Glacial and Geological Hazards
With changing climate, glaciers around the world are responding generally by shrinking. As they do so, more melt water is being stored in glacial lake systems behind moraine dams at high altitude, especially in the Himalayas and the Andes. At the same time, to fuel economic growth with the high demands for electricity, hydropower generation is becoming increasingly important.
In the recent past, damage caused by Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs), Landslide Dam Outburst Floods (LDOFs), and debris flows have resulted in many hundreds of millions of dollars of damage and lost revenue from hydropower schemes, insurance premiums have increased, and remote rural communities have been greatly affected. In the worst cases, many people have been killed by such events.
Despite the occurrence of GLOFs and LDOFs, related debris flows, thawing permafrost, and increasing numbers of rock and ice avalanches, there is little expertise available worldwide through which to manage the effect of these processes and their impacts on society. Many responsible agencies in countries affected struggle to find ways of prioritising their resources in the study and management of these high mountain systems.
Prof. John Reynolds, Managing Director of Reynolds International Ltd, is recognised independently as the world leader in glacial hazard assessment and mitigation, with experience over the last 43 years from South America (Peru and Chile), Scandinavia, Himalayas (Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet/China), Hindu Kush Karakoram (Pakistan), Tajikistan, and Tien Shan Mountains (Kyrgyzstan). He has been responsible for successful mitigation works in Peru and pioneered engineering remediation of a major glacial lake in Nepal, a world first. Much of his work has been published in international, peer-reviewed journals.
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Development of glacial hazard and risk minimisation protocols in rural environments
The original work to develop ‘Guidelines for the management of glacial hazards and risks’ was undertaken by Reynolds Geo-Sciences...
Glacial Hazard Assessment Services
If you are managing a major project in a mountain environment in which there are many glaciers and glacial lakes, do not be fooled into thinking that, if they are tens of kilometres away, your project will be immune to their effects...
Glacial hazards projects
RIL have recently undertaken a number of glacial hazards projects. Several projects on which RIL staff have worked are presented as case studies. Recent activities in glacial hazards for the RIL team include...
Integrated Geohazard Assessments
Over the last five years, RIL staff have pioneered the development of Integrated Geohazard Assessments through which a wide range of physical processes and their susceptibility to the effects of climate change can be assessed in relation to downstream infrastructure...