Zeenat Yasmeen, Muhammad Danish and Arjumand Zaidi, Pakistan


Hello, every one my name is Zeenat yasmeen. working as Researcher/Meteorologist in Pakistan Meteorological department. 
currently I am doing MS in Remote Sensing & GIS from INSTITUTE OF SPACE TECHNOLOGY, Karachi Campus. i have done my Master in Physical chemistry but my field of interest is climate change, cryosphere and hydrology and water resources using Advanced Geo spatial technique. i have published research papers of boundary layer phenomena, Aerosol and Fog formation.My long terms goals and current work is focused on potential Glof findings, Hazards analysis and vulnerability assessment. i am happy to be selected in this fellow ship program. Thank you for giving this opportunity.

Hello  everyone! my name is Mohammad Danish Siddqiui .Born in Karachi Pakistan . I am doing MS in Remote Sensing & GIS from Institute of Space Technology karachi.I have did bachelors in Telecommunication Engineering from Hamdard Univeristy year of 2007.But My interest in satellite application  Remote sensing and GIS has brought me into this field .My ultimate goal is to become  expert in GIS and Remote Sensing .Now a days  me and my Team members doing research on Glacier and climate changes in Pakistan Northern Areas.looking forward to see you all.Thank you

I am Arjumand Zaidi and teaching in RS and GISc department of Institute of Space Technology, Pakistan as assistant professor. My undergraduate degree is in Civil Engineering from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi Pakistan. I did my MS and PhD in Environmental Engineering from George Mason University, Virginia USA. My professional experience is in the field of environmental evaluation and decision making. My research interests include optimization and modeling of environmental systems. Most of my research work deals in environmental decision making with the help of various numerical techniques and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Recently I have started research in the area of Satellite Remote Sensing.



Vulnerability Assessment for Potential Glacial Lakes Outburst Floods (GLOFs) Events in Passu and Bagrot Valley
Recent global warming has allegedly been responsible for many alterations in the natural phenomena in many regions of the world. The temperature increase in glaciated regions is at a greater rate than other regions since glaciers retain more heat than elevation plains.  Few of the impacts of the recent climate change in the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) are the creation of glacier lakes on the lower sections of these glaciers, their expansion and outburst flooding or Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs). Several of these lakes have been burst in the recent past resulting in a loss of human lives and destruction and damages of infrastructure in the valleys below. According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), majority of observations on glacial fluctuations indicate substantial retreat of HKH glaciers, especially in Pakistan, Nepal, India and China. The main objective of this research is monitoring, risk assessment and hazard mapping of dangerous glacial lakes in Passu and Bagrot Valley (Gilgit, Pakistan) utilizing Remote Sensing (RS), Geographical Information System (GIS) and hydraulic/hydrology tools and techniques. Remotely sensed satellite data along with meteorological and other ground-based data will be used in this study. The outcomes of the proposed study will be helpful in developing glacier lakes monitoring blueprint for Pakistan and to develop guidelines for GLOFs risk management and an overall strategy to address possible risks from future GLOFs events.

Research Problem

The proposed study will develop a mechanism for reliable and cost effective monitoring of glacier lakes and GLOFs in near real time, hazard mapping and risk and damage assessment using advance geospatial hydrologic/hydraulic modeling techniques. Knowledge of risk is essential for all disaster risk reduction activities either these are through policies, development planning, or other structural or non structural control measures. Hazard and risk maps are used in all phases of disaster management (DM); Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. The hazard maps cannot stop a disastrous phenomenon from happening but an effective use of hazard maps can prevent an extreme event from becoming a disaster.  Sometimes it is not easy to avoid natural phenomena causing disasters such as GLOFs, but a prior knowledge about their nature and possible extent can develop a capacity of DM authorities to respond and recover from emergency and disaster events. Greater capacity to face these disasters also reduces their impacts. The outcome of the proposed study will be helpful in reducing the adverse impacts of GLOFs.

Study Area

The northern Pakistan is a mountainous region and numerous glaciers and glacial lakes are found in high mountain range of Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) region. Glacier and glacial lakes have been a hazard to people and property located downstream (ICIMOD 2011). According ICIMOD’s inventory published in 2005, a total of 2,420 glacial lakes have been identified in ten (10) river basins of HKH region of Pakistan. The maximum glacial lakes are identified in Gilgit River basin (614) followed by Indus (574), Swat (255) and Shingo (238) River basins. In Gilgit River basin out of 614 glacial lakes, 380 lakes have been characterized as major lakes which are about 62 % of the total lakes. These major lakes contribute about 93 % of the lake area of the basin. Glacier thinning and retreat in HKH region has resulted in the formation of new glacial lakes, expansion of existing lakes and glacier lakes outburst floods (GLOFs). There were 52 potentially dangerous lakes identified in Pakistani HKH mountain ranges. The sites selected for this study are Bagrot valley and Pasuu village located in the Karakoram Mountain range in Gilgit–Baltistan and in the Hindukush mountain range.

 Bagrot Valley

 Located 35 km from Gilgit, Bagrot valley has 1,100 households with estimated population of more than 10,000 people. Total catchment area of the valley is 443.5 km2 and a river with a length of 26.8 km flows through this valley supplying water to Jalalabad and Oshikhandass before merging with Gilgit River. There are several villages in the valley named; Hamaran, Sinaker Datuchi, Bolchi, Chirah, Farfu and Hopay. Glacier lakes and potentially dangerous lakes in the Bagrot valley.

Passu village

Passu village is situated on the right bank of Hunza River. It is located between Batura and Passu Glaciers.  Passu lake is a glacial lake located at the terminus of 38km long east-west oriented Passu glacier which has suffered at least two outbursts in last two decades destroying a bridge on Karakoram Highway (KKH) and several houses of Passu villages. Passu Lake has natural drainage and apparently the probability of its outburst is low (Rasul at el., 2011) but the expected losses in case of GLOF are huge.

Scope and Objectives

The research effort seeks to incorporate emerging technologies of RS and GIS for estimating GLOF potential of the study area and also for identifying risk areas. The scope also includes the development and evaluation of an effective hazards monitoring and mapping blueprint for Pakistan utilizing satellite based technologies.  


Specific research goals and objectives include:

  • Verification of glacier lakes already identified in the study area using satellite data
  • Assessing the impact of climate change on snow, glaciers and GLOFs (impact on number of occurrences and frequencies)
  • Estimating GLOF potential of the area and identifying GLOF hotspots
  • Present a methodology for assessing the potential of flooding due to glacier lake outburst in study area using
    • Satellite based data (satellite images and Digital Elevation Model, Digital Surface Model)
    • Remote sensing (RS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) tools
    • GIS based hydraulic and hydrology modeling tools
  • Development of glacier lakes database of the study area
  • Development of an economically viable GLOF hazards monitoring and mapping blueprint for Pakistan based on proposed study outcomes
  • Development of guidelines for GLOF risk management and an overall strategy to address possible risks from future GLOFs events
  • Development of case-based course materials on GLOF Management to instruct graduate students at IST and other institutions in the state-of-the-art modeling techniques.  Outcomes and lessoned learned will
    • be helpful in shaping student’s masters’ thesis
    • become part of RS and GIS curriculum and department’s regular training courses on RS, GIS, hydrology, and disaster management theme.
     Expected Outcomes/ Deliverables
    • The expected outcomes of this project are:

      o   Glaciers/glacier lakes mapping in the study area with identification of high risk lakes

      o   Map showing temporal changes in the extent of glaciers

      o   Flood Inundation Maps

      o   Element at risk maps

      o   Estimated damage prediction report

      o   Guidelines for Glaciers Monitoring Program at HKH using satellite data. 



      1.         Bajracharya, S. R and  P. Mool, 2009: Glaciers, glacial lakes and glacial lake outburst floods in the Mount Everest region, Nepal. Annals of Glaciology 50(53) 2009. PP. 81-86.

      2.     ICIMOD, 2011:  Glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayas new inventory and data released.

      3.                  ICIMOD, 2005: Inventory of the Glaciers and Glacial Lakes of HKH Region.

      4.                  IPCC, 2007: Fourth Assessment Report on Global Climate.

      5.     Rasul, G., Q. Z. Chaudhry and A. Mahmood,2011: Glaciers and Glacial Lakes under Changing Climate in Pakistan. Pak. J. Met. Vol.8, Issue 15. PP. 01-07.

           6.       Rasul, G., Q. Dahe and Q. Z. Chaudhry, 2008: Global Warming And Melting       Glaciers Along Southern Slopes Of Hkh Ranges. Pak. J. Met. Vol.5, Issue 9. PP. 63-76.