Hydrological processes in glacierized high-altitude basins of the western Himalayas

Translated title of the contribution: Hydrological processes in glacierized high-altitude basins of the western Himalayas

Ghulam Jeelani, Rouf A. Shah, Alan E. Fryar, Rajendrakumar D. Deshpande, Abhijit Mukherjee, Jerome Perrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Western Himalaya is a strategically important region, where the water resources are shared by China, India and Pakistan. The economy of the region is largely dependent on the water resources delivered by snow and glacier melt. The presented study used stable isotopes of water to further understand the basin-scale hydro-meteorological, hydrological and recharge processes in three high-altitude mountainous basins of the western Himalayas. The study provided new insights in understanding the dominant factors affecting the isotopic composition of the precipitation, snowpack, glacier melt, streams and springs. It was observed that elevation-dependent post-depositional processes and snowpack evolution resulted in the higher isotopic altitude gradient in snowpacks. The similar temporal trends of isotopic signals in rivers and karst springs reflect the rapid flow transfer due to karstification of the carbonate aquifers. The attenuation of the extreme isotopic input signal in karst springs appears to be due to the mixing of source waters with the underground karst reservoirs. Basin-wise, the input–output response demonstrates the vital role of winter precipitation in maintaining the perennial flow in streams and karst springs in the region. Isotopic data were also used to estimate the mean recharge altitude of the springs.

Translated title of the contributionHydrological processes in glacierized high-altitude basins of the western Himalayas
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-628
Number of pages14
JournalHydrogeology Journal
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany.

Keywords

  • Groundwater recharge
  • India
  • Snow/ice melt
  • Stable isotopes
  • Western Himalayas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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