Back to news
24 Jan 2018 | Cryosphere

Cryosphere Initiative field activities for the autumn 2017

A total of four research expeditions were carried out on research sites in Bhutan and Nepal as part of the data collection and research expedition by the Cryosphere Initiative under its cryosphere monitoring programme (CMP). Research sites include Thana Glacier in Bhutan, and Yala Glacier in Langtang Valley, Rikha Samba Glacier in the Hidden Valley, Mustang, Nepal. The field activities started in late August and ended in November 2017, just before the winter months kicked in.

2 mins Read

70% Complete
Measuring mass balance on Thana Glacier September 2017. Photo by Sharad Joshi/ICIMOD.

Thana glacier, Bhutan

In Bhutan, Sharad Joshi, Associate Glaciologist and two glaciologists from the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Germany, joined the National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM) of Bhutan for their annual cryosphere research expedition to Thana Glacier.

The team conducted annual glacier mass balance measurements on Thana Glacier using an approach that was different from ones used before. Thana is the reference glacier for long-term glacier monitoring in Bhutan.

Joshi provided technical support and trained NCHM team members in executing long-term mass balance monitoring and cryosphere research.

Rikha Sambha Glacier, Nepal

Rikha Samba Glacier in the Hidden Valley, Mustang is also one of the research sites for ICIMOD’s cryosphere programme. For the annual 2017 data collection, research associates Tika Gurung and Gunjan Silwal were joined by the personnel from Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), an implementing partner.

During the 15-day expedition in October 2017, the group successfully carried out measurements and maintenance of the monitoring stake network, downloaded data from the hydrological station and Automatic Weather Station, and carried out discharge measurements in the Rikha Samba outlet.

Langtang valley, Nepal

A team of researchers from ICIMOD, Utrecht University (UU), the Netherlands, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), Norway, and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), Nepal, were in Langtang Valley for Hydrometeorology and Snow Accumulation and Melt Process (SnowAMP) fieldwork from 15 October to 2 November 2017.

While in Langtang, the group downloaded data and carried out routine maintenance work of meteorological and hydrological stations. There are ten automatic weather stations (AWS) and two hydrological stations (HS) in the valley. They also collected river discharge measurements in the Langtang Khola at two gauging sites using salt tracer methods, and conducted unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flights above Lirung and Langtang Glaciers to determine bi-annual surface lowering and debris-surface temperatures. Stereo-imagery and ground control points were collected from Ganja La Pass to accurately determine snow line altitudes in a structure-for-motion effort. Soil moisture sensors were installed close to the Langtang Khola to provide additional field data for hydrological modelling of the catchment.

Yala Glacier, Nepal

The expedition to Yala Glacier in November 2017 was a part of ICIMOD’s training on glacier monitoring for students, academics, and practitioners from Nepal, Bhutan, and Pakistan. Before the field expedition, participants attended five days intensive training on theoretical aspects of glacier monitoring and basic mountaineering. For the expedition to Yala, training participants were accompanied by two resource persons from the DHM.

On Yala Glacier, participants were trained on monitoring glacier mass balance with stake and snow pit measurements, surveying glacier terminus and surface, and taking velocity measurements and repeat photographs of Yala Glacier. They also learned about deploying temperature loggers for permafrost studies.

1. 2. The field team in front of the AWS on Yala Glacier. (L-R): Inka Koch, ICIMOD, Rudra Pariyar (DHM), Passang Sherpa (mountain guide from Thamserku Trekking), Tuomo Saloranta (NVE) and Jacob Steiner (UU), Usmar Hellmer (UU), Walter Immerzeel (UU) (Photo by Tashi Sherpa, Expedition member). 3. During mountaineering and safety, practical training on Yala Glacier Pasang Kaji Sherpa certified guide explaining the purpose and use of mountaineering gear before the glacier traverse. Photo by Nirakar Thapa, DHM

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

5 Jan 2022 Cryosphere
Expanding permafrost research in the HKH

We worked with Tribhuvan University to organize the “Cryosphere Forum 2021: Status of research on changing permafrost and associated ...

16 Nov 2018 Cryosphere
Glaciologists share their research findings from the three “poles”

On 29 October 2018, glaciologists from three poles of the globe came together to discuss their research and explore new ...

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 ...

‘Dhuwa’ Film Educates on Air Pollution

  ‘Dhuwa’, a short telefilm about air pollution resulting from open fires premiered on 1 October 2015 at Kumari Hall in ...


#塑战速决 (#BeatPlasticPollution) –今年世界环境日的三项行动 似乎没有任何地方可以免受塑料污染浪潮的影响:即使是地球之巅。上周在当地社区、登山者和政要前往纪念珠峰人类首登 70 周年时,ICIMOD 发起了我们新的 #拯救我们的雪(#SaveOurSnow)活动——一段视频显示被留在珠峰(南坡)大本营的堆积如山的塑料制品和其他垃圾的消息迅速传播开来。 但我们这代人可以扭转塑料潮流吗?随着谈判代表离开巴黎,同意起草一份具有国际法律约束力的条约草案以终结塑料污染,而在设立世界环境日的50周年呼吁采取集体行动来抵制它,有充分的理由充满希望。 同样重要的是,我们有充分的理由采取行动:塑料工业不仅是世界上增长最快的工业温室气体来源,而且塑料废物极大地加剧了兴都库什-喜马拉雅地区现有的气候变化、生物多样性丧失和污染等问题,ICIMOD 的 南亚网络开发和环境经济学(South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics ,简称SANDEE)。原因如下: 气候:固体废物——其中大部分是塑料——堵塞了排水系统,并增加了破坏性洪水,即由全球变暖引发的更频繁且更强烈的降雨事件引发的洪水。 生物多样性:塑料垃圾可能需要数百年才能分解,它们堵塞水道,其中的有害化学物质渗入土壤和水中,影响陆地和水生生物、生态系统和人类健康。 ...

Bhutan, India, and Nepal to Strengthen Regional Cooperation through Tourism in the Kangchenjunga Landscape

The event focused on sharing existing practices and improving the potential and future prospects of tourism as a major conservation ...