Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan Glacier Fluctuations Since AD 1812

Paul A. Mayewski, Peter A. Jeschke
1979 Arctic and Alpine Research  
Historical records of the fluctuations of glaciers in the Himalayas and Trans-Himalayas date back to the early 19th century. Local and regional syntheses of 112 of these fluctuation records are presented in this study. The local syntheses deal with fluctuations of glaciers in Kanchenjunga-Everest, Garwhal, Lahaul-Spiti, Kolahoi, Nanga Parbat, Karakoram (north and south sides), Rakaposhi-Haramosh, Batura Mustagh, and Khunjerab-Ghujerab. Regional syntheses deal with the composite record and the
more » ... te record and the differentiation of records by glacier type (longitudinal versus transverse) and regional setting (Himalayan versus Trans-Himalayan). In a gross regional sense Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan glaciers have been in a general state of retreat since AD 1850. Filtering of the fluctuation records with respect to glacier type and regional setting reveals that the period AD 1870 to 1940 was characterized by alternations in the dominancy of retreat, advance, and standstill regimes. 1937), to 5000-5200 m for the south side of the Karakoram, and to 5500 m for the north side of the Karakoram (Visser and Visser-Hooft, 1938). Both the wide altitudinal range and the diverse orientations of the glaciers in 0004-0851 /79/030267-21$03.15 ? 1979, Regents of the University of Colorado the Himalayas and the Trans-Himalayas (Figure 2) make these regions excellent sites for the study of glacier fluctuations. Historical records of glacier fluctuations in the Himalayas and Trans-Himalayas extend back over 150 years. The earliest studies concerned with the movement of glacier termini were made for Chong Kumdan Glacier in AD 1812 (Izzet Ullah, 1842) and Milam Glacier (Hodgson, 1822). More modern references, cited by glacier in the Appendix, provide data on the fluctuation history of 112 glaciers. Several papers summarize the fluctuation record of subgroups of this total; notable amongst these are Mason (1930a), Visser and Visser-Hooft (1938), Mercer (1963), and Tewari (1971). Mason (1930a), using historical records, P. A. MAYEWSKI AND P. A. JESCHKE / 267 to, 74? 78? 82-
doi:10.2307/1550417 fatcat:ftha6talsvez7jstibvbcrdspe