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Rock Avalanches of the Upper Indus

Human settlements in northern Pakistan depend on the leveling effects of rock landslides

Kenneth Hewitt, David Schoonmaker

Surprisingly, most streams of the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and northwest Himalaya mountains run across thick beds of sediment and rock, rather than cutting directly through bedrock. These deposits are the result of numerous rock avalanches that back up rivers and make it possible to establish subsistence-agriculture–based communities. These photographs supplement the selection published in Kenneth Hewitt's September-October 2010 article “Gifts and Perils of Landslides.” For more images and information about landslides, look to David Petley's landslides blog.

(All photographs by Kenneth Hewitt.)

 



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