Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Khumbu Glacier 2016: Thomson Reuters Foundation News article

UK geographers study risks of expanding ponds on Everest glaciers 

"Two young UK geographers are on a mission to the Everest to study the melting of glaciers into ponds, and eventually lakes.  This process can increase glacial melt,  a climate change issue in the Himalayas, and increase the risk of floods downhill..."


Nepal field campaign May 2016

A team of researchers from the UK have returned from a field campaign working on and around the Khumbu Glacier in Nepal. The team comprised a debris-covered glacier research team including Scott Watson and Owen King from the University of Leeds, and a rock glacier research team including Darren Jones and Dr Stephan Harrison from the University of Exeter. 

Using a lightweight kayak (Advanced Elements Packlite) to retrieve temperature loggers deployed in a supraglacial pond
Example bathymetry data obtained for a supraglacial pond
The debris-covered glacier research team en route to Everest Basecamp
Debris-covered glacier research:
Research activities included conducting photographic surveys of ice cliffs to quantify melt rates, obtaining bathymetric and thermal data from supraglacial ponds, and conducting a glacier-scale photographic survey of the Khumbu Glacier to be used in a Structure-from-Motion workflow. The team are investigating topographic change on the Khumbu Glacier and the role of ice cliffs for glacier-scale melt.

Rock glacier research:
Research activities included a significant clast analysis to understand landscape evolution and photographic surveys of rock glacier features.

Scott climbs Lobuche East with and early morning Khumbu Glacier in the background.