Natural Hazards

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 145–154 | Cite as

Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in the Nepal Himalaya: A Manageable Hazard?

  • Richard Kattelmann
Article

Abstract

Within the past fifteen years, glacial lake outburst floods have become an activetopic of discussion within the development community focused on Nepal. Suchfloods endanger thousands of people, hundreds of villages, and basic infrastructuresuch as trails and bridges. The flood risk is also a major impediment to hydroelectricdevelopment in several river basins. Unlike most other mountain hazards in Nepal,reducing the possibility of outburst floods is technically feasible. The first attemptwithin Nepal to reduce the hazard of one lake by artificially lowering its water levelwas partially completed in June 2000. Completing this task and beginning work onother hazardous lakes will require difficult decisions about risk by downstream residentsand substantial investment from the international aid community.

outburst floods glacial lakes glaciers Himalaya Nepal hazard mitigation 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Kattelmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Watershed Management CouncilMammoth LakesUSA; E-mail

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