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The evolution of Petrov lake and moraine dam rupture risk (Tien-Shan, Kyrgyzstan)

by Bohumír Janský, Zbyněk Engel, Miroslav Šobr, Vojtěch Beneš, Karel Špaček, Serguei Yerokhin
Natural Hazards ()

Abstract

An interdisciplinary study of glacier-related hazards in the Petrov lake region (Ak-Shiirak Range, the Inner Tien-Shan, Kyrgyzstan) has been undertaken to identify potential dangers to the area. A cooperative effort from experts in the fields of hydrology, glaciology, geomorphology and geophysics has been employed in this study. For the hazard assessment, evolution of the Petrov glacier and lake was reconstructed using historical reports, aerial photographs and satellite images. Geomorphological mapping and geophysical soundings was applied to the lake territory and the moraine dam. This has identified potentially hazardous areas of the dam including subsurface drainage zones and cracks that could cause a sudden extremely high discharge. In the past three decades, the Petrov lake has doubled in size, while in recent years, its area has been increasing by more than 92,000 square metres per year. Although there is no evidence for an imminent outburst, the dramatic increase in the lake's size emphasizes the importance of this study.

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