Geology for Global Development

Geology for Global Development

Friday Photo (52) – Taklamakan Desert

We’ve now had a whole year of ‘Friday Photos’ on our old blog and now this new EGU hosted blog. As a special treat today we have not one, but three images from the  Taklamakan Desert and some of the highest sand dunes in China.


Taklamakan Desert, China: Geotourism close to the oasis town of Dunhuang

Another example of geotourism in Gansu Province. The dunes and crescent moon lake oasis near Dunhuang are a hub for tourist activity in the area. Education and conservation however are poorly managed in favour of income generation.

(c) Geology for Global Development, 2012

For other images in our ‘Friday Photo’ series – please see the full archive here

Top Travel Tips (6) – Daniel Sharpe

Over the summer we published a very popular series of posts outlining some Top Travel Tips to help those undertaking mapping projects, fieldwork or research visits overseas. We’ve had helpful posts from those who have spent time in various parts of Africa, Bangladesh, and Chile. Good preparation is essential to get the most out of overseas work. It helps our work be more effective, more efficient and ultimately more sustainable.

Today, Daniel Sharpe shares his insights from time he spent in Vancouver, Canada.

1) Explore on Foot – Vancouver is a stunning city full of open paths, chic buildings and beautiful marinas. During summertime many of the locals prefer roller-skates as their mode of transport, but a slow walk along the quay down to Stanley Park is as good an option for those not savvy with this classic 70s throwback. Cheeky black squirrels will impose themselves on you for food and you will soon forget you are in one of the largest cities in Canada.

2) Eat Out – Vancouver is a very cosmopolitan city with a particularly large asian population. This fusion of cultures has made eating here a complete experience, from North-American steak houses to delicate little patisseries and Asian corner shops. You’ll find everything from high end elite restaurants to greasy spoon cafes so get out looking for whatever takes your fancy.

3) Breakfast is the most important meal – The breakfasts in Vancouver are incredible and they certainly do not do things by halves. Pancakes, sausages, bacon, mushrooms and as many as 8 different styles of egg to choose from served on a chest sized plate was certainly a nice wake up, and if you find one of the little corner cafes this mountain of food won’t even cost that much!

4) Get out and about – With Whistler only a 50 minute drive away you’d be silly not to hire a car for a day and get our into British Columbia’s wilderness. Sea planes litter the harbour with an incandescent hum ferrying tourists up to small mountain lakes to the north-west. Rural B.C. is an amazing place so get out and experience a true lasting wilderness of pine forests and bears.

Vancouver is regularly voted as one of the best places in the world to live and it is not hard to see why. Modern skyscrapers mingle with old colonial buildings and a culture confused city with a backdrop of mountains and sea. Explore on foot, get out and about and be prepared to add a belt buckle or two when sampling the food in one of the worlds great cities.

In The News – October 2012

A few things have caught my eye in the news recently, a mix of good and tragic:

Toilets in India: The BBC reported last week that the Indian Supreme Court have ordered that every school have clean water and suitable sanitation facilities within six months. If this is obeyed, and goes hand in hand with appropriate hygiene training it could lead to many positive results, as outlined on the Tearfund Just Policy Blog.

Saving Lives From Space: The BBC have an interesting audio slide-show in which they discuss the importance of remote sensing images in disaster relief and recovery. Dr Alice Bunn from the UK Space Agency talks about the way in which the Disaster Charter is applied, and can result in images taken by a Nigerian satellite helping the US post-disaster. A great, and informative piece by the BBC that communicates well how both the tool and the political willpower can make a real difference.

Landslide in China: Finally, a very sad story from China. Nineteen people have been killed in a landslide in the south-west of China. This includes 18 children who were buried in a school. They were attending an extra lesson on a National Holiday when the landslide occurred. The lesson had been scheduled due to classes that were missed during a recent earthquake event. Dave Petley comments on The Landslide Blog about the high possibility of more landslides in the area affected by the September earthquakes.

Friday Photo (51) – Loess Collapse/Subsidence

Heifangtai, Gansu Province, China: Collapse in Loess Deposits

Ground collapse/subsidence in China, most likely caused by movement of water through the loess deposits from the high relief in the right of this picture, to the low relief in the left of the picture. The scale of the collapse can be seen in relation to the man at the forefront.

(c) Geology for Global Development, 2012

For other images in our ‘Friday Photo’ series – please see the full archive here