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Switch in chemical weathering caused by the mass balance variability in a Himalayan glacierized basin: a case of Chhota Shigri Glacier
- Kumar, Naveen, Ramanathan, AL., Tranter, Martyn, Sharma, Parmanand, Pandey, Manish, Ranjan, Prabhat, Raju, N. Janardhan
- Hydrological sciences journal 2019 v.64 no.2 pp. 179-189
- basins, chemistry, drainage systems, glaciers, runoff, snowmelt, solutes, weathering, India
- Long-term data (2003–2015) on meltwater chemistry, mass balance and discharge of a benchmark glacier (Chhota Shigri Glacier, India) were studied to determine any association between these variables. To infer the factors governing the alteration of chemical weathering processes in glacierized basins, multi-annual records of the hydrochemical indices (Ca²⁺+Mg²⁺/Na⁺+K⁺) and the C-ratio were also examined. A succession of negative mass balance years has resulted in a decline in solute concentrations in the runoff, as discharge has increased. The (Ca²⁺+Mg²⁺/Na⁺+K⁺) and C-ratio are highest during periods of negative annual mass balance, when the spatial extent of the channelized drainage system increases. Conversely, these ratios are lowest in positive mass balance years, when the spatial extent of the channelized drainage system decreases, and chemical weathering in the distributed drainage system becomes more dominant. This paper is the first to show the inter-annual linkages between meltwater chemistry, mass balance and discharge for a valley glacier.