Retreating Glaciers of the Himalayas: A Case Study of Gangotri Glacier Using 1990-2009 Satellite Images

Description:

This paper discusses research on the spatial and temporal variation of the Gangotri Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas. The authors discuss how this influences the River Ganges and, consequently, the people of the Indian subcontinent.

Creator(s):
Creation Date: April 1, 2010
Partner(s):
UNT Honors College
Collection(s):
UNT Scholarly Works
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Creator (Author):
Ding, Jennifer

University of North Texas

Creator (Contributor):
Dong, Pinliang

University of North Texas; Faculty Mentor

Date(s):
  • Creation: April 1, 2010
Description:

This paper discusses research on the spatial and temporal variation of the Gangotri Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas. The authors discuss how this influences the River Ganges and, consequently, the people of the Indian subcontinent.

Degree:
Department: Geography
Note:

Abstract: Glacier retreat has received increased attention as a sensitive indicator of global warming. Based on medium-resolution Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images acquired between 1990 and 2009, high-resolution GeoEye IKONOS images acquired in 2005, and a digital elevation model (DEM) provided by NASA's Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) carried out by the space shuttle Endeavour in 2000, this study focuses on the spatial and temporal variation of the moraine-covered Gangotri Glacier - one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas. Image calibration was carried out to convert Landsat TM digital numbers (DN) into radiance and reflectance for better comparison between images acquired on different dates. Reflectance spectral curves were derived from both glacial and non-glacial features for more accurate image interpretation. IKONOS images were used to accurate mapping of glacier terrain features. SRTM DEM was used to determine glacial flow directions and aid in image interpretation. Multi-temporal analyses of Landsat TM images acquired in 1990, 2001, and 2009 show that the Gangotri Glacier retreated 345 meters from 1990 to 2009, with a retreating rate of approximately 18 meters per year. The results also show that there are no obvious changes in glacial retreating rates during 1990-2001 and 2001-2009. However, the River Ganges may potentially become a seasonal river as a result of continued glacier retreating, affecting hundreds of millions of people on the Indian subcontinent.

Physical Description:

11 p.

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Subject(s):
Keyword(s): glaciers | Gangotri Glacier | digital elevation models | Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission
Source: Seventh Annual University Scholars Day, 2010, Denton, Texas, United States
Contributor(s):
Series Title: University Scholars Day
Partner:
UNT Honors College
Collection:
UNT Scholarly Works
Relation (Is Version Of): Retreating Glaciers of the Himalayas: A Case Study of Gangotri Glacier Using 1990-2009 Satellite Images, ark:/67531/metadc9324
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  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc84326
Resource Type: Paper
Format: Text
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