UZH-Logo

Regional-scale GIS-models for assessment of hazards from glacier lake outbursts: evaluation and application in the Swiss Alps


Huggel, C; Kääb, A; Haeberli, W; Krummenacher, B (2003). Regional-scale GIS-models for assessment of hazards from glacier lake outbursts: evaluation and application in the Swiss Alps. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 3(6):647-662.

Abstract

Debris flows triggered by glacier lake outbursts have repeatedly caused disasters in various high-mountain regions of the world. Accelerated change of glacial and periglacial environments due to atmospheric warming and increased anthropogenic development in most of these areas raise the need for an adequate hazard assessment and corresponding modelling. The purpose of this paper is to pro-vide a modelling approach which takes into account the current evolution of the glacial environment and satisfies a robust first-order assessment of hazards from glacier-lake outbursts.

Two topography-based GIS-models simulating debris flows related to outbursts from glacier lakes are presented and applied for two lake outburst events in the southern Swiss Alps. The models are based on information about glacier lakes derived from remote sensing data, and on digital elevation models (DEM). Hydrological flow routing is used to simulate the debris flow resulting from the lake outburst. Thereby, a multiple- and a single-flow-direction approach are applied. Debris-flow propagation is given in probability-related values indicating the hazard potential of a certain location. The debris flow runout distance is calculated on the basis of empirical data on average slope trajectory. The results show that the multiple-flow-direction approach generally yields a more detailed propagation. The single-flow-direction approach, however, is more robust against DEM artifacts and, hence, more suited for process automation. The model is tested with three differently generated DEMs (including aero-photogrammetry- and satellite image-derived). Potential application of the respective DEMs is discussed with a special focus on satellite-derived DEMs for use in remote high-mountain areas.

Debris flows triggered by glacier lake outbursts have repeatedly caused disasters in various high-mountain regions of the world. Accelerated change of glacial and periglacial environments due to atmospheric warming and increased anthropogenic development in most of these areas raise the need for an adequate hazard assessment and corresponding modelling. The purpose of this paper is to pro-vide a modelling approach which takes into account the current evolution of the glacial environment and satisfies a robust first-order assessment of hazards from glacier-lake outbursts.

Two topography-based GIS-models simulating debris flows related to outbursts from glacier lakes are presented and applied for two lake outburst events in the southern Swiss Alps. The models are based on information about glacier lakes derived from remote sensing data, and on digital elevation models (DEM). Hydrological flow routing is used to simulate the debris flow resulting from the lake outburst. Thereby, a multiple- and a single-flow-direction approach are applied. Debris-flow propagation is given in probability-related values indicating the hazard potential of a certain location. The debris flow runout distance is calculated on the basis of empirical data on average slope trajectory. The results show that the multiple-flow-direction approach generally yields a more detailed propagation. The single-flow-direction approach, however, is more robust against DEM artifacts and, hence, more suited for process automation. The model is tested with three differently generated DEMs (including aero-photogrammetry- and satellite image-derived). Potential application of the respective DEMs is discussed with a special focus on satellite-derived DEMs for use in remote high-mountain areas.

Citations

65 citations in Web of Science®
89 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

20 downloads since deposited on 20 Jul 2012
8 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2003
Deposited On:20 Jul 2012 19:45
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:52
Publisher:Copernicus
ISSN:1561-8633
Publisher DOI:10.5194/nhess-3-647-2003
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-63214

Download

[img]
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations