Taiwan Fieldwork & Recent Update

I recently returned from helping out a colleague from my old department at the GFZ (where I worked for my PhD project) in the central mountains of Taiwan. Essentially, we were working to collect samples to answer some of the outstanding questions from my PhD work; several aspects of how the physical parameters of landslides affect the net weathering remain unclear, and so I was asked to help Dr Aaron Bufe – a postdoc in my old group – with addressing some of these issues.

Giant Landslide in the Chenyoulan River, central Taiwan. More details to come!

With these in mind we looked to sample a diverse range of landslides in the central part of Taiwan, but while the initial sampling worked out well (see photo) we ended up getting caught in a huge (and unusual) storm system, during which well over a metre of rain fell over around 48 hours. The result was that rivers and roads became essentially impassible in many parts of the catchment in which we were working, severely limiting the access to many of the sites we had hoped to access.

It was, however, a fascinating experience, and really made me appreciate what intense rainfall entails in tropical regions. In fact, the whole trip offered some fantastic opportunities to learn about life and geomorphic processes during extreme weather events, which I am working on putting together in a longer form post (incorporating some of the approximately hour of video footage I took while I was there) for publication in the near future. In the meantime, some short clips on Twitter may be of interest:



With much more to come soon.

As well as fieldwork I have been busy writing, both academically and in a more science communications capacity. A revised version of the 3rd PhD paper has gone back to the journal, while I have had two new pieces published recently. The first is an exhibition review which I wrote while I was working at Nature Geoscience, on the recent “Volcanoes” exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford:


Currently this is behind the Nature Geoscience paywall – please do contact me for a copy if necessary.

I also wrote a piece for Atlas Obscura on my recent visit to the Millennium Seed Bank, run by Kew Gardens:


I’m hoping to flesh out some of the details in these pieces within this blog when time allows. Finally, I’m excited that tomorrow morning another of my articles will be posted on the EGU’s lead blog page – Geolog – discussing my recent editorial experience.


All of this has been a lot of fun, and I’m just as excited to have a chance to settle down for a couple of weeks to write it all up, and tell some stories.

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