Rare extreme events often have strong impacts with devastating consequences for infrastructure and lives. Moreover, these events can destabilize the earth surface processes for years to decades or even longer and increase risks during that time. We aim to organize a conference that explores this legacy.
The workshop will be held in an active area with ongoing research in perturbations of earth surface processes by a large earthquake, the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. The conference is designed to combine high level research in earth sciences with direct experience and field visits to sites impacted by a number of such events.
We plan to hold the conference for one and a half days in Kathmandu mainly with the focus on Himalayan research that will be accessible to the local community. Then we travel to the rupture zone of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, where participants are surrounded by evidence of multiple past extreme events and their impacts. The conference will be continued in the Bhotekoshi Valley and provide time for breakout groups and stimulating discussions of ongoing research and future projects. In this way, we will ensure focus throughout the event and achieve optimal outcomes.
Extreme events are increasingly recognized as potentially significant components of the earth surface process system and as important for basic scientific research. Visiting such areas in the immediate aftermath of large events to set up monitoring devices or make initial measurements can be critical for constraining the transient impacts of an event. However, events with significant impacts on surface processes often result in societal crisis, and rapid response fieldwork is not only challenging for scientists but is not the first priority for local relief efforts and affected people. In order to coordinate such research, one of the aims of the conference is to discuss the potential of setting up an international rapid response board that can operate under the umbrella of EGU and other organisations and coordinate research after major events. During one of the breakout discussion groups, we will discuss the ethics of working in such regions and aim to develop codes of conduct for this work. We think having this kind of committee would help to bundle efforts and will also act as interface with decision makers in times of crisis.