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

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dam break in Iowa

dam break story
I am on travel and will update this when I return.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Update on Channel Geometry at Attabad

The Pamir Times published a new, but lower resolution photo, of the spillway at Attabad a few days ago.  There has been substantial erosion of the channel in the downstream portions, but it is difficult to tell whether or not the upstream choke point has changed as much. The lake level has been rising in response to the summer runoff season, but has plummeted the past few days.  The reasons are not clear; details and speculations here.  Yesterday, Dave's landslide blog reported that officials in Pakistan have decided to blast the spillway to lower the lake level several 80 meters in order to try to restore the Karakoram highway to China that has been drowned out by the blockade lake.  This is clearly a major, and potentially hazardous, engineering task.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New Video by Nisar Ahmed on Hunza

Official news regarding the Attabad landslide and the situation in Hunza has been slow lately, but a new video by a local director provides both a historical perspective, spectacular scenary about the valley, a documentary of its people, and a political perspective on the situation of the humanitarian crisis. The people are long-lived, and have a nearly 90% literacy rate. I had not realized that the people noticed cracks in the ground in 2002, the government had apparently declared a red zone, but done nothing to enforce it.  More than 25,000 people have been displaced since January 4.  The lake is currently about 27 km long, inflow about equals outflow during this high season of the melting and runoff. I highly recommend this video for witnessing the courage of an incredible people in the face of an ongoing natural disaster and humanitarian crisis.