Historical Glacial Lake Outburst Floods

Recent compilations of historical glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) across HMA document the occurrence of over fifty events with dates after 1990. For the majority of these events, however, little is currently known about meteorological forcing or environmental conditions leading up to the event. Using a variety of HMA team data sets and model outputs this effort seeks to characterize meteorological and environmental conditions in the run-up to each even to determine if robust threshold or triggering states can be identified. Are there robust rainfall intensity-duration thresholds, temperature thresholds, glacier degradation patterns, permafrost degradation, snow melt, etc. that can robustly separate non-events from observed GLOF events? If threshold states can be identified, we will then use new downscaled GCM data sets to explore how the exceedance probability of a particular state will change in the future.

Point of Contact: Scott McCoy