June 19, 2024

Into the Sundarban Mangrove Forest and Back

Into the Sundarban Mangrove Forest and Back

We were still in the Pusur River heading south toward the worlds largest mangrove forest.
When I awoke the next early morning, we were deep within the forest, showing up to our goal after breakfast. We were going to an RSET site inside the forest. Rather, we went to the forest ranger station and started work on our GNSS. We all then took the raised forest sidewalk to the observation tower about a kilometer into the forest.

The M/V Bawali, our house for the next week.
At night, we headed to the ghat (dock) around 8 pm. It was as busy as typical, with many individuals reoccuring from ferryboats and private boats, stands hawking food, and lots of beeping lorries. Bachchu, the boat owner, led us to the ideal put on the ghat. The wood country boat of M/V Bawali, our house for the next week, showed up and assisted the previous tourists off. Then the crew rapidly helped load all our gear and travel luggage onto the wooden boat. They crossed the channel to where the Bawali awaited us as soon as we were settled.
Pinky and Masud on the country boat with our 2 armed forest guards. Dipu is guiding in the back with Sanju and Nasir is on the.
The Bawali, which indicates wood cutters, is a 60-foot long Sundarban tourist boat with six cabins, one for each of us. After the long drives of the last days, this will be a much more relaxing, although slower, method to travel. We were still in the Pusur River heading south towards the worlds biggest mangrove forest.
Masud measuring the elevation while Ira (Eera) records the measurements.
When I woke up the next morning, we were deep within the forest, showing up to our goal after breakfast. Katka is a much visited traveler site in the Sundarbans and we saw a number of other boats. However, we were going to an RSET site inside the forest. I do not have a GNSS site here, so this was my chance to see the RSET measurements being done. As always, we were accompanied by 2 armed guards to protect versus tigers, sometimes yelping to frighten them off.
Sanju and Ira determine the density of sediment that has actually built up on the tile.
With Pinky and Masud in charge, and Ira, Sanju and out 2 boatmen assisting, it went reasonably rapidly. Both sites were done by 11:30 am.
Pinky setting a brand-new sediment tile flush with the forest floor.
Considering that the weather condition turned rainy, we missed out on the opportunity to choose a walk on the beach, and began for our next location. The boat sailed out of the river into the Bay of Bengal and into the next channel to head back west towards Hiron Point. Around sundown we passed the area called Kokilmoni and hove to near Tinkona Island.
Sunset over Tinkona Island in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest.
We waited until the next early morning to cross the 10-km-wide channel to Hiron Point. The Bawali waited outside the channel while we took the country boat in. The walkway to the tide gauge has actually broken considering that our last see, so we will not visit it this time.
The pathway to the Hiron Point tide gauge has broken because our last visit.
Instead, we went to the forest ranger station and began work on our GNSS. When we finished, 2 wild boars were roaming around the grounds.
Downloading a years worth of data from the Hiron Point GNSS onto my laptop. It has been that long since somebody was here.
We all then took the elevated forest walkway to the observation tower about a kilometer into the forest. It was a beautiful walk through the forest, with a couple of deer along the way.
One of the wild boars roaming around the forest ranger station.
When we continued that way, I discovered that we were going through the labyrinth of channels to the next main channel to the north. We rejoined the Bawali simply in time for our normal 2:30 lunch and headed to the next site.
Pinky and others on the raised sidewalk through the forest with its lots of broken planks.
After a couple of hours, we entered a larger river a kilometer wide and headed north to our next location. Pinky, Masud and Ira went to the RSET, Chris went to photo the plants, and Sanju and I went to the school with the GNSS. After ending up, the RSET group headed to their 2nd website outside the polder.
One of the many deer we found from the pathway and the boat.
When done, we began the transit to our last site. We initially headed to our GNSS site in the northwest corner of Polder 32, then to the RSETs on the south side. We strolled the half mile to the websites and set to work, with Pinky and Ira along to see the GNSS site.
An egret taking off in the morning as we sail through the Sundarbans.
We have now gone to all of our southern coastal sites determining subsidence of the delta. All are online and sending data back to the U.S., although one is having difficulty locking satellites. I might need to visit it throughout my next trip here in March. The RSET team still have eight sites to visit over the next 2 days at Sorbhatkhali on the south side of Polder 32. 4 remain in the Sundarbans and 4 are within the polder.
Sailing through the Sundarbans, we saw great deals of evidence of shifting channels. Here the land is accreting and little brand-new trees are colonizing the fresh land.
Chris and I, however, are heading home. We will fulfill the smaller sized M/V Mowali (Sundarbans honey collectors) to take us back to Khulna. Then, the next day we travel back to Dhaka and lastly catch our flight back to New York, after the needed COVID test.
The RSET team working in a rice field. The small fields of dense seedlings are being transplanted to the larger flooded fields.
My GNSS network is working once again, gathering information to better identify the tectonics of the subduction zone in northeast Bangladesh and the subsidence of the delta in the southeast. My meetings in Dhaka in between the 2 service runs will help develop brand-new jobs for continuing our research study here.
Sanju and I satisfied Chris as he walked back after surveying the vegetation in the location for confirming his remote picking up analyses.