Mass Balance Reconstruction since 1963 and Mass Balance Model for East Rathong Galcier, Eastern Himalaya, using remote sensing methods
In this study mass balance, accumulation, ablation, runoff and temperature lapse rate for the East Rathong glacier are estimated for the time period 1963–2011 using remote sensing methods and climate data. A mass balance model is proposed for the glacier that computes mass balance as difference of volumes of consecutive years. Volume estimates of glacier are based on application of volume–area scaling law to glacier area computed from satellite images. It is observed that the glacier is summer-accumulation type. Time series analysis is applied to the annual mass balance series. The annual mass balance of the glacier is showing a statistically significant negative trend. It is also showing a statistically significant shift in the year 1985. Change in the mean of mass balance before and after the shift year is 0.19 m w.e. Cumulative mass balance suggests that the glacier has lost ?11 m w.e. or 0.047 km3 during the last 48 years.