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Cloudbursts in Indian Himalayas: a review

Dimri, A. P., Chevuturi, A., Niyogi, D., Thayyen, R. J., Ray, K., Tripathi, S. N., Pandey, A. K. and Mohanty, U. C. (2017) Cloudbursts in Indian Himalayas: a review. Earth-Science Reviews, 168. pp. 1-23. ISSN 0012-8252

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.03.006

Abstract/Summary

Cloudbursts in and around the southern rim of the Indian Himalayas are elusive in terms of their position and time of occurrences. Most of the reported cloudbursts are in the interior of the Himalayas and hence their observation itself is limited. Most of these events are reported once their affect in terms of loss to life and property is experienced in the downstream habitats. In addition, they are mostly associated with flash floods as an impact of the torrential precipitation. The principal understanding of the cloudburst is associated with sudden heavy deluge of precipitation in very less time interval over a very small area. Except this understanding and India Meteorology Department (IMD) definition of > 100 mm/h precipitation over a geographical region of approximately 20–30 km2, nothing much else is known about these events. There are a very few studies carried out on understanding of these events. Present paper synthesizes the available information and research on cloudburst events and tries to define it based on associated dynamics, thermodynamics and physical processes leading to a cloudburst event. Thus in the present work, characterizations and impacts of cloudburst leading from precipitation to dynamical to thermodynamical to large scale forcings to orographical forcings to followed geomorphology to impacts are intertwined to present comprehensive portray of it. Most of the cloudburst events are seen occurring in the elevation range of 1000 m to 2500 m within the valley folds of the southern rim of the Indian Himalayas. Apart from some of the large scale flow shown by few of the studies, it is found that cloudburst events are convectively triggered followed by orographically locked systems. These intertwined mechanisms lead cloudburst events to form. Amiss of any one of these mechanisms will not lead the cloudburst mechanism to form. These interactions in the present paper established the vagaries associated with the cloudburst events.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
ID Code:69722
Publisher:Elsevier

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