Chinese Geographical Science

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 39–47

Critical hydrologic conditions for overflow burst of moraine lake

  • Jiang Zhong-xin 
  • Cui Peng 
  • Jiang Liang-wei 


Floodwater and debris flow caused by glacial lake burst is an important land process and a serious mountain disaster in glacial area of Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region, and the overflow burst is mainly caused by glacial landslide falling into moraine lake. On the premise that moraine lake is full, instantaneous burst in part of the lake bank happens, as flow velocity at burst mouth caused by overflow head is higher than threshold flow velocity of glacial till. Under some supposes, d90 and d10 of the glacial till in the bank were used as the threshold sizes of coarse and fine grains respectively. Thus, the formula of calculating threshold flow velocity of uniform sand was simplified, and threshold flow velocity of glacial till was calculated with the formula. Then, with synthesis formula calculating flow velocity of instantaneous part burst, flow velocity at overflow burst mouth was calculated, and calculation formula of critical height (H0) of overflow head was derived. Overflow head was caused by volume and surge of glacial landslide falling into moraine lake, calculation formulas of ascendant height (H1) of lake water surface and surge height (H2) on burst mouth caused by glacial landslide falling into moraine lake were derived. To sum up, critical hydrologic conditions of moraine lake burst with overflow form are: the burst is inevitable as H1>H0; the burst is possible as H1<H0 and (H1+H2)>H0; the burst is impossible as (H1+H2)<H0. In the factors influencing the burst critical conditions, it is advantageous for the burst that scale of the lake is 105m2 range; terminal glacial till is more fine and is even more uniform; the width of overflow mouth is even smaller than the length of the bank; the landslide has large scale and steep slip surface; and glacial end is close to the lake. With burst of Guangxiecuo Lake in Midui Valley of the Polongzangbu River in Xizang as an example, the burst critical conditions were tested.

Key Words

moraine lake terminal moraine bank overflow burst critical height of overflow head glacial landslide Guangxiecuo Lake 

CLC number

P343 TV641 


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Copyright information

© Science Press 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiang Zhong-xin 
    • 1
  • Cui Peng 
    • 2
  • Jiang Liang-wei 
    • 3
  1. 1.The No.2 Survey and Design Institute of Ministry of RailwayChengduP. R. China
  2. 2.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduP. R. China
  3. 3.Southwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduP. R. China

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