Short field report: Changri Nup and Mera glaciers


In November-December 2014, Patrick Wagnon and some colleagues conducted their bi-annual field trip on Mera Glacier (Hinku-Hunku valley, East Nepal). The objectives were to assess the annual and seasonal glacier-wide mass balance of this glacier, using the glaciological method [Wagnon et al., 2013 -], as well as installing or maintaining some meteorological stations, to understand the processes that drive the melting or accumulation of this glacier. This field trip has been successfully conducted.

AWS Photo of the AWS1-5360, on Changri Nup Glacie

The team stayed 10 days on Changri Nup Glacier (21 November – 1 December), reading and installing ablation stakes between 5300 and 5500 m, installing a new meteorological station on the debris covered part of the glacier carrying out some GPR measurements for debris property characterization, and performing DGPS survey for thickness change assessment. Then the team stayed 5 days on Mera Glacier (6-11 December) reading ablation stakes between 5000 and 5500 m, performing accumulation measurements between 5500 and 6400 m, collecting meteorological data and performing DGPS survey for thickness change assessment. The outcomes of such a work are to assess the glacier-wide annual mass balances of those glaciers, to evaluate the local meteorological conditions prevailing in this high-altitude environment, and to understand the processes (melting, accumulation) controlling the inter-annual variability of the glacier mass and volume. These glaciers, Changri Nup and Mera Glacier, are benchmark glaciers of this region, and serve also to validate surveys conducted from space.

Photo of the AWS2-5470, on Changri Nup Glacier