Taikichiro Mori Memorial Research Fund

Graduate Student Researcher Development Grant Report

February 2012


Research Project: Monitoring of Glacial Lake Changes in the Northern and Southern Slope of the Everest Region, Himalaya during Past Thirty Years

Researcher: Wenbo Chen, D3

Affiliation: Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University

Supervisor: Prof. Wanglin Yan

Email: chenwb@sfc.keio.ac.jp



In Himalaya, many glaciers have retreated resulting in the expansion of glacial lakes since the second half of the 20th century. Such changes on glacial lakes are hazardous to communities and infrastructure of downstream because of its potential disaster such as glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF), and also influence regional eco-environment. The study area is located in Everest region of Himalaya including the northern slope in China and the southern slope in Nepal. The altitude ranges from 825 m to 8848 m high. In this study, temporal changes of glacial lakes were analyzed on the northern and the southern slopes in the Everest region of the Himalayas using satellite data and elevational data. Both the number and area of glacial lakes increased on the northern slope and the southern slope. Elevation distribution of most glacial lakes was from 4640 m to 5219 m high. However, the elevation distribution of glacial lakes was different between the northern slope and southern slope. This work reveals that some glacial lakes grow faster on the southern slope than the one on the northern slope, and we recommend that these fast-expanding lakes be monitored and mapped regularly considering the potential danger of GLOF. The tendency of these glacial lakes to expand is possibly related to global climate change. Therefore, it is recommended that the relationship between the expansion of glacial lakes and climatic factors be studied further.



Conference and Symposium

·     Wenbo CHEN, Wanglin YAN, Tomoko DOKO, Hiromichi FUKUI, Space-based information and risk assessment of glacial lake in Everest Region, Himalaya, The 11th Science Council of Asia (SCA) Conference, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 4-6 July, 2011.

·     Wenbo CHEN, Hiromichi FUKUI, Tomoko DOKO, Comparison study on expansion of glacial lakes in Northern and Southern slope of Himalaya, The 34th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, Sydney, Australia, 10-15 April, 2011.




·     Wenbo CHEN, Hiromichi FUKUI, Tomoko DOKO, Xingfa GU, Detection of Glacial Lakes under the Shadow Environment Using ASTER data in Himalaya, Nepal, Chinese Geographical Science (in review)