I headed east to Comilla for 4 days to train 6 Dhaka University students and graduates to use the resistivity imaging system we bought for the project. The system will send electric currents into the ground to map the distribution of sand and muds. The 1000s of measurements will create a catscan-like image of the rocks under the profiles. Together we all learned what worked and didn’t in Bangladesh.
Able to drive again, we wrapped up the last few days of the conclave with more outcrop geology, drilling wells through the sediments, 3D filming and a barbeque. The conclave turned to be an extremely successful means of getting us excited due to the tremendous cross-fertilization that occurred.
A two day general strike disrupted our field plans, but Bangladeshis are adept at adapting to any change. We walked the local outcrops one day and hired a small pickup truck the next and managed to accomplish our goals despite the political turmoil.
Our project studying the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta in Bangladesh consists of many components studying different tectonic and sedimentary aspects of the geology. To bring all the parts together, we are holding a meeting we are calling the “conclave” in NE Bangladesh. We are jointly visiting places that can help us to develop an integrated understanding of the basin.
Rosario Costa-Cabral and her brothers harvest hundreds of fruits, oils and wood products from the stream-laced forest of the Amazon River delta. But the climate here is changing: Tides rise higher, and seasonal floods are growing worse.
A new study in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization shows how hot spots of lead contamination in soil can be pinpointed in order to safeguard children against drastic health effects. Researchers led by geochemist Alexander van Geen of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, studied soil around two Peruvian mining towns, and found high lead concentrations [...]
Glenn Denning grew up in Brisbane, Australia, loved the outdoors and hated the idea of working in an office. And, he really didn’t have any urge to go to other countries. Then he happened to overhear a conversation in a hallway between two students. That bit of serendipity sent him on a road to a life overseas; to key roles in “green revolutions” in Asia and Africa; and eventually to an office at Columbia University, and the Earth Institute.
For our final installation, we had to go from the edge of the Bay of Bengal almost to Bangladesh’s northern border with India, a trip of over 350 miles. Along the way we stopped at Humayun’s childhood home, had several flats and picked up a student of Humayun’s from the town where we installed it. After getting the GPS set up at the site he selected, we concluded with a feast at his home, driving by signs of the upcoming Hindu and Muslim festivals, and our own final celebration.
We traveled by boat to the south part of the Sundarbans near the Indian Ocean to install a GPS at Hiron Point, this isolated facility also hosts a tide gauge recording long-term water level changes due to rising sea level and land subsidence. Our GPS will help distinguish how much of each there is in the midst of the world’s largest mangrove forest.
Polder 32 is one of the many inland islands in Bangladesh that was enclosed by an embankment to protect it from flooding. When that embankment failed during Cyclone Aila in 2009, the island was flooded for almost 2 years. Subsidence of the ground inside the embankment with no sedimentation to compensate made it worse. We are installing a GPS at a school there to monitor the subsidence.