This paper investigates physical processes in the four sub-basins of Ngozumpa glacier’s terminal Spillway Lake for the period 2012–2014 in order to characterize lake deepening and mass transfer processes. Quantifying the growth and deepening of this terminal lake is important given its close vicinity to Sherpa villages down-valley. To this end, the following are examined: annual, daily and hourly temperature variations in the water column, vertical turbidity variations and water level changes and map lake floor sediment properties and lake floor structure using open water side-scan sonar transects. Roughness and hardness maps from sonar returns reveal lake floor substrates ranging from mud, to rocky debris and, in places, bare ice. Heat conduction equations using annual lake bottom temperatures and sediment properties are used to calculate bottom ice melt rates (lake floor deepening) for 0.01 to 1-m debris thicknesses. In areas of rapid deepening, where low mean bottom temperatures prevail, thin debris cover or bare ice is present. This finding is consistent with previously reported localized regions of lake deepening and is useful in predicting future deepening.
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