(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2010)

Document title

Ice-dammed lakes and outburst floods, Karakoram Himalaya : historical perspectives on emerging threats

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

HEWITT K. (1) ; LIU J. (2) ;
(1) Cold Regions Research Center, Wilfrid Laurier Univ., Ontario, Waterloo, CANADA
(2) Inst. of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, CHINE


The largest glacier impoundments in the Karakoram Himalaya are by ice dams formed where tributary glaciers block main rivers. These can cause outburst floods that spread destruction far through the mountains and into the lowlands. More than 90 out-bursts from impoundments behind such dams have been identified. This paper summarizes the behavior and current status of advances of more than a dozen glaciers with histories of large impoundments. Recent developments are assessed in relation to historical records and the Karakoram glacier environment. Destructive outburst floods have already occurred on the Yarkand and may be imminent on the Indus. Problems of predicting dangerous outbursts are outlined, uncertainties raised by limited and mainly older investigations. Implications of global climate change appear different for these hazards in this region


Article of periodic

published at : Physical geography / ISSN 0272-3646

Editor : Taylor & Francis, Abingdon - ROYAUME-UNI (1980)

Millesime : 2010, vol. 31, no6 [pp. 528-551]

Bibliographic references : 3 p.

Collation : 6 fig., 6 tabl.



INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 20106

Digital Object Identifier

Go to electronic document thanks to its DOI : doi:10.2747/0272-3646.31.6.528

Tous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2011
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