The assessment of the satellite images has provided an “alarming recession” of the Himalayan glaciers in the Bhilangna basin of the Garhwal Himalayas from the year 1965, experts and scientists at the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) have stated. Habitats to 9,575 glaciers, according to an inventory of Geological Survey of India, Himalayas are regarded to be the concentration of the largest glaciers outside the Polar Regions.
Snow is melting the glaciers that are the major source of water for the huge source for the major river basins, the Ganges and the Indus. The Bhilangna basin is surrounded by the Bhagirathi group of glaciers in the west and the north along with the Mandakini group of the glaciers in the east. The basin assists 33 glaciers out of which Khatling is considered to be the largest.
The melting water forms the Khatling and the glaciers of its tributaries in the basin provided to the source of the Bhilangna River, which is the southernmost tributary of the Bhagirathi. The scientists from ISRO found that the receding of this very important glaciers has been around 4,340 metres right from the year 1965 and had fractured into various valley glaciers leading to the complete loss of around 10 percent of the area covered by the glacier.
The status of the glacier in the Bhilangna basin was analysed from imageries with high resolution obtained in the year 1965 by the Corona Satellite of the United States and putting them in comparison with the photos captured in 2014 by the Cartosat satellite of ISRO. Moreover, the data obtained from the Linear Imaging Self-Scanning Sensor of the Resourcesat-2 satellite of ISRO launched in the year 2016 were also utilised for the examination.