Space and field-based investigations towards understanding the characteristics and origin of an inhabited rock glacier in NW Himalaya


  • Pratima Pandey Geosciences Department, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, ISRO, Dehradun, India
  • Md Ataullah Raza Khan National Resources Data Management System, Soban Singh Jeena University, Almora, India
  • Sheikh Nawaz Ali Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, 53, University Road, Lucknow 226007, India



Rock glacier, Morphology, Moraine, Relict lake sediments, NW Himalaya


The current space and field-based investigation of an important (inhabited) rock glacier (RG) in the north-western (NW) Himalaya aims to comprehend its morphological properties and genesis. Although the RG displays an inactive frontal lobe, small active lobes may be seen in the upper reaches, > 3900 m asl. The permafrost distribution map reveals that the rock glacier contains either discontinuous or sporadic permafrost. We propose that, while the rock glacier does not show indications of an active front, small RG lobes do show movement in the upper reaches. Furthermore, the presence of a well-preserved right lateral moraine implies that this RG originated from a previously glaciated valley and is supported and sustained by a constant supply of talus (rock debris) from the present sedimentary catchment to the northeast. The quick thawing of the RGs will significantly impact and perhaps lead to the complete migration of the inhabitants to other areas.


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How to Cite

Pandey, P., Khan, M. A. R. ., & Ali, S. N. (2024). Space and field-based investigations towards understanding the characteristics and origin of an inhabited rock glacier in NW Himalaya. Journal of Palaeosciences, 73(1), 1–15.



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