Geomorphological Changes During Quaternary Period Vis a Vis Role of Climate and Tectonics in Ladakh, Trans-Himalaya

  • Anupam Sharma
  • Binita Phartiyal


The Ladakh region of NW India is relatively unexplored as compared to its counterpart, the Tibetan Plateau. The region provides ample opportunity to understand the dynamic relationship of the Indian and Eurasian plates, role in governing the global climate and controlling the earth surface temperature by carbon sequestration through weathering of rocks. The differential uplift along several thrust planes and associated climatic conditions are primarily governing the geomorphic evolution of the Ladakh, and amongst several agents of material movement, glaciers are the most effective agent. Overall ten glacial stages (~430–0.4 ka) are recognized from Ladakh. Additionally, the major sources of moisture to the Ladakh region are the Indian Summer monsoon (ISM) and the Central Asian westerlies contributing in subequal amounts. Several morphometric parameters suggest that tectonics is governing the topography. It was most pronounced at 27 ka, 23 ka, 17–19 ka, 11–10 ka and 6 ka along the Karakorum Fault and Indus Suture Zone. The climate studies suggest that during around 35–25 ka, the climate was cold and humid followed by the relatively dry at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). A rise in lakes during ~17–5 ka was observed. However, major fluctuations in limiting the lake levels during the Older Dryas, Younger Dryas and 8.2 ka were also noticeable. The variation in different chronological technique, however, poses a serious challenge in determining the geomorphic evolution of the landscape in the region.



We thank the Director BSIP, Lucknow for providing all necessary support in conducting studies in the Ladakh region of J&K, India. We are also thankful to field parties associated with us during these years. The DC, Leh and Wild Life Department, Jammu (J&K) is thanked for permission to carry out studies in the protected sanctuary area.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anupam Sharma
    • 1
  • Binita Phartiyal
    • 1
  1. 1.Birbal Sahni Institute of PalaeosciencesLucknowIndia

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