Lecture on seismicity, rise of Himalayas at KU

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SRINAGAR: Renowned geologist and Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir Prof Talat Ahmad today delivered a special lecture on ‘the major issues of the earth system sciences’ which included a session on seismicity (earthquake activity) in the Himalayas and the impact of rise of the Himalayas on the changing climate of the region.

The lecture was organized by Department of Geography and Regional Development, University of Kashmir as  part of the six -day ongoing seminar-cum-workshop on ‘the application of Remote Sensing, GIS & GPS in resource management’.

Emphasizing on the need for sensitizing the young researchers, scholars, teachers and students of earth sciences including those of geography and geology about the burning issues faced by the earth system, Prof Talat Ahmad said “We have to make youth understand the burning issues of earth sciences and how various climatic changes and tectonic shifts affect the environment around them.”

Talking about the seismicity in the Himalayan region, he said “We are part of the Indo-Australian plate, which makes this region susceptible to earthquakes. Besides the trends over the last 50-100 million years show that India has moved further towards the North which provides us some good understanding of the Indian Peninsula. There are several seismic gaps and abduction gaps in the Himalayan region due to which this region has witnessed several devastating earthquakes in the past.”

Pertinently Kashmir witnessed a devastating earthquake on October, 08, in 2005 in which around 86, 000 people died on both sides of the LoC.

While delving on the relationship between the elevation of earth surface and climate he said, “Movement of tectonic plates cause subduction which in turn causes volcanism. When volcanic eruption occurs, carbon dioxide is released in huge quantity and it mixes with the atmosphere, which ultimately increases the temperature of the earth.”       

Highlighting the role of Himalayas in the climate change of the region like recent trends in monsoon, Prof Talat Ahmad said, “Tibetian plates (Ladakh region falls in this region) are on the higher altitude than main Indian plates. Being located at the higher altitude, the atmosphere there becomes hot which results in less rainfall and hence less vegetation and this is the reason why we find huge portions of rocky surfaces in the area.”

“Whereas” he added “Cherrapunji as per the records available received 1.56mm rainfall on 16th June 1995 in one day, 9.3 mm rainfall in one month in 1861 and 26.5 mm in one year in 1860-1861 which reflects that climate is intimately linked to topographic relief of earth`s surface through interaction between lithosphere and atmosphere.”

After the lecture an interactive session between the teachers representing various colleges of the valley and Vice Chancellor was also held.

Besides various faculty members of the department Prof T.A Kanth SAP-UGC Coordinator, KU from Dept of Geography, Head Department of Geography and Regional Development Prof Mohammad Sultan Bhat and Senior Assistant Professor Dr Pervez Ahmad were also present on the occasion.

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