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Discharge and suspended sediment dynamics in an Indian Himalayan river system

Stott, TA and NUTTALL, A Discharge and suspended sediment dynamics in an Indian Himalayan river system. Hydrology Journal, Indian Association of Hydrologists. (Accepted)

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STOTT Ladakh Q and suspended sediment paper v1 24-Dec-14.pdf - Accepted Version

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Abstract

A pure, clean and reliable water supply is of paramount importance in India where meeting the requirements of a rising population is one of the big challenges of the 21st century. Climate change in the Indian subcontinent, identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2013) as the region with the highest level of climate instability, is of major concern (Immerzeel et al., 2010; Morton, 2011). In 2010 the floods in the Indus basin were the worst in history (Hobley et al., 2012). Two thousand people died in Pakistan and in the high-altitude desert of Ladakh, intense rain and floods centred around Leh, washed away homes and villages and killed 200 people. At present, 10 % of the earth’s land-mass is covered with snow. Of this total area, 84.16 % is in the Antarctic, 13.9 % in Greenland, 0.77 % in the Himalaya, 0.51 % in North America, 0.37 % in Africa, 0.15 % in South America, and 0.06 % in Europe. Outside the Polar Regions, the Himalaya has the maximum concentration of glaciers – 9.04 % of its area. An additional 30-to-40 % is covered with snow. The glaciers of the Himalaya are the Third Pole (Dyhrenfurth, 2011). They feed the giant rivers of Asia, support half of humanity and can have a significant influence on regional water availability (Immerzeel et al., 2009). Recent studies have confirmed the important role of high mountain areas of the world as sources of freshwater for the population living in the adjacent lowlands (eg. Bandyopadhyay et al., 1997; Viviroli &Weingartner, 2004; Barnett et al., 2005; Viviroli et al., 2007; Thayyen & Gergan, 2010)

Despite the hydrological importance of glaciers for the adjoining lowlands, data on the glaciers of the Himalaya, Karakorum, and Hindu Kush ranges are sparse and inconsistent. There is a lack of long-term series and field investigations, especially for glaciers at higher altitudes (Armstrong, 2010; Schmidt & Nüsser, 2012).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions: School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition
Publisher: Indian Association of Hydrologists
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2016 14:43
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2016 14:43
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4012

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