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SWISS ALPS ADD OVER 1,000 LAKES: STUDY

SWISS ALPS ADD OVER 1,000 LAKES: STUDY

Context:

According to the study published by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) around 1,200 new lakes have formed in formerly glaciated regions of the Swiss Alps since the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850. The comprehensive inventory was made conceivable by enormous stores of information accumulated from Switzerland's glaciers since the mid-19th century.

Key Findings of the Report:

  • The Eawag assessment showed that there was an initial peak in glacial lake formation in the Swiss Alps between 1946 and 1973 when around 8 new lakes showed up on average each year.
  • For every one of the 1,200 lakes formed since 1850, the scientists recorded the location, elevation, shape and area of the lake at different times, as well as the type of material of the dam and surface drainage.
  • Based on such basic information, researchers can estimate hazards, including the risk of sudden emptying in the event of a dam failure.
  • In total, the researchers were able to draw on data from seven periods between 1850 and 2016.

About Swiss Alps:

  • The Alpine region of Switzerland generally referred to as the Swiss Alps, represents a major natural feature of the country and is, along with the Swiss Plateau and the Swiss portion of the Jura Mountains.
  • The Swiss Alps stretches over both the Western Alps and the Eastern Alps covering an area sometimes called the Central Alps

Little Ice Age (LIA):

  • It is the climate interval that occurred from the early 14th century through the mid-19th century.

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