Temporal variations in snow albedo at glaciated upper elevation zone of an Eastern Himalayan river basin
N. Chiphang, P. Mishra, A. Bandyopadhyay, A. Bhadra, 2018. "Temporal variations in snow albedo at glaciated upper elevation zone of an Eastern Himalayan river basin", The Himalayan Cryosphere: Past and Present, N.C. Pant, R. Ravindra, D. Srivastava, L.G. Thompson
Download citation file:
Snow albedo is an important climate parameter as it governs the amount of solar energy absorbed by the snow and can be considered a major contributor to the surface radiation budget. The present study deals with the estimation of temporal variation of snow albedo at the upper elevation zone of glaciated Mago Basin of Arunachal Pradesh in eastern Himalaya. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Daily Snow Products (MOD10A1 and MYD10A1) at 500 m spatial resolution were used. Both the MODIS data for ten years (2003–13) and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection (ASTER) digital elevation model (DEM) of the study area were downloaded from NASA DAAC of NSIDC. The percentage area under different snow types (dry snow, wet snow, firn and ice) was determined by masking the upper elevation zone of the DEM into the albedo images. The average monthly slopes show a decreasing trend in area (%) of dry snow and wet snow and an increasing trend for firn and ice. Dry snow and wet snow cover percentages were observed to be decreasing, whereas firn and ice cover showed an increasing trend for most of the months. Firn dominated the type of snow, followed by ice then wet snow; the smallest area (%) was that of dry snow for the study period.
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.