Encyclopedia of Lakes and Reservoirs

2012 Edition
| Editors: Lars Bengtsson, Reginald W. Herschy, Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Bengal Basin, Sediment Sink

  • Asok Kumar Bhattacharya
  • Aparajita Bhattacharya
  • Santosh Kumar Sarkar
  • Mousumi Chatterjee
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4410-6_194


The Bengal Basin is one of the most extensive sediment reservoirs in the world and constitutes the lower floodplain and delta plain deposits of India and Bangladesh, at the mouth of the Ganga–Brahmaputra–Meghna River systems. The delta formation initiated at ~11 ka when the sea level rose to trap the riverine, fluvio-deltaic to overlying estuarine and mangrove-mud-containing shells; wood; and organic debris (Umitsu, 1993; Goodbred, 2003). The most notable sediment discharge took place during ~11–7 ka when the sediment flux in the Ganga–Brahmaputra delta was at least 2.3 times higher than the present. The Ganga–Brahmaputra River systems together carry the world’s largest sediment load, 80% of which is delivered during the four monsoon months (Goodbred and Kuehl, 2000). As a consequence, the Bengal Basin acts as a huge sediment sink with wide dispersal systems often related to a wide range of climate change.

Goodbred (2003) suggested that the deposits of Bengal Basin have...

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine ScienceCalcutta UniversityKolkataIndia
  2. 2.NER Petrology DivisionGeological Survey of IndiaNongrim Hills, ShillongIndia