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Article

Glacial Lake Evolution (1962–2018) and Outburst Susceptibility of Gurudongmar Lake Complex in the Tista Basin, Sikkim Himalaya (India)

1
Department of Geography, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong 793022, India
2
Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 00 Prague, Czech Republic
3
Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India
4
Department of Geography, School of Basic and Applied Sciences, Adamas University, Kolkata 700126, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexander Shiklomanov
Water 2021, 13(24), 3565; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243565
Received: 24 October 2021 / Revised: 26 November 2021 / Accepted: 8 December 2021 / Published: 13 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
The Sikkim Himalayan glaciers and glacial lakes are affected by climate change like other parts of the Himalayas. As a result of this climate variability in the Sikkim Himalaya, a detailed study of the Gurudongmar lake complex (GLC) evolution and outburst susceptibility assessment is required. Glacial lake volume estimation and lake outburst susceptibility assessment were carried out to reveal different characteristics for all four lakes (GL-1, GL-2, GL-3, and GL-4) from the lake complex. Each of these lakes has a moderate to very high potential to outburst. As the dam of GL-1 provides no retention capacity, there is a very high potential of a combined effect with the sudden failure of the moraine-dams of GL-2 or GL-3 located upstream. Temporal analysis of GLC using optical remote sensing data and in-field investigations revealed a rapidly increasing total lake area by ~74 ± 3%, with an expansion rate of +0.03 ± 0.002 km2 a−1 between 1962 and 2018 due to climate change and ongoing glacier retreat. The overall lake area expansion rates are dependent on climate-driven factors, and constantly increasing average air temperature is responsible for the enlargement of the lake areas. Simultaneously, changes in GLC expansion velocity are driven by changes in the total amount of precipitation. The deficit in precipitation probably triggered the initial higher rate from 1962 to 1988 during the winter and spring seasons. The post-1990s positive anomaly in precipitation might have reduced the rate of the glacial lake area expansion considerably. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacial lakes; moraine dams; GLOFs; climate change; Gurudongmar Tso; Sikkim; India; Eastern Himalayas glacial lakes; moraine dams; GLOFs; climate change; Gurudongmar Tso; Sikkim; India; Eastern Himalayas
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chowdhury, A.; Kroczek, T.; De, S.K.; Vilímek, V.; Sharma, M.C.; Debnath, M. Glacial Lake Evolution (1962–2018) and Outburst Susceptibility of Gurudongmar Lake Complex in the Tista Basin, Sikkim Himalaya (India). Water 2021, 13, 3565. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243565

AMA Style

Chowdhury A, Kroczek T, De SK, Vilímek V, Sharma MC, Debnath M. Glacial Lake Evolution (1962–2018) and Outburst Susceptibility of Gurudongmar Lake Complex in the Tista Basin, Sikkim Himalaya (India). Water. 2021; 13(24):3565. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243565

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chowdhury, Arindam, Tomáš Kroczek, Sunil K. De, Vít Vilímek, Milap C. Sharma, and Manasi Debnath. 2021. "Glacial Lake Evolution (1962–2018) and Outburst Susceptibility of Gurudongmar Lake Complex in the Tista Basin, Sikkim Himalaya (India)" Water 13, no. 24: 3565. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243565

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