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Morphological Characteristics of Cambodia Mekong Delta and Tonle Sap Lake and Its Response to River-Lake Water Exchange Pattern

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Document pages: 28 pages

Abstract: Tonle Sap Lake is the largest river-connected lake, buffer area and ecological zone of Mekong River, which plays a huge role in dispelling flood peak and compensating water, and the conservation of biological diversity. The river-lake relationship between Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake is unique and has always been a major focus in the international community. The land terrain and under-water topography were used to analyze the morphological characteristics of Cambodia Mekong Delta and Tonle Sap Lake. Long series of hydrological data of river-lake controlling stations were used to analyze the water level variation characteristics and water volume exchange pattern between Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake, and the response relationship to river-lake morphological characteristics were also researched. The results show that: Cambodia Mekong Delta and Tonle Sap Lake Area is low-lying and flat with gentle channel gradient and water surface gradient, making the relationship between water level and area (or volume) smooth. The channel storage capacity of Mekong River and Tonle Sap River is not enough compared to the inflow, so vast flooding plain is extremely prone to be inundated, making the flood relationships between the left and right banks become very complicated. Tonle Sap Lake is a seasonal freshwater lake with water flowing in and flowing out, and the timing and intensity of water exchange with Mekong River are closely related to the water flow resistance at the exit section of Tonle Sap Lake and the cross-sectional area of Tonle Sap River, which can be reflected by the river-lake water level difference and the water level of Tonle Sap River. Affected by the river-lake morphological characteristics, the water exchange intensity between Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake is great. Tonle Sap Lake not only stores 14.4 of flood volume (39.7 billion m3) from the Mekong River every year, but also supplies 29.7 of dry water (69.4 billion m3) to the Mekong River. Influenced by the adjustment of the floodplain, the water level fluctuation of Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake is slow, and the rising and droop rates of water level are positively correlated with the floodplain storage area. The research results will help to understand the relationship mechanism between Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake and provide a scientific basis for the comprehensive governance of Cambodia Mekong Delta and Tonle Sap Lake Area.

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