Detailed field mapping of glacial and paraglacial landforms and optical dating from these landforms are used to reconstruct the early Holocene glaciation in the semi-arid region of Miyar basin, Lahaul Himalaya. The study identifies three stages of glaciation, of decreasing magnitude and termed, from oldest to youngest, the Miyar stage (MR-I), Khanjar stage (KH-II), and Menthosa advance (M-III). The oldest glacial stage (MR-I) has been established on the basis of detailed geomorphological evidence such as U-shaped valley morphology, trimlines, and truncated spurs. It is speculated to be older than the global Last Glacial Maximum (gLGM) based on the magnitude of ΔELA (Equilibrium-Line Altitude, 606m). No evidence of glacier expansion recorded from the basin correlates with the period of the gLGM. The second stage (KH-II) is well represented by extensive depositional features such as lateral and terminal moraines, drumlins, and lacustrine fills that have been constrained within 10 ± 1 to 6.6 ± 1.0 ka (Optically stimulated luminescence—OSL—ages), dating it to the early Holocene advance following the Younger Dryas cooling event. Exceptionally young glacial records of expansion are limited within a few hundred meters of the present termini of tributary glaciers and correlates with the 18th-century cooling event. Records of this glacial advance, termed the Menthosa advance, are clearly noticed in some tributary valleys.
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