Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Modeling potential glacial lake outburst flood process chains and effects from artificial lake‐level lowering at Gepang Gath lake, Indian Himalaya


Sattar, Ashim; Allen, Simon; Mergili, Martin; Haeberli, Wilfried; Frey, Holger; Kulkarni, Anil V; Haritashya, Umesh K; Huggel, Christian; Goswami, Ajanta; Ramsankaran, R A A J (2023). Modeling potential glacial lake outburst flood process chains and effects from artificial lake‐level lowering at Gepang Gath lake, Indian Himalaya. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 128(3):e2022JF006826.

Abstract

Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) are a severe threat to communities in the Himalayas; however, GLOF mitigation strategies have been implemented for only a few lakes, and future changes in hazard are rarely considered. Here, we present a comprehensive assessment of current and future GLOF hazard for Gepang Gath Lake, Western Himalaya, considering rock and/or ice avalanches cascading into the lake. We consider ground surface temperature and topography to define avalanche source zones located in areas of potentially degrading permafrost. GLOF process chains in current and future scenarios, also considering engineered lake lowering of 10 and 30 m, were evaluated. Here, varied avalanche impact waves, erosion patterns, debris flow hydraulics, and GLOF impacts at Sissu village, under 18 different scenarios were assessed. Authors demonstrated that a larger future lake does not necessarily produce larger GLOF events in Sissu, depending, among other factors, on the location from where the triggering avalanche initiates and strikes the lake. For the largest scenarios, 10 m of lowering reduces the high-intensity zone by 54% and 63% for the current and future scenarios, respectively, but has little effect on the medium-intensity flood zone. Even with 30 m of lake lowering, the Sissu helipad falls in the high-intensity zone under all moderate-to-large scenarios, with severe implications for evacuations and other emergency response actions. The approach can be extended to other glacial lakes to demonstrate the efficiency of lake lowering as an option for GLOF mitigation and enable a robust GLOF hazard and risk assessment.

Abstract

Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) are a severe threat to communities in the Himalayas; however, GLOF mitigation strategies have been implemented for only a few lakes, and future changes in hazard are rarely considered. Here, we present a comprehensive assessment of current and future GLOF hazard for Gepang Gath Lake, Western Himalaya, considering rock and/or ice avalanches cascading into the lake. We consider ground surface temperature and topography to define avalanche source zones located in areas of potentially degrading permafrost. GLOF process chains in current and future scenarios, also considering engineered lake lowering of 10 and 30 m, were evaluated. Here, varied avalanche impact waves, erosion patterns, debris flow hydraulics, and GLOF impacts at Sissu village, under 18 different scenarios were assessed. Authors demonstrated that a larger future lake does not necessarily produce larger GLOF events in Sissu, depending, among other factors, on the location from where the triggering avalanche initiates and strikes the lake. For the largest scenarios, 10 m of lowering reduces the high-intensity zone by 54% and 63% for the current and future scenarios, respectively, but has little effect on the medium-intensity flood zone. Even with 30 m of lake lowering, the Sissu helipad falls in the high-intensity zone under all moderate-to-large scenarios, with severe implications for evacuations and other emergency response actions. The approach can be extended to other glacial lakes to demonstrate the efficiency of lake lowering as an option for GLOF mitigation and enable a robust GLOF hazard and risk assessment.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
11 citations in Web of Science®
11 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

22 downloads since deposited on 04 May 2023
17 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
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Geophysics
Physical Sciences > Earth-Surface Processes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Earth-Surface Processes, Geophysics
Language:English
Date:1 March 2023
Deposited On:04 May 2023 07:51
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:2169-9003
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1029/2022jf006826
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)