High Mountain Asia Overview

High mountain Asia stretches from the Tian Shan and Hindu Kush in the northwest, to the eastern Himalaya in the southeast. The region contains one of the highest concentrations of snow and glaciers outside of the polar regions, and the advance or retreat of glaciers in this part of the world provides a window into Earth's changing climate. In addition, this high-altitude reservoir of seasonal snow and ice provides water to more than a billion people. Rapid melt in this region can pose downstream hazards such as glacial lake outburst floods and landslides.

Satellite remote sensing enables scientists to monitor the cryosphere (seasonal snow, glaciers, and permafrost) in high mountain Asia, which fosters better understanding of Earth system processes and informs policymaking. The fruits of this NASA High Mountain Asia (HMA) project include products based on satellite observations, modeling results, and in situ measurements, as well as software for processing satellite data and modeling physical processes. Collectively, these data and software products are known as GMELT, or the Glacier and Snow Melt Toolbox.

Gallery

Mt. Everest DEM
Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the Mt. Everest region, on the border between Nepal and China. Mottled-textured glaciers fill the upper parts of valleys, while lower valleys have been cut V-shaped by rivers.
DEM of small glaciers
DEM of a few small glaciers against the headwalls of mountain catchments in the Himalaya between India and China.
Mt. Everest DEM detail
Detail in a DEM of the Mt. Everest region. Mottled texture in the branching valley shows the debris-covered Ngozumpa Glacier, Nepal.
DEM of glaciers
DEM of more small glaciers against the headwalls of mountain catchments in the Himalaya between India and China.