Snow- and glacier-nourished river basinslocated
in the Himalaya-Karakoram-Hindukush (HKH) ranges supply a significant amount of
dischargein River Indus upstream Tarbela Dam. It is, hence, important to
comprehend the cryosphere variation and its relationship to the stream flow in
these high-altitude river catchments. The MODIS remotely sensed database of
snow products was chosen to examine the average annual snow and glacier cover
(cryosphere) variations in the Shigar River basin (poorly gauged mountainous
sub-catchment of the Indus River). Hydrological regime in the area was
investigated through monthly database of observed stream fluxes and climate
variables (precipitation and mean temperature)for the Shigar
River catchment. Analysis indicated the usefulness of remote sensing techniques
for estimation of the snow cover variation in the poorly or un-gauged
high-elevation catchments of the HKH zone. Results also showed that Shigar
River discharge was influenced mainly by the seasonal and annual snow cover
area (SCA) variation and the temperature seasonality. Moreover, it is important
to uncover such inter-relationship of stream flow, climate variables and snow
cover in the poorly gauged high-altitude catchments of Karakoram region for better
water resource management and accurate flood hazards predictions at Tarbela.
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