Morphology, water discharge and suspended load distribution along the Mara River Wetland, Tanzania

Francesco Bregolia, Alessandra Crosato, Paolo Paron, Michael Mc Clain

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


The transboundary Mara River, Kenya and Tanzania, is the only perennial source of inflowing surface water of a vast area including the Mara-Serengeti region. The river sustains millions of wild animals as well as a human population of nearly one million (McClain et al., 2014; Gereta et al., 2009). The basin receives two rainy seasons: a lighter in October- December and a heavier in March-May. The river is rich in suspended sediments, which has further increased by recent deforestation, change of land uses and mining (Defersha & Melesse, 2012). Before flowing into the Lake Victoria in Tanzania, the river forms a wide wetland that acts as a natural filter, sinking the large amount of suspended load and releasing clean water to the lake (Fig. 1). The wetland is fed by sediments and nutrients transported by the river and represents an essential but, at the same time, fragile ecosystem. The vegetation, here dominated by papyrus, plays an important role in the stability of the wetland system. However forest fire and farming are intense along the wetland and have deeply modified the vegetation spatial distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventNCR-Days 2018: The future river, Celebrating 20 years NCR - Deltares, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 8 Feb 20189 Feb 2018
Conference number: 20


ConferenceNCR-Days 2018
Internet address


  • Low-energy rivers
  • Lateral channel migration


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