Best practices on systemic assessment of glacier- and permafrost-related hazards in high mountains were shared
The process and components of a glacier- and permafrost-related hazard assessment were presented. Such assessment is part of the document “Assessment of glacier- and permafrost-related hazards in high mountains,” prepared by the Permanent Working Group on Glacier and Permafrost Hazards in High Mountains [GAPHAZ] of the University of Zurich, within the Glaciares+ Project framework.
Last March 14, the online seminar “Glacier Hazard Assessment: A holistic and systemic methodology” was broadcast and, according to the program, presented by PhD. Holger Frey, senior scientist of the University of Zurich and co-author of the guide.
Frey made a brief introduction to the current situation of climate change in high mountains and then presented the technical document to more than 30 participants from various Peruvian and Latin American institutions involved in risk management; all connected via online.
The speaker emphasized the importance of developing a frequent hazard assessment because, although climate change does not imply an increase of hazards, it does cause changes in their occurrence pattern. He also explained the significance of both the susceptibility analysis and impact analysis for a hazard assessment to be comprehensive. Hazard assessments in Peru include the first dimension only.
Likewise, the speaker mentioned that addressing the second dimension requires the use of models that facilitate working with scenarios, and allow to get different intensities in the hazard occurrence. In that respect, Lake 513, located in Carhuaz (Ancash) was used as an example, where susceptibility was assessed based on atmospheric, cryospheric, and geomorphologic factors and historical evidence, whereas the impact was assessed through numeric models and potential scenarios of glacier calving. This case represents a successful experience in assessing glacier hazards following the steps outlined in the manual.
Participants had the opportunity to ask questions and information was exchanged with regard to potential challenges for the guide’s optimal application on the Tropical Andes in a climate change context. The questions asked by the participants were answered by experts and compiled in a document that can be downloaded HERE, while the complete presentation by speaker PhD. Holger Frey can be downloaded HERE.
The Glaciares+ Project is an initiative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Global Programme Climate Change and Environment executed by CARE Perú and the Swiss consortium led by the University of Zurich and composed of Meteodat, the Research Center on Alpine Environment (CREALP), and the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL).
PDF Esp Evaluación de peligros por glaciares y permafrost en regiones de montaña
PDF Eng Assessment of Glacier and Permafrost Hazards in Mountain Regions
Glaciares+ program, project sheet, Swiss Embassy, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Web Glaciares+ Project