, which contributed significantly to its antioxidant capacity. The combination of the 3 plants may well support their use in traditional medicine to combat oxidative stress and high-altitude sickness. PMID:22225422

  10. Assessment of radiation doses due to the exposure of radon, thoron and their progeny in Almora district of Kumaun Himalaya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The inhalation of radon and its daughter product in dwellings is the most important source of radiation exposure to the general population. The health effects due to the exposure of radon are caused primarily by damage due to alpha-particles. The radon progeny combines with the air borne particles such as dust and smoke and forms a radioactive aerosols which readily deposit in the airways of the lung. While lodged there, the progeny emit ionizing radiation in the form of alpha particles, which can damage the cells lining the airways. In present study for the assessment of radiation doses we have carried out an extensive survey of radon, thoron and their progeny in Almora district of Kumaun Himalaya. For the measurement of radon and thoron concentration we have used pinhole dosimetry technique while their progeny concentration were measured using direct radon and thoron progeny sensors. Simultaneously we have also measured the gamma radiation level in the study area using pocket survey meter. During this survey we have also identified some high background area in this region. (author)

  11. Drainage response to active tectonics and evolution of tectonic geomorphology across the Himalayan Frontal Thrust, Kumaun Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luirei, Khayingshing; Bhakuni, Surendra S.; Kothyari, Girish Ch.

    2015-06-01

    We present the results of integrated studies of geomorphic indices of drainage networks and landforms developed across the mountain front along the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) between the Dabka and Baur rivers, Kumaun Himalaya. The HFT is a morphogenic structure in nature, creating a 100-m-high E-W trending escarpment that extends ~ 21 km. Geomorphological evidence indicates ~ 10.5 km westward migration of the Dabka River and ~ 5.2 km eastward migration of the Baur River. These migrations are a result of uplift of the hanging wall along the HFT. The HFT is offset by a transverse fault, which suggests that the latter postdates the reactivation of the HFT between 500 and 100 ka. Presence of different levels of strath terraces along the mountain front suggests the active nature of the HFT. To assess the relative tectonic activity, morphometric indices such as stream-gradient (SL) index, mountain front sinuosity (Smf) index, and ratio of valley floor width to valley height (Vf) have been analyzed. Results of the former two are consistent with the tectonic landforms developed in thrust zones. Paleochannels of the Dabka and Baur rivers are characterized by high Vf values while other valleys show low Vf values. Quaternary alluvial sediments have been deformed along the Pawalgarth Thrust, a splay of the HFT. Deformation has resulted in the formation of the Pawalgarh Anticline, a thrust-related asymmetric fold.

  12. Diversity, distribution pattern and seasonal variation in moth assemblages along altitudinal gradient in Gangotri landscape area, Western Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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 species as well as individuals. Of the thirty two species mentioned in Appendix 1, nine species are first time record from the state Uttarakhand. Four species are new record from Western Himalaya within Indian Territory, and also first time recorded from entire Himalayan landscape. As there was no previous comprehensive study on the moth diversity of Gangotri landscape area, all the 32 species described could be regarded as new record from these two protected areas.

  13. Subduction, peak and multi-stage exhumation metamorphism: Traces from one coesite-bearing eclogite, Tso Morari, western Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilke, Franziska D. H.; O'Brien, Patrick J.; Schmidt, Alexander; Ziemann, Martin A.

    2015-08-01

    Ultrahigh-pressure (UHP), coesite-bearing eclogites in the Himalaya have been documented from the Kaghan Valley in Pakistan and the Tso Morari area in northwest India. These complexes are part of the northern edge of the Indian plate that has been subducted to, and metamorphosed at, mantle depths of more than 100 km before being exhumed. Both UHP complexes are located today directly adjacent to the Indus-Tsangpo suture zone and are not separated by non-metamorphosed sequences of Tethyan sediments from the Asian margin. Herein, we present new data for one fresh coesite-bearing eclogite from the Tso Morari massif. Therein, garnets are zoned reflecting their growth during prograde and peak metamorphism and showing a thin retrograde overgrowth. Inclusions can be directly correlated to the compositional zoning and are seen as either relicts of the protolith mineral paragenesis and as "snap shots" of the mineral paragenesis during subduction and under peak conditions. Rare earth element concentrations (REE) were obtained for garnet, mineral inclusions in garnet and matrix minerals. The REE pattern in garnet reflects a sequential change in matrix minerals and their proportions due to net transfer reactions during subduction and peak metamorphism. Using conventional geothermobarometry, a peak pressure of ca. 44-48 kbar at 560-760 °C followed by an S-shaped exhumation curve has been deduced. Gibbs free energy minimization modelling was used to supplement our analytical findings.

  14. Pollen Morphology of Pedicularis sect. Cyathophora, a Group Endemic to the Eastern Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains Region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wen-Bin Yu; Hong Wang

    2008-01-01

    Pedicularis sect. Cyathophora is a distinctive group endemic to the eastern Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains region. It was regarded as a 'grex' or section and Included all four general corolla types of Pedicularis. A unique feature of it is that the leaf and bract bases are fused together to form a cup-like structure around the stem at each node. Pollen morphology of seven species In sect. Cyathophora was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy (LM). Two different pollen apertures could be distinguished (i.e. trisyncolpate and bisyncolpate) using LM, while examination with SEM made it possible to recognize three types of exine ornamentation (i.e. microscabrate, microfoveolate and microreticulate). The microfoveolata exlne ornamentation was found in trisyncolpata pollen grains for the first time. Possible relationships between pollen data and the corolla types were discussed. Comparisons of floral and phyllotaxy characters of the genus Pedicularis, together with the pollen characters of sect. Cyathophora, could help us to better understand the evolutionary trends in Pedicularis.

  15. Variation in carbon stocks on different slope aspects in seven major forest types of temperate region of Garhwal Himalaya, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    C M Sharma; Sumeet Gairola; N P Baduni; S K Ghildiyal; Sarvesh Suyal

    2011-09-01

    The present study was undertaken in seven major forest types of temperate zone (1500 m a.s.l. to 3100 m a.s.l.) of Garhwal Himalaya to understand the effect of slope aspects on carbon (C) density and make recommendations for forest management based on priorities for C conservation/sequestration. We assessed soil organic carbon (SOC) density, tree density, biomass and soil organic carbon (SOC) on four aspects, viz. north-east (NE), north-west (NW), south-east (SE) and south-west (SW), in forest stands dominated by Abies pindrow, Cedrus deodara, Pinus roxburghii, Cupressus torulosa, Quercus floribunda, Quercus semecarpifolia and Quercus leucotrichophora. TCD ranged between 77.3 CMg ha−1 on SE aspect (Quercus leucotrichophora forest) and 291.6 CMg ha−1 on NE aspect (moist Cedrus deodara forest). SOC varied between 40.3 CMg ha−1 on SW aspect (Himalayan Pinus roxburghii forest) and 177.5 CMg ha−1 on NE aspect (moist Cedrus deodara forest). Total C density (SOC+TCD) ranged between 118.1 CMg ha−1 on SW aspect (Himalayan Pinus roxburghii forest) and 469.1 CMg ha−1 on NE aspect (moist Cedrus deodara forest). SOC and TCD were significantly higher on northern aspects as compared with southern aspects. It is recommended that for C sequestration, the plantation silviculture be exercised on northern aspects, and for C conservation purposes, mature forest stands growing on northern aspects be given priority.

  16. Thermal resistances in the Everest Area (Nepal Himalaya) derived from satellite imagery using a nonlinear energy balance model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rounce, D. R.; McKinney, D. C.

    2014-01-01

    Debris thickness is an important characteristic of many debris-covered glaciers in the Everest region of the Himalayas. The debris thickness controls the melt rates of the glaciers, which has large implications for hydrologic models, the glaciers response to climate change, and the development of glacial lakes. Despite its importance, there is little knowledge of how the debris thickness varies over these glaciers. This paper uses an energy balance model in conjunction with Landsat7 ETM+ satellite imagery to derive thermal resistances, which is the debris thickness divided by the thermal conductivity. The developed model accounts for the nonlinear temperature gradient in the debris cover to derive accurate thermal resistances. Fieldwork performed on Lhotse Shar/Imja glacier in September 2013 was used to validate the satellite-derived thermal resistances. Results indicate that accounting for the nonlinear temperature gradient is crucial. Furthermore, correcting the incoming shortwave radiation term for the effects of topography and including the turbulent heat fluxes is imperative to derive accurate thermal resistances. Since the topographic correction is important, the model will improve with the quality of the DEM. The main limitation of this work is the poor resolution (60 m) of the satellite's thermal band. The derived thermal resistances are accurate at this resolution, but are unable to derive trends related to slope and aspect on a finer scale. Nonetheless, the study finds this model derives accurate thermal resistances on this scale and is transferable to other debris-covered glaciers in the Everest region.

  17. Organic persistent toxic substances in soils, waters and sediments along an altitudinal gradient at Mt. Sagarmatha, Himalayas, Nepal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guzzella, Licia, E-mail: guzzella@irsa.cnr.it [IRSA-CNR, via del Mulino 19, 20047 Brugherio (Italy); Poma, Giulia; De Paolis, Adolfo; Roscioli, Claudio; Viviano, Gaetano [IRSA-CNR, via del Mulino 19, 20047 Brugherio (Italy)

    2011-10-15

    Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are important classes of compounds of serious environmental concern. These compounds were measured in waters, sediments and soils from several high altitude sites in the Sagarmatha National Park (Nepal) and included in the Himalayan ridge. In water samples, low-level substituted PCBs and PBDEs, along with more volatile PAHs, were the most common contaminants. In sediment and soil samples, the PCB profile was mainly composed of medium-level chlorinated congeners and significantly correlated with altitude. The PAH profile for water and soil samples showed the main contribution of pyrogenic PAHs due to emissions of solid combustion, whereas the profile for sediments indicated the main contribution of pyrogenic PAHs from gasoline emissions. The PAH levels measured in Himalayan samples must be considered as low to medium contaminated, whereas the regarded Himalayan stations can be considered undisturbed remote areas concerning PCB, PBDE and OC compounds. - Highlights: > POPs were measured in environmental samples from remote lakes in the Himalaya ridge. > It was confirmed the hypothesis of Long-Range Atmospheric Transport for lighter POPs. > PAH levels in Himalayan samples must be considered as low to medium contaminated. > The stations can be considered undisturbed remote areas concerning PCB, PBDE and OCC. - Organic PTSs in environmental matrices in remote regions of the Himalayan ridge.

  18. Effect of Cooking on the Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid and Antioxidant Properties of Small Indigenous Fish Species of the Eastern Himalayas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wahengbam Sarjubala Devi

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The effect of cooking method on the polyunsaturated fatty acid and antioxidant properties of small indigenous freshwater fish species, Amblypharyngodon mola and Puntius sophore of the Eastern Himalayas were determined. In the raw and fried samples, docosahexaenoic acid was significantly higher (2.907 and 1.167mg/100g in Amblypharyngodon mola and lowest (0.749 and 0.291mg/100g were recorded in Puntius sophore. The eicosapentaenoic acid of raw, fried and curried samples of Amblypharyngodon mola were recorded higher. In DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl free radical scavenging assay of IC50 value of the raw fish extract were 2.9µg/ml and 1.66µg/ml respectively. The highest antioxidant activity was found in fish curry of Amblypharyngodon mola (0.11µg/ml. It shows that the Maillard reaction product forms the melanoidin during cooking, increases the antioxidant property of the fish curry and also improved the taste.

  19. Cold active hydrolytic enzymes production by psychrotrophic Bacilli isolated from three sub-glacial lakes of NW Indian Himalayas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Ajar Nath; Sachan, Shashwati Ghosh; Verma, Priyanka; Kaushik, Rajeev; Saxena, Anil Kumar

    2016-03-01

    The diversity of culturable, cold-active enzymes producing Bacilli was investigated from three sub-glacial lakes of north western Indian Himalayas. Amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) using three restriction enzymes Alu I, Msp I, and Hae III led to the clustering of 136 Bacilli into 26, 23, and 22 clusters at 75% similarity index from Chandratal Lake, Dashair Lake, and Pangong Lake, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing led to the identification of 35 Bacilli that could be grouped in seven families viz.: Bacillaceae (48%), Staphylococcaceae (14%), Bacillales incertae sedis (13%), Planococcaceae (12%), Paenibacillaceae (9%), Sporolactobacillaceae (3%), and Carnobacteriaceae (1%), which included twelve different genera Bacillus, Desemzia, Exiguobacterium, Jeotgalicoccus, Lysinibacillus, Paenibacillus, Planococcus, Pontibacillus, Sinobaca, Sporosarcina, Staphylococcus, and Virgibacillus. Based on their optimal temperature for growth, 35 Bacilli were grouped as psychrophilic (11 strains), psychrotrophic (17 strains), or psychrotolerant (7 strains), respectively. The representative isolates from each cluster were screened for cold-active enzyme activities. Amylase, β-glucosidase, pectinase, and protease activities at 4 °C were detected in more than 80% of the strains while approximately 40, 31, 23, 14, 11, and 9% of strains possessed cellulase, xylanase, β-galactosidase, laccase, chitinase, and lipase activity, respectively. Among 35 Bacilli, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Bacillus marisflavi, Exiguobacterium indicum, Paenibacillus terrae, Pontibacillus sp., Sporosarcina globispora, and Sporosarcina psychrophila were efficient producers of different cold-active enzymes. These cold-adapted Bacilli could play an important role in industrial and agricultural processes. PMID:26933936

  20. Geochemical characterization of supraglacial debris via in situ and optical remote sensing methods: a case study in Khumbu Himalaya, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. A. Casey

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Surface glacier debris samples and field spectra were collected from the ablation zones of Nepal Himalaya Ngozumpa and Khumbu glaciers in November and December 2009. Geochemical and mineral compositions of supraglacial debris were determined by X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. This composition data was used as ground truth in evaluating field spectra and satellite supraglacial debris composition and mapping methods. Satellite remote sensing methods for characterizing glacial surface debris include visible to thermal infrared hyper- and multispectral reflectance and emission signature identification, semi-quantitative mineral abundance indicies and spectral image composites. Satellite derived supraglacial debris mineral maps displayed the predominance of layered silicates, hydroxyl-bearing and calcite minerals on Khumbu Himalayan glaciers. Supraglacial mineral maps compared with satellite thermal data revealed correlations between glacier surface composition and glacier surface temperature. Glacier velocity displacement fields and shortwave, thermal infrared false color composites indicated the magnitude of mass flux at glacier confluences. The supraglacial debris mapping methods presented in this study can be used on a broader scale to improve, supplement and potentially reduce errors associated with glacier debris radiative property, composition, areal extent and mass flux quantifications.

  1. Geochemical characterization of surface water and spring water in SE Kashmir Valley, western Himalaya: Implications to water–rock interaction

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Gh Jeelani; Nadeem A Bhat; K Shivanna; M Y Bhat

    2011-10-01

    Water samples from precipitation, glacier melt, snow melt, glacial lake, streams and karst springs were collected across SE of Kashmir Valley, to understand the hydrogeochemical processes governing the evolution of the water in a natural and non-industrial area of western Himalayas. The time series data on solute chemistry suggest that the hydrochemical processes controlling the chemistry of spring waters is more complex than the surface water. This is attributed to more time available for infiltrating water to interact with the diverse host lithology. Total dissolved solids (TDS), in general, increases with decrease in altitude. However, high TDS of some streams at higher altitudes and low TDS of some springs at lower altitudes indicated contribution of high TDS waters from glacial lakes and low TDS waters from streams, respectively. The results show that some karst springs are recharged by surface water; Achabalnag by the Bringi stream and Andernag and Martandnag by the Liddar stream. Calcite dissolution, dedolomitization and silicate weathering were found to be the main processes controlling the chemistry of the spring waters and calcite dissolution as the dominant process in controlling the chemistry of the surface waters. The spring waters were undersaturated with respect to calcite and dolomite in most of the seasons except in November, which is attributed to the replenishment of the CO2 by recharging waters during most of the seasons.

  2. The impact of hydroelectric project development on the ethnobotany of the Alaknanda river basin of Western Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khilendra Singh Kanwal

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: This study focuses on the ethnoflora used by local communities in the Alaknanda river basin of Uttarakhand state in Western Himalaya, India. The objectives of the study are to collect ethnobotanical information, to assess the impact of hydropower projects on ethnoflora and to suggest conservation and management measures for the protection of ethnoflora. Material and Methods: A well-designed questionnaire based survey was conducted in the ten villages of the study area to collect ethnobotanical information. The conservation status of plants was also evaluated following the IUCN Red list, the Red Data Book of Indian Plants and the CITES criteria. Results: A total of 136 plant species belonging to 61 families and 112 genera were used by local communities for various ethnobotanical purposes. The majority of plant species were used for medicinal purposes (96 spp., followed by fodder (46 spp., wild edibles (31 spp., fuel (29 spp., timber (17 spp., fish poison (9 spp., agriculture implements (6 spp., fibre (6 spp., religious use (6 spp. and handicraft (1 sp.. For the preparation of herbal medicine, rural people of the region use different parts of medicinal plants such as the whole plant (20% followed by roots/rhizomes/tubers (20%, leaf (18%, fruit (10%, seed (9%, bark (9%, stem (6%, flowers (6% and resin (2%. Conclusions: Development of hydropower projects will influence the diversity and distribution of ethnoflora in the region. Therefore, for the conservation of the ethnoflora of the area, conservation and management measures have been suggested.

  3. Soil radon concentration, CO2 and CH4 flux measurements around the Jwalamukhi area of North-West Himalayas, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)