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The Evolution of Fluvial Sediment Delivery from Asia’s Rivers to the Oceans: Trends and Causes

Project Description

Project Rationale:
This project aims to quantify and explain variations (1985-2020) in the discharge of fluvial sediment to the oceans, with a focus on the continent of Asia.

River-borne sediments help determine the character and evolution of coastal environments. For example, the delivery of fluvial sediment to the coast affects coastal retreat and relative sea-level adjustments of the world’s deltas [1]. Unfortunately, estimates of the ways in which sediment flux varies remain highly uncertain because of large biases in data availability. The issue is not that individual measurements are unreliable, but rather that such measurements are rarely made. Further, such measurements are often point samples, rather than continuous monitoring setups. Less than 10% of the world’s rivers are monitored for their sediment delivery to the coastal zone, and these issues are more acute in developing nations where resources are highly pressured. Meanwhile, the Earth – and Asia in particular, which dominates the global sediment budget - is undergoing a period of unprecedented anthropogenic influence, with dam building, climate change, deforestation and agricultural practices all thought to have had a dramatic impact on the movement of water and sediment from land to sea in recent decades. These global changes are anticipated to continue, affording a clear imperative to determine the effects of these major transitions on fluvial sediment flux.

Funding Notes

You can apply for fully-funded studentships (stipend and fees) from INSPIRE if you:
Are a UK or EU national.
Have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project.

Please click View Website for more information on eligibilty and how to apply


[1] Darby, S.E., Leyland, J. et al. 2016. Fluvial sediment supply to a mega-delta reduced by shifting tropical-cyclone activity. Nature, 539, 276-279. DOI: 10.1038/nature19809

[2] Park, E. and Latrubesse, E.M. 2014. Modeling suspended sediment distribution patterns of the Amazon River using MODIS data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 147, 232-242.

[3] Pekel, J.F. et al. 2016. High-resolution mapping of global surface water and its long-term changes. Nature, 418-422. DOI: 10.1038/nature20584

How good is research at University of Southampton in Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.00

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