Glacial Flooding & Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Exchange and Field Training July 11-24, 2013 in Huaraz, Peru HighMountains.org/workshop/peru-2013
Establishing a Collaborative Effort to Assess the Role of Glaciers and Seasonal Snow Cover in the Hydrology of the Mountains of High Asia R. Armstrong, M. Williams, A. Barrett, M. J. Brodzik, F. Fetterer, Siri Jodha S. Khalsa, A. Racoviteanu, A. Rasmussen, B. Raup, A. Wilson, U. Horodyskyj Objectives The Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice and Snow (CHARIS) project is systematically assessing the role of glacier ice melt and seasonal snow melt in the freshwater resources of High Asia. This assessment is crucial for accurate forecasting of availability and vulnerability of water resources in this region. In collaboration with Asian partner organizations, we are deriving critical regional-‐ scale information for planning downstream irrigation, hydropower generation and general consumption. Realistic forecasts of water resources in these regions are not possible until we better understand the current hydrologic regime. Methods We are applying a suite of satellite remote sensing, reanalysis and ground-‐based data as input to snow and ice melt models. Gridded maps of snow and glacier area/elevation are input to a temperature-‐index melt model. Runoff from snow-‐ covered grid cells is the product of cell area and melt depth from the melt model. Glacier melt is estimated similarly, once snow has disappeared from glacierized grid cells. The melt model is driven by daily mean temperature from reanalysis data. Analysis and Validation We are comparing seasonal melt volume time series generated from temperature-‐ index models with measured river discharge volumes and comparing the regional scale results with local sub-‐basin studies based on energy balance modeling approaches. We are also evaluating the accuracy of the melt model results using innovative isotopic and geochemical tracers to identify and quantify the sources of water (ice melt, snow melt, rainfall and ground water) flowing into selected rivers representing the major hydro-‐climates of the study area. With our Asian partners, we are assessing the performance of the various melt models. Results of this study can be applied to future efforts to evaluate the socio-‐economic impacts of water uses and their vulnerability to changes in flow magnitude and timing. CHARIS People & Partners Project personnel are located principally at the University of Colorado: - Richard Armstrong, Principal Investigator, Senior Research Scientist and Fellow of CIRES. Leads the project with a perspective gained from more than 30 years in snow and ice research, including extensive glacier mass balance studies.
- Mark Williams, Professor of Geography and Fellow of INSTAAR. As Co-‐ Investigator, Mark oversees field collection and laboratory analyses of water samples for isotopic and geochemical content, and conducts hydrologic mixing models using these data sources. Mark has extensive fieldwork experience in High Asia. - Andrew Barrett, Associate Scientist. Focuses on snow cover mapping and assessing reanalysis temperature and precipitation data. Andy, too, has High Asia field work experience. - Mary Jo Brodzik, Senior Associate Scientist/Statistician. Provides research programming support in the areas of satellite data processing, glacier mapping, DEM generation and statistical methods for time-‐series trend analysis. - Florence Fetterer, Project Manager. Coordinates project activities including implementing project partner agreements and arranging workshops. - Siri Jodha Singh Khalsa, Research Scientist. Remote sensing scientist and GIS expert. Oversees DEM generation and evaluation, and assembles the MODIS snow cover product for use in the snowmelt runoff models and trend analysis. - Adina Racoviteanu, Project consultant. Expertise in remote sensing and GIS for glacier change detection and mass balance monitoring, with an emphasis on mapping debris covered glaciers. Adina has extensive High Asia field work experience. - Al Rasmussen, Project consultant. Expertise in glacier mass balance and hydrologic modeling. University of Washington. - Bruce Raup, Senior Associate Scientist. Oversees the evaluation and use of existing and new outlines for derivation of glacier hypsometries, and ensures that new glacier outlines are inserted into the NSIDC GLIMS Glacier Database. Bruce has glacier field work experience. - Alana Wilson, Graduate student. Collects and analyzes water samples; helps establish sampling protocols with South and Central Asian partners. Alana has fieldwork experience in High Asia. - Ulyana Horodyskyj, Graduate student. Fieldwork to obtain spectrometer and other measurements with which to validate satellite-‐derived albedo estimates and snow-‐ cover maps. Ulyana has fieldwork experience in High Asia.
Improving our understanding of water resources in High Asia is a trans-‐national activity, so we are working directly with researchers at institutions in nine different nations where ice and snow resources are located (Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan). These countries contain the headwaters of the Brahmaputra, Ganges, Indus, Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers. We collaborate with Asian research institutions to develop a consensus regarding the research methodologies and data gathering required to achieve project goals. This collaboration includes joint research activities, such as cooperative field studies and model development, as well as capacity building
(technical training, graduate student support, workshops) that will enhance the scientific understanding of the regional hydrology among our Asian partners.
The current list of partner institutions (as of 13 June 2013) is: • Kathmandu University, Nepal • Jawaharlal Nehru University, India • Sharda University, India • Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) • Karakorum International University, Gilgit, Pakistan • Kabul University, Afghanistan • Institute of Water Problems and Hydropower, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan • Institute of Water problems, Hydropower and Ecology, Dushanbe, Tajikistan • Institute of Geography, Almaty, Kazakhstan • Royal University of Bhutan Summary CHARIS is leading a trans-‐national effort to improve our understanding of regional water resources in High Asia. While transferring knowledge and skills to Project Partners we also engage in joint research activities, such as cooperative field studies and model development. We will freely share the data, tools and techniques that are developed by CHARIS.