Saturday, January 7, 2012

Welcome to Bangladesh

After more than 38 hours of travel, we arrived in Sylhet, Bangladesh on Thursday night. We flew from Newark, NJ to Mumbai, India and then to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Then we piled into our van and drove all day to reach Sylhet in northeastern Bangladesh. In case you've forgotten where Bangladesh is located, the map shows the route we traveled to get here.

We have now recovered from our exhaustion and jet lag (there's an 11 hour time difference) and we're about to start our 3rd day of fieldwork! For the first week I'm working with in a team of 6. This photo shows Nano Seeber (Columbia U.), Khaled Chowdhury (Dhaka University, Bangladesh), Dhiman Mondal (Dhaka U.), Antje Lenhart (Bremen U. in Germany), and Cecilia McHugh (Queens College, NY).
Our intrepid driver Rokon is also a crucial part of our team and keeps us safe on the chaotic roads of Bangladesh.

We are collecting data (using our compasses, just like you did in class with the cardboard "outcrops"!) and rock samples to address many different scientific questions, such as:
- Where are there faults (that might generate earthquakes)? What kind of faults are there and in what ways do they deform the land?
- When and where have earthquakes happened in the past? What evidence do they leave in sediment
- How has the land rotated and moved?

This map shows the major faults (fractures where rocks move, bend and break). I'm focusing on the fault in red, which is called the Dauki Fault.

A lot of you forget to record observations during your 8th grade science labs, but detailed observations are absolutely crucial in scientific research. We all keep very detailed notes, because months from now when we're working with our data there might be some key detail that didn't seem so important at the time. Photos are also really important because they allow us to illustrate our observations!

I look forward to reading your questions! Feel free to ask about anything - the science, the cultural differences, the logistical challenges, etc.

1 comment:

  1. what is the weather like, does Bangladesh get any rain at this time of year? and when you are picking up rocks do you have to watch out for snakes and insects?