This blog provides commentary on interesting geological events occurring around the world in the context of my own work. This work is, broadly, geological fluid dynamics. The events that I highlight here are those that resonate with my professional life and ideas, and my goal is to interpret them in the context of ideas I've developed in my research. The blog does not represent any particular research agenda. It is written on a personal basis and does not seek to represent the University of Illinois, where I am a professor of geology and physics. Enjoy Geology in Motion! I would be glad to be alerted to geologic events of interest to post here! I hope that this blog can provide current event materials that will make geology come alive.

Banner image is by Ludie Cochrane..

Susan Kieffer can be contacted at s1kieffer at gmail.com

Friday, June 18, 2010

Update on Attabad

The frustrated displaced people at Attabad have begun taking the situation into their own hands, returning to the landslide and trying to widen the channel by hand as shown in the photo.  This is an extremely dangerous situation, not only because of the ever-present dangers of landslides but because removal of material at the toe of the sides of the channel can destabilize it and cause collapse onto the workers.  The Pamir times describes the social unrest and conflict with authorities as this unfolds.  It also has a gallery of pictures of the work.

An indication of the social situation is a quote from the Home Secretary "Those widening the spillway are agents of the enemies of Pakistan."

Dave Petley has obtained information from David Archer (University of Newcastle) about the annual discharge patterns at the village of Dainyore, downstream of Attabad, where there is a hydrograph. From Petley's site on June 17:

Flow                         Mean date                                 Standard Deviation (days)
Peak                         29th July                                   14
50% of peak             26th June                                  11
20% of peak             3rd June                                    9
10% of peak             18th May                                  11
5% of peak               2nd May                                    9

Since we are about half way between June 3 and June 26, this suggests that the spillway is currently only experiencing 20-50% of the peak discharges, and that the flow will increase inexorably over the next month.

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