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Author(s): Glaciation, Glaciological Hazards, Prevention and Mitigation
Congress: 2008
Author(s): Saman Reshadi

Keyword(s): Glaciers, Glaciological Hazards, Risk Management, Climate Change, Aquatic Biogeochemical Cycles Modeling.
AbstractGlaciation is a significant geological event in the Earth with considerable impacts on Global Hydrology and Biogeochemical cycles. The catastrophic discharges of water are consequences of melting glaciers runoff which are strongly caused by the exchange of thermal energy between mountain air and mass of ice or snow and can have potentially catastrophic consequences to environment, people and properties. Glaciological Hazards have become a significant environmental issue in the debate over climate change that the level of Glaciological associated risks may rapidly change, even though humans can have annual water withdrawal from glaciers for sanitary applications as a renewable freshwater resource on a global basis. There are variable Glaciological Hazards to be considered in ecosystem management: Severe damages in a very long distance caused by substantial debris flows and physically weathered rock residues which are insoluble, Serious disturbance and release in a very long time in the underground disposals or repositories of hazardous wastes such as toxic materials or high level radioactive wastes, Serious flooding downstream caused by exploding and rapid simultaneous discharge from high capacity water storage dams and glacial lakes, Rapid large glacierized watersheds and sea level rise by a big loss of mass of glaciers and ice caps, Serious disturbance and release of mudslides resulted from increased activity of the craters by the growth of glaciers to a very huge size toward a steady-state condition and after lifting, cracking and perforating the glacier, Serious chronic aquatic biogeochemical impacts and climatic change such as eutrophication and affects on watershed-aquatic ecosystem by removal of biological, volatile and non-volatile chemical materials to downstream, causing bioaccumulation, biomagnifications, bioalkylation, etc. The need of an appropriate characterization and interpretation of above mentioned hazard problems from dangerous glaciers that reflect a wide range of uncertainties based on our current expertise, can lead us to develop the geological and aquatic biogeochemical modeling. So, the need of risk management approaches and representative risk-scenarios makes sense to examine the climatic sensitivity with reliable predictions about future state of biogeochemical cycles and to estimate the probability and consequences of Glaciological Hazards in finding the best control options within management initiatives. The preliminary planning for preventative measures and development of the capabilities for mitigation or precautionary reduction of climate change issues in a participatory process are to be carried out. An appropriate emergency response plan by risk-based ranking of scenarios and balanced safety system is also required to ensure preparedness and to mitigate the severity of incidents. In order to socio-economical impacts and limited or poor investment for safeguarding against Glaciological Hazards and also lack of relevant predictive biogeochemical information, often the decision making considering proposed risk control options will be directed by the relevant expenses of the existing safety measures and their contribution to risk avoidance and vulnerability reduction without prioritizing how to protect humans against dangerous glaciers. An assessment and review of available empirical data of existing safety measures against Glaciological Hazards showed that a low rate of capital cost is enough to monitor, raise the alarm and rescue efficiently. In addition, the investment for structural preventative safety measures is normally less than risk reduction measures in which the construction of protective dams can be a good example in this regard. The integration of the measurable empirical environmental data into the computer based simulation and modeling programs and software can enhance the accuracy, probabilistic estimate of future events, plausibility and reliability of avalanche and melting glacier risk analysis. Characterization of hazards and risks could be both qualitative and quantitative, and both descriptive and mathematical, consistent with the existing empirical data, and should be broad enough to include a comprehensive range of options to reduce the Glaciological Risks.
2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin