The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key hub for trade, is susceptible to glacial lake outburst floods. The distributions and types of glacial lakes in the CPEC are not well documented. In this study, cloud-free imagery acquired using the Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager during 2016–2018 was used to delineate the extent of glacial lakes in the mountainous terrain of the CPEC. In the study domain, 1341 glacial lakes (size ≥ 0.01 km2
) with a total area of 109.76 ± 9.82 km2
were delineated through the normalized difference water index threshold method, slope analysis, and a manual rectification process. On the basis of the formation mechanisms and characteristics of glacial lakes, four major classes and eight subclasses of lakes were identified. In all, 492 blocked lakes (162 end moraine-dammed lakes, 17 lateral moraine-dammed lakes, 312 other moraine-dammed lakes, and 1 ice-blocked lake), 723 erosion lakes (123 cirque lakes and 600 other erosion lakes), 86 supraglacial lakes, and 40 other glacial lakes were identified. All lakes were distributed between 2220 and 5119 m a.s.l. At higher latitudes, the predominate lake type changed from moraine-related to erosion. From among the Gez, Taxkorgan, Hunza, Gilgit, and Indus basins, most glacial lakes were located in the Indus Basin. The number and area of glacial lakes were larger on the southern slopes of the Karakoram range.
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