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Contribution to Book
Remote Sensing of Glaciers in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Global Land Ice Measurements from Space
  • Michael P. Bishop, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • John F. Shroder, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Ghazanfar Ali, Quaid-i-Azam University
  • Andrew B. G. Bush, University of Alberta
  • Umesh K. Haritashya, University of Dayton
  • Rakhshan Roohi, La Trobe University
  • Mehmet Akif Sarikaya, Istanbul Technical University
  • Brandon J. Weihs, Kansas State University
Document Type
Book Chapter
Publication Date
Glaciers in Afghanistan and Pakistan are parts of an Asian “critical region” having significant roles in rising sea level, local and regional water resources, natural hazards, and geopolitical stability. The two countries lack fundamental and reliable quantitative information regarding glacier fluctuations. As part of the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) project, we used satellite imagery and field observations to assess a relatively large number of glaciers in both countries. In Afghanistan, many glaciers have systematically been observed to be retreating and downwasting. Many glaciers have lost significant ice mass and have evolved into numerous smaller individual ice masses. Furthermore, the glaciers around the Kohi Bandakha massif in southern Badakshan Province are significantly more debris covered than other regions in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, the situation is more complex, as many glacier termini are variably stationary, advancing, or retreating. There appears to be a spatial trend with more retreating glaciers in the western Hindu Kush. To the east we observe more advancing glaciers and surging glaciers associated with an increase in precipitation. These observations suggest that glacier response to climate forcing is very different in Pakistan compared with conditions in the central and eastern Himalaya.
Inclusive pages
Place of Publication
Berlin, Germany
Peer Reviewed
Citation Information
Michael P. Bishop, John F. Shroder, Ghazanfar Ali, Andrew B. G. Bush, et al.. "Remote Sensing of Glaciers in Afghanistan and Pakistan" Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (2014)
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