Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2009, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (7): 782-790.doi: 10.11821/xb200907002

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Hazard Assessment of Moraine-dammed Lake Outburst Floods in the Himalayas, China

WANG Xin1, 2,  LIU Shiyin1, GUO Wanqin1,  YU Fengchun1,  XU Junli1   

  1. 1. Department of Geography, Hunan University of Science & Technology, Xiangtan 411201, Hunan, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Science, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2008-12-25 Revised:2009-05-15 Online:2009-07-25 Published:2009-07-25
  • Supported by:

    Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX2-YW-Q03-04); National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40801025; No.40801030; National Basic Work Program of Chinese MST (Glacier Inventory of China II), No.2006FY110200; The Special Trade Project for Commonweal of Water Resources, No.200701046


With climate warming, Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) are increasingly threatening people and property, which has been intensively studied worldwide. This paper takes the Himalayas region of China as the study area, where the GLOFs have frequently occurred during the past decades. The 143 potentially dangerous glacier lakes were first identified by six indexes in the study area. Then, the probabilities of three types of possible breaching modes (i.e. ice avalanche, glacier slide, ice-core melting) were quantitatively graded on the basis of the criteria of the probabilities of moraine-dammed lake breaching modes. Breach probabilities of the 143 potentially dangerous glacier lakes were further calculated by means of decision-making trees methods.

Key words: moraine-dammed lake, identification of dangerous glacier lakes, breach probability, Himalayas, China