Articles | Volume 9, issue 6
The Cryosphere, 9, 2089–2099, 2015
The Cryosphere, 9, 2089–2099, 2015
Research article
11 Nov 2015
Research article | 11 Nov 2015

Assessment of permafrost distribution maps in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region using rock glaciers mapped in Google Earth

M.-O. Schmid et al.

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Cited articles

Bajracharya, S. and Shrestha, B.: The status of glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region, ICIMOD, Kathmandu, 2011.
Bivand, R. and Lewin-Koh, N.: maptools: Tools for reading and handling spatial objects, available at:, last access: 21 October 2013.
Boeckli, L., Brenning, A., Gruber, S., and Noetzli, J.: A statistical approach to modelling permafrost distribution in the European Alps or similar mountain ranges, The Cryosphere, 6, 125–140,, 2012.
Bolch, T., Buchroithner, M., Pieczonka, T., and Kunert, A.: Planimetric and volumetric glacier changes in the Khumbu Himal, Nepal, since 1962 using Corona, Landsat TM and ASTER data, J. Glaciol., 54, 592–600,, 2008.
Bolch, T., Kulkarni, A., Kääb, A., Huggel, C., Paul, F., Cogley, J. G., Frey, H., Kargel, J. S., Fujita, K., Scheel, M., Bajracharya, S., and Stoffel, M.: The state and fate of Himalayan glaciers., Science, 336, 310–331,, 2012.
Short summary
The extent and distribution of permafrost in the mountainous parts of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region are largely unknown. This article provides a first-order assessment of the two available permafrost maps in the HKH region based on the mapping of rock glaciers in Google Earth. The Circum-Arctic Map of Permafrost and Ground Ice Conditions does not reproduce mapped conditions in the HKH region adequately, whereas the Global Permafrost Zonation Index does so with more success.