IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


10th January, 2024 Geography



  • The Kashmir Himalayas are dotted with permafrost structures called ‘rock glaciers’, with significant ice volumes within, a new study mapped.

About Permafrost

  • Permafrost refers to ground that remains consistently frozen at or below 32°F (0°C) for a minimum of two consecutive years.
  • This type of permanently frozen terrain is predominantly found in areas with high elevations and in the extreme latitudes near the North and South Poles.
  • Permafrost extends over substantial portions of the Earth, with nearly a quarter of the land area in the Northern Hemisphere having permafrost beneath its surface.
  • Its composition consists of a mix of soil, rocks, and sand bound together by ice, all of which remain frozen throughout the entire year.
  • In addition to its frozen components, permafrost soils near the surface contain significant amounts of organic carbon, a residue from deceased plants that couldn't decompose due to the persistent cold.
  • Deeper layers of permafrost comprise soils primarily composed of minerals.
  • Contrasting the frozen permafrost layers, there exists a surface layer known as the active layer, which undergoes seasonal thawing during warm summer months and refreezes in the fall.

Key Facts about Jhelum River

The Jhelum River:

  • It is a river that runs between India and Pakistan.
  • It is an Indus River tributary.
  • The Jhelum (Vyeth in Kashmiri, Vetesta in Sanskrit, and Hydaspes in Greek) is the valley's principal stream.
  • It is the largest and westernmost of Punjab's five rivers, flowing through the Jhelum District in Pakistan's Punjab province.

Some other facts

  • It begins in the Verinag Spring in Anantnag, at the foot of the Pir Panjal range in the Kashmir Valley.
  • It then passes through Srinagar and Wular Lake before entering Pakistan.
  • On its way to Pakistan, the river carves a steep, tight valley.
  • It merges with the Chenab River at Trimmu in Pakistan.
  • It is approximately 725 kilometers (450 mi) long in total.

Tributaries of Jhelum River

  • The major tributary of the Jhelum is the Kishenganga (Neelum) River, which joins near Muzaffarabad and flows into Pakistan's Punjab province.
  • The Kunhar River is the river's second major tributary, connecting Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Pakistan via the Kohala Bridge of Kanghan Valley.
  • Sandran River, Bringi River, Arapath River, Watlara River, Lidder River, and Veshaw River are also tributaries.


Discuss the significance of permafrost in Earth's ecosystems and its environmental implications. Examine the challenges and opportunities associated with the presence of permafrost, particularly in regions with high mountains and polar latitudes.