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Arctic and Alpine Research

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Abstract/ Summary

Termini fluctuations for glaciers in the Himalayas and Trans-Himalayas are examined for the period AD 1850 to 1960. This period can be characterized as one of general retreat. Differentiation by geographic subdivision, however, reveals that Himalayan glaciers (best exemplified in Lahaul-Spiti, Kolahoi, Nanga Parbat, and Garwhal) show consistent retreat throughout the period, while Trans-Himalayan glaciers (best exemplified on the north side of the Karakoram and in Batura Mustagh and Rakaposhi-Haramosh) deviate from this pattern by displaying a major period of advance from AD 1890 to 1910. Although no apparent relationship exists between the magnitude of termini advances and glacier lengths, termini retreat records are commonly characterized by short- to medium length glaciers <30 km). Termini advances are, however, related to flow direction; advancing termini most commonly face east, southeast, northwest, and west. Glaciers characterized predominantly by retreat flow commonly, but not exclusively, east and southeast. Advances of Trans-Himalayan glaciers during the period AD 1890 to 1910 are attributed to strengthened monsoon wind currents and to secular variations in Indian rainfall. Such changes in the general atmospheric circulation, implied by climatic data, produce subsequent increases of moisture influx to the Asian land mass.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Mayewski, P.A., Jeschke, P.A., & Pregent, G. (1980). Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan Glacier Fluctuations and the South Asian monsoon record, Arctic and Alpine Research, 12(2): 171-182.

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© Copyright 1980 Regents of the University of Colorado.


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