Glaciers are the source of freshwater for many perennial rivers around the world. Out of 215,000 glaciers apart from the polar ice sheets, the Himalayas constitute about 54,000 glaciers and are often referred to as the third pole on the Earth. In recent decades, the Himalayan glaciers have been experiencing increased recession as a consequence of climate change. Subsequently, understanding the dynamics of glacier ice parameters and volume becomes significant. In this study, an ensemble model of laminar-flow-based and basal-shear-stress-based models on the Chhota Shigri Glacier was investigated to understand the dynamics of glacier ice thickness over 6 years, from 2017 to 2022. The glacier volume was determined from the ensembled ice thickness. Our results indicate that the ensemble model yields the minimum ice thickness measurement of 102 ± 17.38 m and the maximum of 112 ± 19.04 m for the years 2017 and 2019, respectively. The estimated results show a correlation of 81% with a global ice thickness dataset. The ensemble approach provides better estimates for ice thickness accounting for more parameters affecting the glacier dynamics. From 2017 to 2022, the Chhota Shigri Glacier volume has been observed to show a slightly negative trend.

  • This study shows the dynamics of Chhota Shigri Glacier for 2017–2022.

  • The ensemble model for estimating the ice thickness shows good agreement with previous datasets.

  • Glacier velocity shows a periodical increase and decrease.

  • Significant differences were observed in volume-area scaling and physical model volume estimates.

  • The ensemble model can be used to study the large-scale dynamics of mountain glaciers.

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Author notes

All authors contributed equally to this work.

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