Rock glaciers represent typical periglacial landscapes and are distributed widely in alpine mountain environments. Rock glacier activity represents a critical indicator of water reserves state, permafrost distribution, and landslide disaster susceptibility. The dynamics of rock glacier activity in alpine periglacial environments are poorly quantified, especially in the central Himalayas. Multi-temporal Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (MT-InSAR) has been shown to be a useful technique for rock glacier deformation detection. In this study, we developed a multi-baseline persistent scatterer (PS) and distributed scatterer (DS) combined MT-InSAR method to monitor the activity of rock glaciers in the central Himalayas. In periglacial landforms, the application of the PS interferometry (PSI) method is restricted by insufficient PS due to large temporal baseline intervals and temporal decorrelation, which hinder comprehensive measurements of rock glaciers. Thus, we first evaluated the rock glacier interferometric coherence of all possible interferometric combinations and determined a multi-baseline network based on rock glacier coherence; then, we constructed a Delaunay triangulation network (DTN) by exploiting both PS and DS points. To improve the robustness of deformation parameters estimation in the DTN, we combined the Nelder–Mead algorithm with the M-estimator method to estimate the deformation rate variation at the arcs of the DTN and introduced a ridge-estimator-based weighted least square (WLR) method for the inversion of the deformation rate from the deformation rate variation. We applied our method to Sentinel-1A ascending and descending geometry data (May 2018 to January 2019) and obtained measurements of rock glacier deformation for 4327 rock glaciers over the central Himalayas, at least more than 15% detecting with single geometry data. The line-of-sight (LOS) deformation of rock glaciers in the central Himalayas ranged from −150 mm to 150 mm. We classified the active deformation area (ADA) of all individual rock glaciers with the threshold determined by the standard deviation of the deformation map. The results show that 49% of the detected rock glaciers (monitoring rate greater than 30%) are highly active, with an ADA ratio greater than 10%. After projecting the LOS deformation to the steep slope direction and classifying the rock glacier activity following the IPA Action Group guideline, 12% of the identified rock glaciers were classified as active and 86% were classified as transitional. This research is the first multi-baseline, PS, and DS network-based MT-InSAR method applied to detecting large-scale rock glaciers activity.
The Himalayas have long been perceived as a region at the margins between South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. Since the turn of the 21st century, however, the area received continuously more scholarly attention, particularly with regards to historiography and historical research. Researchers started to explore the manifold historical connections, entanglements, and interdependencies of the Himalayas with its neighboring regions and the rest of the world, which have long been disregarded due to the prevalence of implicit methodological nationalism, historiographical isolationism, and exceptionalism. Anticipating these changing perspectives, my paper explores the life and works of Jaya Prithvi Bahadur Singh in an attempt to render the global historical connections of the Central Himalayas further visible and enrich broader debates from the perspective of ‘Global Intellectual History’. At the intersection of this newly emerging discipline and the intellectual history of the Himalayas, my paper seeks to address the research questions: Who was Jaya Prithvi Bahadur Singh and why is his life and work relevant for a better understanding of the multifaceted historical entanglements of the Central Himalayas? I argue that Jaya Prithvi’s thoughts, specifically those on education, humanism, and civilizational progress will add new thematic dimensions, empirically diversify and, thus, broaden the scope of contemporary discourses on ‘Global Intellectual History’ as well as Himalayan History.
Abstract. The Poiqu River basin is an area of concentration for glaciers and glacial lakes in the central Himalayas, where 147 glacial lakes were identified,
based on perennial remote sensing images, with lake area ranging from 0.0002 to 5.5 km2 – a total of 19.89 km2. Since 2004, the retreat rate of glacier has reached as high as 5.0 km2 a−1, while the growth rate of glacial lake has reached 0.24 km2 a−1. We take five typical lakes as our case study and find that the retreat of glacier area reaches 31.2 %, while the glacial lake area has expanded by 166 %. Moreover, we reconstruct the topography of the lake basin to calculate the water capacity and propose a water balance equation (WBE) to explore the lake evolution. By applying the WBE to the five lakes, we calculate the water supplies of the last few years and compare this with the results of field surveys, which are in agreement, within an error of only 1.86 % on average. The WBE also reveals that the water supplies to the lake depend strongly on the altitude. Lakes at low altitudes are supplied by glacier melting, and lakes at high altitudes are supplied by snowmelts. The WBE is not only applicable for predicting future changes in glacial lakes under climate warming conditions but is also useful for assessing water resources from rivers in the central Himalayas.