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Glacier dynamics and volume change estimation using advanced remote sensing techniques

Tildelt: kr 0,11 mill.




2009 - 2010

We propose to submit a research project to Research Council of Norway, Division for Science under its YGGDRASIL mobility programme in collaboration with host institution Northern Research Institute (Norut) Tromso,Norway and CSRE, Indian Institute of Techn ology, Bombay Mumbai, India. The effort envisioned is monitoring the snow cover and glacier system in the wake of global warming effects on cryosphere and in particular Himalayan glaciers. These glaciated terrains of Himalayas are quite arduous and inacce ssible. However the satellite Remote Sensing has opened up the possibility of data acquisition in such terrain at regular intervals. The mapping of snow cover using optical remote sensing, however, suffers quite with cloud cover problems as well as satura tion of optical bands for fresh snow. Such problems do not effect microwave sensing with its day and night all weather viewing capabilities which has an added advantage of characterization of snow cover, quantitative estimation of snow parameters and deci phering three dimensional glacier dynamics. With the advent of orbital radar system such as ENVISAT, Radarsat-2, ALOS PALSAR etc more sophisticated high resolution and precision data became available to explore this adverse glaciated terrain. Himalayan gl acier?s rapid retreating and thinning is threatening water supplies for billions of people. These Glaciers form the important source of major river systems of north India, which include Indus, Ganges and Bhramaputra. In this study efforts will be made to study the glacier volume changes, retreat estimation and deciphering movement using multi temporal synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data and ASTER stereo pairs. Time-series InSAR analysis using Small Baseline Subset (SBAS) algorithm will be attempted for gl acier flow estimation.