Suspended sediment dynamics in the meltwater of Chhota Shigri glacier, Chandra basin, Lahaul-Spiti valley, India Suspended sediment dynamics in the meltwater of Chhota Shigri glacier, Chandra basin, Lahaul-Spiti valley, India

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Vol15 No.1: 68-81

Title】Suspended sediment dynamics in the meltwater of Chhota Shigri glacier, Chandra basin, Lahaul-Spiti valley, India

Author】Virendra Bahadur SINGH; AL. RAMANATHAN*

Addresses】School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India

Corresponding author】alrjnu@gmail.com

Citation】Singh VB, Ramanathan A (2018) Suspended sediment dynamics in the meltwater of Chhota Shigri glacier, Chandra basin, Lahaul-Spiti valley, India. Journal of Mountain Science 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4554-1

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4554-1

Abstract】Present study shows suspended sediment dynamics in the meltwater of Chhota Shigri glacier, Himachal Pradesh, India for different melt seasons during the period 2011-2014. Maximum suspended sediment concentration in the meltwater was found during the month of July 2011, 2012 and 2014 constituting to 55.2%, 48.3% and 46.9%, respectively. Whereas in 2013, maximum suspended sediment concentration was observed in August accounting for 46.1% of the total. On the other hand, maximum suspended sediment load was monitored in the month of July 2011, 2012 and 2014 constituting 59.5%, 63% and 55.7% of the total, respectively. Whereas in 2013, maximum suspended sediment load was observed in the month of August accounting for 49.8% of the total suspended sediment load. Annual distribution of suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and suspended sediment load (SSL) in the Chhota Shigri glacier shows higher value of SSC and SSL during the study period 2012 and 2013, which may be due to the presence of high glacial runoff and negative mass balance of the studied area during these time periods. Marked diurnal variation has been observed in the SSC of meltwater. Strong correlation was observed between SSC and SSL with discharge. On the other hand, SSC and SSL also showed strong exponential correlation with air temperature of the studied area. Sediment yield from the catchment of Chhota Shigri glacier is high during the peak melt season (July and August) and low during the late melt season (September and October). The averagevalue of erosion rate for Chhota Shigri glacier basin during the study period 2011-2014 was calculated to be 1.1 mm/yr, which is lower than the average erosion rate of other Himalayan glaciers such as Rakiot, Chorabari and Gangotri glaciers, which may be caused by its geological setting containing high erosion resistant rocks such as granite, granite gneiss and porphyritic granite.

Keywords】Suspended sediment concentration; Hysteresis; Sediment yield; Erosion rate; Western Himalaya; Chhota Shigri glacier