Investigating recent environmental change through geomorphological mapping of glacial landforms in Ladakh, India: a geomorphological outreach project

HOLMES, Naomi, STORRAR, Robert, WRIGHT, Hannah, STEFANIAK, Anne, CRANMER, Rosie, FENG, Haosheng, GRINHAM, Joshua, HOPKINS, Becky, JACKSON, Esme, KITCHING, Calum, PHILIPS, Dom, PRIOR, Azure, RAVENSCROFT, Harri, SMITH, Madeleine, STEELE, Jennie and STERROW, Charlotte (2016). Investigating recent environmental change through geomorphological mapping of glacial landforms in Ladakh, India: a geomorphological outreach project. In: British Society for Geomorphology Annual Meeting, Plymouth, 5th-7th September 2016. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

A geomorphological research project was undertaken during a youth expedition to the Indian Himalaya in July - August 2016. The expedition visited the Suru Valley, Ladakh, an area of high altitude desert. The area receives low amounts of precipitation which mostly falls as snow in winter. As a result meltwater (from glaciers and snow) makes a substantial contribution to the discharge of rivers, providing an important water resource for many communities. Most glaciers in the Himalayas are thought to be in a state of negative balance; however a recent study reported that many Himalayan glaciers are stable. These findings are controversial and further studies are needed. The overall aim of this project is to investigate recent glacial and environmental change in the Indian Himalaya by combining geomorphological mapping with recent lacustrine palaeoenvironmental data. The work reported here covers two of the project's objectives: • to produce geomorphological maps from remotely sensed data and field mapping • to engage young people with geomorphological research Prior to the expedition a number of participants mapped the geomorphological features of the wider area from Google Earth imagery. This produced a geomorphological base-map which was ground-truthed on the expedition. Future work will integrate fieldwork with remote sensing to reconstruct the former extent of glaciers in the area, contributing to our understanding of environmental change in the Indian Himalaya. Through their participation in geomorphological research in a challenging wilderness environment this group of young people developed new skills and discovered that science does not only occur in laboratories.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Naomi Holmes
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2016 12:05
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2017 22:34
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14191

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