Mitigation Strategies for Risk Reduction at Imja lake, Nepal, by Daene McKinney

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Mitigation Strategies for Risk Reduction at Imja lake, Nepal, by Daene McKinney, University of Texas at Austin 

During 2011 to 2013, HiMAP completed three field expeditions to Imja Lake in the Nepal Himalaya. The purpose of these expeditions and follow-on analyses has been to quantify the risk of a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) from Imja Lake, the potential risk to downstream communities, and possible remedial measures to reduce that risk to an acceptable level. The studies that were performed include Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys of the terminal moraine and the Imja Glacier; a sonar bathymetric survey of the lake; and computer modeling of a potential GLOF from Imja Lake and downstream flooding.

Detailed GPR surveys were conducted at Imja Lake to increase understanding of the internal structure of the terminal moraine of the former glacier tongue at Imja Lake, and the distribution of ice in the core of the moraine. 

A sonar bathymetric survey was conducted at Imja Lake in September 2012.  The results suggest that the maximum depth of the lake has increased from 98 m to 116 m during 2002 to 2012, and that the estimated volume has grown from 35 million m3 to 63.8 million m3 during this period.  Most of the expansion of the lake in recent years has taken place in the glacier terminus/ lake interface to the east, now losing more than 200 m of glacial ice per year compared to previous estimates of 34 m/yr.

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Document Format: 
McKinney Imja Lake Mitigation
Workshop: 
Location: 
Nepal
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