Demarcation of potential avalanche sites using remote sensing and ground observations: A case study of Gangotri glacier

Snehmani, A. Bhardwaj*, A. Pandit, A. Ganju

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This study demonstrates the effectiveness of remote sensing and analytical hierarchy process for avalanche hazard mapping. The layers incorporated in this study were of slope, aspect, profile curvature, ground cover and elevation. The accuracy of output was determined using the registered avalanche sites based on ground observations and field-based modelling techniques. 93.35% of avalanche-affected areas came under maximum and moderate hazard zones, thus proving the effectiveness of this technique for Gangotri glacier basin. A parallel study was done to observe the change in the results, if any, by using high-resolution DEM and Cartosat-1 imagery. Similar methodology was adopted and the outcome was having significant improvement over the previous result as 98.8% of the preregistered avalanche area falling within maximum and moderate hazard zones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-535
Number of pages16
JournalGeocarto International
Issue number5
Early online date18 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements: Authors are thankful to Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, for providing funds under Project No. ESS/91/3/2006 dated Nov 14, 07 and Project No. ES/91/12/2007 dated 13 January 2011 to carry out this research work. Authors are also thankful to SASE, Chandigarh, India for providing meteorological data from observatories and data of preregistered avalanche sites in glacier catchment.


  • analytical hierarchy process (AHP)
  • avalanche
  • Gangotri glacier
  • remote sensing


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