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September 22, 2010


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Wow. Great post. Thanks!

Michael - This is the post I wanted to write about the Pakistan floods, only never did - and now you've done it an order of magnitude better than I would have managed. Thank you.

Anne - thanks, but we all know that there's much more to be said on this topic - a guest post?

terrific commentary Michael. there has been catastrophic flooding in Uttar Pradesh and the adjoining Himalayan provinces as well with the Tehri dam in focus. so these insights you have put out are of wide relevance.

Thanks, Suvrat. Your point is excellent - I chose the Tarbela dam as an example because the sedimentation history in the reservoir is well documented. But these issues are of wide-ranging importance for both the Indus and Ganges systems and the management of resources and the environment in those river systems and the Himalaya. I have just been looking up the Tehri dam and the seventeen others along the Bhagirathi river (existing, under construction, planned). I know that you wrote about this earlier this year (http://suvratk.blogspot.com/2010/04/undamming-india-two-dams-on-himalayan.html)- could I invite you to consider a guest post????

Do you have some stuff or article about textural attributes of the sediments of Indus River????

A paper that I found while looking into this whole topic is from Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2005:

Petrology of Indus River sands: a key to interpret erosion history of
the Western Himalayan Syntaxis (Eduardo Garzanti et al.)

It can be found in its entirety online at http://lgca.obs.ujf-grenoble.fr/perso/pvanderb/doc_pedago_fichiers/TUE558_articles/Garzanti_EPSL_2005.pdf

It's mainly petrology rather than textural attributes, but the reference list may guide you to other sources.

I hope this helps and thanks for the enquiry.


A couple of years ago, as I recall, humans replaced beavers as the species with greatest effect on landforms, planetwide. Dams are a critical technology for both species. The comparative consequences reflect on the metastable achievements of intelligence, contrasted to the gradualism of natural selection. Animals are better at inhabiting the planet than we are.
Geophysicist Michael Wysession reports that humans altered the climate in New England by wiping out the beaver and so removing the wetlands: http://teachingcompany.12.forumer.com/a/45-humans-dominating-geologic-change_post1595.html

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