Assessing modern river sediment discharge to the ocean using satellite gravimetry
Journal article, 2018

Recent acceleration of sand extraction for anthropic use threatens the sustainability of this major resource. However, continental erosion and river transport, which produce sand and sediment in general, lack quantification at the global scale. Here, we develop a new geodetic method to infer the sediment discharge to ocean of the world’s largest rivers. It combines the spatial distribution of modern sedimentation zones with new high-resolution (~170 km) data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission launched in 2002. We obtain sediment discharges consistent with in situ measurements for the Amazon, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Changjiang, Indus, and Magdalena rivers. This new approach enables to quantitatively monitor the contemporary erosion of continental basins drained by rivers with large sediment discharges and paves the way toward a better understanding of how natural and anthropic changes influence landscape dynamics.

sustainability

acceleration

spatial distribution

sand

GRACE

river discharge

fluvial deposit

sedimentation

gravimetry

geodetic datum

Author

Maxime Mouyen

Geosciences Rennes

Laurent Longuevergne

Geosciences Rennes

Philippe Steer

Geosciences Rennes

Alain Crave

Geosciences Rennes

Jean-Michel Lemoine

CNES Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales

Himanshu Save

The University of Texas at Austin

Cécile Robin

Geosciences Rennes

Nature Communications

2041-1723 (ISSN)

Vol. 9 1 3384

Subject Categories

Biophysics

Medical Genetics

Genetics

DOI

10.1038/s41467-018-05921-y

More information

Latest update

2/21/2020