Coastal Processes

The Mekong River is one of the main suppliers of sediment to the ocean; combined with The Ganges, Brahmaputra, Huang He, Yangtze and Irrawaddy Rivers also in the region, these rivers account for 30% of global fluvial discharge. Many factors influence the Mekong Delta including the complex tidal regime, waves, heightened river flow and wind induced currents resulting from the monsoon, and also human influences. Proposed and existing dams alter the sediment discharge annually, and it is through modelling studies such as those which MMA provide, that sediment load estimates can be calculated in order to understand the fine sediment and nutrient balance of the delta and possible future changes.

A current challenge the Mekong Delta faces is future land subsidence, which when combined with sea level rise could result in over 25% of the delta becoming flooded by 2100. For sustainable development in the region, it is therefore crucial to understand the relationship between land subsidence, sediment sources, river/sea level rise, and general water security issues.