Surface sediment grain-size distribution and sediment transport in the subaqueous Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Nguyen Trung Thanh*, Karl Stattegger, Daniel Unverricht, Charles Nittrouer, Phung Van Phach, Paul Liu, David DeMaster, Bui Viet Dung, Le Duc Anh, Mai Duc Dong


The sediment transport around the Mekong delta was clarified by using geochemical data and modeling indicating the southwestward transport of re-suspended sediments under the influence of NE monsoon. However, the detail pattern of grain-size distribution of the surface sediments in the subaqueous Mekong River delta has not been well understood. This paper presents characteristics of grain-size parameters of the surface sediments in order to interpret the sediment-transport pattern and the linkage to coastal erosion and deposition off the Mekong River delta. Surface sediments collected in the coastal water of Mekong River delta (as far south as Ca Mau Peninsula) were analyzed to determine the grain-size distribution and sediment transports in subaqueous Mekong delta.  Results indicated that the net sediment transport was southwestward to the Ca Mau peninsula and the sediments were finer from the delta topset downward the delta foreset. In contrast, the sediment particles on the adjacent inner shelf were coarser and are more poorly sorted due to the increase in carbonate shell fragments and the Early Holocene sediments. The sediment grain-size parameters were variable in different sedimentary sub-environments of the subaqueous Mekong delta and controlled by the distance of sediment transport, the hydrodynamic regime of each region and coastal erosion of the
delta coast.


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Mekong River delta, subaqueous delta, grain-size parameters

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