Rivers of the Ganga–Brahmaputra–Meghna Delta: An Overview

  • Kalyan Rudra
Part of the Geography of the Physical Environment book series (GEOPHY)


The Ganga–Brahmaputra–Meghna delta covering an area of about 200,000 km2 has emerged by the process of deposition on a shallow tectonic basin which is also known as Bengal due to its cultural and linguistic identity. It is an area of interlacing drainage and fast-changing landscape. Many rivers of Bengal have changed their courses by meander migration and avulsion during last three centuries, and the striking changes have been observed in the coastal tract. While the sea has been encroaching inland along Indian part, fast accretion is recorded along the Meghna estuary in the east. The agricultural prosperity of Bengal is intertwined with its fluvial system. But since many rivers were embanked to control the flood, the sediment loads were trapped in rivers and agricultural fields were deprived from annual replenishing of fertility. The dams and barrages built across the rivers interrupted downstream transfer of sediment load and created longitudinal disconnectivity in rivers. Thus, decay of channels was aggravated due to human interventions. This chapter is an overview of the dynamic river system of the GBM delta in the subsequent chapters.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environment DepartmentWest Bengal Pollution Control BoardKolkataIndia

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