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Assessment of snow-glacier melt and rainfall contribution to stream runoff in Baspa Basin, Indian Himalaya

Gaddam, Vinay Kumar, Kulkarni, AnilV., Gupta, AnilKumar
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2018 v.190 no.3 pp. 154
altitude, basins, hydrometeorology, ice, melting, rain, rivers, runoff, snowmelt, streams, water power, watersheds, Himalayan region, India
Hydrological regimes of most of the Himalayan river catchments are poorly studied due to sparse hydro-meteorological data. Hence, stream runoff assessment becomes difficult for various socio-industrial activities in the Himalaya. Therefore, an attempt is made in this study to assess the stream runoff of Baspa River in Himachal Pradesh, India, by evaluating the contribution from snow-ice melt and rainfall runoff. The total volume of flow was computed for a period of 15 years, from 2000 to 2014, and validated with the long-term field discharge measurements, obtained from Jaipee Hydropower station (31° 32′ 35.53″ N, 78° 00′ 54.80″ E), at Kuppa barrage in the basin. The observations suggest (1) a good correlation (r² > 0.80) between the modeled runoff and field discharge measurements, and (2) out of the total runoff, 81.2% are produced by snowmelt, 11.4% by rainfall, and 7.4% from ice melt. The catchment receives ~75% of its total runoff in the ablation period (i.e., from May to September). In addition, an early snowmelt is observed in accumulation season during study period, indicating the significant influence of natural and anthropogenic factors on high-altitude areas.