New academic Year, new academic students.

It seems almost surreal that the M.Sc. course I completed last year has started again. I have been helping out in some of the practicals which has also allowed me some time to work on the paper that I am trying to publish.

It's interesting talking to the new students and discussing with them about some of the course options and what they hope to get out of the course. It's amazing how similar their thoughts are to what I was thinking last year. 

I am keeping myself busy mostly with application forms for employment, learning R (a statistical programming language), learning some statistics (because I am gluten for punishment) and re-drawing diagrams for the paper I am writing. I also have three interviews next week, which is exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.

Seeing as the new academic year has started I thought it was about time that I posted a couple of the photographs from August when my class and I were celebrating finishing our dissertations with some of the academic staff :-)

Dissertation writing up...

The last time I had to 'write up' a large body of work I had a job in the university library. Actually I had about four jobs in the library, which basically funded my beer, accommodation, and cheesy pasta that I apparently lived on. The jobs I had in the library were amazing, they were never terribly busy and I was always sat at a computer. This allowed me to type up my work, think about my work and run downstairs to the journals if I needed to look something up. Of course now I can find any journal online... Of course, I also served people when it was required ;-)

Still, I miss having those jobs right now as I have been finding writing up more difficult this time, hence being up since 4am (which is when it gets light) having slept very little last night. This dissertation come in two parts, a scientific paper and a technical report. Thankfully the paper section should be finished off for review today and i can start finishing off the technical section next week.

Lake 15

It has been interesting getting back into a subject that has always interested me (Glacial  Lake Outburst Flood's) and it has been great applying new skills learned during the M.Sc. to that subject. My results have been interesting, lots of histograms and images of glaciers with polygons around their pro-glacial lakes! :-)

Well, it's almost 6am and the rain is steadily falling. Time for some tea I think. 


Lake 15 Histogram of Lake Area

Lake 15 Histogram of Lake Area

Dissertation Progress

I thought it would be nice to post the map that I am working on that makes up a crucial part of my dissertation project The aim of the project is to identify where glacial lakes may pose a risk of catastrophic drainage and the route they would take using the integration of remote sensing and geographical information systems in the Burang valley in Western Tibet. This area is just north of western Nepal and the area is known for having previous glacier lake outburst floods.

So far I have identified 51 glacier using remotely sensed imagery from the Landsat Missions. Using some. I have mapped these lakes over five different years: 1994; 1999; 2005; 2009 and 2015. Due to warming global temperatures many scientists have found that glaciers in the Himalayas have undergone increased retreat causing pro-glacial lakes to build to dangerous levels which can catastrophically drain. Needless to say this can cause a lot of damage and loss of life downstream.

This is the map that I have produced so far  

Glacial Lakes from 2015.

This map has the glacier lakes from 2015 mapped on it, the glaciers from the GLIM's database, the major road(s), bridges and settlements in the valley that would be affected a GLOF. It also shows the streams and rivers routes any GLOF would take.

This cut out below shows how the some of the lakes have increased since 1994.

As can be seen some of the glacial lakes have expanded rapidly although some have stayed relatively the same size. From analysis of the imagery it can be seen that those that have stayed the same size have good drainage networks and those that have increased in size do not and are often dammed by pro-glacial moraines (sediment deposited by the glacier).

It is now time to crunch numbers regarding the lake volumes to see which have increased rapidly and and are potentially dangerous and if they would cause any damage to the settlements and infrastructures downstream.