Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • 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.

    • Apatite and zircon fission-track thermochronology constraining the interplay between tectonics, topography and exhumation, Arunachal Himalaya


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      Thirty-eight new apatite and zircon fission-track ages from 26 bedrock samples vary from 2.0 $\pm$ 0.3 to 12.1 $\pm$ 1.2 Ma, and 3.3 $\pm$ 0.3 and 13.2 $\pm$ 0.7 Ma, respectively, along three transects of the Kurung, Subansiri, and Siyom Rivers, which flow across the major structures of the Arunachal Himalaya. These cooling ages reveal marked variations in millennial-scale ( >10$^{5}$ yr) exhumation rates from 0.6 to 3.0 mm/yr. A distinct positive correlation is visible between local topographic relief, hill slopes, channel steepness, and exhumation rates. The cooling ages are younger in the northern antiformal domains and older within the synformal nappe along the mountain front. Thermal modelling and time–temperature paths suggest that zones of rapid exhumation are controlled by structural windows within the Lesser Himalaya that were developed between 8 and 6 Ma over blind Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT). This time of rapid rock uplift and major topographic change led to a two-fold increase in the exhumation rates in the northern antiformal domains than the southern front of Arunachal Himalaya. Variation in cooling ages does not correlate with the present-day precipitation pattern. Tectonics appears to be the leading factor in driving the exhumation rates and landscape evolution in the Arunachal Himalaya.

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