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Debris flow and outburst flood hazard in Tian Shan under impact of changing climate

English title Debris flow and outburst flood hazard in Tian Shan under impact of changing climate
Applicant Stoffel Markus
Number 152301
Funding scheme SCOPES
Research institution Institut des Sciences de l'Environnement Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.06.2014 - 30.11.2017
Approved amount 237'200.00
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Keywords (7)

Debris flow; mountains; climate change; natural hazards; Tian Shan; GLOF; Glacier

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Infolge des Klimawandels und der wärmeren Temperaturen schemlzen weltweit die meisten Gletscher Masse und geben so vormals eisbedeckte Gebiete frei. Im Tien Shan (Zentralasien) wurden in jüngerer Vergangheit vermehrt Massenbewegungen aus den nunmehr eisfreien Zonen beobachtet, teilweise haben sich auch neue Seen gebildet. Die Ausbildung neuer Seen kann bei ungenügender Stabilität der Dämme oder durch Massenbewegungen in den See auch zur Gefahr werden, die im Fall von Gletscherseeausbrüchen zu extremen Abflussspitzen führen kann. Infolge des weiteren Abschmelzens der Gletscher neue Seen bilden oder bestehende Seen an Grösse gewinnen. Das DEFenCC Projekt untersucht die bestehenden und Standorte möglicher künftiger Seen und interessiert sich für Gefahren und Risiken in deren Unterlauf.
Lay summary
Ein besseres Verständnis der aktuellen und künftigen Entwicklungen und Gefahren, welche von diesen Seen ausgehen, ist zentral, da nur vereinzelte Erkenntnisse zu Gletscherseeprozessen in der Region bestehen, da Spannungen um die Nutzung der Ressource Wasser einen Datenaustausch erschweren und die Bevölkerung in Zukunft noch vermehrt den sich ändernden Gefahren ausgesetzt sein dürften. Das DEFenCC Projekt betrachtet daher den Einfluss des Klimawandels auf die Seen, auf auslösende Niederschläge und die Reichweite und extreme Abflüsse künftiger Gletscherseefluten in Kirgistan und Usbekistan.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 26.04.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Avulsions and the spatio-temporal evolution of debris-flow fans
de Haas T., Densmore A.L., Stoffel M., Suwa H., Imaizumi F., Ballesteros-Cánovas J.A., Wasklewicz T. (2018), Avulsions and the spatio-temporal evolution of debris-flow fans, in Earth-Science Reviews, 177, 53-75.
Debris flows triggered from non-stationary glacier lake outbursts: the case of the Teztor Lake complex (Northern Tian Shan, Kyrgyzstan)
Erokhin S.A., Zaginaev V.V., Meleshko A.A., Ruiz-Villanueva V., Petrakov D.A., Chernomorets S.S., Viskhadzhieva K.S., Tutubalina O.V., Stoffel M. (2017), Debris flows triggered from non-stationary glacier lake outbursts: the case of the Teztor Lake complex (Northern Tian Shan, Kyrgyzstan), in Landslides, 1-16.
Glacial lake inventory and lake outburst potential in Uzbekistan
Petrov M.A., Sabitov T.Y., Tomashevskaya I.G., Glazirin G.E., Chernomorets S.S., Savernyuk E.A., Tutubalina O.V., Petrakov D.A., Sokolov L.S., Dokukin M.D., Mountrakis G., Ruiz-Villanueva V., Stoffel M. (2017), Glacial lake inventory and lake outburst potential in Uzbekistan, in Science of the Total Environment, 592, 228-242.
Re-establishing glacier monitoring in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Central Asia
Hoelzle M. Azisov E. Barandun M. Huss M. Farinotti D. Gafurov A. Hagg W. Kenzhebaev R., Kronenberg M. Machguth H. Merkushkin A. Moldobekov B. Petrov M. Saks T. Salzmann N., Schone T. Tarasov Y. Usubaliev R. Vorogushyn S. Yakovlev A. Zemp M. (2017), Re-establishing glacier monitoring in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Central Asia, in Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst. , 6, 397-418.
Accelerated glacier shrinkage in the Ak-Shyirak massif, Inner Tien Shan, during 2003–2013
Petrakov Dmitry, Shpuntova Alyona, Aleinikov Alexandr, Kääb Andreas, Kutuzov Stanislav, Lavrentiev Ivan, Stoffel Markus, Tutubalina Olga, Usubaliev Ryskul (2016), Accelerated glacier shrinkage in the Ak-Shyirak massif, Inner Tien Shan, during 2003–2013, in Science of The Total Environment , 562, 364-378.
Assessment of debris flow hazard in the Shakhimardan (Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan) transboundary basin based on remote sensing and field surveys
Chernomorets S.S. Savernyuk E.A. Viskhadzhieva K.S. Petrakov D.A. Petrov M.A.Erokhin S.A., Dokukin M.D. Tutubalina O.V. Glazirin G.E. Sokolov L.S.Shpuntova A.M. Stoffel M. (2016), Assessment of debris flow hazard in the Shakhimardan (Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan) transboundary basin based on remote sensing and field surveys, in UNSC RAS (ed.), UNSC RAS, Rostov-on-Don, 177-186.
Reconstruction of glacial lake outburst floods in northern Tien Shan: Implications for hazard assessment
Zaginaev Vitalii, Ballesteros-Canovas Juan A., Erokhin Sergey, Matov Ernis, Petrakov Dmitry, Stoffel Markus (2016), Reconstruction of glacial lake outburst floods in northern Tien Shan: Implications for hazard assessment, in Geomorphology, 269, 75-84.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Institute of Water Problems and Hydro Power Kyrgyzstan (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Institute of Environmental Sciences, Un Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Lomonosov Moscow State University Russia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Institute of Geology and Geophysics Academy Russia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Youth of XXI century in a scientific, cultural and educational environment: new values, challenges, perspectives. Proceedings of the international youth scientific conference Individual talk Remote sensing based monitoring: glacier changes in Alaarcha and Alamedin river basins in the Nothern Tien-Shan. 20.11.2017 Moscow, Russia Juan Antonio Ballesteros-Cánovas;
International scientific and practical conference “Debris flow safety: assessment, forecast, protection” Talk given at a conference Long-term changes of debris flow activity in Ferghana valley 22.08.2017 Almaty, Kazakstan Petrov Maxim;
Debris flow safety: assessment, forecast, protection Talk given at a conference Assessment of debris flow and outburst flood hazard in Tien Shan (Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) in the context of climate change: results of DEFenCC project 22.08.2017 Almaty, Kazakstan Juan Antonio Ballesteros-Cánovas; Tutubalina Olga; Erokhin Sergei; Petrov Maxim; Stoffel Markus;
International round table “Natural risks and hazards: prevention measures in the development of mountain territories” Talk given at a conference Debris flows and rock avalanches: scale and consequences of selected events in 20th-21st centuryin the mountains of Caucasus and Central Asia 05.05.2017 Vladikavkaz, Russia Tutubalina Olga;
Workshop on Risks, Risks and hazards in natural and urban environments under multiple stress factors, including climate change Talk given at a conference The role of moraine formation of Tien-Shan glaciers on the development of outbursting glacier lakes 21.03.2017 Riederalp, Switzerland Erokhin Sergei;
Workshop on Risks, Risks and hazards in natural and urban environments under multiple stress factors, including climate change Talk given at a conference Glacier lake outburst flood and debris flow reconstruction in northern Tien Shan 21.03.2017 Riederalp, Switzerland Stoffel Markus; Juan Antonio Ballesteros-Cánovas; Erokhin Sergei;
seminar-exhibition "Achievements of science and technology in the protection of territories and population in emergency situations" Individual talk Moraine and rock damed lakes of the Republic Uzbekistan, as a potential risk factor in the face of climate change. 28.02.2017 Tashkent, Uzbekistan Petrov Maxim;
“The Impact of Glaciers Melting on Water Resources in Central Asia in the Context of Climate Change” Talk given at a conference Databases and inventories of glacial lakes, climate fluctuations and debris flows: DEFenCC project 08.11.2016 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Petrov Maxim;
Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Debris Flows: Disasters, Risk, Forecast, Protection Talk given at a conference Debris flows in Alai Mountains and Kyrgyz Range: case studies of Shakhimardan and Aksay catchments 06.09.2016 Irkutsk, Russia Tutubalina Olga; Petrov Maxim; Erokhin Sergei; Stoffel Markus;
United Conference on Ecology, Economics and Informatics Talk given at a conference Assessment of debris flow hazard in the transboundary Shakhimardan catchment (Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan) through remote sensing and field data 04.09.2016 Dyurso, Russia Erokhin Sergei; Stoffel Markus; Tutubalina Olga; Petrov Maxim;
The Second All-Russian conference "Geography , society, environment" on the results of joint competitions of RFBR and the Russian Geographical Society Talk given at a conference The expedition "The Secret of the ice giant" (Inylchek glacier). 31.05.2016 Moscow, Russia Tutubalina Olga;
Interpraevent Poster Glacial lake outbursts flood reconstruction in the Northern Tien Shan: implications for hazard assessment. 30.05.2016 Luceren, Switzerland Juan Antonio Ballesteros-Cánovas; Stoffel Markus; Erokhin Sergei;
XVI Glaciological symposium "Past, Present and Future of the Earth Cryosphere" Talk given at a conference Evaluation of the surface albedo of glaciers in the Ak - Shiyrak massif (Inner Tien - Shan) 24.05.2016 St. Petersburg, Russia Tutubalina Olga;
Cryosphere Workshop From process understanding to impacts and adaptation Talk given at a conference Glacial lake outbursts flood and debris flow reconstruction in Northern Tien Shan (Kyrgyzstan) 17.05.2016 Riederalp, Switzerland Erokhin Sergei; Stoffel Markus;


Knowledge transfer events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
Stakeholder outreach event: presentation of DEFenCC results to the public 12.09.2017 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Abstract

As a result of ongoing climatic change, glaciers in most parts of the World are currently being affected by significant shrinkage and mass losses, with associated changes in the activity and/or severity of high-mountain mass-movement processes. The formation of glacier lakes and related occurrence of glacier lake outburst floods (or GLOF) is one such consequence of climate change and events are expected to increase in frequency and magnitude over the next few decades, with potential disastrous consequences for populations living downstream of high-mountain regions. The Tian Shan mountains in Central Asia have been identified as a significant “hotspot” of climate change impacts, not least in terms of future water availability and possible glacier-related disasters. Understanding the current and possible future evolution of these phenomena is challenging in the region because of (i) very limited existing scientific data, resulting in large uncertainties about the current and even more so about future risks of GLOF and related debris-flow phenomena; (ii) strategic interests with respect to water resources and associated uses that will likely lead to rivalries or conflicts, as well as (iii) expected increased vulnerability of local inhabitants or sensitive infrastructure to changing natural hazards and risks. The DEFenCC project therefore aims at improving the understanding of past and current GLOF and debris-flow processes in the Tian Shan mountains and to assess the impact of expected climate changes on their occurrence in terms of frequency and magnitude, but also in terms of risks for the local inhabitants. Based on retrospective analyses of GLOF and debris-flow processes and down-scaled climate predictions from regional climate models (CMIP5), changes of disposition and triggers (in terms of meteorological and climatic conditions leading to their release), DEFenCC will model the magnitude and frequency of potential future events in four vulnerable case-study regions of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan using coupled, physically-based models of lake impact, dam breach and flow propagation. Results are expected to contribute significantly to the overall understanding of climate change impacts on GLOF and debris-flow occurrences in mountain areas in general and will be of relevance for the region under investigation.
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