Countdown to China

A little while ago I was given the opportunity to take part in fieldwork in China with lecturers and research staff from Royal Holloway, through the Royal Geographical Society and the Institute of British Geographers. Find out more about them here.

After completing an application form for their Learning and Leading Fieldwork Apprenticeship, I was short-listed for a Skype interview and then found out that I’d received a grant to take part in fieldwork in China!

Look here to see me on the Royal Holloway Geography news page.

The fieldwork is part of an on-going project led by Dr Thomas Stevens together with other geographers and geologists around the country and is a Natural Environment Research Council funded project that aims to determine the sources of Chinese dust over the last 22 million years.

Dust in the atmosphere is an important and poorly understood part of global climate, and archives of dust, called loess, are preserved on the Chinese Loess Plateau in north central China, making it ideal to study long-term dust deposition.

My role in this research project will be as a field assistant obtaining samples from potential source regions in the northern Tibetan plateau and deserts of north-western China. Here large areas of dunes, fluvial and alluvial sediments may provide dust for the Loess Plateau. Within a team of experienced researchers, I will be helping with sampling and learning stratigraphic techniques along the way.

Find out more about dust here.

Yellow river sampling route

Northern deserts route

The plan is to fly to Lanzhou on August 13th and complete both the northern and the yellow river routes before September 14th, collecting river, loess and desert sediments along the way.

As a pre-departure blog post, I thought I’d let you know of some of my preparations before embarking on this exciting adventure!

Visa application

Feeling sorry for myself after my second round of immunisations

Ready for the desert!

Reading up on Chinese customs and what to expect. First aid kit and log books

During the trip look out for updates on my blog and twitter @abialderson8, in the meantime you can follow my ‘Geography’ board on Pinterest; here’s some images of China from my board as a taster.


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