• 1.png
  • 2.png
  • 3.png
  • 4.png
  • 5.jpg
  • 6.JPG
  • 7.JPG

Glacial hazards are of serious concern and have repeatedly been the cause of major fatal events with up to thousands of people killed in single events (Kääb et al., 2005). Particularly affected regions include the Himalayas and Central Asia (Agrawala et al., 2003; Richardson et al., 2003), Andes (Williams and Ferrigno, 1999) and Caucasus (Kotlyakov et al., 2002) mountains. Also in Europe glacier lake hazards are of relevance; this was investigated, for instance, in the EC FP-5 project GLACIORISK (Richard and Gay, 2004) and a number of other national or regional research projects.

Among glacier hazards, glacier lake outburst floods (GLOF) are especially devastating and represent the glacial threat with the farthest potential reach, up to hundred kilometers and more downstream of the glacier lake that burst out. Typically, glacier lake outbursts are a part of complex chain reactions and process interactions, for instance when sudden slope failures above a lake cause impact waves that trigger destabilization of a lake dam that would otherwise remained stable. In fact, severe disasters were caused in the past by outbursts from glacial lakes in various high-mountain regions of the world, including the Andes (Reynolds et al., 1998; Carey, 2005; Hegglin and Huggel, 2008), Caucasus and Central Asia (Narama et al., 2006; Aizen et al., 2007), the Himalayas (Vuichard and Zimmermann, 1987; Richardson and Reynolds, 2000; Xin et al., 2008), North America (Clague and Evans, 2000; Kershaw et al., 2005) and the European Alps (Haeberli, 1983; Haeberli et al., 2001). Glacial lakes can be classified into several types according to their position relative to the glacier, and the damming mechanism (Richardson and Reynolds, 2000; Clague and Evans, 2000; Roberts, 2005). The different lake types are more or less frequent in different regions of the world, depending on climatic, glaciological, topographic, geological and other factors.

Within the ESA S:GLA:MO (Slope Stability and Glacial Lake Monitoring) project we provide the organizations involved as users a service that addresses their need for information on glacial lakes, glacial lake extent and glacial lake extent change, with respect to GLOF, together with detection, monitoring and modelling of slope instabilities and glaciers adjacent to the glacier lakes of concern. We setup and demonstrate a service that allows to map, monitor and forecast glacial lakes based on various sources of EO data (including optical and SAR high and very-high resolution data) together with in-situ data and models.


External Community News:

  • TC - recent papers Apr 23, 2019 | 15:09 pm

    A long-term dataset of climatic mass balance, snow conditions and runoff in Svalbard (1957–2018)Ward van Pelt, Veijo Pohjola, Rickard Pettersson, Sergey Marchenko, Jack Kohler, Bartek[…]

    Read more...
  • TC - recent papers Apr 23, 2019 | 15:09 pm

    Modeling the Evolution of the Structural Anisotropy of SnowSilvan Leinss, Henning Löwe, Martin Proksch, and Anna KontuThe Cryosphere Discuss., https//doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-63,2019Manuscript under review for TC (discussion:[…]

    Read more...
  • TC - recent papers Apr 18, 2019 | 15:09 pm

    Estimating the snow depth, the snow–ice interface temperature, and the effective temperature of Arctic sea ice using Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 andice mass balance buoy[…]

    Read more...
  • ESA Observing the Earth Apr 12, 2019 | 13:38 pm

    Getting ready to chart sea level Records show that, on average, global sea level rose by 3.2 mm a year between 1993 and 2018, but hidden within this average is the[…]

    Read more...
  • ESA Observing the Earth Apr 8, 2019 | 15:10 pm

    Glaciers lose nine trillion tonnes of ice in half a century When we think of climate change, one of the first things to come to mind is melting polar ice. However, ice loss isn’t just restricted[…]

    Read more...
  • ESA Observing the Earth Apr 5, 2019 | 11:00 am

    Aeolus well on the way to improving forecasts Assessing the accuracy of data being returned by completely new technology in space is a challenging task. But this is exactly what engineers and scientists[…]

    Read more...