Thursday, May 27, 2010

Landslides and Lakes: Geology, English, Hydrology

Warning: This post is not about Education. It is about my education, though.

I've been completely fascinated by a blog that Ed Vielmetti sent me to: Dave's Landslide Blog. I've been learning a tremendous amount about geology and geography (okay, I already knew a fair bit, but not about landslides). They seem to happen around the world nearly every day.

Right now there is a huge lake (at least 12 miles long and over 300 feet deep), growing daily, that was formed by a landslide in January. It is about to overflow any day now, with the possibility of a ginormous (I like that word) flood. Many villages have already flooded, more are about to be flooded. All in a part of Pakistan that I didn't even know about. And there are all sorts of politics going on in the area. The Pakistan-China road (Karkoram Highway) has been blocked and flooded. And if there is a disaster, it will be because the government didn't step up to the plate and prepare. Did I mention that the area is incredibly beautiful? Welcome to Gilgit-Baltistan, where the Attabad Lake has formed in the Hunza district. The lake is about to overtop tomorrow or the next day. How big will the flood be? I've been checking, practically hourly. (Picture taken from Dave's Landslide Blog.)

Another thing that is really interesting to me is the English of the Pakistani news sources--the English reads really differently from ours. Turn in to the Pamir Times to see what I mean. It reminds me of a debate I read about in one of my English classes, over whether there is, or should be, a single World English, or multiple World Englishes. Reading the Pakistani news sources, I lean toward Englishes.


  1. These pictures in the Boston Globe are amazing:

  2. The water has started to go over the spillway; Dave's Landslide Blog has some video.

    I see this blog as the absolute model of how someone who is an expert in their field communicates with the public - Dave is so clear in the way he writes about the science and the impact on people.