A large part of my PhD has been fieldwork based – collecting a mixture of sediment grain size measurements, detrital cosmogenic radionuclide samples and suspended sediment samples. This generally involves digging holes in river beds and floodplains!
Following the Gorkha earthquake (April 2015) in Nepal, I have also been involved in other research considering the sedimentary response to earthquake induced landsliding. In July 2015 I returned to Nepal with a group from GFZ (Potsdam) working along the Bhote Koshi, Narayani and Sun Koshi rivers. The focus of this trip was to train me in using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) which GFZ had used previously along these rivers (pre-earthquake). The ADCP gives us real-time information on river discharge, water velocity across the full channel-cross section, and georeferenced channel geometries and positions. Repeating these types of surveys over the coming years will help us understand how rivers draining these catchments are responding to landslide sediment inputs.
During the last year, I have also taken an interruption from my PhD to work on a EPSRC/NERC GCRF sponsored project in west Nepal on the Karnali River (see my blog post for more information on this!). This work seeks to understand the role that sediment deposition downstream of the Himalayan mountains has on river flooding dynamics across the Karnali floodplain.