Development of a Glacio-hydrological Model for Discharge and Mass Balance Reconstruction

Rajesh Kumar, Shaktiman Singh*, Ramesh Kumar, Atar Singh, Anshuman Bhardwaj, Lydia Sam, Surjeet Singh Randhawa, Akhilesh Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The reconstruction of glacio-hydrological records for the data deficient Himalayan catchments is needed in order to study the past and future water availability. The study provides outcomes of a glacio-hydrological model based on the degree-day approach. The model simulates the discharge and mass balance for glacierised Shaune Garang catchment. The degree-day factors for different land covers, used in the model, were estimated using daily stake measurements on Shaune Garang glacier and they were found to be varying between 2.6 ± 0.4 and 9.3 ± 0.3 mm °C−1day−1. The model is validated using observed discharge during ablation season of 2014 with coefficient of determination (R2) 0.90 and root mean square error (RMSE) 1.05 m3 sec−1. The model is used to simulate discharge from 1985 to 2008 and mass balance from 2001 to 2008. The model results show significant contribution of seasonal snow and ice melt in total discharge of the catchment, especially during summer. We observe the maximum discharge in July having maximum contribution from snow and ice melt. The annual melt season discharge shows following a decreasing trend in the simulation period. The reconstructed mass balance shows mass loss of 0.89 m we per year between 2001 and 2008 with slight mass gain during 2000/01 and 2004/05 hydrological years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3475-3492
Number of pages18
JournalWater Resources Management
Early online date30 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Debris cover
  • Degree-day factor
  • Discharge
  • Mass balance
  • Snow and ice melt
  • Water availability


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