Determining Trends in Snowline Elevation in the Indus Basin using MODSCAG

TitleDetermining Trends in Snowline Elevation in the Indus Basin using MODSCAG
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2018
AuthorsAckroyd, Chelsea, S. Skiles McKenzie, Meyer Joachim, and Team NASA-JPL/ICIMOD S. E. R. V. I. R.
Conference Name86th Annual Western Snow Conference
Conference LocationAlbuquerque, New Mexico

The amount of streamflow within the Indus Basin is highly dependent on snowmelt from the Himalayan mountains, even in comparison to other contributing factors such as glaciers and monsoonal rainfall. Because snow levels are sensitive to changes in climate, the water supply in this region and the millions of people downstream who rely on this finite resource are particularly susceptible to any change in temperature or precipitation. In order to observe the climate patterns in this basin, we produced a snowline elevation using both the MODIS Snow Cover and Grain Size product (MODSCAG) to determine the snow cover extent as well as ASTER data to determine the elevation. The changes in snowline elevation in the Indus Basin were assessed over a large portion of the current MODIS record (2000-2017). Based on these results, we are able to identify major climate trends and determine how such changes have impacted the Indus Basin over approximately the last two decades. (KEYWORDS: snowline elevation, Indus Basin, MODSCAG, remote sensing, snow cover)