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Inventory of the Himalayan Glaciers: A Contribution to the International Hydrological Programme

C.V. Sangewar (Editor) S P Shukla (Author) Geological Survey of India

It is well known that about ninety seven percent of world's ice-cover is located in polar areas and thus only three percent is available for the use of humanity in rest of the globe. These reserves are a precious commodity especially for a country like India, where the dependence for irrigation, hydropower, industry and domestic usage is mainly on the Monsoon precipitation. Any depletion in the Monsoon contribution results in our dependence on seasonal snow cover and perennial ice masses for judicious utilization of their run-off. The assessment of these locked up reserves of fresh water has thus become a pressing necessity for the country. It is with this premise that an attempt has been made by the Geological Survey of India in the following pages to document the first hand data on the glaciers of Indian Himalaya by compiling their inventory. The documentation of Himalayan glaciers was a much required exercise and it has successfully been achieved through the present publication. This initial attempt for the entire Indian part of Himalaya has generated valuable information which can be utilized fruitfully by scientists and engineers alike and will serve as a Glacier Atlas for the Himalaya. Thrust has now to be given in extending detailed inventory in more ice-covered basins of the Himalaya and thus updating this document from time to time. The compilation of inventory of Himalayan glaciers presents many practical problems because the UNESCO guidelines cannot be directly applied to Himalayan glaciers for inventory purposes. Absence of dependable quality of aerial photographs and scarcity of imageries adds to the problems of documentation. Moreover the Himalayan glaciers, unlike glaciers in other parts of the world, have a thick morainic cover, because of which the information gathered from maps, imageries and photograph needs field checks and some observations have to be corroborated on the ground. Thus many tracts of the Himalaya, covered under the detailed inventory in the following chapters, have been actually traversed by the field officers of the Geological Survey of India under difficult and trying conditions. Field checks have exposed more information with a higher degree of accuracy-rating than could be otherwise available.

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About the author

C.V. Sangewar

Dr. C.V. Sangewar Superannuated as Director (SG), Glaciology Division, Geological Survey of India. Since joining GSI in 1978, he actively worked in the various fields of glaciology including snow cover assessment, terrestrial photogrammetry and natural disasters in the Himalayas. Initiated unexplored glacier study in Arctic as member of Indian Scientific Team in 2008 and had been to Antarctica in 1984-85 as part of "Souyh Pole Team" during Fourth Indian Antarctica Expedition.

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Bibliographic information

Title Inventory of the Himalayan Glaciers: A Contribution to the International Hydrological Programme
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2009
Edition Reprint.
Language: English
length vii+588p., Maps; References; Tables; Plates; 29cm.