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Modelling evolution of a large, glacier-fed lake in the Western Indian Himalaya

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Article number1840
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Scientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this study, we simulated the evolution of a large glacier-fed lake called the Gepan Gath lake located in Western Himalayas by numerically modelling the evolution of the Gepan Gath glacier that feeds the lake. Due to the extremely large volume and steep lake sidewalls, the lake has been classified as 'critical' or prone to hazards such as lake outburst floods in the future, by various scientific investigations. This modelling was carried out by a 1D model that is based on the principle of mass conservation. The 1D model was forced with the glacier surface mass balance (SMB). Due to non-availability of published in-situ estimates, the SMB was estimated using an energy balance-based model on station derived and reanalysis derived meteorological data. Modelled glacier length fluctuations for over 134 years matched reasonably well with that of observed within the RMSE error ~ 320 m. In addition to that, between 2004 and 2019, the modelled and observed lake lengths were in agreement with each other with the RMSE ~ 110 m. Modelled glacier lake lengths also match well with published, satellite imagery derived lengths within 15% uncertainty. The uncertainty in future lake length fluctuations is within 100-200 m. Our ultimate aim is to show that numerical ice-flow modelling can be an asset in modelling glacier-fed lake evolution even in the case of highly data-sparse regions of the IHR. [Abstract copyright: © 2023. The Author(s).]