Kornilova E.D., Krylenko I.N., Rets E.P., Motovilov Y.G., Bogachenko E.M., Krylenko I.V., Petrakov D.A. Modeling of Extreme Hydrological Events in the Baksan River Basin, the Central Caucasus, Russia // Hydrology 2021, 8(1), 24
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High mountain areas are prone to extreme hydrological events, and their study is especially important in the context of ongoing intensive deglaciation. In this research, a model “chain” consisting of a hydrodynamic model and a runoff formation model is adopted to simulate a glacier lake outburst flood (GLOF) from Bashkara Lake (the Central Caucasus, Russia) and its effect on downstream. In addition to an actual GLOF event that occurred on 1 September 2017 and led to casualties and significant destruction in the Adylsu and Baksan Rivers valleys, possible scenarios for the re-outburst of the lake are considered. The hydrographs of the outburst and the downstream movement of the flood wave along the Adylsu River valley are estimated using STREAM_2D two-dimensional hydrodynamic model. The water discharges in the entire river network of the Baksan River are assessed using the ECOMAG (ECOlogical Model for Applied Geophysics) runoff formation model. The output flood hydrograph from the hydrodynamic model is set as additional input into the Baksan River runoff formation model in the upper reaches of the Adylsu River. As a result of the simulations, estimates for the contribution of GLOFs and precipitation to an increase in peak discharge along the Baksan River were obtained. The actual outburst flood contributed 45% and precipitation 30% to the peak flow in the Baksan River at the mouth of the Adylsu River (10 km from the outburst site). In Tyrnyauz (40 km from the outburst site), the contributions of the outburst flood and precipitation were equal and, in Zayukovo (70 km from the outburst site), the outburst flood contributed only 20% to the peak flow, whereas precipitation contributed 44%. Similar calculations were made for future potential re-outburst flood, taking into account climatic changes with an increase in air temperatures of 2 °C, an increase in precipitation of 10% in winter and a decrease of 10% in summer. The maximum discharge of the re-outburst flood in the Adylsu River mouth, according to model estimations, will be approximately three times less than the discharge of the actual outburst on 1 September 2017 and can contribute up to 18% of the peak discharge in the Baksan River at the confluence.