Data for: Stable isotope samples from Alaknanda river and its origin 'Satopanth Glacier', Central Himalaya, India

Published: 13 April 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/czxkmnpx4r.1
Neeraj pant,
Shive rai


The quantification of various sources contributing to cryospheric river depends on spatiotemporal variation in the stable isotopic composition of contributing factors such as precipitation (rainfall and snow fall) and glacial ice. However, due to adverse climatic and physical conditions in the Himalayan glaciers, researchers have collected only a few samples of snow and ice near the snout of the glaciers or used already published research publications to determine the end members for the isotope-based hydrograph separation. Hence the question is, how to consider/incorporate the variation of isotopic signatures while performing isotope-based hydrograph separation (IHS). One way to answer this question is to make a proper spatiotemporal sampling plan in the glacierized basin and develop the relationship between isotopic signatures of contributing factors with change in altitude. For this, we have collected the snow and ice samples from the different elevations in the Satopanth Glacier basin. Moreover, daily Alaknanda river water samples were collected for the isotopic analysis along with the river water discharge at the snout of the glacier during the ablation period of 2017 and 2018. To understand the diurnal variation in the isotopic signatures of river water, samples were collected thrice a day during 2018. The results of this study highlight the importance of sampling from high altitude regions to reduce the uncertainty by defining the tracer signatures of various sources contributing to the river flow.