Glacier Melt Water Characteristics of Hamtah Glacier, Lahaul and Spiti District, Himachal Pradesh, India

  • S. P. Shukla
  • Rakesh Mishra
  • Ajai Kumar


Himalayan glaciers are considered as water towers of Asia. These water towers provide water to the perennial rivers emanating from the Himalaya. In order to understand the process of generation of glacier melt from a glacier, its appearance at the snout including the quantum vis-à-vis ablation season, glacier discharge measurement was undertaken on Hamtah glacier, Lahaul & Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh. Highest and lowest average daily discharge values for three common observation fortnights, viz. Aug_II, Sep_I and Sep_II, were found to be 0.25 × 106m3 and 0.20 × 106m3 recorded in 2003 and 2002, respectively.

Hourly melt water discharge data was collected during August – September period spanning over 8 years, from 2000 to 2007 using area-velocity technique. The data were analysed to understand the role of meteorological parameters and surface ablation from the glacier. The studies indicate close linkages with temperature and surface ice ablation.

The discharge variations during day-night time were also studied to understand the storage characteristics of the glacier. The study revealed that there is no significant lag between ice melt generation and its release into the glacier melt stream suggesting lack of any storage in the melt channel drainage network.


Melt water discharge Diurnal variation Ablation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. P. Shukla
    • 1
  • Rakesh Mishra
    • 2
  • Ajai Kumar
    • 3
  1. 1.Polar Studies DivisionGeological Survey of IndiaFaridabadIndia
  2. 2.PSS-PM: Technical Coordination, Geological Survey of IndiaShillongIndia
  3. 3.PSS-PM: Monitoring-7, Geological Survey of IndiaKolkataIndia

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