Taikichiro Mori Memorial Research Fund

Graduate Student Researcher Development Grant Report

February 2011


Research Project: Comparison study on climatic sensitivities and expansion of glacial lakes in Northern and Southern slope of Himalaya

Researcher: Wenbo CHEN, D2

Affiliation: Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University

Supervisor: Prof. Hiromichi FUKUI

Email: chenwb@sfc.keio.ac.jp




Changes on glacial lakes are crucial indicators for the climate change. Detection of glacial lakes changes is becoming very important, and its result will predict the risk of glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) . In the Everest region of Himalaya, there are two target glacial lakes in both sides of northern and southern slope in this study: namely Imja Lake which is located in southern slope, Nepal and Ritong Nup Lake which is located in northern slope, China . The purpose of this study is to compare the changes of the two glacial lakes from 1975 to 2008. The satellite data of MSS, TM, ETM+, and ASTER were used to extract lakes by Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and Normalized Difference Snow and Ice Index (NDSII). Since ground was sometimes covered by snow in winter, the ASTER DEM data was used to analyze terrain in order to distinguish lakes from non-lakes. The preliminary results showed that the Imja Lake is a rapidly extending lake which means there will be a high probability of GLOF in the future. On the other hand, Ritong Nup Lake is not such as Imja Lake that expands fast. However, the speed of the two glacial lakesf expansion is quite different.



The two glacial lakes had been calculated in 1976, 1992, 2000, and 2008 in order to evaluate changes of glacial lakes. Comparison during thirty-two years shows that both Imja Lake and Ridong Nup Lake were generally increasing. The area of Imja Lake had totally expanded 574,104 m2 from 1976 to 2008, while Ridong Nup Lake had expanded 287,957 m2. The mean growth rate of Imja Lake and Ridong Nup Lake from 1976 to 2008 was 48.6% and 21.1% respectively.



Conference and Symposium

·     Wenbo CHEN, Hiromichi FUKUI, Tomoko DOKO, Detection Glacial Lakes under the Shadow Environment Using ASTER Data in Himalaya, Nepal, The 3rd International Symposium on Sentinel Earth - Advance in Satellite Imagery Data and GIS and Their Application, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, 3-5 November, 2010.

·     Wenbo CHEN, Hiromichi FUKUI, Ponthip LIMLAHAPUN, Tomoko DOKO, Space-based information for monitoring glacial lakes in Himalaya, International Symposium on gBenefiting from Earth Observation: Bridging the Data Gap for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Regionh, Kathmandu, Nepal, 4-6 October, 2010.



·     Wenbo CHEN, Hiromichi FUKUI, Tomoko DOKO, Xingfa GU, Development of Detection Method for Glacial Lakes under the Shadow Environment Using ASTER data in Himalaya, Nepal, International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics (in review)