• ICIMOD publication


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Inventory of glacial lakes and identification of potentially dangerous glacial lakes in the Koshi, Gandaki, and Karnali river basins of Nepal, the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, and India

  • Samjwal Ratna Bajracharya
  • Sudan Bikash Maharjan
  • Finu Shrestha
  • Tenzing Chogyal Sherpa
  • Nisha Wagle
  • Arun Bhakta Shrestha
  • Summary

Glaciers in the Himalaya have been melting at an unprecedented rate since the mid-20th century, impacting flow regimes in major associated river basins. The resultant formation of new lakes and the expansion of existing glacial lakes increase glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) risks. The present report provides an update on the status and changes in the number and area of glacial lakes in the Koshi, Gandaki, and Karnali river basins, along with a detailed methodology for the identification of critical glacial lakes in remote and inaccessible mountain terrain using remote sensing tools and technologies. Based on the information made available, hazard assessment and mitigation work could be implemented to secure the lives and livelihoods of mountain and downstream communities.



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  • Publisher Name:
    International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Publisher Place:
    Kathmandu, Nepal