Before-and-after photographs of Nepal’s Langtang Valley showing the near-complete destruction of Langtang village due to a massive landslide caused by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. Photos from 2012 (pre-quake) and 2015 (post-quake) by David Breahshears/GlacierWorks.
On April 25, 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal, eventually killing ~9,000 people and severely damaged a 550 x 200 km region in Nepal and neighbouring countries. A new study – published in Science – by IAS/SAM Assistant Professor Dan Shugar and colleagues describes the landslides that were caused by the earthquake and aftershocks, and evaluates their distribution in terms of geomorphic, tectonic and lithologic controls. The day after the earthquake, a volunteer group of satellite analysts from a dozen countries was assembled by University of Arizona glacier hazards researcher Jeffrey Kargel, and coordinated by NASA. Shugar led a smaller group of volunteers in analysis of landslides and other induced geohazards in the Annapurna region of the Himalaya. In the end, the larger group mapped >4,300 landslides and found that their distribution was asymmetric about the epicenters of the main shock and largest aftershock(s). By comparing the landslides’ distribution with InSAR-generated ground displacement fields, the group noticed that the highest areal densities of landslides are developed on the downdropped northern tectonic block, which is likely explained by momentary reduction of the normal stress along planes of weakness during downward acceleration. Such a pattern has never before been observed for a large earthquake. The total number of landslides was also surprising, since far more landslides were expected for an earthquake of this magnitude. The paper was published in Science Express on Dec 16, and will appear in print in January 2016.
Kargel, Leonard, Shugar, et al., Geomorphic and Geologic Controls of Geohazards Induced by Nepal’s 2015 Gorkha Earthquake. Science.
Sciences and Mathematics held the Fall 2015 edition of the UW Tacoma Environmental Research Symposium (UWaTERS) on Thursday December 10th 10:30-12:00 PM in the hallway of the 2nd floor Science Building.
Environmental Science and Environmental Studies majors presented their capstone research projects in a poster session. These students also participated (as part of their TESC 410 class) in creating UW Tacoma’s inaugural submissions for the national EPA green infrastructure design competition, campus RainWorks Challenge. The student teams benefited from the involvement of City of Tacoma and UW Tacoma Facilities Services staff during brainstorming and design. The student teams will be showing off their design boards for this project at the poster event. For more info on this competition, check out the website: http://www2.epa.gov/green-infrastructure/2015-campus-rainworks-challenge
UWaTERS Abstracts AUT15 Final
Great Job SAM Students!
Congratulations to SIAS Associate Professor Erica Cline and Assistant Professor Peter Selkin on being two out of the ten UW Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Fellows for 2016!
COIL fellow are chosen from all the UW campuses. The main purpose for COIL fellows is to create new and effective ways to overcome obstacles of finance, borders, and time zones for travel abroad.
Dr. Cline has submitted a proposal to the UW COIL Fellows Selection Committee to design and implement an international collaboration course on Sustainable Agriculture.
To read more about the COIL Initiative, please visit http://www.bothell.washington.edu/globalinitiatives/academic/coil-initiative