JOSHI Moulishree, JALAL Poonam. 2024: Sedimentological evidence of climate-tectonic interaction in the upper Satluj catchment of NW Himalaya. Journal of Mountain Science, 21(6): 1978-1991. DOI: 10.1007/s11629-023-8371-4
Citation: JOSHI Moulishree, JALAL Poonam. 2024: Sedimentological evidence of climate-tectonic interaction in the upper Satluj catchment of NW Himalaya. Journal of Mountain Science, 21(6): 1978-1991. DOI: 10.1007/s11629-023-8371-4

Sedimentological evidence of climate-tectonic interaction in the upper Satluj catchment of NW Himalaya

  • Quaternary valley fill deposits in the Upper Satluj Valley of NW Himalaya act as archives of changing climate-tectonic dynamics in a region. Quaternary landforms help in decoding the relationship between climate and tectonics. Kinnaur region is traversed by several active faults and thrusts such as the Kaurik-Chango Fault (KCF) and Sangla Detachment (SD), thereby making upper Satluj Valley tectonically active. Morphotectonic parameters such as width of valley floor (Vfw), Normalized Steepness Index (KSn) and geomorphological evidences such as the presence of huge strath terraces, narrowing of the river valley and palaeolake deposits point towards the tectonically active nature of the terrain. This arid, high elevation region is also climatically sensitive as it falls in a transient climatic zone which receives rainfall only during abnormal monsoon months. Excessive rainfall causes outburst floods, a common phenomenon in the area due to the blocking of headwater in the upper reaches of the Satluj valley. As a result, the Quaternary sequence is modified from time to time. The transition from hypo concentrated deposits to channel deposits and ponding events are prominent in the depositional sequence, resulting from a response to climate. The studied Quaternary sediments reveal that the Trans-Himalayan region of the upper Satluj valley is affected by tectonic-climate variability, making it vulnerable to geohazards.
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