Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.


January 12 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


A recent study has unveiled the existence of more than 100 active permafrost structures, specifically rock glaciers, in the Jhelum basin of the Kashmir Himalayas. These rock glaciers, composed of a blend of rock fragments and ice, hold implications for regional hydrology and pose potential threats as global temperatures rise.

What are Rock Glaciers?

  • Rock glaciers form in mountainous regions where permafrost, rock debris, and ice converge.
  • Permafrost, a permanently frozen layer, consists of soil, gravel, and sand held together by ice.
  • Rock glaciers develop when debris-covered ice from receding or thawing glaciers transforms into a distinct landform.
  • Typically found in highly elevated areas with steep slopes, they require a geomorphological perspective for accurate identification.



  • Classified as active or relict, with active ones being more dynamic and potentially hazardous.
  • Active rock glaciers indicate mountain permafrost, providing crucial insights into high-altitude regions.


  • Serve as vital indicators of mountain permafrost.
  • Store substantial water amounts in frozen cores, offering a valuable resource in water-scarce regions amid glacial retreat.

Potential Impacts of Active Rock Glaciers:

Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs):

  • Active rock glaciers near glacial lakes heighten the risk of GLOFs by destabilizing slopes or dams.
  • Notable risk to lakes like Chirsar and Bramsar in the region.


  • Melting permafrost weakens slopes, making areas prone to landslides.
  • Increased risk to settlements and infrastructure.


  • Active rock glaciers may induce thermokarst features, altering hydrology, ecology, and the carbon cycle.
  • The existence of water bodies in Kulgam town implies potential thermokarst lakes, posing further risks.

Jhelum Basin of the Kashmir Himalayas:

  • Drained by the upper Jhelum River, originating at Vernag in the Pir Panjal range.
  • Contributes to the Indus River system, flowing through Jammu and Kashmir into Pakistan.
  • Significant tributaries include Kishenganga (Neelum) and Kunhar River.

Way Forward:

Permafrost Research:

  • Emphasize the importance of permafrost research in comprehending and mitigating climate change impacts in the Himalayan region.

Resource Allocation:

  • Allocate resources for in-depth studies on the hydrological potential of active rock glaciers, exploring sustainable water use in water-scarce regions.

Early Warning Systems:

  • Develop and implement early warning systems in areas with identified active rock glaciers to forewarn communities and authorities about potential disasters.

Integration into Climate Adaptation Plans:

  • Integrate findings from permafrost studies into regional and national climate change adaptation plans, recognizing the challenges posed by transitioning from glaciers to rock glaciers.

Awareness Campaigns:

  • Raise awareness among local communities, planners, and policymakers regarding the risks associated with permafrost degradation.


The study illuminates the significance of understanding and addressing the consequences of rock glaciers in the Kashmir Himalayas. Proactive measures, including further research, resource allocation, early warning systems, and integration into adaptation plans, are crucial for mitigating potential risks and fostering sustainable practices in the region. Awareness campaigns will play a pivotal role in engaging stakeholders and ensuring a comprehensive approach to permafrost challenges.


January 12
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: