, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 913-936
Date: 12 Nov 2013

Assessment of potential outburst floods from the Tsho Rolpa glacial lake in Nepal

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Abstract

Flood and sediment disasters caused by glacial lake outbursts have occurred frequently in recent years in the Himalayas of Nepal. Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) can cause catastrophic flooding in downstream areas with serious damage to lives and property. It is thus important to investigate outburst floods from potentially dangerous glacial lakes. In this study, the characteristics of potential outburst floods from the Tsho Rolpa glacial lake due to two types of moraine dam failure caused by seepage flow or water overtopping were analyzed with various scenarios by using integrated modeling system of three numerical models: (1) the flow and bed-surface erosion model, (2) the seepage model and (3) the slope stability model. Flood inundation areas were also identified by using the numerical model of the flow and moraine dam failure and geographical information system tools. Possible threats and damages due to the potential GLOF events from the lake were also analyzed based on numerical results, flood inundation maps and field investigations.