Just five days left until I leave Sweden for six weeks of fieldwork in Thailand. Nut and Moo are already back in Bangkok preparing the equipment, booking hotels and cars and drivers, and Kweku is getting all his fieldwork equipment ready back here at Stockholm University.
It is finally also clear that Nut and I will visit Myanmar during the first week, i.e. between November 30 and December 4. We will start with meeting people from the Myanmar Geological Society in Yangon, then we will travel north to Mandalay and will check out some of the crater lakes. It feels really exciting to being able to visit Myanmar and to travel through this unknown country and to these amazing crater lakes.
But then real work starts, first in the northwest of Thailand, back to our beloved Lake Kumphawapi, where Kweku will take surface sediment sample, but also samples from inflowing rivers, from the lake’s vegetation and from the surrounding vegetation to get a grip on the isotopic composition of plants and water. If time permits we will get another long sediment core from Kumphawapi. But most importantly we will put up a poster for visitors, explaining what we have been doing, why we have analysed the sediments, and how Kumphawapi has varied in time and space. Here is a figure that forms part of the poster. The figure was made by Sakonvan (Moo) Chawchai and was published in her licentiate thesis, which she defended in May 2012.
The next lake on our list is Pa Kho, which is not so far from Kumphawapi, but has sediments dating as far back as 45 000 years! We will sample the surface sediments and take another long core, because Pa Kho is so far our oldest record, and these sediments need to be investigated further and with as many different analytical techniques as possible.
From the northwest we will drive south to another of our lakes, Nong Thale Pron. Here we managed to get 10 m of sediments last time, but did not have enough rods to push the corer further down. This time we hope to be able to also recover the deepest sediments.
The second part of the fieldwork will focus on pre-2004 tsunami deposits on the island of Pra Thong, north of Kao Lak. Digging ditches and sampling holes will be our favourite occupation during two weeks. At least we will be doing this on a tropical island!
More to follow soon!