What happened at siachen..A layman's analysis
by, 11-04-12 at 05:44 AM (2480 Views)
Look at the shape of Glacier in this Picture.
Now crop the Glacier and zoom in..and notice the Dam shaped structure? It looks alike an ice dam with Walls holding back the ice?
The top section is very steep at probably 70' angle then its almost flat at 20' angle an dthe bottom long tongue of the Glacier is at about 50' angle..and notice the Dark grey walls of the Ice dam??
The structure has varying gradients.The top and bottom are steep,but the ice lake is nearly horizontal.
The structure looks stable as the Vertical ridges of ice holding the Ice pool is wider than the pool itself and should have held it.
Such structures don't collapse suddenly and if they collapse,they do so in phases...
The whole Ice pool,the Vertical ridges and much of the Glacier tongue appear to have slid off in one go.
The same structure from a different angle..All these pictures are pretty recent..From late 2011
Now look at this Picture..This is on the morning of the Avalanche...Taken just after the Disaster...The whole of the ice dam and Much of the glacier tongue is missing?
Glaciers are clumsy and happily sit on their place for eons...They don't crash down the mountain like this..Unless there is a major earthquake or Volcanic eruption...There was a mile long Buffer zone between the camp and the Glacier in addition to the river..Its highly unlikely that a Glacier just breaks off the face of a mountain comes hurtling down hill..This was unthinkable.
Lets try to calculate the amount of Ice,snow and debris that crashed on them that fateful day.
This is the picture of the Army base before the disaster,although a bit old picture.
Assuming that the barrack/Hit in the red circle is 7 feet high from roof edge to bottom...We can see that 7 huts fit on the vertical face of the glacier on the sides and 10 huts fit in the middle.
This makes the Glacier 50 feet or 15 meters high on the sides and 70 feet or 21 meters high in the middle..Or a mean height of 18 meters?
Now this isnt a high resolution picture but presumably it was taken just after the disaster,and it clearly shows the Grey area just ahead of the Pure white snow at the top..Thats the missing area of the Glacier..Since the Edge of the Glacier was about 1.2 kilometers from the Camp.We can say that the Collapsed area of the Glacier is about 900 meter long and about Half as wide.
Now to find the area of the Slab of Glacier that crashed on the camp.
Thats 900m X 450m X 18m
Thats a volume of 7290,000 cubic meters.
Average Density of Ice + Snow is 0.9 for ice, 0.7 for compacted snow 0.5 for non compacted snow..Mean density is 0.7 tons per cubic meter?
Total weight of the Glacier that crashed that day will be.
7290,000 X 0.7 Equals 5103,000 tons
Thats 5.1 million tons of Glacier sliding down the mountain...
Lets take out 50% margin of error in the calculation??..Even then its more than 2.5 Million tons of ice that hit our Soldiers on that unfortunate day.....
If you look at the top of the second picture you will see a straight line dividing the white snow and the missing Grey area,and that indicated the the whole slab slid off in one go.
Avalanches come down at speeds of 100 miles an hour..
2.5 million tons hurtling down the mountain at 100 Mph..How much forces are involved? May be somebody good in maths can convert this into Kilojoules and we can compare the destructive forces involved with detonation of small nuclear weapons..as i guess the forces will be equivalent.
A large Aircraft carrier weighs 100,00 tons...
The weight of glacier that crashed on the soldiers equals 25 Aircraft carriers hitting them at 100 miles an hours..
It looks very bad..But lets not lose hope..Miracles happen.They need our prayers.