Glacier status in Nepal and decadal change from 1980 to 2010 based on Landsat data

This publication provides a comprehensive account of the status of glaciers of Nepal in approximately 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010 to facilitate a better understanding of glacier dynamics over the past three decades.

The glacier inventory was developed based on remote sensing tools and techniques, using semi-automatic multi-resolution segmentation of Landsat satellite images and SRTM digital elevation model.

The customized methodology of semi-automatic glacier mapping allows for the rapid delivery of glacier attributes – like area (clean-ice, debris-covered, 100 m bin), estimated ice reserves, mean slope, aspect, elevation, morphological type – for each of the 3,808 glaciers included in the 2010 inventory.

Clean-ice and debris-covered glaciers were mapped separately for 2010 to support studies of water resources assessment and climate change impact. In an additional case study, glacier outlines for the four decades in the Langtang sub-basin in central Nepal and Imja sub-basin in eastern Nepal were analysed and compared with decadal temperature change.

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