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India plans to Conduct Airborne Radar Survey in Himalayan Glaciers

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India to conduct airborne radar surveysIndian govt. is planning to conduct an airborne radar survey on a pilot basis in the Himalayan region to estimate the thickness of Glaciers at Lahaul-Spiti basin of Himachal Pradesh. The pilot project will then be extended to conduct on Indus, Ganga & Brahmaputra sub-basins.

Technology used – Ground Penetration Radar (GPR), to assess the depth of Glacier.
Initiated by – National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research (NCPOR), Ministry of Earth Science.

Note- Currently, India is ranked as the 7th Most Vulnerable Country in the Global Climate Risk Index 2021.

  • This move comes at the backdrop of the Glacier Outburst in February 2021, leading to flooding in the Rishi Ganga river at Uttarakhand.
  • National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) Ministry of Earth Sciences has proposed this initiation to estimate the thickness of Himalayan glaciers using innovative airborne radar surveys in collaboration with established Indian researchers in India and abroad.
  • The Energy and Research Institute (TERI) data estimates 33% of India’s thermal electricity and 52% of hydropower are dependent on Himalayan rivers.

Key Points on Himalayas:

i.It is the World’s Youngest Mountain Range.

ii.Himalayas are classified as 3 parts: Himadri (greater Himalaya), Himachal (lesser Himalaya) & Shiwaliks (outer Himalaya).

iii.Major Himalayan Rivers- Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Saraswati, Ganga, Yamuna & Brahmaputra.

iv.Siachen Glacier, the 2nd longest Glacier in the World is located in the Karakoram range of India.

About National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR):
Headquarters: Vasco da Gama
Director: Muthalagu Ravichandran