Coalition of scientists determine cause, scope of February 2021 Uttarakhand disaster

image: The Tapovan Vishnogad Hydroelectric Energy Plant was destroyed after a devastating particles move on February 7, 2021. View Extra

Credit score: Irfan Rashid, Division of Geographical Data, College of Kashmir

On the seventh of February this yr, Chamoli district of Uttarakhand area in India witnessed a human tragedy when an actual wall of rocks and ice collapsed and shaped a move of particles descending down the valleys of the Ronti Gad, Rishganga and Duliganga rivers. The large slide, which occurred when a rocky wedge carrying a steep glacier reduce a ridge within the Himalayas, and the ensuing particles move destroyed two hydroelectric services and left greater than 200 folks lifeless or lacking.

Within the days after the catastrophe, a self-organized coalition of fifty-three scientists got here collectively to research the trigger, scope and impact of the flood and landslide. Their research, which analyzed satellite tv for pc photographs, seismic data and eyewitness movies to provide laptop fashions of the move, was revealed on-line at this time within the journal. Science.

Lead writer Dr. Dan Shugar, PhD, affiliate professor within the Division of Earth Sciences on the College of Calgary, used high-resolution satellite tv for pc imagery offered by MAXAR, PlanetLabs and CNES to find out the reason for the Uttarakhand catastrophe. Whereas preliminary recommendations indicated a glacial lake overflow, Sugar asserts that there aren’t any glacial lakes of any dimension massive sufficient to provide a flood anyplace close to the location.

“The high-resolution satellite tv for pc imagery used throughout the catastrophe was important to assist us perceive the occasion in close to actual time,” he says. “We tracked a column of mud and water to a transparent darkish spot excessive on a steep slope. This was the supply of a large landslide that set off a series of occasions, inflicting large loss of life and destruction.”

The newspaper offered proof from satellites that earlier massive ice lots had been displaced from the identical ridge and hit the identical valley area lately. The researchers counsel that local weather change contributes to the frequent incidence of such occasions, and that the larger scale of the current catastrophe is an argument in favor of avoiding additional developments within the area.



Division of Science and Expertise, Authorities of India, ESA’s CCI Program and EarthExplorer10, European Area Company Glaciers CCI, NASA Earth and Area Science and Expertise Future Investigators, ICIMOD Core Funds, Pure Sciences and Engineering Analysis Council, NASA Cryosphere, NASA Excessive Mountain Workforce Asia, NASA Interdisciplinary Analysis in Earth Sciences, Roshydromet R&D Scheme, Swiss Company for Growth and Cooperation, Swiss Nationwide Science Basis, Swiss Federal Excellence Award Postdoc

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