Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 121 Issue 1 February 2012 pp 149-163
Field geomorphology and remote sensing data, supported by Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating from the Mandakini river valley of the Garhwal Himalaya enabled identification of four major glacial events; Rambara Glacial Stage (RGS) (13 ± 2 ka), Ghindurpani Glacial Stage (GhGS) (9 ± 1 ka), Garuriya Glacial Stage (GGS) (7 ± 1 ka) and Kedarnath Glacial Stage (KGS) (5 ± 1 ka). RGS was the most extensive glaciation extending for ∼6 km down the valley from the present day snout and lowered to an altitude of 2800 m asl at Rambara covering around ∼31 km2 area of the Mandakini river valley. Compared to this, the other three glaciations (viz., GhGS, GGS and KGS) were of lower magnitudes terminating around ∼3000, ∼3300 and ∼3500 m asl, respectively. It was also observed that the mean equilibrium line altitude (ELA) during RGS was lowered to 4747 m asl compared to the present level of 5120 m asl. This implies an ELA depression of ∼373 m during the RGS which would correspond to a lowering of ∼2°C summer temperature during the RGS. The results are comparable to that of the adjacent western and central Himalaya implying a common forcing factor that we attribute to the insolation-driven monsoon precipitation in the western and central Himalaya.
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