Compiling an Inventory of Glacier – Bed Overdeepenings and Potencial New Lakes in De-Glaciating Areas of the Peruvian Andes

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Global warming causes rapid shrinking of mountain glaciers. New lakes can, thus, form in the future where overdeepenings in the beds of still-existing glaciers are becoming exposed. Such new lakes can be amplifiers of natural hazards to downstream populations, but also constitute tourist attractions, offer new potential for hydropower, and may be of interest for water management. Identification of sites where future lakes will possibly form is, therefore, an essential step to initiate early planning of measures for risk reduction and sustainable use as part of adaptation strategies with respect to impacts from climate change. In order to establish a corresponding knowledge base, a systematic inventory of glacier-bed overdeepenings and possible future lakes was compiled for the still glacierized parts of the Peruvian Andes using the 2003–2010 glacier outlines from the national glacier inventory and the SRTM DEM from the year 2000. The resulting inventory contains 201 sites with overdeepened glacier beds >1 ha (104 m2) where notable future lakes could form, representing a total volume of about 260 million m3. A rough classification was assigned for the most likely formation time of the possible new lakes. Such inventory information sets the stage for analyzing sustainable use and hazard/ risk for specific basins or regions.

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