Cryosphere Initiative

The Cryosphere team at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) collaborates with its partners to study the importance of snow, ice, and permafrost for downstream communities in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). With our partners we have established a Cryosphere Monitoring Programme (CMP) to assess cryosphere water resources, cryosphere-related disaster risks, and scenarios of future water availability, sharing data and knowledge through the CryoHubHKH. We build the capacities of partners to monitor the cryosphere and develop practical solutions and policies to manage water resources and risk.

Automatic weather station on Rikha Samba glacier at 5800 masl, installed in October 2018.
Photo: Tika Gurung/ICIMOD.

Objectives

  • To improve knowledge and understanding of the HKH cryosphere and the impacts of climate change on water resources and hazards, and 
  • To build regional capacity for cryospheric monitoring in the region.


Publications

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Updates

Datasets

Glacier data of Afghanistan were prepared on the basis of Landsat imageries from 1990. The glacier outlines were derived semi-automatically using object-based image classification (OBIC) separately for clean-ice and debris-covered glaciers and further manual editing for quality assurance. The attributes of glacier data were derived from SRTM DEM. This dataset was jointly prepared by the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), Government of Afghanistan, and ICIMOD under the SERVIR-HKH Initiative.


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Glacier data of Afghanistan were prepared on the basis of Landsat imageries from 2015. The glacier outlines were derived semi-automatically using object-based image classification (OBIC) separately for clean-ice and debris-covered glaciers and further manual editing for quality assurance. The attributes of glacier data were derived from SRTM DEM. This dataset was jointly prepared by the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), Government of Afghanistan, and ICIMOD under the SERVIR-HKH Initiative.


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Glacier data of Afghanistan were prepared on the basis of Landsat imageries from 2000. The glacier outlines were derived semi-automatically using object-based image classification (OBIC) separately for clean-ice and debris-covered glaciers and further manual editing for quality assurance. The attributes of glacier data were derived from SRTM DEM. This dataset was jointly prepared by the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), Government of Afghanistan, and ICIMOD under the SERVIR-HKH Initiative.


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Glacier data of Afghanistan were prepared on the basis of Landsat imageries from 2010. The glacier outlines were derived semi-automatically using object-based image classification (OBIC) separately for clean-ice and debris-covered glaciers and further manual editing for quality assurance. The attributes of glacier data were derived from SRTM DEM. This dataset was jointly prepared by the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), Government of Afghanistan, and ICIMOD under the SERVIR-HKH Initiative.


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The dataset shows a layer of rock glaciers mapped comprehensively by a second person, using the polygon tool in Google Earth. Therefore, 4000 randomly distributed sample polygons have been created over the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, and each sample polygon has been examined for rock glaciers by two different individuals to increase confidence in the mapping.


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The dataset shows a layer of rock glaciers mapped comprehensively by a first person, using the polygon tool in Google Earth. Therefore, 4000 randomly distributed sample polygons have been created over the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, and each sample polygon has been examined for rock glaciers by two different individuals to increase confidence in the mapping.


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The dataset shows areas identified as rock glaciers by two different persons (rock glacier mapping layer M1 and M2). It is obtained by intersecting M1 and M2 layer of rock glacier mapping.


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The comprehensive baseline information on the glaciers of the HKH region was generated semi-automatically using more than 200 Landsat 7 ETM+ images of 2005 ± 3 years with minimum cloud and snow coverage. The glacier outlines were derived by using object-based image classification method separately for clean-ice and debris-covered glaciers with some manual intervention. The attribute data were assigned to each glacier using 90m resolution SRTM DEM. This data does not cover the China part.


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Digital polygon data of Glaciers of Bhutan in 2010. This dataset is created using Landsat TM and ETM+, imageries of 2010. The glacier outlines was derived semi-automatically using object-based image classification (OBIC ) method separately for clean ice and debris cover and further editing and validation was done carefully by draping over the high resolution images from Google Earth.


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Digital polygon data of Glaciers of Bhutan in 2000. This dataset is created using Landsat TM and ETM+, imageries of 2000. The glacier outlines was derived semi-automatically using object-based image classification (OBIC ) method separately for clean ice and debris cover and further editing and validation was done carefully by draping over the high resolution images from Google Earth.


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Science applications

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