Life on a Tectonically Active Delta: Convergence of Earth Science and Geohazard Research in Bangladesh with Education and Capacity Building

Lead PI: Dr. Michael S. Steckler , Mr. Leonardo Seeber

Unit Affiliation: Marine and Polar Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

June 2010 - August 2018
Asia ; India ; Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The project will examine sediments and stratigraphic architecture of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta as a record of fundamental fluvial and tectonic processes as well as the interactions between them. This will be done by drilling about 250 wells and using electrical resistivity profiles and marine multichannel seismic reflection along rivers and flooded areas to image subsurface features and correlate between wells.

OUTCOMES: So far two journal publications and two websites have been produced.


National Science Foundation (NSF)




Won-Young Kim


Vanderbilt University, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Queens College-CUNY, Dhaka University, University of Bremen, Bengal Engineering and Science University, Physical Research Laboratory, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Valcanologia



earthquakes river avulsion seismology geology and tectonics sedimentation seismic reflection electrical resistivity wells floods risk tectonics


Jun 17, 2024

Finding an Undocumented Earthquake That Moved a River

Researchers offer a behind-the-scenes look at their recent discovery of an earthquake that shifted the course of the Ganges.

Jun 17, 2024

An Earthquake Changed the Course of the Ganges. Could It Happen Again?

2,500 years ago, an earthquake changed the course of the mighty Ganges River, a new study shows. The region remains vulnerable to a similar event now.

Mar 20, 2024

Repairing Tectonic GNSS in Bangladesh’s Tea Region

The remainder of my fieldwork focuses on the GNSS (the general term for GPS) instruments in eastern Bangladesh to study the tectonics and earthquake hazard.

Mar 05, 2024

Finishing the Coastal Service Run

Traveling by boat, we are finishing our data collection and equipment servicing in coastal Bangladesh.

Mar 01, 2024

Back to the Sundarbans

As part of our trip studying land subsidence and elevation changes, we boarded a boat to travel through the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest.

Feb 27, 2024

Servicing My GNSS (GPS) in Bangladesh Once Again

The sustainability of the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and Bangladesh depends on the balance of sea level rise, land subsidence and sedimentation. We are measuring the latter two across the coastal zone.

Apr 24, 2023

Land Subsidence in the Netherlands

At a symposium on land subsidence, I learned about how the Dutch transformed their country so that about a quarter of it is below sea level and how they cope with it.

Mar 22, 2023

Exploring the Sundarbans and Back to Dhaka

Our group of 24 Americans and Bangladeshis continued to explore the Sundarbans mangrove forest, rice farming in embanked low-lying islands, and heritage sites of Bangladesh.

Mar 18, 2023

Across the Ganges to Southwest Bangladesh and the Sundarbans

Our group of 23 American and Bangladeshi students and professors traveled from the Jamuna River to the Ganges and Gorai Rivers, and then down to an island on the edge of the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest.

Mar 15, 2023

Taking My Class to Bangladesh

My undergraduate Sustainable Development course is in Bangladesh for a Spring Break trip to see what they have been learning about. We will be touring the country by bus and boat to learn about the environment and people of Bangladesh.