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On-going projects


The Resilience and Sustainability of the Mekong Delta to Changes in Water and Sediment Fluxes


The world's 33 largest deltas are being drowned by relative sea level rise and are, as a result, rapidly losing land. This process is also driving an exacerbation of flood risk in these environments, which is placing many large cities, key infrastructure and over 0.5 billion people at risk globally.

These issues are most acute for deltas across Southern and Southeast Asia, where an estimated 20% of land will be lost by 2100. These risks are significant. For example, floods during the 2011 Asian monsoon killed an estimated 2000 people and caused ~US$45 billion in economic damage across SE Asia. 

Floods during the 2011 Asian monsoon killed an estimated 2000 people.

Moreover, these deltas, and their ecosystem services, underpin regional food security for rapidly growing populations.

There is therefore an urgent need to evolve an improved generic understanding of the processes behind the relative sea level rise and flood risk dynamics in these deltaic environments into the future.


Lead researchers

dan-parsons grigorios-vasilopoulos

Project funded by


Project partners

Southern Institute of Water Resource Research (SIWRR)

Can Tho University

University of Southampton

University of Exeter

This project explores the evolution of flood risk on the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. An area of low-lying land that is home to 18 million people which is slowly drowning as sea-levels rise and extreme river floods worsen.

The project investigates flow and sediment routing through the Delta across the annual monsoon flood to develop a new generic understanding of the impact of relative sea-level rise and sediment routing processes through distributary channels and key bifurcation sites on the delta. This is achieved through collection of new state-of-the-art field datasets, development and application of morphodynamic numerical modelling and utilisation of system dynamics modelling to guide adaptations to changes.

The Impact

Our strategy is to deliver results to key stakeholders in the region who are best positioned to effectively influence decision making and policy and involves approaches across two timescales - a near-time engagement to inform in 'real-time' floods (i.e., during the course of the proposed work) and activity which will focus on legacy beyond the project. Flood and deltaic evolution models are critical in effectively managing the risks posed by relative sea level rise and extreme flood variability  Our work aims to provide a much enhanced generic knowledge of delta processes and we expect our results to be applied in the management of deltas within many areas worldwide.

Other on-going research projects