Fire Earth

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Posts Tagged ‘GLOF’

More than 5,000 Melting Glaciers Threaten Pakistan

Posted by feww on June 15, 2016

Average temperatures in the mountainous valleys of Pakistan risen by up to 10°C

Some 5,128 glaciers located in ten river basins of Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region, are melting rapidly due to increase in average temperatures in the mountainous valleys.

“Presently, glacial melting is among major global warming-induced risk Pakistan is grappled with. Other risks include sea-level rise, floods, higher than average temperature, a higher frequency of droughts and expanding desertification,” Pakistan’s Deputy Director Ministry of Climate Change Mohammad Saleem told APP on Tuesday.


Source: http://dailytimes.com.pk/

Increased or above-normal flows are occurring in glacial streams in the summer time feeding the 3,500 kilometer-long Indus River.

The mountain streams now flow even in winter, which was never observed couple of years ago as revealed by the residents particularly Hunza, Ghizer, Gupis, Skardu, Gulmit and Bagrot valleys of the Gilgit-Baltistan in the country’s north, reflecting the gravity of the global warming issue, he said.

“Temperatures in most of the mountainous valleys never used to go beyond 30 degree Celsius during summer but now it surpasses 40 degree Celsius at times.”

“This rise in temperature was causing expansion of rainy weather on one hand and squeezing the snowfall period on the other. The reduced snowfall period makes it difficult for the snow to take the shape of glaciers,” Saleem said.

Increase in frequency and intensity in rainfall instead of snowfall in these mountains triggers flash floods, which results in large-scale damages in the areas. The official, who is also spokesman of the ministry, said besides rising earth temperatures, high paced urbanization of the mountain valleys and increased vehicular traffic have accelerated the melting process of the glaciers.

Alarmingly, melting process continues in winter causing exceptional flow in streams and rivers, which in turn is causing flooding in these valleys, threatening lives and livelihoods of the locals and damaging the infrastructure, the report said.

Recent findings of 10 weather monitoring stations installed by the Pakistan Meteorological Department also concluded that glaciers in ablation zone [which refers to the low-altitude area of a glacier] is receding faster and snowline is marching upward. This means shrinking in the glacier area. “This means that the ablation zones are increasing and accumulation zones of the glaciers reducing.”

It is because at the lower elevation up to 2,500 meters the heat penetration is increasing, which is causing the glaciers shrink at such elevation levels. For instance, one weather monitoring station installed at the Hinarchi glacier in Bagrot valley of Gilgit district, has showed that the glacier has retreated 800 meters in the 32 years between 1977 and 2009. It retreated another 300 meters between 2009 and 2014.

Likewise, the Baulter glacier which had retreated 1,500 meters, shrank another 400 meters by 2014. The future of the Barpu glacier looks bleak as it has shrunk 640 meters since 1977.

“According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), there were some 2,400 potentially hazardous glacial lakes in the country’s remotest mountain valleys in 2010, a number that has now increased to over 3,000.”

Read more…

“Inventory of Glaciers and Glacial Lakes and the Identification of Potential Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) Affected by Global Warming in the Mountains ofIndia, Pakistan and China/Tibet Autonomous Region”

A 2005 study identified 5,218 glaciers with the glacier area coverage of 15,040 km² [with 2,738 km³ of ice reserves] and 2,420 lakes including 52 “potentially dangerous” glacial lakes in Pakistan.

  • In Indian Himalaya, the Tista River basin covers 285 glaciers with the glacier area of 576 km², 266 glacial lakes and 14 potentially dangerous glacial lakes.
  • The Himachal Pradesh region holds 2,554 glaciers with the glacier area of 4,160 km² and 229 lakes including 22 potential GLOF.
  • The Uttaranchal Himalayan region holds 1,439 glaciers with the glacier area of 4,060 km². Some 127 lakes are identified from the satellite images but none is classified as potential GLOF.
  • In Tibet Autonomous Region, a total of 1,578 glaciers with a glacier area of 2,864 km², were mapped in the sub-basins of Ganges River. Some 824 lakes were identified including 77 lakes as potential GLOF.

 

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Deadly Tsunami in Andes Lake, Peru

Posted by feww on April 13, 2010

Tsunami in Mountain Lake

Massive glacier breaks off in Peru plunging into a lake, causing a 23-meter (75-foot) tsunami, Killing 3

A massive glacier broke off in the Andes creating a huge tsunami wave in a lake, sweeping away at least three people and destroying a water filtration plant that served 60,000 people, government officials said, Reuters reported.


A Lake Pehoé view of Torres del Paine, Chile. Credit: Miguel.v

A massive chunk of ice measuring about 500m by 200m (1,640 feet by 656 feet) broke off from Hualcan glacier tumbling down into a lake in the Andes mountain range near the town of Carhuaz, about 320km (200 miles) north of the capital, Lima. At least three people were buried in debris, Reuters reported the officials as saying.

Carhuaz city is located about 35 km from Huaraz, the capital city of a province with the same name, and one of twenty provinces of the Ancash Region in Peru.

“This slide into the lake generated a tsunami wave, which breached the lake’s levees, which are 23 meters high—meaning the wave was 23 meters high,” said Patricio Vaderrama, an expert on glaciers at Peru’s Institute of Mine Engineers.

The incident prompted the officials to evacuate the nearby mountain valleys in case more breakages were to follow, the report said.

“It was one of the most concrete signs yet that glaciers are disappearing in Peru, home to 70 percent of the world’s tropical icefields. Scientists say warmer temperatures will cause them to melt away altogether within 20 years.” The report said.

“In 1970, not far from Carhuaz, an earthquake triggered an avalanche of ice, rock and mud on the mountain of Huascaran that buried the town of Yungay, killing more than 20,000 people who lived below Peru’s tallest peak, which sits 22,204 feet [6,768m] above sea level.”

In the last 3 decades or so Peru’s glaciers have shrunk by 22 per cent, causing  12 per cent reduction the amount of fresh water that reaches the coast, where most of the Peruvians live, according to a report published by World Bank last year.


Glacial Lake Palcacocha, Cordillera Blanca, Peru. This lake generated a deadly glacial lake outburst flood in 1941 that destroyed part of the city of Huaraz and killed 5,000 people. Note the two security dams in the foreground of the photograph. Given that millions of people in mountain ranges worldwide live in valleys below glaciers, there is a risk of glacier disasters in many countries. Glacier hazards have become more acute with recent global climate change and as populations in glacier watersheds increase.Photo by Mark Carey (2003). Source.

Fire-Earth Moderators believe the glacier breakage may have been hastened by a 5.4Mw earthquake which occurred about 106km SSW of Carhauz, Peru, on March 28, and possibly the more recent seismic activity in northern Peru.


EMSC Map of Earthquake Location, Peru, with the approximate position of Hualcan glacier marked by Fire-Earth. Click image to enlarge.

Summary of Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude: 5.4Mw
  • Region: NEAR COAST OF CENTRAL PERU
  • Date and time 2010-03-28 at 01:08:25.3 UTC
  • Location: 10.17ºS ; 78.13ºW
  • Depth: 67 km
  • Distances:
    • 133 km SE Chimbote (pop 316,966 ; local time 20:08 2010-03-27)
    • 12 km S Huarmey (pop 16,172 ; local time 20:08 2010-03-27)
  • Source:  European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Related Events


Original Caption Released with Image [edited for brevity.]
A chunk of glacier was threatening to fall into an Andean lake and cause major flooding in a Peruvian city of 60,000. A fissure has appeared in the glacier that feds Lake Palcacocha near the city of Huaraz, 270 km north of Lima. If the piece breaks off, ensuing floods would take 15 minutes to reach the city. In 1941, the lake overflowed and caused massive destruction, killing 7,000 people. The city can be seen in the lower left part of the two images, acquired
[November 5, 2001 and April 8, 2003.] Lake Palcacocha is in the upper right corner of the image at the head of a valley, below the snow and glacier cap. The inset image shows an enlargement of the lake and the glacier occupying the cirque valley above it. The images are being provided to the Peruvian authorities and geologists to help them assess the state of the glacier, and compare the recent image with historic data.

These images were acquired on November 5, 2001 and April 8, 2003 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Image source: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

High Res Image: Click Here

Latest Update: 4 people are missing and more than 50 were injured as a result of the tsunami wave.

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Posted in Andes lake, Andes lake tsunami, Carhuaz, Peru tsunami | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »