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Thermal and Physical Investigations into Lake Deepening Processes on Spillway Lake, Ngozumpa Glacier, Nepal

Science in the Wild, 40 S 35th St. Boulder, CO 80305, USA
Academic Editors: Daene C. McKinney and Alton C. Byers
Water 2017, 9(5), 362;
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Warming Impacts on Mountain Glaciers and Communities)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacier; lake; flood; melting; Nepal; Himalaya; Sherpas glacier; lake; flood; melting; Nepal; Himalaya; Sherpas

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Horodyskyj, U.N. Thermal and Physical Investigations into Lake Deepening Processes on Spillway Lake, Ngozumpa Glacier, Nepal. Water 2017, 9, 362.

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