The observed and predicted rise in temperature will have deleterious impact on melting of snow and ice and form of precipitation which is already evident in Indian Himalayan Region. The temperature-dependent entities like discharge and sediment load will also vary with the observed and predicted rise posing environmental, social and economic threat in the region. There is little known about sediment load transport in relation to temperature and discharge in glacierized catchments in Himalaya mainly due to the scarcity of ground-based observation. The present study is an attempt to understand the suspended sediment load and transportation in relation to variation in discharge and temperature in the Shaune Garang catchment. The result shows strong dependence of sediment concentration primarily on discharge (R2 = 0.84) and then on temperature (R2 = 0.79). The catchments with similar geological and climate setting were observed to have comparatively close weathering rate. The sediment load was found to be higher in the catchments in eastern and central part of Indian Himalayan Region in comparison with western part due to dominance of Indian Summer Monsoon leading to high discharge. The annual physical weathering rate in Shaune Garang catchment was found to be 411 t km−2 year−1 which has increased from 327 t km−2 year−1 in around three decades due to rise in temperature causing increase in discharge and proportion of debris-covered glacierized area.
Bibliographical noteThis research is a part of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project entitled “Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice and Snow” (CHARIS, https://nsidc.org/charis/). Prof. Rajesh Kumar thankfully acknowledges Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India (Reference No: SR/DGH/HP-1/2009) and Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India (Reference No. MoES/PAMC/H&C/61/2015-PC II) for granting research projects in Baspa basin. Dr. Shaktiman Singh would like to acknowledge Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) for providing research grant bi-nationally supervised doctoral degrees. Dr. Anshuman Bhardwaj acknowledges Swedish Research Council for supporting his research on cold arid mountainous regions. We would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers and editor for their comments which significantly improved the manuscript.
- Pro-glacial river discharge
- Sediment load
- Shaune Garang catchment
- Western Himalaya