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Trends in mass balance indexes connected to spatial location and precipitation: Remote sensing of 111 glaciers in the Everest region
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Studies of Himalayan glacial response to climatic forcing are few and a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the two is needed. This has been highlighted by recent controversies over future glacier change in this area. This study has therefore reviewed if there is a connection between glacier mass balance indexes and precipitation pattern in the Everest region. 111 glaciers were mapped in ArcGIS through remote sensing. Glacial total area, accumulation area as well as snowline altitudes and aspect were mapped. From this, the two mass balance indexes Accumulation Area Ratio, AAR and Area-Altitude Balance Ratios, AABR were derived. The intention was to search for patterns.

In addition to this, an expedition to parts of the study area was conducted in March to April 2011. Hundreds of photographs of snow stratigraphy, debris cover ice snouts, accumulation etc were taken. The expedition also led to an understanding of the environment and of the glaciers which was helpful for the assessment of the remote sensing results.

No pattern in glacier size, ELA, AAR or AABR was found that suggests a connection between mass balance and local precipitation pattern. The glaciers instead appear to be more sensitive to elevation. The largest glaciers and highest AAR and AABR are found at high - although not the highest - elevations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 75 p.
Keyword [en]
Everest region, remote sensing, mass balance, precipitation pattern, Accumulation Area Ratio, Area-Altitude Balance Ratios
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-77138OAI: diva2:530032
2012-05-15, Ahlmannsalen, Stockholm universitet, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden, 16:00 (English)
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2013-06-05 Created: 2012-05-31 Last updated: 2013-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Burström, Annika
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