Training on Debris-Covered Glaciers


Debris-covered glaciers are receiving increased attention for their role in the cryosphere and hydrology of high elevation catchments. However, their actual melt dynamics, rates of mass loss, and contribution to streamflow are still poorly understood. Under a project funded by the British aid agency DFID, researchers from ICIMOD and ETH are examining debris-covered glaciers through remote sensing studies in the Shimshal Valley of Pakistan.  

The training on Debris-Covered Glaciers will take place at ICIMOD from 3 – 6 June 2014.  The objective is to introduce participants from Kathmandu University, Tribhuvan University, and Nepal Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) to theoretical and applied studies on debris-covered glaciers.  Specifically, the training will 

  1. provide an overview of debris-covered glaciers, and their main characteristics and processes; 
  2. teach participants how to derive debris cover extension from satellite images using automated methods recently developed in the literature; 
  3. calculate changes in time in relation to changes in glacier area; and 
  4. analyse the reconstructed changes as a function of possible controlling factors.

Resource personnel for the training are Dr Francesca Pellicciotti (ETH), Ms Anna Chesnokova (ETH), and Mr Alvaro Ayala (ETH).  

Contact person: Dr Joseph Shea <>

Debris-covered Langtang Glacier and Langshisha Ri (6,427 m), Langtang Valley, Nepal.

Photo: Joseph Shea/ICIMOD