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Remote Sensing of Glaciers in Afghanistan and Pakistan

  • Michael P. BishopEmail author
  • John F. ShroderJr.
  • Ghazanfar Ali
  • Andrew B. G. Bush
  • Umesh K. Haritashya
  • Rakhshan Roohi
  • Mehmet Akif Sarikaya
  • Brandon J. Weihs
Chapter
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Abstract

Glaciers in Afghanistan and Pakistan are parts of an Asian “critical region” having significant roles in rising sea level, local and regional water resources, natural hazards, and geopolitical stability. The two countries lack fundamental and reliable quantitative information regarding glacier fluctuations. As part of the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) project, we used satellite imagery and field observations to assess a relatively large number of glaciers in both countries. In Afghanistan, many glaciers have systematically been observed to be retreating and downwasting. Many glaciers have lost significant ice mass and have evolved into numerous smaller individual ice masses. Furthermore, the glaciers around the Kohi Bandakha massif in southern Badakshan Province are significantly more debris covered than other regions in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, the situation is more complex, as many glacier termini are variably stationary, advancing, or retreating. There appears to be a spatial trend with more retreating glaciers in the western Hindu Kush. To the east we observe more advancing glaciers and surging glaciers associated with an increase in precipitation. These observations suggest that glacier response to climate forcing is very different in Pakistan compared with conditions in the central and eastern Himalaya.

Keywords

Satellite Imagery Rock Glacier Glacier Terminus Debris Cover Small Glacier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael P. Bishop
    • 1
    Email author
  • John F. ShroderJr.
    • 2
  • Ghazanfar Ali
    • 3
  • Andrew B. G. Bush
    • 4
  • Umesh K. Haritashya
    • 5
  • Rakhshan Roohi
    • 6
    • 7
  • Mehmet Akif Sarikaya
    • 8
    • 9
  • Brandon J. Weihs
    • 10
  1. 1.Department of GeographyTexas A&M UniversityTexasUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography and GeologyUniversity of Nebraska-OmahaOmahaUSA
  3. 3.Water Resources and Glaciology Section, Global Change Impact Studies Center (GCISC), National Center for Physics ComplexQuaid-I-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  4. 4.Department of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  5. 5.Department of GeologyUniversity of DaytonDaytonUSA
  6. 6.CAEWRI—National Agricultural Research CenterIslamabadPakistan
  7. 7.Environmental Geoscience, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Technology and EngineeringLa Trobe UniversityVictoriaAustralia
  8. 8.Department of GeographyFatih UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  9. 9.Eurasia Institute of Earth ScienceIstanbul Technical UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  10. 10.Department of GeographyKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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