PRITAM CHAND SHARMA

Ph.D. (Glaciology, Geomorphology and Geo-informatics)

Research

Glacier-Climate interaction

Glacier-Climate interaction is complex and invites a rigorous and systematic analysis. Moreover, the variability in glacier fluctuations across the Himalaya makes it more multifaceted.  Therefore,  there  is  a  strong  need  for continuous  monitoring  of  glacial  change  in  the  poorly  surveyed  glaciered  areas  of  the Himalaya, considering significant debate pertaining to the rising global temperature and its likely impact on the mountain glaciers  (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC 2007; IPCC 2014) along with evaluation of regional/local level controls on climatic parameters. During my Ph.D.,  I addressed the question that “How  do  climatic  parameters  and  topographic  configurations  influence  the dynamic behaviour of glaciers in the glaciated basin of Himalaya?”.

  • Glacier changes in the Ravi basin, north-western Himalaya (India) during the last four decades (1971–2010/13). link

Glacier and Glacial Lake Inventory

Regular  mapping  and  updation of glacier inventory in  the  poorly  observed region  becomes  a  pre-requisite  to  understand  the  impact  of  climate  change  on glaciers. A number of studies provide worldview glacier inventory including the entire Himalayan region e.g. RGI, ICIMOD, GSI and GLOBGlacier and GAMDAM and facilitate glaciological and hydrological applications (e.g. modeling studies). However, recent studies have reported a number of issues related to the accuracy of glacier outlines of these inventories which requires to examine, evaluate and update all these at basin scale with supplement of field checks. In my research, I discussed existing issues in current inventories and recommends key notes accordingly in context to accuracy and applicability.
  • Glacier changes in the Ravi basin, north-western Himalaya (India) during the last four decades (1971–2010/13). link
 
Heterogeneity  in  fluctuation  of glaciers  with  clean  ice-cover,  debris-cover  and  proglacial  lakes

The characteristic of glacier surface cover is one of the critical factors to influence the glacier dynamics especially the fluctuations of glacier terminus. Recent studies reported the heterogeneity in glacier terminus change as higher for the clean ice-covered as compared to debris-covered glaciers across the Himalayan region. To look in to this matter, I analyse the frontal area and length changes for the glaciers with clean ice-covered, debris-covered and proglacial lakes in the glaciated basin of Himachal Himalaya.

  •  Monitoring frontal changes of the Shah Glacier in the Ravi basin, Himachal Himalaya (India) from 1965 to 2013. link
  • Frontal changes in the Manimahesh and Tal Glaciers in the Ravi basin, Himachal Pradesh, northwestern Himalaya (India), between 1971 and 2013. link
  • Heterogeneity in Fluctuations of Glacier with Ice-cover, Debris-cover and Proglacial-lake in the Upper Ravi Basin, Himachal Himalaya (India) During the Past Four Decades (1971-2013).link

 Glacial Landscapes and Reconstruct Quaternary glacial extent

The  landscape  evolution  due  to  past  glaciation  in  the  glaciated  basin of Himalaya is currently  not  fully  understood,  although  the  erosion/uplift  feedback  mechanism  is now recognized  as  a likely primary controlling factor  along with  the  role of fluvial  process in landscape evolution. In this context, I analysis the spatial distribution of Quaternary glacial landforms by using latest techniques of Geo-informatics, Geo-mophometery and Computer models with supplement of field measurements. Moreover, with having sub-objectives to assess a multitude of processes that are  responsible  for  erosion,  transportation  and  sedimentation  by  way  of  glacier  and hillslope  in  particular  and  by  river  in  general; to  evaluate  the   impact  of  glacial erosion on the mountain topography; propose a conceptual model of landscape evolution for the upper Ravi basin based on analytical data; and to understand the role of  long term  temporal changes in the summer monsoon and mid-latitude westerlies in the driving of past glaciation in the glaciated basins of Himalaya.

  •  Studies on Quaternary Glaciations in India during 2010-2016’, Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy. link
  • Factors responsible for driving the glaciation in the Sarchu Plain, eastern Zanskar Himalaya, during the late Quaternary. link
  • Late Holocene Glacier Dynamics in the Miyar Basin, Lahul Himalaya, India link





Geomorphic characteristics of the glaciated basin

Systematic analyses of the landforms help to unravel the tectonic and climate history of a region. With this consideration,  during my Ph.D., I addressed another pertinent research question i.e. “What are the geomorphic characteristics of the glaciated basin in the Himalayas” and further to  identify  factors  and  process  responsible  for  relative  role  of  landscape  modification resulting  from  geomorphic  process  (Glacial  vis-à-vis  fluvial)  and  tectonically  or seismically  induced  mass  movements  along  with  mapping,  visualisation, segmentation of neotectonic areas and analyses of spatial distribution of glacial and fluvial erosional morphology in overall impacts on the basin landscape evolution.

 

Other Research Interests

  • Analysis the spatial-temporal variability of snow cover and its impact on the snow melt runoff in the upper basin of Ravi, Himcahal Pradesh 
  • Delineate snow/glaciers cover and retrieve its spectral properties using Landsat image 
  • Geo-morphometry analysis and landscape evolution in the upper basin of Ravi basin using open sources DEM
  • Glacial lake Outburst flood (GLOF) risk assessment in the Himachal Himalaya
  • Evaluation of open source DEMs using IceSAT (Satellite Lidar data) and Field observations
  • DEM / DTM / nDSM generation from Lidar data and optical data, ortho-photo generation and processing Lidar data

 

 

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