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Snowline and treeline elevation dynamics in the Himalayas in the last two decades

Authors: Arun Mondal*, School of Earth Ocean and the Environment, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA, Venkataraman Lakshmi, Professor, Department of Engineering Systems and Environment, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
Topics: Cryosphere, Remote Sensing, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: Snow cover, MODIS, Himalayan, snowline, treeline
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The mountain systems of the Himalayas are changing rapidly due to climatic variation and human interferences. Spatial distribution and temporal variation of snow cover and vegetation differ with elevation and climate. These changes affect the Himalayan rivers (the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra), which in turn affects the availability of water resource that impacts a significant portion of the South Asian population. In order to observe the variation of snow cover and vegetation, we demarcated the snowline and treeline in the last two decades (2000-2019) using Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS), Landsat, and GTOPO30 Digital Elevation Model (DEM) datasets. Furthermore, the trend of change in snowline and treeline will be assessed using assessed snowlines and treelines in these two decades. Based on these results, we will correlate with the change of climatic variables to analyze the actual causes of these changes. From this study, we will get a clear image for understanding snow cover and vegetation dynamics in the Himalayas, and their controlling mechanisms.

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