Process-based modeling deriving a long-term sediment budget for the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta, Bangladesh

J. Akter, J.A. Roelvink, Mick van der Wegen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Fluvial, tidal, and combined hydro-morphodynamics interaction in a complex, seasonal, sediment transport regime has been the subject of extensive research. It becomes particularly challenging when there is limited data. The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) Delta is one example of a huge system lacking data. Bathymetric data simultaneously covering the rivers and estuaries is hardly present, let alone sequences of bathymetries or a system-wide sediment budget. Hence it is difficult to understand and predict future developments. This research aims to make a sediment budget for the GBM delta with a process-based model. It is a first-ever sediment budget simulation for the GBM system. A process-based morphological model, Delft3D, has been used to reproduce the bathymetric evolution over time and the associated sediment budget. This chapter demonstrates the possibilities for the application of a robust modeling system to assess the morphodynamic evolution and sediment budget and pathways. The Ganges and Jamuna rivers carry sediment load in the ranges of 216–1038 million tonnes/yr and 80–228 million tonnes/yr respectively. The total accumulation in the estuary system is 1150 million tonnes/yr, out of which more than eighty percent of sediment is in suspension. The model results show that about 22% of the total sediment coming into the system is deposited in the floodplains and tidal plains and causes river morphology changes. The rest of the sediment is lost to the pro-delta, to the deep ocean bed, or leaves the domain. The results also indicate that Padma, Gorai, Pussur-Sibsa, Bishkhali, Shahbajpur channel, Lower Meghna, Tentulia Channel, and Arial Khan rivers are mainly in the aggrading phase, whereas, the Ganges, Jamuna, and Baleshwar are in the degrading phase. This particular delta model offers many opportunities to compare with sediment data, where it deals with a poorly surveyed area.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107509
Number of pages15
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydro-morphology
  • Process-based
  • Delft3D
  • Sediment budget and pathways
  • Morphological evolution
  • Bengal Delta


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