What’s darkening Brahmaputra: Landslide, not Chinese machines

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Mains Paper 1: Geography | Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Brahmaputra river and its tributaries

Mains level: Landslides, earthquakes (All details)


News

No Chinese construction activity

  1. Massive landslides caused by a series of earthquakes in Tibet is darkening the Brahmaputra waters
  2. This report comes amidst apprehensions that contamination may have been caused due to the construction of a dam by China on a tributary of the Brahmaputra

Reason for darkened water

  1. Lab tests have established that the water has darkened due to turbidity typically caused by landslides
  2. The accumulating debris has caused partial blockages at three locations, forming natural dams on 6 km of the river across a 12-km stretch in China
  3. A preliminary study by two researchers from Bengaluru-based National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) shows that quake-induced landslides on the river continued for over three weeks, which probably explains the prolonged turbidity
  4. The evidence puts to rest fears that dam construction and tunnelling work upstream the Yarlung-Tsangpo in China were responsible for the darkening of Brahmaputra waters

Three natural dams formed

  1. Three natural dams have formed one behind the other
  2. The dams are significantly smaller than the Yigong dam, which led to catastrophic flooding of the Brahmaputra in 2000
  3. The worry for India is that these three dams may merge and eventually give away to result in a deluge downstream

Read background of the news here

Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.
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