Factors controlling the accelerated expansion of Imja Lake, Mount Everest region, Nepal
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This study explores the link between area increase of Imja Tsho (Lake) and changes of Imja Glacier (area ∼25km2) under the influence of climate change using multitemporal satellite imagery and local climate data. Between 1962 and 2013, Imja Lake expanded from 0.03±0.01 to 1.35±0.05 km2 at a rate of 0.026±0.001 km2 a-1. The mean glacier-wide flow velocity was 37±30ma-1 during 1992-93 and 23±15ma-1 during 2013-14, indicating a decreasing velocity. A mean elevation change of -1.29±0.71ma-1 was observed over the lower part of the glacier in the period 2001-14, with a rate of -1.06±0.63ma-1 in 2001-08 and -1.56±0.80ma-1 in 2008-14. We conclude that the decrease in flow velocity is mainly associated with reduced accumulation due to a decrease in precipitation during the last few decades. Furthermore, glacier ablation has increased due to increasing maximum temperatures during the post-monsoon months. Decreased glacier flow velocities and increased mass losses induce the formation and subsequent expansion of glacial lakes under favourable topographic conditions.
Thakuri , S , Salerno , F , Bolch , T , Guyennon , N & Tartari , G 2016 , ' Factors controlling the accelerated expansion of Imja Lake, Mount Everest region, Nepal ' , Annals of Glaciology , vol. 57 , no. 71 , pp. 245-257 . https://doi.org/10.3189/2016AoG71A063
Annals of Glaciology
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