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Book Chapter

The Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta

By
Steven A. Kuehl
Steven A. Kuehl
Department of Physical Sciences, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary,Gloucester Point, Virginia, 23185, U.S.A. e-mail: kuehl@vims. edu
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Mead A. Allison
Mead A. Allison
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118, U. S. A. e-mail: malliso@tulane. edu
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Steven L. Goodbred
Steven L. Goodbred
Marine Sciences Research Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794, U. S. A. e-mail: steven. goodbred@sunysb. edu
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Hermann Kudrass
Hermann Kudrass
Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, 30631, Hannover, Germany e-mail: kudrass@bgr. de
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Published:
January 01, 2005

Abstract

Originating in the Himalayan Mountains within distinct drainage basins, the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers coalesce in the Bengal Basin in Bangladesh, where they form one of the world’s great deltas. The delta has extensive subaerial and subaqueous expression, and this paper summarizes the current knowledge of the Late Glacial to Holocene sedimentation from the upper delta plain to the continental shelf break. Sedimentation patterns in the subaerial delta are strongly influenced by tectonics, which has compartmentalized the landscape into a mosaic of subsiding basins and uplifted Holocene and Pleistocene terraces. The Holocene evolution of the delta also has been mediated by changing river discharge, basin filling, and delta-lobe migration. Offshore, a large subaqueous delta is prograding seaward across the shelf, and is intersected in the west by a major submarine canyon which acts both as a barrier for the further westward transport of the rivers’ sediment and as a sink for about a third of the rivers’ sediment discharge. Subaerial and subaqueous progradation during the Holocene has produced a compound clinoform, a feature which appears to be common for large rivers discharging onto an energetic continental shelf.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

River Deltas–Concepts, Models, and Examples

Liviu Giosan
Liviu Giosan
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Janok P. Bhattacharya
Janok P. Bhattacharya
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
83
ISBN electronic:
9781565762190
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

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