• LAVKUSH PATEL

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Spatio-temporal variability of snow water equivalent over the Vestre Broggerbreen and Feiringbreen glaciers, Ny-Alesund, Svalbard

      Lavkush Patel Parmanand Sharma Meloth Thamban

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      Snow water equivalent (SWE) is important for understanding the hydrological significance of glaciers. In this study, the spatial and temporal variability in SWE and its impact over the Vestre Broggerbreen and Feiringbreen glaciers around Ny-Alesund in Svalbard (high Arctic) were investigated in the early snow season for the period 2012–2017. The physical properties like depth and density were measured directly in the field and spatial characteristics curvature, slope and aspect were extracted from the digital elevation model. The Vestre Broggerbreen (4.1 km$^{2}$) is a NE flowing glacier, situated around 3 km SW to Ny-Alesund village while the Feiringbreen (7.5 km$^{2}$) is a SW flowing glacier, situated around 14 km NE across the Kongsfjorden. The SWE for the studied period (2012–2017) varied from 141 to 1188 mm. The significant (R$^{2}$ = 0.97) correlation indicated a possible control of snow depth over SWE compared to altitude (R$^{2}$ = 0.65) and other spatial characteristics. The glaciers have experienced negative balance and lost a significant amount of ice ($\sim$4 m.w.e.) since 2012. The observations suggest that the increased liquid precipitation and temperature in the early snow season have reduced SWE over both these valley glaciers. The reduced SWE has also contributed to decreases in the mass balance of these glaciers.

    • Water discharge and suspended sediment dynamics in the Chandra River, Western Himalaya

      AJIT T SINGH PARMANAND SHARMA CHIRAG SHARMA LALURAJ C M LAVKUSH PATEL BHANU PRATAP SUNIL OULKAR MELOTH THAMBAN

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      Glacier systems are important components of the hydrological cycle and a major source of meltwater and sediment flux that controls the river ecology, water quality, and hydropower generation in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). Thus, understanding short- and long-term changes in water and suspended sediment (SS) dynamics is crucial in highly sensitive pro-glacial Himalayan Rivers. In the present study, the Chandra River basin in Western Himalaya was chosen to study river discharge, SS transport dynamics, physical erosion rate, and their governing factors for the 2017 melting season (May–September). The daily mean water discharge and SS concentration in the Chandra River was 260.7 m$^{3}$ s$^{-1}$ and 775.5 mgL$^{-1}$ with maximum discharge and SS flux in the month of July. The air temperature showed significant relationship with the river discharge ($R^{2}$= 0.67; n = 156; p <0.001), which in turn controlled the SS export in the basin ($R^{2}$ =0.86; n = 130; p <0.001). An anticlockwise sediment-discharge hysteresis during peak flow conditions suggest exhausted sediments or large distance of sediment transport (>100 km) from the upper glacierized region to the end of the basin. Statistical analysis of SS particle size showed poorly sorted immature grains with a dominance of silt particles (85%), followed by sand (8.5%) and clay (6.5%). The SS estimates revealed a total suspended sediment yield of 1285 tons km$^{-2}$ yr$^{-1}$ and physical erosion rate of 0.47 mm yr$^{-1}$. Considering the socio-economic importance of the Himalayan region, the present study will help to evaluate the water and sediment budget of the Chandra River, Western Himalaya and to establish their relationship to the meteorological conditions in the basin.

      $\bf{Highlights}$

      $\bullet$The total water discharge and suspended sediment flux during ablation period (May–September 2017) in the Chandra River were 3536 MCM and 3 million tons.

      $\bullet$Overall, the suspended sediment were composed of silt size particles (85%) followed by sand (8.5%) and clay size (6.5+%) particles.

      $\bullet$The suspended sediment estimates revealed a total suspended sediment yield of 1285 tons km$^{3}$ yr$^{-1}$ and physical erosion rate of 0.47 mm yr$^{-1}$

      $\bullet$ This study will be useful in understanding the SS cycling from the Himalayan region and to build robust models for future projections.

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