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Open AccessArticle

Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru: Historic Events and Current Susceptibility

1
Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, 128 43 Prague, Czechia
2
Department of Applied Geoinformatics and Cartography, Faculty of Science, Charles University, 128 43 Prague, Czechia
3
Geography and Environmental Science, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK
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UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK
5
Global Change Research Institute, The Czech Academy of Sciences, 603 00 Brno, Czechia
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Institute of Geography and Regional Science, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Until August 2020 at Global Change Research Institute, The Czech Academy of Sciences, 603 00 Brno, Czechia.
Water 2020, 12(10), 2664; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102664
Received: 21 August 2020 / Revised: 18 September 2020 / Accepted: 19 September 2020 / Published: 23 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
The aim of this paper is to create a glacial lake inventory for the Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru and to evaluate the susceptibility of lakes to the generation of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Using high-resolution satellite images, we undertook qualitative and quantitative analysis of lake type, characteristics and distribution, and placed our findings within the context of existing Peru-wide lake inventories. We also mapped and analyzed past GLOFs, revealing a total of 10 GLOFs and 4 ambiguous events, most of which have not been reported before. We found that past GLOFs usually occurred as a result of moraine dam breach during the proglacial stage of lake evolution. Further, we used our lake inventory to evaluate GLOF susceptibility of all lakes larger than 20,000 m2. Of 46 evaluated lakes, only two lakes (Lake Tsacra and Lake W014) are currently susceptible to generating a GLOF, which would most likely be through dam overtopping resulting from a flood originating in smaller lakes located upstream. The future perspectives of lake evolution and implications for GLOF hazard management are discussed in light of the post-Little Ice Age glacier ice loss as well as in the context of extensive related research undertaken in the nearby Cordillera Blanca. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacial lakes; GLOFs; GLOF susceptibility; moraine-dammed lakes; Cordillera Huayhuash; Andes; Peru glacial lakes; GLOFs; GLOF susceptibility; moraine-dammed lakes; Cordillera Huayhuash; Andes; Peru
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Baťka, J.; Vilímek, V.; Štefanová, E.; Cook, S.J.; Emmer, A. Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru: Historic Events and Current Susceptibility. Water 2020, 12, 2664.

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