11 Jan 2023
 | 11 Jan 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

HMAGLOFDB v1.0 – a comprehensive and version controlled database of glacier lake outburst floods in high mountain Asia

Finu Shrestha, Jakob F. Steiner, Reeju Shrestha, Yathartha Dhungel, Sharad P. Joshi, Sam Inglis, Arshad Ashraf, Sher Wali, Khwaja M. Walizada, and Taigang Zhang

Abstract. Glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs) have been intensely investigated in High Mountain Asia (HMA) in recent years and are the most well-known hazard associated with the cryosphere. As glaciers recede and surrounding slopes become increasingly unstable, such events are expected to increase, although current evidence for an increase in events is ambiguous. Many studies have investigated individual events and while several regional inventories exist, they either do not cover all types of GLOF or are geographically constrained. Further, downstream impacts are rarely discussed. Previous inventories have relied on academic sources and have not been combined with existing inventories of glaciers and lakes. In this study, we present the first comprehensive inventory of GLOFs in HMA, including details on the time of their occurrence, processes of lake formation and drainage involved as well as downstream impacts. We document 682 individual GLOFs that occurred between 1833 and 2022. Of these, 20 % were recurring events from just three ephemeral ice-dammed lakes. In combination, the documented events resulted in 6907 fatalities, with 6000 of these linked to a single GLOF, three times higher than a previous assessment for the region. The integration of previous inventories of glaciers and lakes within this database will inform future assessments of potential drivers of GLOFs, allowing more robust projections to be developed. The database and future, updated versions, are traceable, version controlled and can be directly incorporated into further analysis.

Finu Shrestha et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-395', Jonathan Carrivick, 12 Jan 2023
    • CC2: 'Reply on CC1', Jonathan Carrivick, 12 Jan 2023
    • CC3: 'Reply on CC1', Sher Wali, 13 Jan 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Finu Shrestha, 13 Apr 2023
  • CC4: 'Comment on essd-2022-395', Ethan Welty, 02 Feb 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Finu Shrestha, 13 Apr 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC4', Finu Shrestha, 17 Apr 2023
  • RC1: 'Reviewer comment on essd-2022-395', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Feb 2023
    • AC4: 'Reply on RC1', Finu Shrestha, 18 Apr 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-395', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Feb 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Finu Shrestha, 17 Apr 2023

Finu Shrestha et al.

Data sets

GLOF database of High Mountain Asia ICIMOD (2022).

GLOFs in High Mountain Asia Shrestha and Steiner, 2022

Model code and software

GLOF database of High Mountain Asia Steiner and Shrestha, 2022

Finu Shrestha et al.


Total article views: 923 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
650 247 26 923 2 8
  • HTML: 650
  • PDF: 247
  • XML: 26
  • Total: 923
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 8
Views and downloads (calculated since 11 Jan 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 11 Jan 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 856 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 856 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 27 May 2023
Short summary
The database contains 682 events from HMA compiled by literature review with the final date of 30th June 2022. The inventory is machine-readable & version-controlled & will be updated as new event information becomes available. It includes basic information on time & location, involved processes & impacts, & is linked to other glacial lakes & glaciers allowing for future investigations into drivers of outburst floods.