| || Percentile Data Analysis of Snowfall in J&K and Saichen Glaciers Region
Author : Shrivastava, G. P.
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:56(4) ; 2006 ; pp 569-576
Subject : 551 Geology;551.5 Meteorology
Keywords : Western disturbance;Saichen glaciers;Greater Himalayan range;Saltoro range;Korakoram range;Indian Himalayas;Avalanche;Snowfall pattern
Abstract : The Indian Himalayas are located between eastings 72° to 96° and the northings 26° to 37° stretching to about 43000 km2 area. There are five major ranges in this region, ie, Pir Panjal, Greater Himalayas, Zanskar, Laddakh, and Karakoram. Saltoro range is the major branch of widespread Karakoram ranges which falls in Indian territory. Saichen glaciers are located in Saltoro range. Percentile data of snowfall gives first-hand information about the snowfall pattern in Jammu and Kashmir and Saichen glaciers, the two distinguished areas of Indian Himalayas which would help in prediction of avalanche activity in these areas. Western disturbance originating from Caspian sea basically dictates the weather condition in this region. Western disturbance approaches from western side and hits Pir Panjal range and Greater Himalayan range first, and then either it moves to further north or towards north-eastern region. Western disturbance yields maximum precipitation during winter season over north-west Himalayas, but as it moves further, it looses the moisture content, hence reducing the solid snowfall quantity but stays for a longer duration due to extremely low temperatures observed in the region of Saichen glaciers. The data analysis shows that the snowfall takes place in Saichen glacier throughout the year whereas in Jammu and Kashmir area, snowfall takes place only during winter season. Change in snowfall pattern in these two regions is attributed to the variation in temperature in these regions, movement of weather system, and the difference in altitude. In the present study, four locations at varied altitudes from Jammu and Kashmir area and the complete Saichen glaciers region have been covered to analyse the snowfall pattern for the period from 1995-2000.