GLACIER ICE MASS CHANGES IN CENTRAL HIMALAYAS DURING 2000-2014 USING TanDEM- X DATA
The Himalayas have been widely accepted as one of the most sensitive indicators of climate change. However, the rugged terrains of the Indian Himalayas render it impossible to carry out ground based surveys in a periodic manner. Remote sensing helps bridge this gap with its synoptic coverage. Of all the available remote sensing techniques, currently synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is one of the most preferred methods owing to its all-weather and all-day imaging capacity. In this study we present, the decadal glacier mass changes in one of the catchments of the Central Himalayas in Uttarakhand using geodetic method. In this method, the prime step is the accurate estimation of change in elevation and area. For elevation changes, digital elevation models (DEMs) are required. The DEMs have been generated using high resolution TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X scenes and standard interferometric technique. The results indicate total mass loss of −0.05 ± 0.01 Gt in 2000–2014 in the Mandakini catchment. This study not only assesses the potential of the TerraSAR- X/TanDEM-X dataset in glacier dynamics but also facilitates understanding the melt-water contribution of the glaciers of Indian Himalayas towards future water sustainability.