Hydrology, sediment fluxes and floods of the Irrawaddy River, Myanmar

The Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) is one of the less known large rivers in the world and the second largest river of Southeast Asia in water discharge, after the Mekong. It is still having a natural regime because regulation by dams is incipient. The system is also a hotspot of biodiversity, but the basin is very vulnerable because of human environmental pressure such as mining, dredging, deforestation, and proposed dams are increasing rampantly. The Irrawaddy delta is considered the less impacted of the large deltas of Asia, and the most extremely prone to floods by tropical storms and coastal storm surges. Myanmar is also among the 15 riskiest nations to floods, worldwide. It is known to suffer the most infamous and deadly floods by the interactions between tropical storms-cyclones and fluvial floods such as tropical storm Nargis in 2008, which produced 138,000 fatalities.

The main scope of this project covers three major interrelated topics: hydrology, sediment transport, and floods. A variety of methods, field and lab works, modern technologies, and modeling, will be applied in each subfield.

Funding Sources: 

  • Earth Observatory of Singapore

Project Years: 


EOS Team: 

Principal Investigator


Albert Kettner, University of Colorado at Boulder

Ricardo Szupiany, National University of Littoral

Samia Acquino, Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University

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