Articles | Volume 19, issue 11
Research article
26 Nov 2015
Research article |  | 26 Nov 2015

Reconciling high-altitude precipitation in the upper Indus basin with glacier mass balances and runoff

W. W. Immerzeel, N. Wanders, A. F. Lutz, J. M. Shea, and M. F. P. Bierkens

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Cited articles

Andermann, C., Longuevergne, L., Bonnet, S., Crave, A., Davy, P., and Gloaguen, R.: Impact of transient groundwater storage on the discharge of Himalayan rivers, Nat. Geosci., 5, 127–132,, 2012.
Archer, D.: Contrasting hydrological regimes in the upper Indus Basin, J. Hydrol., 274, 198–210,, 2003.
Archer, D. R. and Fowler, H. J.: Spatial and temporal variations in precipitation in the Upper Indus Basin, global teleconnections and hydrological implications, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 8, 47–61,, 2004.
Azam, M. F., Wagnon, P., Ramanathan, A., Vincent, C., Sharma, P., Arnaud, Y., Linda, A., Pottakkal, J. G., Chevallier, P., Singh, V. B., and Berthier, E.: From balance to imbalance: a shift in the dynamic behaviour of Chhota Shigri glacier, western Himalaya, India, J. Glaciol., 58, 315–324,, 2012.
Bajracharya, S. R. and Shrestha, B.: The Status of Glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region, Kathmandu, International centre for Integrated Mountain Development, 1–127, 2011.
Short summary
The water resources of the upper Indus river basin (UIB) are important for millions of people, yet little is known about the rain and snow fall in the high-altitude regions because of the inaccessibility, the climatic complexity and the lack of observations. In this study we use mass balance of glaciers to reconstruct the amount of precipitation in the UIB and we conclude that this amount is much higher than previously thought.