The Himalaya-Gangetic Plain region is the iconic example of the debate about the impact on lowlands of upland land-use change. Some of the scientific aspects of this debate are revisited by using new techniques to examine the role of deforestation in erosion and river sediment transport. The approach is whole-of-catchment, combining a history of deforestation with a history of sediment sources from well before deforestation. It is shown that deforestation had some effect on one very large erosional event in 1970, in the Alaknanda subcatchment of the Upper Ganga catchment, but that both deforestation and its effects on erosion and sediment transport are far from uniform in the Himalaya. Large magnitude erosional events occur for purely natural reasons. The impact on the Gangetic Plain of erosion caused by natural events and land cover change remains uncertain.
Wasson, R. J., Juyal, N., Jaiswal, M., McCulloch, M., Sarin, M. M., Jain, V., ... Singhvi, A. K. (2008). The mountain-lowland debate: deforestation and sediment transport in the upper Ganga catchment. Journal of Environmental Management, 88(1), 53-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.01.046