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Latrubesse, E. M., Park, E., & Kastner, K. (2021). The Ayeyarwady river (Myanmar): Washload transport and its global role among rivers in the Anthropocene. PLOS ONE, 16, Article e0251156. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0251156
The Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) is the second largest river of Southeast Asia and one of the rivers with the highest load of suspended sediment delivered to the sea in the world. The Ayeyarwady is the lifeline of Myanmar which concentrates the majority of the population and GDP of the country. It is the main way of transport, a source of fluvial aggregates for development projects, hydropower, and the basin plays a major role in food supply and irrigation. Despite the Ayeyarwady ranking amongst the world’s largest rivers and its vital importance to Myanmar, scarce research has been undertaken to understand its morphodynamics and sediment transport regime. Current load estimates still heavily rely on the only systematic study of sediment transport dating back to the 19th century. Here, we provide a novel estimate for the recent washload sediment transport based on a field calibrated remote sensing model of surface suspended sediments concentrations. We show that the Ayeyarwady has likely become the river with the second or third largest delivery of washload to the sea in the world since it has so far been much less affected by damming compared to the vast majority of other rivers.
SUG-NAP 3/19 EP
AcRF Tier1 RT 06/19
Earth Observatory of Singapore
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Ministry of Education, Singapore
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