Cryosphere Initiative Autumn Field Expeditions to Glaciers in Bhutan and Nepal

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Background:

Fieldwork on glaciers is an integral part of the Cryosphere Initiative at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Researchers from the centre and partners in Bhutan and Nepal will once again head to the glaciers to carry out annual glacier mass balance measurements, routine maintenance on automatic weather stations, download data, and other glacier monitoring activities on benchmark glaciers. Fieldwork is carried out in collaboration with Department of Hydro-Met Service (DMHS, Bhutan), Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM, Nepal), Kathmandu University and Tribhuvan University in Nepal. 

Thana Glacier, Chamkhar Chhu, Bumthang, Bhutan

Date: 28 August to 24 September 2016
Places to cover: Thana glacier 
Contact person: , Glacio-Hydrologist; , Associate Glaciologist;  , Glaciologist

Activities to be conducted in the field: 

  • annual glacier mass balance measurements, extend stake network, and snow survey (snow pit and snow probing), 
  • GPR (ground penetrating radar) survey to calculate the Thana Glacier ice thickness and volume calculation
  • differential GPS survey of the stake location, glacier profile for geodetic mass balance
  • black carbon snow sampling
  • monitor and maintain and data downloading form automatic weather stations (AWS) and automatic water level sensors (AWLS)
  • discharge measurements
  • Install corner reflectors over DHMS benchmarks as ground control points 

Discharge measurements of Langtang Khola 

Date:  29 August to 6 September 2016
Place: Langtang Khola, Lirung outlet above Kyangjing 
Contact person: , Glacio-Hydrologist

Activities to be conducted in the field: 

  • to collect discharge data during monsoon when the highest flows are observed, as a result of the monsoon rains and high melt rates of glaciers. It is a crucial period of the year since the river discharge is the highest.
  • to carry out discharge measurement on the Langtang khola at the  main ICIMOD’s  hydrological station of Langtang valley, near Kyangjing Gompa

Routine maintenance of automatic hydro-meteorological stations and UAV surveys of debris covered glaciers, and sublimation measurements.

Date: 20 September to 22 October 2016
Places to cover: Yala Glacier, Ganjala Pass
Contact point:  , Glacio-Hydrologist; , Visiting Scientist

  • routine maintenance of glacio-hydrological network of stations: weather/hydrological stations including on-glacier AWS on Yala, installed last spring
  • UAV work to monitor the surface height change on debris covered glaciers (in cooperation with Utrecht University)
  • installation of a non-permanent weather station with high precision sensors to measure evaporation from the debris-cover and uncovered glaciers (cooperation with Utrecht University)
  • routine maintenance of the snow stations from the snow AMP project on Ganja-La

Expedition to Rikha Samba Glacier, Nepal

Date: 1-19 October 2016
Places to cover: Rikha Samba Glacier in the Hidden Valley, Lower Mustang, Nepal
Contact Person: , Glaciologist

ICIMOD and partners of the Cryosphere Monitoring Programme will conduct an expedition to Rikha Samba Glacier in the Hidden Valley, Lower Mustang, Nepal, as a part of the Cryosphere Initiative, funded by the government of Norway. The goals of the expedition are:

  • to conduct the annual glacier mass balance measurement, extend stake network, and snow survey (snow pit and snow probing) 
  • to do a differential GPS survey of the stake locations, glacier surface profile for geodetic mass balance 
  • to monitor and maintain and data downloading from the automatic weather station (AWS), automatic water level sensor (AWLS) and thermistor chain (on invitation only)