CSIR-NGRI scientists develop early warning system for Himalayan landslide-floods

admin November 9, 2021
Updated 2021/11/09 at 3:06 PM

The National Geophysical Research Institute (CSIR – NGRI) has established an Environmental Seismology (ES) group to build a real-time monitoring-based landslide and early flood warning system for the Himalayan area.

According to the CSIR-NGRI, this will provide for important warnings many hours ahead of time, saving priceless human lives and property in the future. This has crucial consequences for governments planning infrastructure development such as dams, power plants, and other projects that are critical to the country’s strategic and socio-economic interests, according to the NGRI statement.

Landslides, rockslides, and flooding disasters, according to the CSIR – NGRI, are a key source of worry. Thousands of people have died as a result of them. Ironically, there is currently no clear system in place for early detection and mitigation of these threats.

A perfect example is the recent rockslide-flood calamity in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli area on February 7, 2021. A steep glacier on the Nandadevi summit in the Garhwal Himalaya became separated, triggering flash floods in the Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers, which carried massive debris of rock, ice, water, and slush. Two power facilities were severely damaged, and numerous people were killed downstream as a result of the incident.

Hyderabad’s National Geographic Research Institute (NGRI) is part of the CSIR. In the western Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, it operates a dense network of roughly 100 seismograph stations. Spectrogram analysis methods were employed by NGRI experts in partnership with German scientists at the GFZ, Potsdam, to detect and differentiate the distinct stages, including rockslides, debris flow, and floods.

The broadband seismic network’s biggest strength is that it allows for comprehensive spatiotemporal tracking of the whole catastrophe sequence utilising polarisation and backtracing techniques. Because climate change is a key factor in accelerated ice loss via glacier melt and flash floods produced by glacier retreats, significant measures are required to protect the Himalayan environment’s vulnerable ecology.


Source: The Hindu

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