Tracing past glacial floods in Kangchenjunga

Updated: Sep 20, 2020

Satellite imagery is useful, but involving local people in research can often help fill gaps in research of glacial floods

By Dr. Alton C Byers

Glacial lake outburst floods are highly destructive events, usually caused when stored lake water is suddenly released by a triggering event that can include moraine dam failure, snow and debris avalanches, as well as heavy rainfall.

There have been at least 26 major glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) events in Nepal that we know of, most having occurred since the 1960s and onset of global warming trends, receding glaciers, and new glacial lake formation.