JDR Vol.5 No.3 pp. 264-273
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2010.p0264


Field Assessment of Tam Pokhari Glacial Lake Outburst Flood in Khumbu Region, Nepal

Rabindra Osti*, Shinji Egashira**, Katsuhito Miyake*,
and Tara Nidhi Bhattarai***

*International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management, Public Works Research Institute, Minamihara 1-6, Tsukuba 305-8516, Japan

**NEWJEC Inc., 2-3-20 Honjo-Higashi, Kita-ku, Osaka 531-0074, Japan

***Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University, Ghantaghar, Kathmandu, Nepal

April 5, 2010
April 30, 2010
June 1, 2010
climate change, Himalaya, GLOF, sediment flow, impact, adaptation
The Tam Pokhari glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in the Mount Everest region of Nepal is described primarily based on field observations by a survey team studying GLOF transmission areas and flood impact along the Inkhu River. An estimated accumulation of 18 billion cubic meters of water was suddenly released down the Inkhu River when a Tam Pokhari glacial lake moraine dam was breached. Field data suggests that the downstream flow consisted of massive sediment erosion and deposition resulting from bed slope changes and flow width and that river channel morphology was dramatically changed by this GLOF. As a consequence, the characteristics of GLOF changed drastically in downstream areas, resulting in infrastructures damage. In addition, the GLOF created numerous debris fans now occupied by settlements, especially tourism-based industries.
Cite this article as:
R. Osti, S. Egashira, K. Miyake, and T. Bhattarai, “Field Assessment of Tam Pokhari Glacial Lake Outburst Flood in Khumbu Region, Nepal,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.5 No.3, pp. 264-273, 2010.
Data files:
  1. [1] P. Bagla, “No sign yet of Himalayan meltdown – Indian report finds,” Science, Vol.326, No.5955, pp. 924-925, 2009.
  2. [2] B. Bajracharya, A. B. Shrestha, and L. Rajbhandari, “Mountain Research and Development,” Vol.27, No.4, pp. 336-344, 2007.
  3. [3] S. R. Bajracharya, P. K. Mool, and B. R. Shrestha, “Global climate change and melting of Himalayan glaciers, Melting Glaciers and Rising sea levels: Impacts and implications,” Ranade PS (Ed.), The Icfai’s University Press, India, pp. 28-46.
  4. [4] M. Beniston, H. F. Diaz, and R. S. Bradley, “Climate change at high elevations sites: an overview,” Climatic Change, Vol.36, pp. 233-252, 1997.
  5. [5] P. Bohorquez and S. E. Darby, “The use of one- and two-dimensional hydraulic modelling to reconstruct a glacial outburst flood in a steep Alpine valley,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol.361(3-4), pp. 240-261, 2008.
  6. [6] H. Breien, F. V. D. Blasio, A. Elverhφi, and K. Hφeg, “Erosion and morphology of a debris flow caused by a glacial lake outburst flood, Western Norway,” Landslides, Vol.5, No.3, pp. 271-280, 2008.
  7. [7] L. J. Carrivick, “Application of 2D hydrodynamic modeling to highmagnitude outburst floods: An example from Kverkfjöll, Iceland,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol.321, pp. 187-199, 2006.
  8. [8] J. J. Clague and S. G. Evan, “A review of catastrophic drainage of moraine-dammed lakes in British Columbia,” Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol.19 (17-18), pp. 1763-1783, 2000.
  9. [9] S. Egashira, N. Honda, and T. Itoh, “Experimental study on the entrainment of bed material into debris flow,” Phys. Chem. Earth (C), Vol.26, No.9, pp. 645-650, 2001.
  10. [10] Forest Service, “Outburst floods at Tulsequah glaciers, northwestern British Columbia,” Forest Sciences Extension Note 43, Forest Service British Columbia, Canada, 2000.
  11. [11] W. Haeberli, M. Hoelzle, F. Paul, and M. Zemp, “Integrated monitoring of mountain glaciers as key indicators of global climate change: the European Alps,” Annals of Glaciology, Vol.46, No.1, pp. 150-160, 2007.
  12. [12] W. Haeberli, “Frequency and characteristics of glacier floods in the Swiss Alps,” Annals of glaciology, Vol.4, pp. 85-90, 1983.
  13. [13] M. Hambrey and J. Alean, “Glaciers,” 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2004.
  14. [14] K. Hewitt, “Natural dams and outburst floods of the Karakoram Himalaya,” Proc. of Hydrological Aspects of Alpine and High Mountain Areas, the Exeter Symposium, IAHS Publ., No.138, pp. 259-269, 1982.
  15. [15] E. Hood, G. Eckert, S. Nagorski, and C. Talus, “Assessment of coastal water resources and watershed conditions at Klondike Gold Rush national historical park, Alaska,” Technical Report NPS/NRWRD/NRTR-2006/349, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Fort Collins, USA, 2006.
  16. [16] C. Huggel, W. Haeberli, A. Kääb, D. Bieri, and S. Richardson, “An assessment procedure for glacial hazards in the Swiss Alps,” Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol.41, pp. 1068-1083, 2004.
  17. [17] M. Huss, M. Funk, and A. Ohmura, “Strong Alpine glacier melt in the 1940s due to enhanced solar radiation,” Geophysical Research Letters, Vol.36, L23501, doi:10.1029/2009GL040789, 2009.
  18. [18] L. Jingshi and Y. Fukushima, “Recent change and prediction of glacier dammed lake outburst floods from Kunmalik River in southern Tien Shan, China,” Proc. of IUGG 99 Symposium HIS, Brimingham, IAHS Publication, 255, 1999.
  19. [19] M. Khandekar, “Has the ipcc exaggerated adverse impact of global warming on human societies?” Energy & Environment, Vol.19, No.5, pp. 713-719, 2008.
  20. [20] A. Kääb, J. M. Reynolds, and W. Haeberli, “Glacier and permafrost hazards in high mountains,” Global Change and Mountain Regions-A State of Knowledge Overview, Huber UM, Bugmann HKM, Reasoner MA (Eds.), Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 225-234, 2005.
  21. [21] NASA-The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, “Current GISS Global Surface Temperature Analysism,” GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) Surface Temperature Analysis, NASA, 2010.
  22. [22] R. Osti and S. Egashira, “Hydrodynamic characteristics of the Tam Pokhari Glacial Lake outburst flood in the Mt. Everest region, Nepal,” Hydrological Processes, Vol.23, No.20, pp. 2943-2955, 2009.
  23. [23] A. Post and L. R. Mayo, “Glacier dammed lakes and outburst floods in Alaska,” Hydrologic Investigations Atlas HA-455, Department of The Interior United States Geological Survey, USA, 1971.
  24. [24] RESTEC-Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan, ALOS product and services, 2008.
    [accessed 16 September 2009]
  25. [25] V. K. Raina, “Himalayan Glaciers: a state-of-art rerview of glacial studies,” Discussion Paper, Geological Survey of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests, New Delhi, India, 2009.
  26. [26] ScienceDaily, Glaciers Are Melting Faster Than Expected, UN Reports, 2008.
    [Accessed 14 September 2009]
  27. [27] UNEP-United Nations Environmental Programme, “Glacial lake outburst flood monitoring and early warning system,”,
    [Retrieved 2010-01-11, 2001].
  28. [28] UNEP-United Nations Environmental Programme, “Global outlook for ice and snow,” United Nations Environmental Programme, Nairobi, Kenya, 2007.
  29. [29] Wekipedia, Glacial lake outburst flood, 2010.
    [Retrieved January 11, 2010]
  30. [30] D. Xu and Q. Feng, “Dangerous glacier lakes and their outburst features in the Tibetan Himalaya,” Bulletin of Glacier Research, Vol.12, pp. 1-8, 1994.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Jul. 19, 2024