Nepal: Working on Shaky Ground

Eavesdropping on landslides

Scientists from the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam perform maintenance on a broadband seismometer and a weather station near Chaku in northern Nepal. Such deployments aim to track changes in ground properties and their responses to aftershocks and rainfall. Image by Jane Qiu. Nepal, 2016.

Monitoring river flows and debris movement

Researchers from the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam monitor river flow and sediment transport near Devighat in central Nepal. Such studies offer a glimpse of the movement of debris and groundwater from hillsides to rivers. Image by Jane Qiu. Nepal, 2016.

On April 25, 2015, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal, killing thousands. Now a year on, work is still underway to rebuild and repair the damage. But just because time has passed since the earthquake doesn’t mean that the danger has. “Earthquake can actually have quite long-lasting effects,” said Jane Qiu in an interview with Nature.

Spending much this year traveling in quake-stricken regions in Nepal, Qiu came across houses crushed by gigantic boulders and villages engulfed by a monstrous avalanche. In this podcast, she shares her experiences of the trip, and explains how scientists are monitoring landslide hazards and trying to forecast when and where a slope may fail.

Audio produced by Adam Levy, a multimedia producer at Nature.