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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stuart Dunning
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2021.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
On 7 Feb 2021, a catastrophic mass flow descended the Ronti Gad, Rishiganga, and Dhauliganga valleys in Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India, causing widespread devastation and severely damaging two hydropower projects. Over 200 people were killed or are missing. Our analysis of satellite imagery, seismic records, numerical model results, and eyewitness videos reveals that ~27x106 m3 of rock and glacier ice collapsed from the steep north face of Ronti Peak. The rock and ice avalanche rapidly transformed into an extraordinarily large and mobile debris flow that transported boulders >20 m in diameter, and scoured the valley walls up to 220 m above the valley floor. The intersection of the hazard cascade with downvalley infrastructure resulted in a disaster, which highlights key questions about adequate monitoring and sustainable development in the Himalaya as well as other remote, high-mountain environments.
Author(s): Shugar DH, Jacquemart M, Shean D, Bhushan S, Upadhyay K, Sattar A, Schwanghart W, McBride S, de Vries MVW, Mergili M, Emmer A, Deschamps-Berger C, McDonnell M, Bhambri R, Allen S, Berthier E, Carrivick JL, Clague JJ, Dokukin M, Dunning SA, Frey H, Gascoin S, Haritashya UK, Huggel C, Kääb A, Kargel JS, Kavanaugh JL, Lacroix P, Petley D, Rupper S, Azam MF, Cook SJ, Dimri AP, Eriksson M, Farinotti D, Fiddes J, Gnyawali KR, Harrison S, Jha M, Koppes M, Kumar A, Leinss S, Majeed U, Mal S, Muhuri A, Noetzli J, Paul F, Rashid I, Sain K, Steiner J, Ugalde F, Watson CS, Westoby MJ
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Online publication date: 10/06/2021
Acceptance date: 27/05/2021
Date deposited: 22/06/2021
ISSN (print): 0036-8075
ISSN (electronic): 1095-9203
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
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