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Geo-hydrological database modeling for integrated multiple hazards and risk assessment in Lesser Himalaya: a GIS-based case study

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Abstract

The main objective of the study was to assess the integrated multiple hydrological hazards and their environmental and socio-economic risks in Himalaya through geographical information system (GIS) and database management system (DBMS). The Dabka Watershed constitutes a part of the Kosi Basin in the Kumaun Lesser Himalaya has been selected for the case illustration. The Dabka DBMS is constituted of three GIS modules, that is, geo-informatics, hydro-informatics and hazard-informatics. Through the integration and superimposing of these modules prepared Hydrological Hazard Index to identify the level of vulnerability for existing hydrological hazards and their socio-economic and environmental risks. The results suggested that geo-environmentally most stressed barren land areas have high rate of runoff, flood magnitude, erosion sediment load and denudation during rainy season particularly in the month of August (i.e., respectively, 84.56 l/s/km2, 871.80 l/s/km2, 78.60 t/km2 and 1.21 mm/year), which accelerates high hazards and their socio-economic and environmental risks, whereas geo-environmentally least stressed dense forest areas experience low rate of stream runoff, flood magnitude, erosion sediment load and denudation in the same season and month (i.e., respectively, 20.67 l/s/km2, 58.12 l/s/km2, 19.50 t/km2 and 0.20 mm/year) comparatively have low hazards and their socio-economic and environmental risks. The other frazzled geo-environment that also found highly vulnerable for natural hazards and their risks is agricultural land due to high stream runoff, flood magnitude, erosion sediment load and denudation rates (i.e., respectively, 53.15 l/s/km2, 217.95 l/s/km2, 90.00 t/km2 and .92 mm/year). This makes it necessary to take up an integrated and comprehensive sustainable land use policy for the entire Himalaya region based on the scientific interpretation of the crucial linkages between land use and hydrological hazards, that is, floods, erosion, landslides during rainy season and drought due to dry-up of natural springs and streams during summer season. The study would help the village, district and state development authority to formulate decision support system for alternate planning and management for the Himalaya region.

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Acknowledgments

This study constitutes part of multidisciplinary project, Department of Science and Technology (D.S.T.) Gov. of India, No.ES/11/599/01 Dated 27/05/2005, “Geo-environmental Appraisal of the Dabka Watershed, Kumaun Lesser Himalaya, District Nainital: A Model Study for Sustainable Development” funded to Prof. Charu C. Pant, Head Department of Geology Kumaun University Nainital. Dr. Pradeep K. Goswami, Department of Geology, Kumaun University Nainital and Dr. P. K. Joshi IIRS-Dehradun helped in GIS analysis for which authors indebted to them. Thanks to Shri M.S. Bargali, project assistant helped during the intensive field work.

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Correspondence to Pradeep K. Rawat.

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Rawat, P.K., Tiwari, P.C. & Pant, C.C. Geo-hydrological database modeling for integrated multiple hazards and risk assessment in Lesser Himalaya: a GIS-based case study. Nat Hazards 62, 1233–1260 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-012-0144-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-012-0144-2

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