International Journal of
Water Resources and Environmental Engineering

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Water Res. Environ. Eng.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6613
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJWREE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 332

Full Length Research Paper

Hydro-meteorological correlations and relationships for estimating streamflow for Gangotri Glacier Basin in Western Himalayas

Pratap Singh1*, Amit Kumar2, Naresh Kumar3 and Naval kishore2
  1INRM, Consultants, C-23 Hauz Khas, New Delhi, 110 016, India. 2Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, Department of Geology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 160 014, India. 3National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, Roorkee-247667, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 April 2010
  •  Published: 31 May 2010



This study investigates the relationships between hydrological and meteorological data collected near the snout of Gangotri Glacier, Indian Himalayas for the different ablation seasons (May - October). The complete analysis employs a hydro- meteorological data series for a period of 7 years (2000 - 2006). The first 5 years data (2000 - 2004) was used for determining correlations, lag-cross-correlations and multivariate regression analyses between daily mean discharge, daily mean temperature and daily rainfall , whereas, last 2 years data (2005 - 2006) was used to simulate the  daily discharge using established relationship. Changes in correlations between discharge and meteorological variables, lagged by 0 - 3 days, were determined. Variations in the physical features of the glacier, weather conditions, and precipitation and its distribution with time over the basin account for changes in correlations. The analysis suggests a very high discharge auto-correlation for each individual year and for the combined data series of 5 years. The substantial storage of melt water in the glacier body and its delayed response of the runoff attribute to the high dependency of a particular day discharge on its pervious day’s discharge. A comparison of correlations between discharge and temperature, and discharge and rain shows that temperature has a better correlation with discharge series for all the years. To estimate the discharge for Gangotri Glacier basin, multiple linear regression equations were developed separately for each ablation season and a combined data set of 5 ablation seasons. The generalized regression equation developed using stepwise regression approach for the data set of 5 years (2000 - 2004) was adopted to estimate daily mean discharge for 2005 and 2006. For both simulation years, the simulation efficiency was very high (R2= 0.96). It is found that discharge of study basin is well represented Qi-1 (1-day lagged discharge) and Ti, Ti-1, Ti-2 (0 - 2 days lagged temperature) and Ri (0-day lagged rain). Such relationships can be used for filling the missing discharge data as well as for forecasting of discharge.


Key words: Gangotri Glacier basin, Himalayas, glacierized basins, meteorological variables, estimation of melt-runoff.