World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Karakoram

Karakoram
Baltoro glacier in the central Karakoram with 8000ers, Gasherbrum I & II.
Highest point
Peak K2
Elevation 8,611 m (28,251 ft)
Coordinates
Geography
Highest Karakoram peaks as seen from International Space Station
Countries Pakistan, India and China
States/Provinces Gilgit–Baltistan, Ladakh and Xinjiang
Range coordinates
Borders on Ladakh Range, Pamirs and Hindu Raj (Hindu Kush)

The Karakoram, or Karakorum (simplified Chinese: 喀喇昆仑山脉; traditional Chinese: 喀喇崑崙山脈; pinyin: Kālǎkūnlún Shānmài; Urdu: سلسلہ کوہ قراقرم‎; Balti: ཁརན ཨ ཀུརམ , Uyghur: كاراكورم), is a large mountain range spanning the borders between Pakistan, India and China, located in the regions of Gilgit–Baltistan (Pakistan), Ladakh (India), and southern Xinjiang (China). A part of the complex of ranges from the Hindu Kush to the Himalayan Range,[1][2] it is one of the Greater Ranges of Asia. The Karakoram is home to the highest concentration of peaks over 8000m in height to be found anywhere on earth,[3] including K2, the second highest peak in the world at 8,611 m (28,251 ft).

The range is about 500 km (311 mi) in length, and is the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside the polar regions. The Siachen Glacier at 76 kilometres (47 mi) and the Biafo Glacier at 63 kilometres (39 mi) rank as the world's second and third longest glaciers outside the polar regions.[4]

The Karakoram is bounded on the northeast by the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and on the north by the Pamir Mountains. The southern boundary of the Karakoram is formed, west to east, by the Gilgit, Indus, and Shyok Rivers, which separate the range from the northwestern end of the Himalaya range proper as these rivers converge southwestward towards the plains of Pakistan.

The Tashkurghan National Nature Reserve and the Pamir Wetlands National Nature Reserve in the Karalorun and Pamir mountains have been nominated for inclusion in UNESCO in 2010 by the National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO and has tentatively been added to the list.[5]

Contents

  • Name 1
  • Exploration 2
  • Geology and glaciers 3
    • The Karakoram during the Ice Age 3.1
  • Highest peaks 4
    • K-names 4.1
  • Subranges 5
  • Passes 6
  • Cultural references 7
  • See also 8
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Name

Karakoram is a [6][7] Later terminology was influenced by the Survey of India, whose surveyor Thomas Montgomerie in the 1850s gave the labels K1 to K6 (K for Karakoram) to six high mountains visible from his station at Mount Haramukh in Kashmir.

Exploration

Due to its altitude and ruggedness, the Karakoram is much less inhabited than parts of the Himalayas further east. European explorers first visited early in the 19th century, followed by British surveyors starting in 1856.

The George K. Cockerill in 1892. Explorations in the 1910s and 1920s established most of the geography of the region.

The name Karakoram was used in the early 20th century, for example by Kenneth Mason,[6] for the range now known as the Baltoro Muztagh. The term is now used to refer to the entire range from the Batura Muztagh above Hunza in the west to the Saser Muztagh in the bend of the Shyok River in the east.

Geology and glaciers

Relief map of the Karakoram

The Karakoram is in one of the world's most geologically active areas, at the boundary between two colliding continents.

A significant part, 28-50% of the Karakoram Range is glaciated, compared to the Himalaya (8-12%) and Alps (2.2%).[9] Mountain glaciers may serve as an indicator of climate change, advancing and receding with long-term changes in temperature and precipitation.[10] Karakoram glaciers are mostly stagnating or enlarging,[11][12] because, unlike in the Himalayas, many Karakoram glaciers are covered in a layer of rubble which insulates the ice from the warmth of the sun. Where there is no such insulation, the rate of retreat is high.[13]

The Karakoram during the Ice Age

In the last ice age, a connected series of glaciers stretched from western Tibet to Nanga Parbat, and from the Tarim basin to the Gilgit District.[14][15][16] To the south, the Indus glacier was the main valley glacier, which flowed 120 kilometres (75 mi) down from Nanga Parbat massif to 870 metres (2,850 ft) elevation.[14][17] In the north, the Karakoram glaciers joined those from the Kunlun Mountains and flowed down to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in the Tarim basin.[16][18]

While the current valley glaciers in the Karakorum reach a maximum length of 76 kilometres (47 mi), several of the ice-age valley glacier branches and main valley glaciers, had lengths up to 700 kilometres (430 mi). During the Ice age, the glacier snowline was about 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) lower than today.[16][17]

Highest peaks

K2

The highest peaks of the Karakoram are:

The majority of the highest peaks are in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan. Baltistan has more than 100 mountain peaks exceeding 6,100 metres (20,000 ft) height from sea level.

K-names

View from the top of K2

Subranges

View of the moon over Karakoram Range in Pakistan

The naming and division of the various subranges of the Karakoram is not universally agreed upon. However, the following is a list of the most important subranges, following Jerzy Wala.[19] The ranges are listed roughly west to east.

Passes

Chinese and Pakistani border guards at Khunjerab Pass

From west to east

The Khunjerab Pass is the only motorable pass across the range. The Shimshal Pass (which does not cross an international border) is the only other pass still in regular use.

Cultural references

The Karakoram mountain range has been referred to in a number of novels and movies. Rudyard Kipling refers to the Karakorum mountain range in his novel Kim, which was first published in 1900. Marcel Ichac made a film titled Karakoram, chronicling a French expedition to the range in 1936. The film won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival of 1937. Greg Mortenson details the Karakoram, and specifically K2 and the Balti, extensively in his book Three Cups of Tea, about his quest to build schools for children in the region. In the Gatchaman TV series, the Karakoram range houses Galactor's headquarters.

See also

Notes

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ BBC, Planet Earth, "Mountains", Part Three
  4. ^ Tajikistan's Fedchenko Glacier is 77 kilometres (48 mi) long. Baltoro and Batura Glaciers in the Karakoram are 57 kilometres (35 mi) long, as is Bruggen or Pio XI Glacier in southern Chile. Measurements are from recent imagery, generally supplemented with Russian 1:200,000 scale topographic mapping as well as Jerzy Wala,Orographical Sketch Map: Karakoram: Sheets 1 & 2, Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, Zurich, 1990.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^
  8. ^ French, Patrick. (1994). Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer, pp. 53, 56-60. HarperCollinsPublishers, London. Reprint (1995): Flamingo. London. ISBN 0-00-637601-0.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Mughal, Muhammad Aurang Zeb. 2013. "Pamir Alpine Desert and Tundra." Robert Warren Howarth (ed.), Biomes & Ecosystems, Vol. 3. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, pp. 978-980.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b c (glacier maps downloadable)
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^
  19. ^ Jerzy Wala, Orographical Sketch Map of the Karakoram, Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, Zurich, 1990.

References

  • Curzon, George Nathaniel. 1896. The Pamirs and the Source of the Oxus. Royal Geographical Society, London. Reprint: Elibron Classics Series, Adamant Media Corporation. 2005. ISBN 1-4021-5983-8 (pbk); ISBN 1-4021-3090-2 (hbk).
  • Kreutzmann, Hermann, Karakoram in Transition: Culture, Development, and Ecology in the Hunza Valley, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-19-547210-3
  • Mortenson, Greg and Relin, David Oliver. 2008. Three Cups of Tea. Penguin Books Ltd. ISBN 978-0-14-103426-3 (pbk); Viking Books ISBN 978-0-670-03482-6 (hbk); Tantor Media ISBN 978-1-4001-5251-3 (MP3 CD).
  • Kipling, Rudyard 2002. Kim (novel); ed. by Zohreh T. Sullivan. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 039396650X—This is the most extensive critical modern edition with footnotes, essays, maps, etc.

External links

  • Blankonthemap The Northern Kashmir Website
  • Pakistan's Northern Areas dilemma
  • Great Karakorams
  • Karakorams.com : Travel and Trekking in the karakorams
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.