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Geomorphic evolution of glacier-fed Baspa Valley, NW Himalaya: record of Late Quaternary climate change, monsoon dynamics and glacial fluctuations

By
S. Dutta
S. Dutta
1
Geological Survey of India, NIT Faridabad, 121001, India
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S. A. I. Mujtaba
S. A. I. Mujtaba
1
Geological Survey of India, NIT Faridabad, 121001, India
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H. S. Saini
H. S. Saini
1
Geological Survey of India, NIT Faridabad, 121001, India
2
Lingaya’s University, Faridabad, 121002, India
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R. Chunchekar
R. Chunchekar
1
Geological Survey of India, NIT Faridabad, 121001, India
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P. Kumar
P. Kumar
1
Geological Survey of India, NIT Faridabad, 121001, India
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Published:
January 01, 2018

Abstract

In glacier-fed Baspa River valley, Late Quaternary climatic changes are archived in the terraces, fan and landslide deposits. An initial optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) based stratigraphy of these deposits is developed to deduce geomorphic evolution and palaeoclimatic changes. The data show large alluvial fan progradation around Sangla till c. 45 ka (middle of marine isotope stage 3 or MIS-3) due to glacial retreat and readjustment of glacigenic sediment under warm and humid conditions followed by incision. During the end phase of MIS-3 (>23 ka), intensified precipitation blocked the river course near Sangla and Kharogla by rock avalanches and imposed lacustrine conditions which recorded sedimentation until the beginning of Holocene (c. 11.4 ka). Reduced sedimentation in these lakes during the last glacial maximum (LGM) c. 23–18 ka suggests a cold and arid climate, whereas increased sedimentation during c. 18–11.5 ka indicates a warm and humid climate post-LGM. A palaeolake breach occurred during early Holocene and incision continued throughout the Holocene, with a pulse of fluvial aggradation during c. 9.1–6.5 ka over lacustrine remnant. In the upper reach of the valley (Chitkul area), coeval aggradation continued from >28 ka until c. 19 ka (MIS-3 to LGM) under cold and relatively arid conditions. This study emphasizes that Late Quaternary geomorphic evolution of Baspa valley is well synchronous with glacial fluctuations and the rapid response of the glacifluvial system to Indian summer monsoon (ISM) dynamics.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

The Himalayan Cryosphere: Past and Present

N.C. Pant
N.C. Pant
University of Delhi, India
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R. Ravindra
R. Ravindra
National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, India
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D. Srivastava
D. Srivastava
Geological Survey of India, India
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L.G. Thompson
L.G. Thompson
The Ohio State University, USA
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The Geological Society of London
Volume
462
ISBN electronic:
9781786203434
Publication date:
January 01, 2018

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