The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Spatial variability in patterns of glacier change across the Manaslu range, central Himalaya

Spatial variability in patterns of glacier change across the Manaslu range, central Himalaya
Spatial variability in patterns of glacier change across the Manaslu range, central Himalaya

This study assesses changes in glacier area, velocity, and geodetic mass balance for the glaciers in the Manaslu region of Nepal, a previously undocumented region of the Himalayas. We studied changes between 1970 (for select glaciers), 2000, 2005, and 2013 using freely available Landsat satellite imagery, the SRTM Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and a DEM based on Worldview imagery. Our results show a complex pattern of mass changes across the region, with glaciers lowering on average by 0.25 ±0.08ma−1 between 2000 and 2013 which equates to a geodetic mass balance of −0.21 ± 0.16m w.e.a−1. Over approximately the same time period (1999 to 2013) the glaciers underwent a 16.0% decrease in mean surface velocity over their debris-covered tongues as well as a reduction in glacier area of 8.2%. The rates of glacier change appear to vary between the different time periods, with glacier losses increasing in most cases. The glaciers on Manaslu itself underwent a change in surface elevation of −0.46 ± 0.03m a−1 between 1970 and 2000 and −0.99 ±0.08ma−1 between 2000 and 2013. Rates of glacier area change for the same glaciers increased from−0.36 km2 a−1 between 1970 and 2001 to −2.28 km2 a−1 between 2005 and 2013. Glacier change varies across the region and seems to relate to a combination of glacier hypsometry, glacier elevation range and the presence and distribution of supraglacial debris. Lower-elevation, debris-free glaciers with bottom-heavy hypsometries are losing most mass. As the glaciers in the Manaslu region continue to stagnate, an accumulation and thickening of the debris-cover is likely, thereby insulating the glacier and further complicating future glacier responses to climate.

Corona, Debris-covered glacier, Geodetic mass balance, Glacier area change, Himalayas, Velocity
Robson, Benjamin A.
ea6a160c-5678-4de6-be5b-4a9686891f12
Nuth, Christopher
f841dc81-545f-4495-ab91-e804b9c3f9ab
Nielsen, Pål R.
59119a19-63ed-4283-a627-45d6cc6dc694
Girod, Luc
ceb6aa7e-3a64-4e1e-afcb-a878203d6f3e
Hendrickx, Marijn
a30b28b9-50ac-44a5-858f-7e415f384490
Dahl, Svein Olaf
27346954-6c24-46e7-8efc-8c2460043f27
Robson, Benjamin A.
ea6a160c-5678-4de6-be5b-4a9686891f12
Nuth, Christopher
f841dc81-545f-4495-ab91-e804b9c3f9ab
Nielsen, Pål R.
59119a19-63ed-4283-a627-45d6cc6dc694
Girod, Luc
ceb6aa7e-3a64-4e1e-afcb-a878203d6f3e
Hendrickx, Marijn
a30b28b9-50ac-44a5-858f-7e415f384490
Dahl, Svein Olaf
27346954-6c24-46e7-8efc-8c2460043f27

Robson, Benjamin A., Nuth, Christopher, Nielsen, Pål R., Girod, Luc, Hendrickx, Marijn and Dahl, Svein Olaf (2018) Spatial variability in patterns of glacier change across the Manaslu range, central Himalaya. Frontiers in Earth Science, 6 (12), [12]. (doi:10.3389/feart.2018.00012).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This study assesses changes in glacier area, velocity, and geodetic mass balance for the glaciers in the Manaslu region of Nepal, a previously undocumented region of the Himalayas. We studied changes between 1970 (for select glaciers), 2000, 2005, and 2013 using freely available Landsat satellite imagery, the SRTM Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and a DEM based on Worldview imagery. Our results show a complex pattern of mass changes across the region, with glaciers lowering on average by 0.25 ±0.08ma−1 between 2000 and 2013 which equates to a geodetic mass balance of −0.21 ± 0.16m w.e.a−1. Over approximately the same time period (1999 to 2013) the glaciers underwent a 16.0% decrease in mean surface velocity over their debris-covered tongues as well as a reduction in glacier area of 8.2%. The rates of glacier change appear to vary between the different time periods, with glacier losses increasing in most cases. The glaciers on Manaslu itself underwent a change in surface elevation of −0.46 ± 0.03m a−1 between 1970 and 2000 and −0.99 ±0.08ma−1 between 2000 and 2013. Rates of glacier area change for the same glaciers increased from−0.36 km2 a−1 between 1970 and 2001 to −2.28 km2 a−1 between 2005 and 2013. Glacier change varies across the region and seems to relate to a combination of glacier hypsometry, glacier elevation range and the presence and distribution of supraglacial debris. Lower-elevation, debris-free glaciers with bottom-heavy hypsometries are losing most mass. As the glaciers in the Manaslu region continue to stagnate, an accumulation and thickening of the debris-cover is likely, thereby insulating the glacier and further complicating future glacier responses to climate.

Text
feart-06-00012 - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (16MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 January 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 13 February 2018
Published date: 13 February 2018
Keywords: Corona, Debris-covered glacier, Geodetic mass balance, Glacier area change, Himalayas, Velocity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 418954
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/418954
PURE UUID: 513ebb22-9714-45fa-9667-972211b84833

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Mar 2018 16:30
Last modified: 12 Aug 2022 18:35

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Benjamin A. Robson
Author: Christopher Nuth
Author: Pål R. Nielsen
Author: Luc Girod
Author: Marijn Hendrickx
Author: Svein Olaf Dahl

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×