Life on a Tectonically Active Delta: Convergence of Earth Science and Geohazard Research in Bangladesh with Education and Capacity Building
DESCRIPTION: The project will examine sediments and stratigraphic architecture of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta as a record of fundamental fluvial and tectonic processes as well as the interactions between them. This will be done by drilling about 250 wells and using electrical resistivity profiles and marine multichannel seismic reflection along rivers and flooded areas to image subsurface features and correlate between wells.
OUTCOMES: So far two journal publications and two websites have been produced.
My last days in the field brought us to monuments in a makeshift home near the ocean, a flooded field next to a school, and adjacent to a jute mill. Most of us now head back to Dhaka, the capital. Céline will stay on a few more days, then Hasnat with Saif and Nahin will continue until all the monuments are resurveyed.
We continued our GPS surveys of monuments to measure land subsidence. While the work general went very well, we faced challenges from obscured or tilted monuments. We also struggled with large traffic delays, particularly at unpredictable ferry crossings.
Getting to remote sites started to prove challenging, and involved many forms of transportation by land and water.
I am back in Bangladesh once more to investigate the balance between sea level rise, the sinking of the land, and the filling of the space with sediments.
We added a campaign monument to the tide gauge at Khepupara on the way to our last GPS and SET installation site at Patuakhali. We faced challenges such as bad roads and broken bridges, and leeches, but got the work done. The field work was now coming to a close.
We replaced the GPS at Khulna University, then met some colleagues in Barisal. We continued to Khepupara and the beach at Kuakata for more installations. The beach on the Bay of Bengal is fresh water in the summer due to the enormous water discharge at the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta.
Silting rivers and bad roads made it difficult to find a last site. After a successful installation and an upgrade to an existing GPS site, we left the boat for land. We then discovered the local river had washed away some of our equipment.
We sailed to Hiron Point in the Sundarban Mangrove Forest to upgrade old and install new equipment. I have been to this beautiful remote site several times before. After competing the work, we sailed for over a day to reach our next site on a primary school roof.
By working a 16-hour day, we managed to get both GPS and SETs completed at our first field site. We then sailed into the Sundarban Mangrove Forest, the world's largest, to visit an existing site and make measurements.
I am back in Bangladesh for a new project examining the balance between sea level rise, land subsidence and sedimentation. We will be installing, repairing or upgrading equipment to measure changes to the landscape.