Presentation Title

Evaluation of Meso-Scale Topographic Effects on Glaciers in the Western Himalaya of Pakistan

Advisor Information

John Shroder

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

8-3-2013 1:00 PM

End Date

8-3-2013 4:00 PM

Abstract

With the climate changing, the Himalaya is one of the best places to learn more about the activities of glaciers. Specifically, this region has different types of glaciers, and each glacier is responding differently in a similar environment. To further analyze these phenomena, about 30 glaciers were examined in the Nanga Parbat and Karakoram, Himalaya, in Pakistan. Each glacier was mapped using satellite imagery (ASTER, LANDSAT ETM, and SRTM DEM) to determine its current surface configuration and condition. Surging (excessively rapid motion) and non-surging glaciers were featured. Topographic maps and Google Earth were also used to accurately map the glaciers in heavily snow- or debriscovered areas. Surface conditions examined include: area, slope, and curvature measures in a technique called geomorphometry, in which quantitative measures were obtained of the topographic configurations. The surface conditions were then compared to the amount of energy they received from the sun. The surrounding topography can protect a glacier from receiving energy, therefore variability in the surrounding topography means variability in exposure of energy onto the surface. The results will depict spatial variances between the glacier’s fluctuations in response to climate change and surrounding topographic differences. These results could result in new classifications by taking into account more variables outside of the glacier’s perimeters.

Comments

Winner of Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation

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Mar 8th, 1:00 PM Mar 8th, 4:00 PM

Evaluation of Meso-Scale Topographic Effects on Glaciers in the Western Himalaya of Pakistan

Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom

With the climate changing, the Himalaya is one of the best places to learn more about the activities of glaciers. Specifically, this region has different types of glaciers, and each glacier is responding differently in a similar environment. To further analyze these phenomena, about 30 glaciers were examined in the Nanga Parbat and Karakoram, Himalaya, in Pakistan. Each glacier was mapped using satellite imagery (ASTER, LANDSAT ETM, and SRTM DEM) to determine its current surface configuration and condition. Surging (excessively rapid motion) and non-surging glaciers were featured. Topographic maps and Google Earth were also used to accurately map the glaciers in heavily snow- or debriscovered areas. Surface conditions examined include: area, slope, and curvature measures in a technique called geomorphometry, in which quantitative measures were obtained of the topographic configurations. The surface conditions were then compared to the amount of energy they received from the sun. The surrounding topography can protect a glacier from receiving energy, therefore variability in the surrounding topography means variability in exposure of energy onto the surface. The results will depict spatial variances between the glacier’s fluctuations in response to climate change and surrounding topographic differences. These results could result in new classifications by taking into account more variables outside of the glacier’s perimeters.