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Failing Glacier causes Damage
12

Failing Glacier causes Damage

Failing Glacier causes Damage

(OP)
From CTV News, "Indian authorities launched a search operation Sunday after part of a Himalayan glacier broke, sending a massive flood of water and debris slamming into two dams and damaging a number of homes. At least nine people were killed and 140 were missing."

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

I think this is less of an engineering failure and more a wrath from God as per your signature. winky smile

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

(OP)
maybe caused by man?

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

There were clear warnings of glaciers melting/breaking and polar ice melting etc. attributable to climate change from the environmentalists. So, it is definitely man made.
There is urgency but we only are not willing to listen.

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

4
So, why is this different than all the other times ice breaks off a glacier?

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

and absolutely nothing to do with construction in the area?

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

mud flows and debris floods happen quite often in the Himalayas, its nothing new

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

I'd say that the engineering failure is a lack of design for the geohazards in the area. There are many examples of infrastructure being placed in the path of low probability, but high consequence hazards. It's a relatively easy mistake to make due to the large return period of such events. As Dik alluded to, some of these geohazards might be changing with our climate.

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

The Himalayas are just giant upthrust piles of alluvium. When I trekked the Annapurna circuit back in 1996, during the dry season (October), one heard landslides in back canyons on a daily basis. I watched a couple from rest and lodging stops along the way. It is currently the 'Wet Trekking' season in the Himalaya, when it is warm enough to trek but..., wet. So, it is basically avalanche season. Part of a glacier losing its hold on crumbling ground is not an unexpected event in the Himalayas by any means.

If you cross a dried creek or river bed and it is mostly dirt, then the deposit is recent and will eventually be back to being a rock cobbled riverbed once more water washes the dirt away. Occasionally, one must traverse recent slides. On those occasions, one has to stop and think about whether their trek, on that day, was overtaken by a Ox train. Ox train tested landslides are more comforting than otherwise. The trickle of pebbles from above, as you traverse the landslides are less disconcerting, when the oxen have gone before you.

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

(OP)

Quote (and absolutely nothing to do with construction in the area?)


It doesn't have to deal with construction... only has to be a disaster... the union of engineering failures AND disasters...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

(OP)

Quote (So, why is this different than all the other times ice breaks off a glacier?)


possibly the large number of fatalities (and not penguins) associated with it.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

I don't know whether engineers or someone else, perhaps politicians, decided to dam the canyon, but it was a poor and ultimately disastrous decision.

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

epoxybot,
Your experience with Annapurna circuit trek is interesting. Thanks for sharing.
You said "Part of a glacier losing its hold on crumbling ground is not an unexpected event in the Himalayas by any means." I am surprised as in last so many decades I haven't heard such a major incident in Himalayas. There were warnings from experts but that's it.
Don't you think the incident may have something to do with the global warming and melting of ice etc.??

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

(OP)
It may happen, but there is no infrastructure to take advantage of it...bigsmile

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

RRaghunath - Today, I read a more informative news story on the glacier collapse and thought about my post. I'm still not sure whether I would rescind my comment about a glacier losing its grip. Most of my landslide crossings were on the ascent portion of the Annapurna circuit. My descent from Thorang-La Pass was toward Muktinath, which is drier, (mountain rain shadow effect?). Today there are four lodging options just before the pass. When I trekked the circuit, there was just one, water was rationed and tasted like diesel fuel from the drums it was stored in.

I would have to find my diary for the location but I recall on a one day stop over, on the ascent, when a group decided to hike to a lake at the base of a glacier and were rewarded with a calving. Those of us who chose to stay at our guest house and just enjoy the warmth of the sun and a languorous shower, free of a line of people waiting their turn for 5 gallons of hot water, did observe a rising telltale cloud indication as to some slide activity.

Unless there is more large glacier collapses in the near future, I'm not prepared to claim Climate Change is the cause. I'm more inclined to believe soil failure from drainage is a more frequent & thus likely cause. The Annapurna Trek ascends & descends through climate zones and while on my descent, I passed through an area where an entire village, its people and some travelers, save for a few hovels, had been wiped from existence, the previous spring by a muddy landslide.

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

Clear, Epoxybot! Thanks.

RE: Failing Glacier causes Damage

5
Well yes, almost certainly it was caused by lack of drainage of melting ice, snow, or excessive rain. That is precisely what causes landslides, just as high storm tides cause beach erosion and excessive rains cause flooding. None of which prove, or disprove, climate change when taken as isolated events. Nor does it need to, as there is a plethora of other evidence that assures us that it is. There are plenty of glaciers at high elevations that have been steadily melting for the last 30+ years. It matters little to the greater scheme of things whether this is one of those, or not, or if anyone considers this incident as more, none, or less evidence of their personal belief. Still almost nothing remaining of the former glaciers on Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (5775m 19,000ft Colombia). I've been watching it steadily disappear since 1986. 92% of the previous 100 some square miles of glaciers .. gone. Hard to explain that without believing that the temperatures there are rising, no matter what you want to call the reason for it. Nor does the mountain care.

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