This article will be about Glaciers in India with a map, including the Siachen Glacier, Gangotri Glacier, Dokriani Glacier, Zemu Glacier and all other important Glaciers in India. In a joint project with the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, the Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO) has done the mapping of Himalayan glaciers which covered Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra basins, by using the Indian satellite data from 2004 to 2011. The study finds that there are 34,919 glaciers encompassing an area of over 75,779 sq. km. in the entire Himalayas. (Source: ISRO). Download HD Image of Glacier in India Map from the link at the end of this article.
Table of Contents
- The mountain ranges of the Greater Himalayas run in a north-west to south-east arc, some 2500 km in length, across the north of the Indian subcontinent, and form the location for the largest concentration of glacier ice outside of the poles.
- The region contains glaciers covering an area of -22,800sq. km, forming part of the “Asian Water Towers”.
- These glaciers and associated snowpacks provide much of the runoff which contributes to the flow of the Brahmaputra, Yangtze, Indus and Yellow Rivers amongst others, and through these river systems to approximately 1.3 billion people downstream.
- In the upper catchments within the Himalayas and foothills, approximately 210 million people are dependent upon the hydrological regimes of Himalayan rivers for survival.
- Net mass addition of glaciers in much of the Himalayas occurs during the monsoon season. Accumulation and ablation (the loss of material from a large mass of ice) occur in summer and this is typical for at least -75% of glaciers in Nepal and adjacent regions.
- However, in the Karakoram sector of the Himalayas, accumulation occurs throughout the year associated with winter precipitation.
- Accumulation is also partly driven by avalanches from surrounding mountain slopes, and this process brings rock debris as well as snow and ice to glacier surfaces, which serves to retard melting by changing the surface heat balance of glaciers. This process is particularly important in the Karakoram and south of the main Himalaya crest.
glaciers in india
|Bara Shingri||30||Himachal Pradesh|
|Chhota Shingri||9||Himachal Pradesh|
|Sara Umga||17||Himachal Pradesh|
|Samudra Tapu||9||Himachal Pradesh|
|North Nanda Devi||19||Uttarakhand|
|South Nanda Devi||19||Uttarakhand|
- The 72 km long Siachen glacier located in the Karakoram, is the longest glacier in the Indian Himalayas and the second-longest in the world’s non-polar areas.
- Siachen glacier lies immediately south of the great drainage divide that separates the Eurasian Plate from the Indian subcontinent
- Siachen glacier has an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level at its head at Indira Col.
- Siachen Glacier extends between the latitudes of 35°10’N-35°42′ N and longitudes 76°46’E-77°25’E.
- Its width varies between 1 and 8 km, covering an area of —936 sq. Km. with an estimated mean thickness of —300 m.
- Siachen is located close to the boundary between India and Pakistan, in the eastern part of the Karakoram Range.
- Westerlies are an important source of precipitation for the Karakoram including Siachen Glacier.
- Nearly two-thirds of the annual snowfall in these areas occurs under the influence of extratropical cyclones known as western disturbances, primarily during the winter season.
- Hispar Glacier is located in the central Karakoram and drains into the Hunza river catchment. Its main trunk is a nearly 50 km long
- At Hispar pass, Hispar Glacier is connected to the third-longest glacier in the world, the 69 km long Biafo Glacier, flowing to the East.
- from the south about a dozen small tributaries nourish the Hispar Glacier and from the north, three large tributary glaciers feed the main glacier trunk (Kunyang, Yutmaru and Khani Basa).
- These tributary glaciers collectively contribute about half of the total width of the main glacier.
- The lower part of the Hispar Glacier is completely debris-covered and characterized by numerous supra-glacial melt ponds as well as circular collapse structures, indicating widespread down-wasting.
- Biafo Glacier flows south-east of the main watershed divide of the central Karakoram Range.
- Biafo Glacier is the second-longest of the Glacier of Himalayan Ranges at 69 km,
- Biafo Glacier- an area of 628 sq. Km.
- Biafo Glacier alone accounts for about 4% of the glacierized area of the Karakoram Range– 15 000 sq. Km.
The Chhota Shigri Glacier
- The Chhota Shigri Glacier is located on the northern slope of the Pir Panjal Range toward the east of the Rohtang Pass (H.P.).
- Chhota Shigri Glacier is surrounded by high, steep ridges and mountains that provide an ideal condition for the development of this glacier.
- It is located at 32º 15’ N and 77º 31’E, covering an area of about 10 sq. km.
- The total drainage area of the Chhota Shigri Glacier stream is about 45 km2.
- The water from the Chhota Shigri glacier melting drains out in a single confined stream and meets the Chandra River.
- Lateral moraines are present all along the body of Chhota Shigri.
- Gangotri glacier holds the position of being the Largest Glacier of Uttarakhand.
- It is the source of the mighty river Ganga.
- It begins at the northern slope of the Chaukhamba range of peaks in the Garhwal Himalayas.
- Gangotri glacier is a combination of several other glaciers.
- The snout of the Gangotri Glacier is known as ‘Gomukh’. The water stream, known as the Bhagirathi River, emerges from Gomukh, at an elevation of 4,000m.
- To reach Gangotri Glacier, one has to trek 18 km from the Gangotri town.
- The elevation area of the Gangotri Glacier varies from 4,000-7,000 m.
- The Gangotri Glacier area also has several high peaks around it, notably the majestic snow-clad Shivling peak (»6500 m).
- Gangotri glacier system is a cluster of many glaciers comprising of The main Gangotri glacier –(length: 30.20 km; width: 0.20-2.35 km; area: 86.32 km2) as trunk part of the system. It flows in the northwest direction. The major glacier tributaries of the Gangotri Glacier system are
- Raktvarn Glacier (55.30 km2),
- Chaturangi Glacier (67.70 km2),
- Kirti Glacier (33.14 km2),
- Swachand Glacier (16.71 km2),
- Ghanohim Glacier (12.97 km2),
- Meru Glacier (6.11 km2),
- Maindi Glacier (4.76 km2) and few other having glacierised area of about 3.08 sq. km.
- The Dokriani Glacier – Garhwal region of the Great Himalayas.
- Located between- latitudes 31º 49’ to 31º 52’ N and longitudes 78º 47’ to 78º 51’ E.
- The Dokriani Glacier begins near
- the Janoli peak (6,633 m) and
- Draupadi ka Danda peak (5,716 m).
- Din Gad a small stream, originates from the Dokriani Glacier. It follows a narrow valley and joins the river Bhagirathi at Bhukki.
- The total drainage area of Dokriani Glacier- 23 km2.
- The elevation of glacier – 3,950-5,800 m
- length -about 5.5 km
- width varies between 0.1-2.0 km.
- Dokriani Glacier middle portion is highly fractured and full of crevasses, moulins, glacier tables, and ground moraines.
- The snout of Glacier is at an altitude of 4,000 meters, covered with huge boulders and debris.
- The lower portion of the glacier is full of debris.
- It is bounded by two large lateral moraines of about 200 m in height.
- Several other moraines are present at different altitudes of this Glacier indicating the past extension of the glacier.
Sikkim Himalayas receives more precipitation than the adjacent Mount Everest region to the west, whose glaciers are smaller. There are five main glacier basins in Sikkim Himalaya, namely;
- East Rathong,
- Changme Khangpu
- the largest glacier in Eastern Himalaya with 20 Km length having a total surface area of about 42 sq. Km.
- It is located in the north-western part of the State of Sikkim, along the border with Nepal.
- It originates from the eastern slope of the World’s third highest mountain peak Khangchendzonga (8,591 m).
- The basin covered area of the Zemu glacier is 359.85 sq.Km. with an ice volume of 15.05 Km3.
- From 1909 to 2005, the Zemu glacier has retreated approximately 863 m.
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This was the brief about the Glaciers in India with a map, including the Siachen Glacier, Gangotri Glacier, Dokriani Glacier, Zemu Glacier.