A Brief Review on Limnological Status of High Altitude Lakes in Nepal


  • Smriti Gurung Department of Natural Sciences, Kathmandu University
  • Subodh Sharma Aquatic Ecology Centre, Kathmandu University
  • Chhatra Mani Sharma Aquatic Ecology Centre, Kathmandu University




Himalaya, high altitude lakes, physico-chemical parameters, biological community, Palaeolimnology


The Hindu Kush - Himalaya (HKH), extending about 3,500 km from east to west in Asia from Myanmar in the east to Afghanistan in the west, form the water sources for many rivers that have spiritual, cultural and economic values. The biodiversity is unique and rich yet not adequately explored and studied. Some studies have been carried out in the Kashmir Himalaya in India followed by Everest Region in Nepal. Most of the studies have dealt with physico-chemical analysis of the water samples; however complete bathymetric and limnological studies have not been performed. The high altitude Himalayan lakes are remote and difficult to access. They are characterized by the presence of glacial silt, low Sechhi values, low conductivity and neutral pH. The most dominant cation and anion in high altitude lakes are Calcium (Ca) and Bicarbonate (HCO3) respectively with few exceptions. Water chemistry of the lakes is dependent on the geolithology of the catchment area. Most of these lakes are categorized as oligotrophic or ultraoligotrophic. Biological communities are represented only by stenothermal species typical of high altitude lakes. Palaeolimnological studies could provide an insight into the environmental reconstruction which in turn may help to develop monitoring tools for these unique habitats.

Key words: Himalaya; high altitude lakes; physico-chemical parameters; biological community; Palaeolimnology

DOI: 10.3126/jowe.v3i0.2387

Journal of Wetlands Ecology, (2009) Vol. 3, pp 12-22


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How to Cite

Gurung, S., Sharma, S., & Sharma, C. M. (2009). A Brief Review on Limnological Status of High Altitude Lakes in Nepal. Journal of Wetlands Ecology, 3, 12–22. https://doi.org/10.3126/jowe.v3i0.2387