Imja Glacier is one of the glaciers in the Khumbu region of Nepal. It lies to the southeast part of Mt Everest. The glacier drains the east slopes of Lhotse, south slope of Penghatse and west slopes of Baruntse before flowing past the southern slope of Island Peak to terminate at Imja Tsho glacial lake. This glacier is retreating yearly and has been the hot topic among the environmentalist. The Imja glacier drains through the Dingboche valley to Imja Khola, Dudh Koshi, Ganga River and finally the Indian Ocean.
The Imja glacier lake is the fastest growing lake in the Himalaya of Nepal and also known to be the potential threat to the Sherpa settlement below valley.
Imja Glacier is divided into 4 key sections depending upon the mass balance impact and climate sensitivity
- Debris covered Zone – This part comprises 30-40% of the glacial area. The most area debris covered is thick and insulated the glacier which stops the melting.
- Transition Zone – The zone between Debris covered and dry snow accumulation. This is a zone of bare ice and snow which experience the melting. This zone comprises 15-20% of the glacial area.
- Avalanche Slope Zone – This is a steep zone which full of a mixture of rock and snow. They could hold sufficient snow to form the glacier.
- Accumulation Zone – This is a zone for accumulating the snow and formation of the glacier. This zone is above 5800m