Glaciers and Students

The northern parts of Pakistan are home to some of the vast stretches of glaciers after the northern pole. The glacier reserves feed local livelihood systems and support unique ecosystems of global importance, in addition to serving as a source of water for downstream areas. In face of the growing threat of global warming, these resources need assessment and monitoring through scientific technologies. The people living in mountain slopes of GB region are faced with the risk of mountain hazards originating from glacier changes under the effect of climate change. The lack of information on climate change and assessment of glacial changes makes it difficult to predict the hazards.

This project aims at developing a consolidating program to establish monitoring of high-altitude climate and assessment of glacier changes, in support of environmental monitoring and natural resources management in Pakistan Mountains. Project activities will also contribute to improving risk assessment and prevention, dealing particulary with GLOFs and hydrogeological hazards through application of remote sensing and GIS techniques and a dedicated web information system. 



  • The first fundamental contribution is the realization of an inventory of all the glaciers of Pakistan. The cadastre will be created starting from the most recent satellite images. The glacier inventory will be updated by 2022/2023, producing high-resolution glacier outlines mainly from Sentinel-2 data. 
  • Mass variations of the glaciers of Pakistan. Through this investigation, it is possible to provide further information on the "Karakorum Anomaly" and on the mechanisms that cause it. 
  • Multitemporal analysis compares the maps that are in literature starting from 1980: it is important to provide an indication of the glacier’s evolution. 
  • Knowledge sharing through the involvement of local academia, students and researchers in glacier analysis and field activities, starting point for the creation of glaciology center and high-level school /department on glaciers in GB.
  • Field expeditions to selected glaciers for in-depth analyses and to validate satellite surveys, including installation of weather stations to monitor temperatures and measure ice melt, microplastic analysis, carbon deposit. The data collected will be available for local institutions and universities for further research.  
  • Creation of a database with all this information that will remain available and usable for the local institutions. 

Expected Results

Some of the expected results include:

  • Restoration survey of existing weather stations and installation of new automatic weather stations for data provision and sharing. 
  • Multitemporal analysis of glacial bodies to monitor and develop a report on area change assessment. 
  • Field monitoring of glaciers for data acquisition and validation of field data. 
  • Publication of a book on Pakistan Glacier Inventory by the end of this project. 
  • Review and update of existing GBGeoApp and SHARE Platform as well as publication of new web service. 
  • Capacity building of universities, and local government institutes including training for geomatics, weather stations, glaciological field activities and avalanche risk. 

Download the PROJECT BRIEF