IMAGE: The destroyed Tapovan Vishnugad hydroelectric plant after the devastating debris flow on Feb 7, 2021. CREDIT: Irfan Rashid/Department of Geoinformatics, University of Kashmir

Destruction is a terrible motivator for science, but it does motivate science. Recently, a huge mass wasting event in India destroyed two hydropower facilities and resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 people. Shocking and tragic, scientists raced to understand how and why this event occurred and if it could be prevented in the future.

Over fifty scientists came together to study the landslide, which began when a wedge of rock under a glacier broke off a ridge in the Himalayas. All that rock and ice fell downhill, carrying debris with it, and the damage was extensive. …

Beth Johnson

Planetary scientist, podcast host. Communication specialist for SETI Institute and Planetary Science Institute. Journalist on the Weekly Space Hangout.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store