Annual cycle of temperature and snowmelt runoff in Satluj River Basin using in situ data
Sarita Tiwari, Sarat C. Kar, R. Bhatla, R. Bansal, 2018. "Annual cycle of temperature and snowmelt runoff in Satluj River Basin using in situ data", The Himalayan Cryosphere: Past and Present, N.C. Pant, R. Ravindra, D. Srivastava, L.G. Thompson
Download citation file:
Melting of snow and ice contributes a large amount of water to the streamflow in the Satluj River. During the winter season, there is low base flow in the river as compared to spring and summer. Temperature is one of the key factors which directly impacts snow and ice melting throughout the year. A substantial amount of snowmelt only occurs when all the snow in a pack reaches isothermal condition. It is therefore very important to know the duration of impact of temperature on snowmelt runoff. Since the Himalayas have very few stations observing hydrological as well as meteorological conditions, it is difficult to validate the snowmelt models and examine changes in small-scale features in river basins of the region. The present study examines the annual cycle and interannual variability of runoff in the Satluj Basin in the western Himalayas and documents the impact of temperature on snowmelt runoff of Satluj River using daily in situ data for the period 1982–2005. A multivariate regression model using precipitation and surface temperature has been developed to predict the discharge of Satluj River at a daily scale. It is seen that after every warm phase and cold phase of temperature, the impact persists for around one month and affects the snowmelt runoff during January, February and March at lower- and higher-elevation stations such as Bhakra and Kasol, respectively. The effect of a large fall and rise in temperature is noticed on snowmelt runoff measured at all the discharge stations, while a small temperature change does not affect the observed discharge at all the stations. The remote sensing and reanalysis data are consistent with in situ data in the basin, and there is no major change in peak month of discharge or the amplitude during two different periods at Rampur gauge station.
Figures & Tables
The Himalaya mountains contain not only one of the largest concentrations of ice outside the polar regions, but contribute to the hydrological requirements of large populations spread over seven nations. The exceptionally high elevations of this low-latitude cryosphere presents a natural laboratory and archives to study climate–tectonics interactions as well as regional v. global climate influences. The existing base-level data on the Himalayan cryosphere are highly variable. Several climate fluctuations occurred during the late Quaternary (MIS1–MIS5, especially the last c. 100 ka), which led to the evolution of the Himalayan landscape. Detailed studies of these archives, along with those of the present cryosphere and related hydrosphere, are essential for understanding the controls on present and future hydrology of the glacial-fed mountain rivers.
This volume, a follow-up of the XII International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Science, Goa (A SCAR symposium), provides new data from locales spread over the entire Himalaya region and from Tibet. It provides a glimpse of the late Quaternary cryosphere, as well as a discussion in the last section on sustainability in the context of geohazard mitigations as well as the hydrological budget.