• H S Negi

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Estimation of snow cover distribution in Beas basin, Indian Himalaya using satellite data and ground measurements

      H S Negi A V Kulkarni B S Semwal

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      In the present paper,a methodology has been developed for the mapping of snow cover in Beas basin,Indian Himalaya using AWiFS (IRS-P6)satellite data.The complexities in the mapping of snow cover in the study area are snow under vegetation,contaminated snow and patchy snow. To overcome these problems,field measurements using spectroradiometer were carried out and reflectance/snow indices trend were studied.By evaluation and validation of different topographic correction models,it was observed that,the normalized difference snow index (NDSI)values remain constant with the variations in slope and aspect and thus NDSI can take care of topography effects.Different snow cover mapping methods using snow indices are compared to find the suitable mapping technique.The proposed methodology for snow cover mapping uses the NDSI (estimated using planetary re flectance),NIR band reflectance and forest/vegetation cover information.The satellite estimated snow or non-snow pixel information using proposed methodology was validated with the snow cover information collected at three observatory locations and it was found that the algorithm classify all the sample points correctly,once that pixel is cloud free.The snow cover distribution was estimated using one year (2004 –05)cloud free satellite data and good correlation was observed between increase/decrease areal extent of seasonal snow cover and ground observed fresh snowfall and standing snow data.

    • Monitoring and evaluation of seasonal snow cover in Kashmir valley using remote sensing, GIS and ancillary data

      H S Negi N K Thakur Rajeev Kumar Manoj Kumar

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      Seasonal snow cover is a vital natural resource in the Himalaya. Monitoring of the areal extent of seasonal snow cover is important for both climatological studies as well as hydrological applications. In the present paper, snow cover monitoring was carried out to evaluate the region-wise accumulation and ablation pattern of snow cover in Pir Panjal and Shamshawari ranges of Kashmir valley. The study was carried out for the winter period between November and April of 2004–05, 2005–06 and 2006–07, using multi-temporal WiFS sensor data of IRS-1C/1D satellites. The study shows reduction in the areal extent of seasonal snow cover and rising trend of maximum temperature in three winters for the entire Kashmir valley. This has been validated with 20 years (1988– 89 to 2007–08) climatic conditions prevailed in both ranges of Kashmir valley. Region-wise study shows the spatial and temporal variability in seasonal snow cover within Kashmir valley. Advance melting was observed in Banihal and Naugam/Tangdhar regions than Gurez and Machhal regions. Different geographical parameters of these regions were studied to evaluate the influence on snow cover and it was observed that altitude and position of region with respect to mountain range are the deciding factors for retaining the seasonal snow cover for longer duration. Such region-wise study of snow cover monitoring, can provide vital inputs for planning the hydropower projects, development in habitat areas, recreational and strategic planning in the region.

    • Monitoring of Gangotri glacier using remote sensing and ground observations

      H S Negi N K Thakur A Ganju Snehmani

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      In this study, Gangotri glacier was monitored using Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) LISS-III sensor data in combination with field collected snow-meteorological data for a period of seven years (2001–2008). An overall decreasing trend in the areal extent of seasonal snow cover area (SCA) was observed. An upward shifting trend of wet snow line was observed in the beginning of melt period, i.e., in May and dominant wet snow conditions were observed between May and October. Snow meteorological parameters collected in the Gangotri sub-basin suggest reduction in fresh snowfall amount during winter, increase in rainfall amount during summer, decrease in snowfall days, increase in rainfall days and rising trend of average temperature. The prevailing wet snow condition on glacier has caused scouring of slopes which led the excessive soil/debris deposition on the glacier surface. This was observed as one of the major factor for activating fast melting and affecting the glacier health significantly. Apart from climatic conditions, terrain factors were observed for changing the glacio-morphology. The significant changes on the glacier surface were observed in the regions of abrupt slope change. The above factors affecting the Gangotri glacier health were also validated using high resolution satellite imageries and field visit. A deglaciation of 6% in overall area of Gangotri glacier was observed between the years 1962 and 2006.

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