Back to news
23 Jun 2016 | News

Cryosphere Data Release

2 mins Read

70% Complete

Open access to high-elevation meteorological data and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) data from the Himalayas

Meteorological data is scarce in high-elevation environments, and detailed imagery and repeat digital elevation models of debris-covered glaciers have not been made publically available until now. The Cryosphere Initiative at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is thus pleased to announce the public release of hourly automatic weather station data and UAV data. These data were obtained through collaborations between the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (Government of Nepal), Kathmandu University, Utrecht University, and the Cryosphere Initiative at ICIMOD. These data are now hosted on ICIMOD’s regional database system (, and user registration is required for download. The release includes full metadata and the following files:

  1. Rikha Samba (5300 m):
  2. Kyanging (3860 m):
  3. Yala Base Camp (5300 m):
    • 1 m resolution orthomosaics and digital elevation models of the debris-covered Lirung glacier from May and October 2013
    1. Data link:
Sample 1 m UAV data at Lirung Glacier, October 2013. The left panel shows orthomosaic image, and the right panel shows elevation model with hillshade.

Dr Joseph Shea, senior glacier hydrologist at ICIMOD, noted that “this data release is part of our ongoing commitment to open-data access in the region, which doesn’t have much in the way of high-elevation data.”  The data are primarily intended for students and researchers to conduct their own analyses.

Research incorporating these datasets have been published in the following research papers:

These data were collected with financial support from the Norwegian government and the Department for International Development (UK). ICIMOD and its partners would also like to acknowledge Dr Rijan Kayastha, Kathmandu University, for providing logistical support; the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation; the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal; and the Nepal Army for providing the permits to conduct research in the selected sites.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Joseph Shea


Stay current

Stay up to date on what’s happening around the HKH with our most recent publications and find out how you can help by subscribing to our mailing list.

Sign Up

Related Content

Continue exploring this topic

12 Oct 2015 Livelihoods
Off Season Vegetables Improving Rural Livelihoods

  Agriculture and livestock keeping are the main sources of livelihoods for all 528 families (100 in Jajurauli and 428 in ...

Incubation centre established for R&D of the brick sector in Nepal

The incubation centre will strengthen FNBI’s Technical Resource Development Committee (TRDC), and enable R&D for the continuous refinement of brick ...

5 Feb 2024 News
Personal visit by Director-General of FAO signals new era in cooperation

The MOU commits both bodies to pool expertise, knowledge, innovation, technology and networks to strengthen food production and community resilience, ...

10 Nov 2022 News
ICIMOD Mountain Chairs discuss water, energy, and food security in the Eastern Himalayas

Dr Jyoti Prakash Tamang (ICIMOD Mountain Chair 2019–2021, Sikkim University, India) hosted Dr Christopher Scott (ICIMOD Mountain Chair 2020–2022, Penn ...

18 Jul 2019 News
Combining top–down and bottom–up: Designing a watershed management plan for Dhankuta Municipality

In the first consultation meeting with the vice mayor, there was a consensus that the conservation of water sources is ...

8 May 2015 News
ICIMOD’s earthquake response task force maps potential helicopter landing sites

A team of GIS and remote sensing experts at ICIMOD are mapping possible helicopter landing sites for village development committees ...

Preserving Traditions and Strengthening Livelihoods through Transboundary Yak Conservation

Nepal, India, and Bhutan – which share the transboundary Kangchenjunga landscape in the eastern Himalaya – have been connected through ...