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Hamid Ashraf


Mr. Hamid Ashraf

Future Forces Forum Future Forces Exhibition 2018

School of Mining Engineering University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg


Avalanche Risk Assessment: A Case Study of Gyong Sector Siachen Pakistan

Avalanches are a natural hazard that damage infrastructures and threaten lives in high altitude mountainous terrains. A massive ice avalanche struck a Pakistani Army base camp at Gayari sector, Saltoro Valley on 7 April 2012 burying 148 soldiers. Avalanche release zone modelling and alpha-beta model were used to carry out the suitability of the present camp site in Gyong Sector Siachen. Using expert knowledge of known avalanche paths, terrain parameters were documented and statistically evaluated for key factors. ArcGIS model builder was used to model the avalanche starting zones with terrain modelling by utilizing a digital elevation model (DEM). Linear regression analysis of the five known avalanches in the area yielded α=0.94β-0.81 as the αβ equation. The β angle for the avalanche 1 was 19.13°, α angle was 17.17° and maximum runout was 3910 m down the slope of the release point. Modelling of the avalanche above the present camp site resulted in high probability of triggering and the camp was declared as dangerous.

Co-authors:  Javed Iqbal, Naveed Hamza Tipu

Curriculum Vitae

Mr. Hamid Ashraf holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master Degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Pakistan. As a civil engineer, he has vast experience of construction of highways and buildings in various parts of Pakistan and Liberia. He remained on Civil Engineering and GIS faculty of NUST in the teaching capacity. He is currently a Ph.D. scholar at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and pursuing his Ph.D. in Mineral Resource Management.

His research interests include geospatial hazard potential assessment using remote sensing and GIS technologies. He has worked on the avalanche risk assessment for parts of Himalayas and Karakorum Ranges (Gyong sector Siachen). Currently he is part of the digital mine research group at University of the Witwatersrand and is working on the geospatial subsidence modelling for the Sterkfontein Caves.

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