Analytical Hierarchical Modeling Of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood Potential In The Khumbu Region, Nepal

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alex G. O’Neill (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
L. Baker Perry

Abstract: The Himalayas have seen increasingly devastating glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF), particularly in recent years. These floods are becoming more significant and common as the climate continues to rapidly warm in the region, making accurate and frequent accounting of GLOF hazards a top priority. This study presents a methodology for efficiently modeling GLOF hazards using predominately free, global satellite remote sensing data in conjunction with an analytical hierarchical model (AHP) to inventory GLOF hazards in the Khumbu Region. Findings indicate rapidly retreating and thinning glaciers with a 34% increase in lake area, including a 303% increase in supraglacial water area. Using Imja Tsho to evaluate the sensitivity of the model, 25 potentially hazardous lakes are delineated, with four classified as very high risk and four classified as an extreme risk. Imja Tsho and Lumding Tsho rank as the highest-risk glacial lakes, with Lumding Tsho increasing its growth rate 77% percent in 2013-2019 versus 1962-2007. Unlike Imja Tsho, no mitigation work is in place to reduce the risk posed by Lumding Tsho, and few in situ studies have been conducted. Based on these findings, it is critical to form a mitigation plan to lower the risk associated with Lumding Tsho and assess the potential impact of an outburst event. Projected warming of the region and associated increase in GLOF hazard shows the continued study of GLOF hazards and mitigation is crucial to protecting vulnerable communities.

Additional Information

O’Neill, A. (2021). Analytical Hierarchical Modeling Of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood Potential In The Khumbu Region, Nepal. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2021
GLOF, Hazzard Mitigation, Climate Glacier Interaction, Glacier, Himalaya

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