Appraisal of surface deformation along Nanga Parbat Haramosh Massif through Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques.

Byline: Imran Siddique Kaukab, S M Hassan Raza and S A Mahmood

Among all the continental faults in the world and especially in Asia, Nanga Parbat (NP) is one of the younger and highly uplifting topographic unit in the context of Indian-Eurasian collision. In this paper, the rate of deformation (ROD) over the area of Nanga Parbat has been studied using a Remote Sensing technique based on Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The results obtained reveal that NP is uplifting at a rate of 14-16 mm/year with unique relative relief. Satellite remote sensing technique is a significant tool to constrain active zones that are vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquake etc.

Introduction

Geomorphology or Geomorphometry - The combination of earth sciences with computer sciences, engineering and mathematics gives off ground surface measurements (GSF) which further helps in the monitoring of terrain analysis and modeling (TAM). This branch of geography has wide range of applications from planetary explorations to hydrology to sea-floor mapping to tectonics and geo-hazards, it covers them all. The father of modern geography, Alexander Humboldt (1769-1859) and Carl Ritter (1779-1859) a German geographer - together both founded the basis of the field or more precisely; modern geographical sciences (MGS) and transmogrified the field in the 20th century through computer stratagems and DEM's that were able to envelope and characterize large areas of ground (Maune, 2000; Arbaret et al, 2000; Hildebrand et al, 2001).

While, the morphometric alterations over these large land pieces are contrived by geographic information system (GIS) (Whittington et al, 1995; Weinberg et al, 2000; Eastman, 2002). Talking about the geography of the area under consideration, Nanga Parbat - the world's 9th highest summit and therefore locally known as 'Diamir' (king of mountains) flanks from the south-west to north-east part of the eminent Himalayan massif engulfing glaciers and steep rocky surfaces. 3 km away from the main peak lays another peak i.e. the 'North Peak' some 7, 816 m high. On the northern side of the apex flows the venerable and most primeval River Indus. The vertex is tri-facial (three faced), the Diamir face (glaciers zone) is on the western side, the southern face i.e. the Rupal face is a geographic marvel in itself as it is the world's tallest vertiginous face, stretching up-to 4,600 m. While the opposite northern Raikot face is much simpler than the previous one.

One of the most famous area on the summit is 'The Mazeno Wall' which is actually a 10 km long ridge-line lies on the southern part with eight other subservient peaks. The tectonic activity undergoing in the region delineate youngest form of pursuit in the Himalayan region. The crustal disfigurement due to the tectonic activity induces two major structural bends in the north-east north part of the Himalayas (that also inundates two main valleys of the territory; The Indus valley in the north and the Astore valley in the south), 1) the Nanga Parbat syntax and 2) the Hazara syntax. The former deforms the main mantle thrust (MMT) and is the most tectonically occupied domain in the world while the latter maim the main boundary thrust (MBT). The most active fault of the region is Raikot-Sassi Fault that lies between the Raikot and Sassi realms from north to south.

Other faults that are present include Stake fault and Raikot fault but these are generated anti-formally...

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