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Summer Rupper's research Featured in @THEU

On Oct. 7, 1994, a natural dam failed, sending floodwaters of a glacial lake crashing downstream into the Bhutanese village of Punakha. The flood was devastating—it killed 21 people, destroyed 800 acres of crops, 6 tons of food, washed away homes, infrastructure and damaged one of the region’s sacred dzong fortresses.

In a new study that published in Science Advances on Sept. 16, 2020, scientists discovered that local seismic devices unknowingly recorded this glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) five hours before it reached the village. GLOFs are a significant and growing hazard in mountain regions around the world as glaciers retreat in response to climate change. But tracking and studying these floods is difficult because of remote locations, vast number of potential floods and the expense of monitoring stations.

The authors show that seismic stations may provide a real-time, remote monitoring system to give early warnings to people in harm’s way.

Read the full story here.

Last Updated: 3/26/21