2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM


SHRODER Jr, John F., BISHOP, Michael P. and OVERTON, Geoffrey, Geography and Geology, Univ of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE 68182, jshroder@mail.unomaha.edu

Process variation of active mass movement, glaciers, rivers, and breakout floods in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan and western Himalaya of Pakistan, coupled with low-to-high frequency climatic fluctuation (glaciation/deglaciation, monsoon/westerlies dominance fluctuation, recently persistent drought), and active seismicity result in plentiful landform change there. Elucidation of the character and timing of these geomorphic-process changes is aiding ongoing studies of regional landform evolution, hazard assessment, and development/reconstruction in the environmentally and politically fragile region. This long-term change detection is facilitated by access to multiple data sets of varying quality, resolution and precision of fabrication, including: (1) previously classified large-scale Soviet and US DOD topographic maps derived from aerial photographs taken in the 1950-60s; (2) still restricted British and Pakistani aerial photographs and topographic map sets; (3) declassified Corona and Keyhole satellite photographs; (4) multi-temporal Landsat MSS and TM, SPOT, and ASTER imagery; and (5) ground survey and geomorphologic mapping. Some assessments are confounded by originally errant photogrammetric or cartographic interpretations, ongoing political restrictions denying access to key data sets, limited local interpretive expertise, variable satellite sensor capabilities, and difficulties of field access. Preliminary results include discovery of: (1) variably scale- dependent, mass-movement phenomena from small debris-flow fan construction and massive rockslides, to large sackung failures; (2) areas of significant diminution of small glaciers and consequent downstream meltwater flow; (3) increased lake development as ongoing glacial downwasting increases; (4) regions of minimally detectable glacial change; (5) glacier-surge structures; (6) breakout-flood erosion and deposition zones. Quantitative evaluations of change detection are key to assessing the spatial and temporal dimensions of landform evolution, as well as deriving necessary predictive and protective, development and reconstruction measures for these regions.