Langtang Valley Field Trip – Glacier Hydrology and UAV


As part of the ICIMOD Project "Norwegian Support for Cryosphere funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Royal Norwegian Embassy (RNE) at Kathmandu, a field trip to Langtang Valley was conducted from 06 - 23 October 2014.  In total there were 6 participants: Dr Joseph Shea (ICIMOD), Mr Uma Shankar Panday (KU), Dr Stephen de Jong (Utrecht University), Mr Philip Kraajenbriink (UU), Ms Fionna Heuff (UU), and Mr Sander Meijer (UU).  Processing of the field data is ongoing, and will be used in future studies and reports. 

Pluvio station below Ganga La Pass 

credit: J. Shea

Some field visit statistics: 

  • Number of AWS/Pluvio sites visited: 6
  • Number of hydrological stations visited: 3
  • Maximum elevation: 5350 m (Yala Glacier AWS)
  • Precipitation during the passage of Typhoon HudHud: ca. 80 mm
  • Number of hours confined to our tents by Typhoon HudHud: 36
  • Thickness of the wetsuit used for streamflow measurements: 4 mm

The field work was merged with several other projects to make optimal use of field personnel and logistics.  In addition to visiting the ICIMOD/KU/DHM meteorological and hydrological stations, we conducted maintenance on precipitation stations installed for the DFID snowline precipitation study, and had hoped to conduct UAV surveys of Lirung and Langtang glaciers. Unfortunately, permission to conduct the UAV surveys was not granted, and in coordination with Dr Rijan Kayastha of Kathmandu University we are planning a workshop in January 2015 to meet with representatives from different government agencies to discuss the opportunities and scientific innovations related to UAV observations.   

Langshisha camp after Typhoon Hudhud 

credit: J. Shea