Unraveling the spatio-temporal debris-flow activity on a forested cone in the Kyrgyz Range: implications for hazard assessment

Juan Antonio Ballesteros Canovas, Vitalii Zaginaev, Markus Stoffel and Sergei Erokhin

Ongoing climate change has recently resulted in an increase of risks related with glacial lake outburst flows (GLOFs) and debris flows in Northern Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan. In this communication, we analyze recent process activity by applying tree-ring analysis to contribute to a better understanding of the past debris-flow activity. Based on the analysis of 96 disturbed trees, we reconstruct spatio-temporal patterns of events going back to 1877. A total of 26 events have been reconstructed, revealing high activity in the 1960s and 1970s. Our results are in agreement with the existing, but very fragmentary historical records, and can be used as a baseline for both risk assessment and for the understanding of glacier-climate-debris flow linkages in the region.

2016/1 461-467