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Inventory of glaciers, glacial lakes and glacial lake outburst floods: monitoring and early warning systems in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region, Bhutan

Source(s):  International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

There is still no detailed inventory of glaciers and glacial lakes, of glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) events or of potential GLOF sites, in the HKH region. These two publications are designed to start filling this gap. Supported by the United Nations Environment Programme Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (UNEP/RRC-AP), ICIMOD has used its expertise in the area of geographic information systems (GIS) to create a comprehensive inventory and GIS database of glaciers and glacial lakes in Nepal and Bhutan using available maps, satellite images, aerial photographs, reports, and field data on different scales. In Nepal, 3,252 glaciers were identified and 2,323 glacial lakes, of which 20 were considered potentially dangerous. In Bhutan, 677 glaciers were identified and 2,674 glacial lakes, of which 24 were considered potentially dangerous. These results will provide the basis for the planning and prioritisation of disaster mitigation efforts as well as a guide for infrastructure planning. They will help scientists, planners, and decision-makers in many areas, particularly water resources and land-use planning. The publications include a description of the methods used to identify glaciers, glacial lakes, and glacial lakes that may pose a threat; as well as an inventory (and maps) of the glaciers and glacial lakes in each country. The database and analysis are the first to cover the whole of the countries on a large scale.



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  • Inventory of glaciers, glacial lakes and glacial lake outburst floods: monitoring and early warning systems in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region, Bhutan
  • Publication date 2001
  • Author(s) Mool, Pradeep K.; Wangda, Dorji; Bajracharya, Samjwal R.; Kunzang, Karma; Gurung, Deo Raj; Joshi, Sharad P.
  • Number of pages 254 p.
  • ISBN/ISSN 9291153621

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