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Open AccessArticle

Glacial Lake Inventory and Lake Outburst Flood/Debris Flow Hazard Assessment after the Gorkha Earthquake in the Bhote Koshi Basin

1
Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Surface Process, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020464
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 29 January 2020 / Accepted: 5 February 2020 / Published: 10 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Assessments: Applications and Uncertainties)
Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) evolve into debris flows by erosion and sediment entrainment while propagating down a valley, which highly increases peak discharge and volume and causes destructive damage downstream. This study focuses on GLOF hazard assessment in the Bhote Koshi Basin (BKB), where was highly developed glacial lakes and was intensely affected by the Gorkha earthquake. A new 2016 glacial lake inventory was established, and six unreported GLOF events were identified with geomorphic outburst evidence from GaoFen-1 satellite images and Google Earth. A new method was proposed to assess GLOF hazard, in which large numbers of landslides triggered by earthquake were considered to enter into outburst floods enlarge the discharge and volume of debris flow in the downstream. Four GLOF hazard classes were derived according to glacial lake outburst potential and a flow magnitude assessment matrix, in which 11 glacial lakes were identified to have very high hazard and 24 to have high hazard. The GLOF hazard in BKB increased after the earthquake due to landslide deposits, which increased by 216.03 × 106 m3, and provides abundant deposits for outburst floods to evolve into debris flows. We suggest that in regional GLOF hazard assessment, small glacial lakes should not be overlooked for landslide deposit entrainment along a flood route that would increase the peak discharge, especially in earthquake-affected areas where large numbers of landslides were triggered. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF); debris flow; Bhote Koshi; landslides; Gorkha earthquake; hazard assessment glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF); debris flow; Bhote Koshi; landslides; Gorkha earthquake; hazard assessment
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Liu, M.; Chen, N.; Zhang, Y.; Deng, M. Glacial Lake Inventory and Lake Outburst Flood/Debris Flow Hazard Assessment after the Gorkha Earthquake in the Bhote Koshi Basin. Water 2020, 12, 464.

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