The Ohio State University at Marion

Buckeye pride in Bhutan

Pictured from left to right: Anna Sinisalo of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, (ICIMOD), Nepal; Jambay Choden for the Department Hydro-Met Services; Bhutan; Inka Koch, (ICIMOD, Nepal; and Dr. Joel Barker of Ohio State Marion.

Ohio State Marion Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, Dr. Joel Barker was recently part of a collaboration between the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and the Division of Hydro-meteorological Services in Bhutan to examine the mass balance and hydrology of Thana Glacier, Bhutan.

Thana Glacier is a so-called "benchmark glacier" that is monitored every year to provide an idea of how glaciers are behaving in the region. Barker's particular interest in Thana Glacier is to determine how much soot (black carbon) is deposited on the glacier surface and exported to rivers and lakes in glacier melt water.

According to Barker, black carbon can promote glacier melt by darkening the glacier surface, and may affect downstream ecological processes as well.