As part of the on-going annual mass balance measurements on Batal and Sutri Dhaka glaciers, observationswere made during peak ablation (August–September) season in 2013 to understand the responseof debris covered and clean-ice (debris free) glacier surface to melting processes. Though, both the Bataland Sutri Dhaka glaciers have almost similar geographical disposition, Batal shows extensive debriscover (90% of the ablation area), while the latter is free from debris (only 5% of the ablation area). Thethickness of debris in Batal glacier is inversely proportional to altitude, whereas Sutri Dhaka mostlyexperienced debris-free zone except snout area. Observation revealed that the vertical gradient of ablationrate in ablation area is contrastingly opposite in these two glaciers, reflecting significant control ofdebris thickness and their distribution over glacier surface on the ablation rates. While different thickness(2–100 cm) of debris have attenuated melting rates up to 70% of total melting, debris cover of 2 cm thickness has accelerated melting up to 10% of the total melting. Estimated melt ratio revealsthat about 90% of the ablation area has experienced inhibited melting in Batal glacier, whereas only lessthan 5% ablation area of Sutri Dhaka has undergone inhibited melting. Comparison of topographicalmaps of 1962 with successive satellite images of the area demonstrates a terminus retreat of 373 ± 33.5 mand 579 ± 33.5 m for Batal and Sutri Dhaka glaciers for the period 1962–2013, respectively.
Volume 131, 2022
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