Nature of Sediment Load in the Ganges-Brahmaputra River Systems in India

  • V. Subramanian
  • A. L. Ramanathan
Part of the Coastal Systems and Continental Margins book series (CSCM, volume 2)


No generalizations can be made from the existing data about the sediment load transported by the Ganges-Brahmaputra River systems due to wide diurnal, seasonal and annual variations in the sediment-carrying capacity of these rivers. Estimates of the sediment load are highly variable, ranging from 402 to 710 × 106 tonnes/year for the Brahmaputra River and from 403 to 660 × 106 tonnes/year for the Ganges River. Both these rivers carry predominantly coarse silt to sand-size particles. Human impact on the natural processes of sediment erosion and deposition are evident in both river systems although at different levels. Detrital sands and illitic clays dominate the mineral composition of the river loads. In comparison to the global averages, the denudation rates in the Himalayan river system are four-fold higher.


Sediment Transport Sediment Load Sediment Yield Deccan Trap Total Suspended Matter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abbas, N. and Subramanian, V., 1984. Erosion and Sediment transport in the Ganges river basin (India). J. Hydrol. 69, 173–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carson, B., 1985. Erosion and sedimentation processes in the Nepalese Himalaya, ICIMOD Occasional Paper No. I„ ICIMOD, Kathmandu, 39 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Coleman, J.M.,1969. Brahmaputra River: Channel processes and sedimentation. Sediment. Geol., 3, 129–239.Google Scholar
  4. Dasgupta, S.P., 1984. The Ganges basin, Part II. Central Board for the Prevention and Control Water Pollution, New Dehli. 204 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Gansser, A., 1964. The Alps and the Himalayas. Rep. 22nd Intern. Geol. Congr., 11, 387–399.Google Scholar
  6. Garrels, R.M. and MacKenzie, F.T., 1971. Evolution of Sedimentary Rocks. Norton, New York, 367 pp.Google Scholar
  7. Goswami, D.C., 1985. Brahmaputra River, Assam, India: Physiography, basin denudation, and channel aggradation. Water Res. Res. 21, 959–978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gupta, G.P., 1975. Sediment production-status resort on data collection and utilization. Soil Conservation Digest, 3, 10–21.Google Scholar
  9. Holland, H.D., 1978. The Chemistry of the Atmosphere and the Oceans. John Wiley, New York, 351 pp.Google Scholar
  10. Judson, S. and Ritter, D.F., 1964. Rates of regional denudation in the United States. J. Geophys. Res., 69, 3395–3401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Leopold, L.B., Wolman, M.G. and Miller, J.P. (eds), 1964. Fluvial Processes in Geomorphology. Freeman, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  12. Milliman, J.D. and Meade, R.H.,1983. World-wide delivery of river sediment to the ocean. J. Geology, 91, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Milliman, J.D. and Syvitski, J.P.M., 1992. Geomorphic/tectonic control of sediment discharge to the ocean: The importance of small mountainous rivers. J. Geology, 100, 525–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Pant, G., Narula, G.L. and Shome, S.K., 1980. Geotechnical Studies Relating to the Planning and Design of the Tehri Dam Project (Unpubl. Report to Geological Survey of India).Google Scholar
  15. Probst, J.L., 1986. Dissolved and suspended matter transported by the Gironde River (France): mechanical and chemical erosion rates in a calcareous molasse basin. Hydrol. Sci. J., 31, 61–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Singh, S.K., 1988. Nature of Chemical and Sediment Load in the Ganges River Between Sone and Kosi, PhD Thesis, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. 187 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Singh, S., 1982. Soil Conservation Problem, Approach and Progress in India, Soil and Water Conservation Division, Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi, 40 pp.Google Scholar
  18. Subramanian, V., 1978. Input by Indian rivers into the world oceans. Proc. Ind. Acad. Sci. 87A, 77–88.Google Scholar
  19. Subramanian, V., 1980. Mineralogical input of suspended matter by Indian rivers to the adjacent areas of Indian Ocean. Mar. Geol., 36, M29 - M34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Subramanian, V., 1987. Environmental geochemistry of Indian river basins–a review. J. Geol. Soc. India, 29, 205–220.Google Scholar
  21. Subramanian, V., Sitasawad, R, and Joshi, L.U. (1985). Rate of sedimentation in the Yamuna river using Pb 210- Ra 226 technique. J . Radioanal. Chem. 90, 271–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Valdiya, K.S., 1987. Environmental Geology of the Himalayas. Tata-McGraw Hill Pub., Delhi. 581 pp.Google Scholar
  23. Wadia, D.N.,1975. Geology of India. Tata-McGraw Hill Pub.; Delhi. 506 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Zachar, D., 1982. Soil Erosion. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 547 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Subramanian
  • A. L. Ramanathan

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations