24 May 2023
 | 24 May 2023

Brief Communication: An Ice-Debris Avalanche in the Nupchu Valley, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Eastern Nepal

Alton C. Byers, Marcelo Somos-Valenzuela, Dan H. Shugar, Daniel McGrath, Mohan B. Chand, and Ram Avtar

Abstract. Beginning in December 2020, a series of small-to-medium, torrent-like pulses commenced upon a historic debris cone located within the Nupchu valley, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA), Nepal. Sometime between 16 and 21 August 2022 a comparatively large ice-debris avalanche event occurred, covering an area of 0.6 km2 with a total estimated volume of order 106 m3. Changing cryospheric conditions throughout the region suggest that the installation of preventative floodwater diversion mechanisms for vulnerable villages is warranted, improved reporting mechanisms to authorities, and early warning systems. More systematic monitoring via remote sensing platforms and hazard mapping by scientists is also indicated.

Alton C. Byers et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-624', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Jun 2023
    • CC1: 'Reply on RC1', Alton Byers, 20 Jul 2023
      • AC2: 'Reply on CC1', Alton Byers, 21 Sep 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-624', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Sep 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Alton Byers, 21 Sep 2023

Alton C. Byers et al.

Alton C. Byers et al.


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Short summary
In spite of enhanced technologies, many large cryospheric events remain unreported because of their remoteness, inaccessibility, or poor communications. In this Brief Communication, we report on a large ice-debris avalanche that occurred sometime between 16 and 21 August 2022 in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA), eastern Nepal, and describe its present and future implications for local communities, scientists, and governments.