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Umesh Haritashya

Associate Professor; Director of Graduate Program

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Geology


Email: Umesh Haritashya
Phone: 937-229-2939
SC 396


Dr. Haritashya received his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology, India in 2005 where he studied glacier hydrology, modeling, and image analysis. He joined UD's Geology Department in 2008 after completing post-doctoral research appointment in NASA's international GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) project at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

At the University of Dayton, Dr. Haritashya has taught a variety of courses including Environmental Geology, Problems and Decisions in Environmental Geology, Environmental Instrumentation Lab, Geomorphology, Glacial Geology, Environmental Remote Sensing, etc. Dr. Haritashya research focuses on understanding glacier surface processes and climate change impact on the high mountain glaciers. In the last ten years, Dr. Haritashya and his group have received more than $3 million in research grants.

Faculty Perspective

I am an Environmental Geologist who is utilizing both field collected data as well as satellite-borne data for my cool research, which revolves around the fact that climate change is dramatically influencing the landscape of snow, ice and glaciers, or even existence thereof. This changing environment requires interdisciplinary research of the complex phenomena that control the dynamics of earth's and atmospheric processes.

Specifically, I am working towards this understanding changes in the glacier dynamics, hazards of glacial lakes, and practical application of the hydrology of glacierized basins on runoff prediction, reservoir management, hydroelectric production, and flood control; as well as better understanding of the hydrological and sediment transport behavior including hydrological processes and storage characteristics of the glaciers. My research work has resulted in well-refereed international research papers, book chapters, edited book volume, and many presentations.


  • Ph.D., Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), India

Courses Taught

  • Dynamic Earth
  • Dynamic Universe (Fundamentals of Integrated Natural Sciences)
  • Environmental Geology
  • Environmental Geology (online)
  • Environmental Instrumentation Lab
  • Environmental Remote Sensing
  • Field course in Colorado Rockies, and New Zealand Alps
  • Geomorphology
  • Geology Seminar Series (Themes: Climate Change; Water Resources)
  • GIS Capstone
  • Glacial Geology
  • Problems and Decisions in Environmental Geology
  • Physical Geology
  • Surface and Groundwater Hydrology

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Member, Association of American Geographers (AAG)
  • Member, Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI)
  • Member, Geological Society of America (GSA)
  • Member, International Glaciological Society (IGS)
  • Member, International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
  • Member, Sigma Xi
  • Life member, Indian Association of Hydrologists (IAH)

Research Interests

  • Mountain Hydrology/Geomorphology and Surface Processes.
  • Assessment of glacier morphology and ice dynamics.
  • Remote sensing and GIScience.
  • Geospatial visualization
  • Climate change impact on Himalayan glaciers.
  • Glacier hydrology and sedimentology.
  • Modeling of snow and glacier melt runoff.
  • Algorithm development in Image Processing and GIS Environment.
  • Natural hazards including GLOF, landslides, floods, climate change related hazards.
  • Collection and analysis of hydro-meteorological, suspended sediment and glaciological data in high altitude glacierized region.

Selected Grants & Publications

Funded Grants Since 2012

"Large landslides and landslide/glacier-dammed Himalayan and Karakoram rivers and the potential for transboundary disruptions." NASA - Interdisciplinary Science. Total Amount $1,160,615. Project duration: January 19, 2018 - January 18, 2021.

"Interlinked glacier dynamics, lakes, mountain hazards, and critical vulnerabilities in the Himalaya." NASA - Understanding Changes in High Mountain Asia Program, Total Amount $627,637. Project duration: Sept 20, 2016 - Sept 19, 2019.

"Roles of the Changing Cryosphere in Multi-Hazard Hotspots in Seismically and Volcanically Active Areas." NASA. Total Amount $49,860. Project duration: Sept 1, 2016 - Aug 31, 2017.

"Natural Hazard Processes Facing Mountain Villages in the Sapta Koshi Basin, eastern Nepal." National Geographic Society / Waitt Grants Program. Total Amount $15,000. Project duration: Sept 5, 2015 - May 31, 2016.

"Analysis of the satellite-era glacier fluctuation in the Peruvian Andes and identifying associated glacial hazards." University of Dayton SEED Grant. Total Amount $6,500. Project duration: May 15, 2015 - August 14, 2015.

"Modeling Wetland Evolution and its Geo-Hydrological Processes at the Silver Lake Wetlands, Miami County, Ohio." University of Dayton Dean’s Funds for Excellence. Total Amount $6,462. Project duration: May 15, 2014 - August 14, 2014.

"Interdisciplinary science applications to glacier and alpine hazards in relation to development and habitation in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya: SERVIR Science Team project." NASA - Servir Applied Sciences Team Program. Total Amount $1,199,094. Project duration: August 7, 2012 - August 6, 2017.

Select Journal Publications

Umesh K. Haritashya, Jeffrey Kargel, Dan Shugar, Gregory Leonard, Katherine Strattman, C. Scott Watson, David Shean, Stephan Harrison, Kyle Mandli and Dhananjay Regmi (2018) "Evolution and controls of large glacial lakes in the Nepal Himalaya." Remote Sensing, Vol 10(5), 798.

Stephan Harrison, Jeffrey S. Kargel, Christian Huggel, John Reynolds, Dan H. Shugar, Richard A. Betts, Adam Emmer, Neil Glasser, Umesh K. Haritashya, Jan Klimeš, Liam Reinhardt, Yvonne Schaub, Andy Wilyshire, Dhananjay Regmi and Vít Vilímek (2018) "Climate change and the global pattern of moraine-dammed glacial lake outburst floods." The Cryosphere, Vol 12, 1195-1209.

J.S. Kargel, G.J. Leonard, D.H. Shugar, U.K. Haritashya, A. Bevington, E.J. Fielding, K. Fujita, M. Geertsema, E.S. Miles, J. Steiner and 54 others (2016) "Geomorphic and Geologic Controls of Geohazards Induced by Nepal's 2015 Gorkha Earthquake." Science, 351 (6269). Please note the first four authors contributed equally as indicated in publication.

Umesh K. Haritashya, Mark Pleasants and Luke Copland (2015) "Assessment of the evolution in velocity of two debris-covered valley glaciers in Nepal and New Zealand." Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, Vol. 97, No. 4, pp 737 - 751.

Henry N. N. Bulley, Michael P. Bishop, John F. Shroder Jr. and Umesh K. Haritashya (2013) "Integration of classification tree analyses and spatial metrics to assess changes in supraglacial lakes in the Karakoram Himalaya." International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp 387 - 411.

Jeffrey S. Kargel, J. Graham Cogley, Gregory Leonard, Umesh K. Haritashya and Alton Byers (2011) "Himalayan glaciers: The big picture is a montage." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108, No. 36, pp 14709 - 14710.

Umesh K. Haritashya, Amit Kumar and Pratap Singh (2010) "Particle size characteristics of suspended sediment transported in meltwater from the Gangotri Glacier, Central Himalaya - An indicator of subglacial sediment evacuation." Geomorphology, Vol. 122, No. 1 - 2, pp 140 - 152.

Umesh K. Haritashya, Michael P. Bishop, John F. Shroder Jr., Andrew B. G. Bush and Henry N. N. Bulley (2009) "Space-based assessment of glacier fluctuations in the Wakhan Pamir, Afghanistan." Climatic Change, Vol. 94, pp 5 - 18.

Pratap Singh, Umesh K. Haritashya and Naresh Kumar (2008) "Modelling and estimation of different components of streamflow for Gangotri Glacier basin, Himalayas." Hydrological Sciences Journal, Vol. 53, No. 2, pp 309 - 322.

R. P. Gupta, A. Ghosh and Umesh K. Haritashya (2007) "Empirical relationship between near-IR reflectance of melting seasonal snow and environmental temperature in a Himalayan basin." Remote Sensing Environment, Vol. 107, No. 3, pp 402 - 413.

Pratap Singh, Umesh K. Haritashya and Naresh Kumar (2007) "Meteorological study for Gangotri Glacier and its comparison with other high altitude meteorological stations in Central Himalayan region." Nordic Hydrology, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp 59 - 77.

Umesh K. Haritashya, Pratap Singh, Naresh Kumar and Yatveer Singh (2006) "Hydrological importance of an unusual hazard in mountainous basin: Flood and landslide." Hydrological Processes, Vol. 20, No. 14, pp 3147 - 3154.

Pratap Singh, Umesh K. Haritashya, Naresh Kumar and Yatveer Singh (2006) "Hydrological characteristics of the Gangotri Glacier, Central Himalayas, India." Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 327, No. 1-2, pp 55 - 67.

Umesh K. Haritashya, Pratap Singh, Naresh Kumar and R. P. Gupta (2006) "Suspended sediment from the Gangotri Glacier: Quantification, variability and associations with discharge and air temperature." Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 321, No. 1-4, pp 116 - 130.

R. P. Gupta, Umesh K. Haritashya, Pratap Singh (2005) "Mapping dry/wet snow cover in the Indian Himalayas using IRS multispectral imagery." Remote Sensing Environment, Vol. 97, No. 4, pp 458 - 469.

Book Publications

Vijay P. Singh, Pratap Singh and Umesh K. Haritashya (Eds.) (2011) Encyclopedia of snow, ice and glaciers. Springer Publications, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 1254p.

Select Book Chapter Publications

Umesh K. Haritashya and Mauri Pelto (2016) "Cryospheric hydrology in the mountainous environment." In: Handbook of Applied Hydrology, 2nd edition. McGraw Hill Publications. ISBN: 978-0-07-183509-1; pp 90.1-90.10

Michael P. Bishop, Andrew B. G. Bush, Roberto Furfaro, Allan R. Gillespie, Dorothy K. Hall, Umesh K. Haritashya and John F. Shroder Jr. (2014) "Theoretical foundations of remote sensing for glacier assessment and mapping." In: Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS), J.S. Kargel, G.J. Leonard, M.P. Bishop, A. Kääb, and B. Raup (Editors), Praxis-Springer, Heidelberg, ISBN: 978-3-540-79818-7; pp 23-52.

Duncan J. Quincey, Michael P. Bishop, Andreas Kääb, Etienne Berthier, Boris Flach, Tobias Bolch, Manfred Buchroithner, Ulrich Kamp, Siri Jodha Singh Khalsa, Thierry Toutin, Umesh K. Haritashya, Adina Racoviteanu, John F. Shroder Jr. and Bruce H. Raup (2014) "Digital terrain modeling and glacier topographic characterization." In: Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS), J.S. Kargel, G.J. Leonard, M.P. Bishop, A. Kääb, and B. Raup (Editors), Praxis-Springer, Heidelberg, ISBN: 978-3-540-79818-7; pp 113-144.

Jeffrey Kargel, Matthew J. Beedle, Andy Bush, Francisco Carreño, Elena Castellanos, Umesh K. Haritashya, Gregory Leonard, Javier Lillo, Ivan Lopez, Mark Pleasants, Edward Pollack and David Wolfe (2014) "Multispectral Image Analysis of Glaciers and Glacier Lakes in the Chugach Mountains, Alaska." In: Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS), J.S. Kargel, G.J. Leonard, M.P. Bishop, A. Kääb, and B. Raup (Editors), Praxis-Springer, Heidelberg, ISBN: 978-3-540-79818-7; pp 297-332.

Michael P. Bishop, John F. Shroder Jr., Ghazanfar Ali, Andrew B. G. Bush, Umesh K. Haritashya, Rakshan Roohi, Mehmet Akif Sarikaya and Brandon J. Weihs (2014) "Remote sensing of glaciers in Afghanistan and Pakistan." In: Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS), J.S. Kargel, G.J. Leonard, M.P. Bishop, A. Kääb, and B. Raup (Editors), Praxis-Springer, Heidelberg, ISBN: 978-3-540-79818-7; pp 509-548.

Trevor J. Chinn, Jeffrey Kargel, Gregory Leonard, Umesh K. Haritashya and Mark Pleasants (2014) "New Zealand's Glaciers." In: Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS), J.S. Kargel, G.J. Leonard, M.P. Bishop, A. Kääb, and B. Raup (Editors), Praxis-Springer, Heidelberg, ISBN: 978-3-540-79818-7; pp 675-715.

Umesh K. Haritashya (2012) "Effectiveness of four water-bearing zones of the glacierized basin in meltwater runoff modeling." In: Remote Sensing Hydrology, Christopher M. U. Neale and Michael H. Cosh (Editors), IAHS (International Association of Hydrological Society) Red Books Publication Number 352, pp 63-66, ISBN 978-1-907161-27-8.

Synergistic Activities

  • Associate Editor ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering
  • Editorial Advisory Board Himalayan Geology Journal
  • Editorial Advisory Board The Open Hydrology Journal
  • Manuscript reviewer: 17 Journals
  • Grant reviewer: 3 Agencies