In News: Recently, the glacial burst in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand is an eye-opener to the ongoing disruption of the ecological balance.
- The lake was formed upstream of the Rishi Ganga river after the February 7 flash floods in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district.
- The lake which led concern of fresh deluge post-Uttarakhand flood recently is said to be 8 to 9 metres deep with around 50000 cubic metres of water in it.
What is Glacial Outburst?
- When glaciers break off, the space underneath them develops into a glacial lake filled with water.
- The breaking off of the glacial lake is termed as Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) or glacial outburst.
- The glacial outburst occurs when the water level of the lake rises or when the glacier retreats.
Causes Glacier Outburst
- Earthquakes, erosion, volcanic eruptions, build of water pressure or an avalanche of heavy snow can cause the glaciers to burst.
- The glacier outburst can also happen after the displacement of a massive water pocket in a glacial lake when an adjacent glacier retreats into it.
Cause Uttarakhand glacier burst
- In case of Uttarakhand glacier burst tragedy, it is not yet clearly known what caused the outburst of Nanda Devi glacier.
- As per the experts, the breaking off of this huge chunk of Nanda Devi glacier into the Dhauli Ganga river is a rare incident as the Google Earth images and satellite did not show any glacial lake underneath the glacier that broke off.
- In Uttarakhand glacier burst case, it is believed that the water pockets might have developed within the Nanda Devi glacier that led to this incident.
- Some experts also link this tragedy to climate change and global warming.