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A report on tectonically sculptured unique glacier landform: a case study from the Tethys Kumaun Himalaya, India

Abstract

In the present study, we are reporting an unnamed glacier located (30.28089N-80.69344E) in the upper Kali Ganga valley, Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, India, which has been affected by active fault and climate change. Recent tectonic activity and change in climatic conditions have changed the course and morphology of this glacier. An active fault has produced a fault scarp that measures about 250 m in height with a northerly dip, the fault trace is 6.2 km in length and trend towards NW-SE. The observation is based on the satellite image, toposheet and Google Earth images. We observed that the 5 km long unnamed glacier, which covered ∼4 km2 area in Kuthi Yankti valley (Tributary of Kali River) has abruptly changed its main course. The NE moving glacier has been abruptly truncated and forced to move towards SE and ultimately merges with the adjacent glacier named Sumzurkchanki as a result of tectonic forcing. It is one of the unique behaviors of the glacier, which is for the first time reported from the Himalayan glacier as no such observation have so far been reported on this type of glacier kinematics. The study will help to understand the glacial-tectonic interaction and provides key information for future studies.

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Correspondence to Manish Mehta.

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Mehta, M., Devrani, R., Luirei, K. et al. A report on tectonically sculptured unique glacier landform: a case study from the Tethys Kumaun Himalaya, India. Geosci J 26, 215–224 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12303-021-0030-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12303-021-0030-6

Key words

  • glacier
  • landscape evolution
  • active fault
  • Kali Ganga River