Cryosphere Monitoring

The cryosphere is water on the earth’s surface and subsurface in its frozen state, including glaciers, snow cover, and permafrost. It’s an integral part of the global climate system. The Himalayas make up the largest cryosphere region outside the poles and are highly sensitive to climate change, but the lack of long-term data for this region undermines efforts to develop policies and programs to promote the rational and sustainable use of these water resources.

ICIMOD is involved in assessments of the Himalayan cryosphere, working to devise ways and means to bridge the information gap. The Geospatial Solution Team works with the ICIMOD Cryosphere Programme to leverage Earth Observation GIS capacities to monitor the state of the cryosphere across the HKH region, including mapping of snow cover, and snow water equivalents, and monitoring temporal changes in glaciated area and water volume.


Publications

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Datasets

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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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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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