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  • Open Access
  • © 2020

Deltas in the Anthropocene

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Appraise the sustainability and potential futures for deltas in the Anthropocene

  • Strongly aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

  • Provides policy driven practical solutions for future delta management

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (11 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxxiii
  2. Delta Challenges and Trade-Offs from the Holocene to the Anthropocene

    • Robert J. Nicholls, W. Neil Adger, Craig W. Hutton, Susan E. Hanson
    Pages 1-22Open Access
  3. Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta, Bangladesh and India: A Transnational Mega-Delta

    • Md. Munsur Rahman, Tuhin Ghosh, Mashfiqus Salehin, Amit Ghosh, Anisul Haque, Mohammed Abed Hossain et al.
    Pages 23-51Open Access
  4. The Mahanadi Delta: A Rapidly Developing Delta in India

    • Sugata Hazra, Shouvik Das, Amit Ghosh, Pokkuluri Venkat Raju, Amrita Patel
    Pages 53-77Open Access
  5. The Volta Delta, Ghana: Challenges in an African Setting

    • Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Cynthia Addoquaye Tagoe, Benjamin Kofi Nyarko, Francisca Martey, Winfred A. Nelson et al.
    Pages 79-102Open Access
  6. Fluvial Sediment Supply and Relative Sea-Level Rise

    • Stephen E. Darby, Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Sugata Hazra, Md. Munsur Rahman, Robert J. Nicholls
    Pages 103-126Open Access
  7. Hotspots of Present and Future Risk Within Deltas: Hazards, Exposure and Vulnerability

    • Chris Hill, Frances Dunn, Anisul Haque, Fiifi Amoako-Johnson, Robert J. Nicholls, Pokkuluri Venkat Raju et al.
    Pages 127-151Open Access
  8. Where People Live and Move in Deltas

    • Ricardo Safra de Campos, Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, W. Neil Adger, Colette Mortreux, Sugata Hazra, Tasneem Siddiqui et al.
    Pages 153-177Open Access
  9. Delta Economics and Sustainability

    • Iñaki Arto, Ignacio Cazcarro, Anil Markandya, Somnath Hazra, Rabindra N. Bhattacharya, Prince Osei-Wusu Adjei
    Pages 179-200Open Access
  10. Adapting to Change: People and Policies

    • Emma L. Tompkins, Katharine Vincent, Natalie Suckall, Rezaur Rahman, Tuhin Ghosh, Adelina Mensah et al.
    Pages 201-222Open Access
  11. Choices: Future Trade-Offs and Plausible Pathways

    • Attila N. Lázár, Susan E. Hanson, Robert J. Nicholls, Andrew Allan, Craig W. Hutton, Mashfiqus Salehin et al.
    Pages 223-245Open Access
  12. Sustainable Deltas in the Anthropocene

    • Robert J. Nicholls, W. Neil Adger, Craig W. Hutton, Susan E. Hanson, Attila N. Lázár, Katharine Vincent et al.
    Pages 247-279Open Access
  13. Back Matter

    Pages 281-282

About this book

The Anthropocene is the human-dominated modern era that has accelerated social, environmental and climate change across the world in the last few decades. This open access book examines the challenges the Anthropocene presents to the sustainable management of deltas, both the many threats as well as the opportunities. In the world’s deltas the Anthropocene is manifest in major land use change, the damming of rivers, the engineering of coasts and the growth of some of the world’s largest megacities; deltas are home to one in twelve of all people in the world. The book explores bio-physical and social dynamics and makes clear adaptation choices and trade-offs that underpin policy and governance processes, including visionary delta management plans. It details new analysis to illustrate these challenges, based on three significant and contrasting deltas: the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna, Mahanadi and Volta.  

This multi-disciplinary, policy-orientated volume is strongly aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals as delta populations often experience extremes of poverty, gender and structural inequality, variable levels of health and well-being, while being vulnerable to extreme and systematic climate change.


  • Deltas
  • Anthropocene
  • sustainable development
  • migration
  • climate adaptation
  • coastal management
  • management of deltas
  • open access
  • sustainable developement goals
  • land use change
  • Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta
  • Mahanadi Delta
  • Volta Delta
  • Delta hazards
  • climate migration
  • natural hazards
  • urbanisation
  • Environmental Geography

Editors and Affiliations

  • School of Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

    Robert J. Nicholls, Susan E. Hanson

  • Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

    W. Neil Adger

  • GeoData Institute, Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

    Craig W. Hutton

About the editors

Robert J Nicholls is Professor of Coastal Engineering within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton, UK. He has contributed to a wide range of influential national and international publications including the IPCC Assessment Reports.

W Neil Adger is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Exeter, UK. His research examines demographic, political economy, public health and well-being aspects of the Anthropocene.

Craig W Hutton is Professor of Sustainability Science within Geography and Environment at the University of Southampton, UK. His research focuses on spatial analysis of vulnerability and the incorporation of sustainable management, policy and governance into decision-making processes.

Susan E Hanson is Research Fellow within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton, UK. She specializes in coastal vulnerability and management, particularly as a consequence of climate change.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Deltas in the Anthropocene

  • Editors: Robert J. Nicholls, W. Neil Adger, Craig W. Hutton, Susan E. Hanson

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Earth and Environmental Science, Earth and Environmental Science (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2020

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-23516-1Published: 13 September 2019

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-23519-2Published: 11 September 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-23517-8Published: 28 August 2019

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXXIII, 282

  • Number of Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations, 52 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Physical Geography, Environmental Sciences, Development Studies, Environmental Management

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)