Detailed glacier inventories are key for understanding glacier-climate interactions and assessing the impact of glacier changes on the landscape, the water cycle, and on
natural hazards. Satellite data combined with digital elevation models (DEMs) provide a useful means for the compilation of such glacier inventory data. Within this
thesis, the suitability of DEMs (with near-global coverage) to determine topographic parameters has been evaluated and found to be appropriate, despite local artifacts in the DEMs. Based on these findings, more than 10,000 glaciers in the western Himalayas have been mapped from optical and microwave sensors in order to close a prominent gap in the global glacier inventory. As a consequence of glacier retreat, new glacier lakes with potential for far-reaching natural disasters can form. A tool for the detection and analysis of such glacier lakes using a semi-automated approach is presented. In relation to this, a multi-level strategy for the identification of sites with potential future lake formation in deglaciating areas has been developed. Overall, this thesis provides a framework for observing and assessing the current situation of glaciers, glacier lakes, and associated hazard potentials, as well as
means to develop scenarios of their potential future evolution.