Author(s): Hoang-Anh Le; Nicolas Gratiot; William Santini; Olivier Ribolzi; Sandra Soares-Frazao; Eric Deleersnijder
Linked Author(s): Sandra Soares-Frazao
Keywords: No Keywords
Abstract: The Mekong river, located in Southeast Asia, is one of the largest rivers in the world. It is facing serious problems related to sediment transport, e. g. the reduction of sediment volume supply to the delta and estuary. This study focuses on the physical properties of suspended particles in the upstream fluvial section (Luang Prabang, Laos) and in the region of tidal influence (Song Hau estuary, Vietnam). These sites are respectively the upper and lower limits of the Lower Mekong River (LMR), which are experiencing contrasted transport modes. The main objective of this study is to quantify the proportion of inert sand and of cohesive particles in the water through comprehensive measurements of particle size, settling velocity and flocculation in the water column. Two field campaigns were undertaken in the summer monsoon season. The results point out the predominance of flocculi, with sizes of 18±5m in the fluvial environment and 15±5m in the estuary and the similarities in patterns, mixture of sand (12±5%) and mud (88±5%). They also provide a statistically representative set of suspended particle populations in the upstream and downstream regions that could be used for improving numerical models.