Hydro-geochemical analysis of meltwater draining from Bilare Banga glacier, Western Himalaya

Ramesh Kumar, Rajesh Kumar*, Atar Singh, Shaktiman Singh, Anshuman Bhardwaj, Anupma Kumari, Ravindra Kumar Sinha, Akhilesh Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The changing climate is affecting the melting process of glacier ice and snow in Himalaya and may influence the hydro-geochemistry of the glacial meltwater. This paper represents the ionic composition of discharge from Bilare Banga glacier by carrying out hydro-geochemical analysis of water samples of melting season of 2017. The pH and EC were measured on-site in field, and others parameters were examined in the laboratory. The abundance of the ions observed in meltwater has been arranged in decreasing order for cations as Ca 2+ > Mg 2+ > Na + > K + and for anions as HCO 3 > SO 4 2− > Cl > NO 3 , respectively. Analysis suggests that the meltwater is mostly dominated by Ca 2+ and HCO 3 . It has been observed that the ionic concentration HCO 3 is dominant and Cl is the least in the catchment. Piper plot analysis suggests that the chemical composition of the glacier discharge not only has natural origin but also has some anthropogenic input. Hydro-geochemical heterogeneity reflected the carbonate-dominated features (Ca 2+ –HCO 3 ) in the catchment. The carbonate weathering was found as the regulatory factor to control the chemistry of the glacial meltwater due to the high enrichment ratio of (Ca 2+ + Mg 2+ ) against TZ + and (Na + + K + ). In statistical approach, PCA analysis suggests that geogenic weathering dynamics in the catchment is associated with carbonate-dominant lithology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-660
Number of pages10
JournalActa Geophysica
Issue number2
Early online date9 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Anions
  • Bilare Banga glacier
  • Carbonate weathering
  • Cations
  • Hydro-geochemistry


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