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Recent sediment flux to the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta system

Recent sediment flux to the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta system
Recent sediment flux to the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta system

The physical sustainability of deltaic environments is very much dependent on the volume of water and sediment coming from upstream and the way these fluxes recirculate within the delta system. Based on several past studies, the combined mean annual sediment load of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) systems has previously been estimated to vary from 1.0 to 2.4 BT/year which can be separated into components flowing from the Ganges (260 to 680 MT/year) and Brahmaputra (390 to 1160 MT/year). Due to very limited data and small contribution of the Meghna system (6–12 MT/year) to the total sediment flux of the GBM system, the data of the Meghna is not considered in the analysis assuming the sediment flux from GB system as the sediment flux of GBM. However, in this paper our analysis of sediment concentration data (1960–2008) collected by Bangladesh Water Development Board shows that the sediment flux is much lower: 150 to 590 MT/year for the Ganges versus 135 to 615 MT/year for the Brahmaputra, with an average total flux around 500 MT/year. Moreover, the new analysis provides a clear indication that the combined sediment flux delivered through these two major river systems is following a declining trend. In most of the planning documents in Bangladesh, the total sediment flux is assumed as a constant value of around 1 billion tons, while the present study indicates that the true value may be around 50% lower than this (with an average decreasing trend of around 10 MT/year).

Brahmaputra, Ganges, GBM Delta, GBM system, Sediment flux
0048-9697
1054-1064
Rahman, Munsur
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Dustegir, Maruf
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Karim, Rezaul
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Haque, Anisul
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Nicholls, Robert J.
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Darby, Stephen E.
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Nakagawa, Hajime
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Hossain, Motahar
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Dunn, Frances E.
474bab5b-3065-474c-aa8a-433275d62601
Akter, Marin
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Rahman, Munsur
dfaeee62-6d84-443b-8362-fabf05517b51
Dustegir, Maruf
366afa13-73b8-4a4c-9553-7b7b0a028ca5
Karim, Rezaul
3a0b44b3-7ebf-47eb-a4ef-4c209f9640fd
Haque, Anisul
0d47d8f2-0195-4385-99d8-b91ec9387811
Nicholls, Robert J.
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Darby, Stephen E.
4c3e1c76-d404-4ff3-86f8-84e42fbb7970
Nakagawa, Hajime
fe1cabd9-3bfb-4935-8b84-23eb4a09c3b8
Hossain, Motahar
1e700dd3-f777-4f2c-9975-32f8f611ed90
Dunn, Frances E.
474bab5b-3065-474c-aa8a-433275d62601
Akter, Marin
46ee20ac-fb7f-4e79-abfa-fd30a1441928

Rahman, Munsur, Dustegir, Maruf, Karim, Rezaul, Haque, Anisul, Nicholls, Robert J., Darby, Stephen E., Nakagawa, Hajime, Hossain, Motahar, Dunn, Frances E. and Akter, Marin (2018) Recent sediment flux to the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta system. Science of the Total Environment, 643, 1054-1064. (doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.06.147).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The physical sustainability of deltaic environments is very much dependent on the volume of water and sediment coming from upstream and the way these fluxes recirculate within the delta system. Based on several past studies, the combined mean annual sediment load of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) systems has previously been estimated to vary from 1.0 to 2.4 BT/year which can be separated into components flowing from the Ganges (260 to 680 MT/year) and Brahmaputra (390 to 1160 MT/year). Due to very limited data and small contribution of the Meghna system (6–12 MT/year) to the total sediment flux of the GBM system, the data of the Meghna is not considered in the analysis assuming the sediment flux from GB system as the sediment flux of GBM. However, in this paper our analysis of sediment concentration data (1960–2008) collected by Bangladesh Water Development Board shows that the sediment flux is much lower: 150 to 590 MT/year for the Ganges versus 135 to 615 MT/year for the Brahmaputra, with an average total flux around 500 MT/year. Moreover, the new analysis provides a clear indication that the combined sediment flux delivered through these two major river systems is following a declining trend. In most of the planning documents in Bangladesh, the total sediment flux is assumed as a constant value of around 1 billion tons, while the present study indicates that the true value may be around 50% lower than this (with an average decreasing trend of around 10 MT/year).

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 12 June 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 28 June 2018
Keywords: Brahmaputra, Ganges, GBM Delta, GBM system, Sediment flux

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421967
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421967
ISSN: 0048-9697
PURE UUID: 3758ef67-a9dd-46db-8103-413ea9237260
ORCID for Robert J. Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109
ORCID for Stephen E. Darby: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8778-4394

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 08 Oct 2020 04:24

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