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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-252
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-252
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  23 Oct 2020

23 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Water storage and drainage of short-lived lakes in the Teskey Range, Central Asia

Mirlan Daiyrov1,2 and Chiyuki Narama3 Mirlan Daiyrov and Chiyuki Narama
  • 1Central-Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG), Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
  • 2Niigata University, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Niigata, Japan
  • 3Niigata University, Program of Field Research in the Environmental Sciences, Niigata, Japan

Abstract. In the Teskey Range of the Tien Shan (Kyrgyz Republic), four outburst flood disasters from short-lived glacial lakes caused severe damages in the downstream part in 2006, 2008, 2013, and 2014. The short-lived lake grows rapidly and drain within a few months, due to closure and opening of an outlet ice-tunnel in moraine complex at glacier front. The outburst flood of this lake type is a major hazard in this region, it differs from many cases of moraine-dam failure in the eastern Himalaya. To clarify how short-lived lakes store and drain water for short period, we examined its recent changes in water level, area, volume, and discharge with a field survey and satellite data analysis. Korumdu lake appeared and drained within about one month during all summers during 2014–2019 except that in 2016. Water-level data recorded by a data logger and time-lapse camera images show that the lake appeared and expanded suddenly from July to August in 2017–2019. The timing indicates that the lake formed when an outlet ice-tunnel (subsurface channel) drain was blocked by deposition of debris and ice due to ice melting, not by freezing of stored water. Based on calculation of UAV DSMs and water level in 2017, the lake's water volume reached 234,000 m3 within 29 days, and then the water discharged for 17 days at a maximum rate of 0.66 m3/s. The small discharge indicates that the diameter of the outlet ice-tunnel was much smaller than those of four short-lived lakes in the same range that caused large drainages (12–27 m3/s) in 2006, 2008, 2013, and 2014. As the results, the dimensions of the outlet ice-tunnel of short-lived glacial lakes presently are related to the flooding scale. Recent warming temperatures may increase both the size of the tunnels and the basin volumes leading to greater hazard from such lakes in the future. In addition, we investigated the timing of appearance of 160 short-lived glacial lakes in this region using Landsat-7/8, Sentinel-2, and PlanetScope satellite images (2013–2018). We conclude that tunnel closure of 117 lakes was due to deposition of debris and ice during summer. The appearance of a short-lived glacial lake is inevitable in summer when the melting rate is high. The characteristics of this lake type might be shown in another Asian mountain permafrost regions.

Mirlan Daiyrov and Chiyuki Narama

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Mirlan Daiyrov and Chiyuki Narama

Mirlan Daiyrov and Chiyuki Narama

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Short summary
In the Teskey Range of the Tien Shan (Kyrgyz Republic), four outburst flood disasters from short-lived glacial lakes caused severe damages in the downstream part in recent years. The short-lived lake grows rapidly and drain within a few months, due to closure and opening of an outlet ice-tunnel in moraine complex at glacier front. To clarify how short-lived lakes store and drain water for short period, we examined its recent changes in water level, area, volume, and discharge.
In the Teskey Range of the Tien Shan (Kyrgyz Republic), four outburst flood disasters from...
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