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Hydrology 2019, 6(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6010003

Development of a Potentially Hazardous Pro-Glacial Lake in Aksay Valley, Kyrgyz Range, Northern Tien Shan

1
Institute of Water Problems and Hydropower, National Academy of Science, 720033 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
2
Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Charles University, 128 43 Prague, Czechia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 25 December 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 1 January 2019
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Abstract

Debris flows caused by glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) are common hazards in mountain environments. The risk posed by glacial lake outburst hazards is particularly evaluated where the lower reaches of catchments are populated. A potentially dangerous lake has been identified adjacent to the Uchitel Glacier in Northern Tien Shan. This lake formed between 1988 and 1994 on the site of a retreated glacier in the upper part of the Aksay Valley. In this study we consider the possibility of an outburst of this pro-glacial lake in the future. The study involved bathymetry mapping of the lake, detailed profile sections of the valley, flow rate measurements on the Aksay river, and monitoring of the lake development using satellite images. Modelling of secondary debris flow inundation heights and hazard footprints has been undertaken. The outburst of this lake could cause powerful debris flows posing a threat to permanent residents living downstream, in the Ala-Archa Valley. Monitoring of the lake over the past ten years suggests certain changes in the runoff to the subsurface, and an increase in lake depth is observed. Glacial lakes with subsurface drainage are considered to be the most hazardous type as the knowledge of drainage channels functioning is still very limited and, thus, the timing of an outburst is hard to predict. Development of monitoring approaches to support forecasting of these hazards is of paramount importance to safety in mountain territories globally. View Full-Text
Keywords: pro-glacial lake; glacier retreat; Aksay Valley; Uchitel Glacier; GLOF; debris flow pro-glacial lake; glacier retreat; Aksay Valley; Uchitel Glacier; GLOF; debris flow
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Zaginaev, V.; Falatkova, K.; Jansky, B.; Sobr, M.; Erokhin, S. Development of a Potentially Hazardous Pro-Glacial Lake in Aksay Valley, Kyrgyz Range, Northern Tien Shan. Hydrology 2019, 6, 3.

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