Inferring Relationship of Landslides, Tectonics, and Climate: Tons Valley, NW Himalaya

Inferring Relationship of Landslides, Tectonics, and Climate: Tons Valley, NW Himalaya

Imlirenla Jamir (Department of Geology, Nagaland University, India), Pranaya Diwate (Centre for Climate Change and Water Research, Suresh Gyan Vihar University, India), Vipin Kumar (Department of Geology, University of Liege, Belgium) and Gambhir Singh Chauhan (Department of Geology, H.N.B. Garhwal University, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5027-4.ch009


Landslides, despite being the surficial impression of climate-tectonic-erosion linkage, are rarely explored in this context in Himalaya. The need for such study becomes more crucial in the evaluation of the regional hillslope denudation budget. We are of the understanding that the distributional pattern of landslides can reveal the relative significance of tectonic and climate. To test this hypothesis, ~ 55 landslides of the Tons River valley, Himalaya along with the tectonic and climate proxies are used in the present study. Steepness index and valley floor width to valley height ratio are used to infer the tectonic regime whereas; Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission based daily rainfall data and swath profile of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index are used to deduce spatial variability in climate. The study revealed the possible existence of a positive feedback system in the Higher Himalaya Crystalline and the simultaneous role of tectonic-climate in the Lesser Himalaya Crystalline. The LHS is found to possess a zone of landslide cluster, possibly due to local fault.
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2.0 Study Area

The NE-SW flowing Tons River valley originates from the Bandarpunch glacier, NW Himalaya and finally joins Yamuna River valley as a tributary. The study area covers ~110 km long stretch along the Tons River valley covering parts of the Higher Himalayan Crystalline (HHC), Lesser Himalayan Crystalline (LHC) and Lesser Himalaya Sequence (LHS) (Fig. 1). The lithological setting of the study area is dominated by the gneissic and granitic rocks belonging to the HHC, LHC and LHS litho-tectonic divisions of the Himalaya.

Figure 1.

Map of study area

STD, MCT, and MT are South Tibetan Detachment, Main Central Thrust, and Munsiari Thrust, respectively. Litho-units and regional faults are based on Kumar et al., 2019b. The red quadrangular in the inset highlights the location of study area. Red circles at the edge of Tons River valley represent the extent of study area.

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