Hydrologic characteristics of floods in Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna (GBM) delta

Authors: Islam, Akm1; Haque, Anisul2; Bala, Sujit3

Source: Natural Hazards, Volume 54, Number 3, September 2010 , pp. 797-811(15)

Publisher: Springer

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Abstract:

In the middle of 2007, a severe flood affected the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. This is a natural disaster that takes people’s lives, destroys livestock, infrastructures and communication systems and, damages crops and fish ponds. Despite many adverse impacts, the flood situation is an accepted phenomenon to the citizens of Bangladesh, due to the immense increase of soil fertility due to the flood, plus, the recharge of aquifer, ecosystem and fish. The flood of 2007 was the 5th major flood of the last 20¬†years when more than thirty-five percent of the area of the country was inundated with flood water. As in the past, the flood of 2007 had its own significance. The geography of the country contains a floodplain delta of three major river basins: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna (GBM). The mean monthly rainfall plot from the TRMM satellite data has shown that for both the Meghna and Brahmaputra basins, the rainfall was higher during July 2007 than any other months of the last 2¬†years. This excess rainfall had accumulated in the Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers and carried downstream to Bangladesh. This was the main cause of the flooding in 2007. The first crossing above the danger level of the river waters was observed at Durgapur station of the Someswari and at Sunamganj station of the Surma on the nineteenth of July, 2007 inside Bangladesh. In terms of magnitude of the peak and duration of the flood, the Brahmaputra was higher in 2007 than during 2004. However, the Ganges river water level never crossed the danger level during flood of 2007. The Meghna was lower during the flood peak for the duration of the flood in 2007. The year–to-year variability in both the magnitude and duration of the flood suggests changes in rainfall and landuse pattern of the catchment.

Keywords: Bangladesh; Danger level; Flood; GBM basin; TRMM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11069-010-9504-y

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM), Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, 1000, Bangladesh, Email: akmsaifulislam@iwfm.buet.ac.bd 2: Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM), Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, 1000, Bangladesh, Email: anisul@iwfm.buet.ac.bd 3: Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM), Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, 1000, Bangladesh, Email: bala@iwfm.buet.ac.bd

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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