JWARP  Vol.9 No.7 , June 2017
Assessing the Effects of Upstream Dam Developments on Sediment Distribution in the Lower Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Abstract: The Lower Mekong Delta in Vietnam experiences widespread flooding annually. About 17 million people live in the Delta with agriculture as the major economic activity. The suspended sediment load in the Mekong River plays an important role in carrying contaminants and nutrients to the delta and changing the geomorphology of the delta river system. In recent decades, it is generally perceived that the flow and sediment transport in the Mekong River have changed due to climate change and development activities, but observed sediment data are lacking. Moreover, after natural floodplains, the sediment deposition has replaced by dense river systems as resulting in floodplain compartments protected by embankments. This study is aimed to investigate impacts of changing water flow on erosion/deposition in the Lower Mekong Delta. We used Mike 11 hydrodynamic model and sediment transport model for simulating the flow and sediment transport. Various scenarios were simulated based on anticipated upstream discharges. Our findings provide the positive and negative impacts to the changes in sediment transport on agriculture cultivation in the Lower Mekong Delta.
Cite this paper: Ngoc, T. (2017) Assessing the Effects of Upstream Dam Developments on Sediment Distribution in the Lower Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 9, 822-840. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2017.97055.

[1]   Ngoc, T.A., Letrung, T., Hiramatsu, K. and Nguyen, T.Q. (2013) The Effect of Simulated Sea Level on the Sedimentation of the Tien River Estuaries, Lower Mekong River, Southern Vietnam. JARQ, 47, 405-415.

[2]   Mekong River Commission (MRC) (2010) Multi-Functionality of Paddy Fields over the Lower Mekong Basin. Technical Paper (26).

[3]   Letrung, T., Li, Q., Li, Y., Vukien, T. and Nguyenthai, Q. (2013) Morphology Evolution of Cuadai Estuary, Mekong River, Southern Vietnam. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 18, 1122-1123.

[4]   Milliman, J.D. and Farnsworth, K.L. (2011) River Discharge to the Coastal Ocean: A Global Synthesis. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 143-144.

[5]   Wild, T.B. and Loucks, D.P. (2014) Managing Flow, Sediment, and Hydropower Regimes in the Sre Pok, Se San, and Se Kong Rivers of the Mekong Basin. Water Resources Research, 50, 5141-5157.

[6]   Cenci, R.M. and Martin, J.M. (2004) Concentration and Fate of Trace Metals in Mekong River Delta. Science of the Total Environment, 332, 167-182.

[7]   Hung, N.N., Delgado, J.M., Guentner, A., Merz, B., Bárdossy, A. and Apel, H. (2014) Sediment in the Floodplains of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam Part I: Suspended Sediment Dynamics. Hydrological Processes, 28, 3132-3144.

[8]   Hung, N.N., Delgado, J.M., Guentner, A., Merz, B., Bárdossy, A. and Apel, H. (2014) Sediment in the Floodplains of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam Part II: Deposition and Erosion. Hydrological Processes, 28, 3145-3160.

[9]   Wolanski, E., Nhan, N.H. and Spagnol, S. (1998) Sediment Dynamics during Low Flow Condition in the Mekong River Estuary, Vietnam. Journal of Coastal Research, 14, 472-482.

[10]   Wolanski, E., Huan, N.H., Dao, L.T., Nha, N.H. and Thuy, N.N. (1996) Fine Sediment Dynamics in the Mekong River Estuary, Vietnam, Estuarine. Coastal and Shelf Science, 43, 565-582.

[11]   Tamura, T., Horaguchi, K., Saito, Y., Nguyen, V.L., Tateishi, M., Ta, T.K.O., Nanayama, F. and Watanabe, K. (2010) Monsoon Influenced Variations in Morphology and Sediment of a Mesotidal Beach on the Mekong River Delta Coast. Geomorphology, 116, 11-23.

[12]   Mikhailov, V.N. and Arakelyants, A.D. (2010) Specific Features of Hydrological and Morphological Processes in the Mouth Area of the Mekong River. Water Resources, 37, 253-267.

[13]   Hung, N.N., Delgado, J.M., Tri, V.K., Hung, L.M., Merz, B., Bárdossy, A. and Apel, H. (2012) Floodplain Hydrology of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Hydrological Processes, 26, 674-686.

[14]   Manh, N.V., Merz, B. and Apel, H. (2013) Sedimentation Monitoring Including Uncertainty Analysis in Complex Floodplains: A Case Study in the Mekong Delta, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17, 3039-3057.

[15]   Manh, N.V., Dung, N.V., Hung, N.N., Merz, B. and Apel, H. (2014) Large-Scale Suspended Sediment Transport and Sediment Deposition in the Mekong Delta, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18, 3033-3053.

[16]   Lu, X.X. and Siew, R.Y. (2006) Water Discharge and Sediment Flux Changes over the Past Decades in the Lower Mekong River: Possible Impacts of the Chinese Dams. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 10, 181-195.

[17]   Liu, X. and He, D. (2012) A New Assessment Method for Comprehensive Impact of Hydropower Development on Runoff and Sediment Changes. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 22, 1034-1044.

[18]   Liu, C., He, Y., Walling, E. and Wang, J. (2013) Changes in the Sediment Load of the Lancang-Mekong River over the Period 1965-2003. Science China Technological Sciences, 56, 843-852.

[19]   Mekong River Commission (MRC/DMS) (2010) Origin, Fate and Impacts of the Mekong Sediments. Mekong River Commission, 53.

[20]   Steiger, J., Gurnell, A.M. and Goodson, J.M. (2003) Quantifying and Characterizing Contemporary Riparian Sedimentation. River Research and Applications, 19, 335-352.

[21]   Steiger, J., Gurnell, A.M., Ergenzinger, P., Snelder, D. and Universita, F. (2001) Sedimentation in the Riparian Zone of an Incising River. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 108, 91-108.<91::AID-ESP164>3.0.CO;2-U

[22]   Middelkoop, H. (2005) Floodplain Sedimentation—Methods, Patterns, and Processes: A Review with Examples from the Lower Rhine, The Netherlands. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences, 1241-1282.

[23]   Baborowski, M., Büttner, O., Morgenstern, P., Krüger, F., Lobe, I., Rupp, H. and Tümpling, W.V. (2007) Spatial and Temporal Variability of sediment Deposition on Artificial-Lawn Traps in a Floodplain of the River Elbe. Environmental Pollution, 148, 770-778.

[24]   Habersack, H., Haspel, D. and Kondolf, M. (2014) Large Rivers in the Anthropocene: Insights and Tools for Understanding Climatic, Land Use, and Reservoir Influence. Water Resources Research, 50, 3641-3646.

[25]   DHI Water and Environment (DHI) (2009) MIKE 11 User Manual. DHI, Demark.

[26]   DHI Water and Environment (DHI) (2009) MIKE 11 Reference. DHI, Demark.

[27]   Havnø, K., Madsen, M.N. and Dørge, J. (1995) MIKE-11 a Generalized River Modelling Package. In: Singh, V.P., Ed., Computer Models of Watershed Hydrology, Water Resources Publications, Colorado, 733-782.

[28]   Nielsen, S.A. and Hansen, E. (1973) Numerical Simulation of the Rainfall Runoff Process on a Daily Basis. Nordic Hydrology, 4, 171-190.

[29]   Ngoc, T.A., Chinh, L.V., Hiramatsu, K. and Harada, M. (2011) Parameter Identification for Two Conceptual Hydrological Models of Upper Dau Tieng River Watershed in Vietnam. Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, 56, 335-341.

[30]   Ngoc, T.A., Hiramatsu, K. and Harada, M. (2013) Optimizing Parameters for Two Conceptual Hydrological Models Using A Genetic Algorithm. JARQ, 47, 85-96.

[31]   Van Rijn, L.C. (1984) Sediment Transport, Part I: Bed Load Transport. The Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 110, 1431-1456.