Study by IIT-Kanpur & Ministry of Science & Technology may help to mitigate glacial lake outbursts

IIT-K's team has suggested that efforts to alleviate future GLOF incidences should include the formation of a network of satellite-based monitoring stations.

Back in February 2021, Uttarakhand's Chamoli made news when a colossal glacier burst in the Tapovan region and consequently, the incident triggered a devastating flood. Consequently, this calamity claimed lives and the rationale behind its occurrence, includes expeditious exploitation of the region's natural resources and climate change, amid others.

To avoid this mishap once again, IIT-Kanpur along with the Ministry of Science and Technology has conducted a study on how the satellite-based real-time monitoring of the Himalayan glacial catchments would improve understanding of flood risks in the region. This would further alarm the concerned department of an early flood, that could help curb disasters and save lives.


Study stands published in 'Science', an international journal

The study was conducted by Dr. Tanuj Shukla and Prof. Indra Sekhar Sen, Associate Professor from IIT Kanpur and it was backed by the Department of Science & Technology. Now, it stands published in 'Science', which is an international journal.

The authors of the research, stated, "The integration of monitoring devices with satellite networks will not only provide telemetry support in remote locations that lack complete cellular connectivity but will also provide greater connectivity in coverage in the cellular dead zones in extreme topographies such as valleys, cliffs, and steep slopes."

A study carried out by IIT Kanpur, further mentioned, "This should be the future strategy to reduce loss of human lives during glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF)." Additionally, IIT-K's team has suggested that efforts to alleviate future GLOF incidences should include the formation of a network of satellite-based monitoring stations, that could provide in situ and real-time data on GLOF risks.

Knock Knock

The Himalayan region is aptly termed as earth's 'Third Pole' because it is home to the largest ice mass outside of the planet's polar regions. But the glaciers are facing a meltdown at a speedy rate because of commercialisation and rapid urbanisation, which in turn is triggering climate change and so on. The melting process results in several new lakes and the expansion of the existing ones. This further pushes the region into the clutches of increased natural hazards, including GLOFs.

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