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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Monitoring Glacial Lakes

Monitoring Glacial Lakes

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, January 21, 2018/Categories: natural history, video, sustainability, environment, adventure , climate change

                  Imja Lake and Glacier in Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal  (credit: Wikipedia)

Glacial lakes are good indicators of environmental change and research at Mount Everest is producing important new results. The High Mountains Adaptation Partnership has been investigating Imja Lake in Nepal's Sagarmatha National Park for most of a decade. The research aims to better understand the threat to people living downstream if the rock-damed lake were to collapse and produce a major flood.

According to field investigators, the first aquatic (bathymetric) survey of the glacial lake has revealed it holds nearly twice the volume of water as was previously estimated. The team also conducted the first ground-penetrating radar survey of the lake's terminal moraine revealing a previously unknown ice core. Risk-modeling and management scenarios have been created to inform local communities and provide mitigations at the moraine to reduce the risk of collapse. A video illustrates the difficult research being conducts over 16,000 feet (5,000 meters) in the Himalayas:


As climates warm and weather patterns change across mountains worldwide, glacial studies such as these will becoming increasingly critical.

WHB

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