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Question: What is Glacial outburst? Explain the features and threats faced by glacial outburst.


Answer:  Glacial outburst is the breaking of a glacial barrier that holds a glacial lakes or moraine behind the barriers. Glacial lakes face threats of bursting due to changes in climatic conditions. Warming melts the ice that acts as a barrier of lakes, leading to their outburst.

Features of glacial outburst

  • Drastic
    The outburst of glacier barriers is almost instant. There is no constant changes observed over a long time instead the outburst takes place immediately.
  • Widespread
    The effects of glacial outburst is widespread. Large number of people and environment is affected by the outburst, leading to destruction of property.

Threats faced due to glacial outburst

  • Landslides
    Sudden flow of water after the barriers are broken will trigger landslides in hill areas. The amount of destruction is dependent on the speed of water flow and also the assisting factors such as rainfall.
  • Floods
    The largest destruction caused due to glacial outburst is the threat of floods. The threat is particularly imminent in low land areas that falls on the down course of the river or lake.
  • Change in topography
    Glacial topography is distinct and unique that is particularly being diminished day by day due to climatic changes. Glacial outburst can lead to change in the topography and land features of the area.
  • Water security
    The glacial lake or glacial river is the source of many water streams. These streams form rivers and sustain livelihood of large population. Once the source of water vanishes, the region transforms into a dryland.
Updated on 01 Dec 2020 |   Added on .11 Nov 2020  |  by admin