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The Shyok Suture Zone is an oceanic remnant of the Neo-Tethyan ocean sandwiched between the Ladakh Batholiths to the south and Karakoram Batholith to the north. The Tirit granitoids in this suture are dark-coloured, relatively rich in ferromagnesian minerals and range from granodiorite–tonalite to gabbro–diorite in composition. Mafic igneous enclaves are quite common and they are intruded by NW–SE parallel doleritic and aplitic dykes. The Tirit granitoids have a wide range of major oxide compositions (SiO2 = 52.1–72.11 wt %, TiO2 = 0.21–1.23 wt %, Al2O3 = 11.42–13.52 wt %, MgO = 1.69–10.69 wt % and CaO = 3.24–9.31 wt %) and show calc-alkaline, metaluminous, I-type characteristics, transitional between primitive and mature arc continental plutons. Rare earth elements (REE) show considerable enrichment in light REE (LREE) as compared to the heavy REE (HREE). Late Cretaceous U/Pb dates (74–68 Ma) show that they formed during the pre-collision northward movement of India. The Tirit dykes are only slightly younger and probably part of the same episode.
Glacier outlines are mapped for the upper Bhagirathi and Saraswati/Alaknanda basins of the Garhwal Himalaya using Corona and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite images acquired in 1968 and 2006, respectively. A subset of glaciers was also mapped using Landsat TM images acquired in 1990. Glacier area decreased from 599.9 ± 15.6 km2 (1968) to 572.5 ± 18.0 km2 (2006), a loss of 4.6 ± 2.8%. Glaciers in the Saraswati/Alaknanda basin and upper Bhagirathi basin lost 18.4 ± 9.0 km2 (5.7 ± 2.7%) and 9.0 ± 7.7 km2 (3.3 ± 2.8%), respectively, from 1968 to 2006. Garhwal Himalayan glacier retreat rates are lower than previously reported. More recently (1990–2006), recession rates have increased. The number of glaciers in the study region increased from 82 in 1968 to 88 in 2006 due to fragmentation of glaciers. Smaller glaciers (<1 km2) lost 19.4 ± 2.5% (0.51 ± 0.07% a−1) of their ice, significantly more than for larger glaciers (>50 km2) which lost 2.8 ± 2.7% (0.074 ± 0.071 % a−1). From 1968 to 2006, the debris-covered glacier area increased by 17.8 ± 3.1% (0.46 ± 0.08% a−1) in the Saraswati/Alaknanda basin and 11.8 ± 3.0% (0.31 ± 0.08% a−1) in the upper Bhagirathi basin. Climate records from Mukhim (∼1900 m a.s.l.) and Bhojbasa (∼3780 m a.s.l.) meteorological stations were used to analyze climate conditions and trends, but the data are too limited to make firm conclusions regarding glacier–climate interactions.
This postmodern essay is tinged with remnants of a modern nostalgic hankering to examine whether an attempt to see how things hang together can still succeed. In this self-reflexive journey multiple narratives encrusted with the formal structure of essay writing have been replaced with an attempt at genre splicing. There is a deliberate suspension of judgement and no claim to transcendence. However, this postmodern character in certain places gives way to the modern seeking of patterns of explanation.
In the second half of the twentieth century philosophical discussions were marked by intense debates, involving Russell, Strawson, Searle, Wittgenstein, Kripke, Swinburne, Brody and many others, on the question of identity. The principle questions were: What is identity? Who is a person? What is the epistemic logical status of identity statements? And the responses, with reference to Cartesian, Kantian and Rawlsian theoretical frameworks, range from some philosophers saying that to be a person is to be a body to some maintaining that to be a person is to be a mind with others held that it is a combination of the two. Some argued that a person is a stream of consciousness and some more formally maintained only that to be a person is to be a bearer of M and P predicates. Some other philosophers have argued that a person is an animal with self-awareness and memory, endowed with the capacity to use language.
The ecological problems, including degradation of fragile ecosystems, of the Himalaya are quite conspicuous. A rapid depletion of forest resources is the main cause of environmental degradation and economic deterioration. Watersheds are considered as a unit for natural resource management and development in hilly areas; therefore a case-study of Mamlay watershed of Sikkim is presented in this paper.
The Mamley watershed presents a viable system having a gradient of altitude where almost all types of land-uses that are common in the eastern Himalaya are found. All the ethno-cultural groups of Sikkim are present in this watershed, although the agricultural sector provides the main land-use, followed by forestry. Most of the forested areas in the Himalaya have been purportedly destroyed for the expansion of agricultural land. A similar situation was experienced in the Mamlay watershed, where an increase of 12.79% of the land-area used for agriculture has been recorded in the past 40 years. The watershed being fragile, 62% of the area is under intensive agricultural practice. Land-use and spatial relationships in the perspective of conservation are presented in this paper.
Great genetic diversity of agricultural crops and trees has been recorded in this small watershed. Conservation ethics of optimum utilization/production of the resources, following traditional practices without much degrading of the system which is believed to be sustainable, was practised earlier in the watershed. But recently, due to population pressure and fragmentation of farm-owning families, the balance of land-use, natural resource utilization, and conservation, has become perturbed. Examples of traditional adaptation, indigenous knowledge, and perception of conservation amongst farm-owning families, are also presented in the paper.
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