Seasonal variation of ice melting on varying layers of debris of Lirung Glacier, Langtang Valley, Nepal
- 1Himalayan Cryosphere, Climate and Disaster Research Center, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Nepal
- 2International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Lalitpur, Nepal
Keywords: Himalayas, ice melting, energy balance, debris thickness
Abstract. Glaciers in the Himalayan region are often covered by extensive debris cover in ablation areas, hence it is essential to assess the effect of debris on glacier ice melt. Seasonal melting of ice beneath different thicknesses of debris on Lirung Glacier in Langtang Valley, Nepal, was studied during three seasons of 2013–14. The melting rates of ice under 5 cm debris thickness are 3.52, 0.09, and 0.85 cm d−1 during the monsoon, winter and pre-monsoon season, respectively. Maximum melting is observed in dirty ice (0.3 cm debris thickness) and the rate decreases with the increase of debris thickness. The energy balance calculations on dirty ice and at 40 cm debris thickness show that the main energy source of ablation is net radiation. The major finding from this study is that the maximum melting occurs during the monsoon season than rest of the seasons.