Impact of hydropower dam on total suspended sediment and total organic nitrogen fluxes of the Red River (Vietnam)

Le, Nhu Da; Le, Thi Phuong Quynh; Phung, Thi Xuan Binh; Duong, Thi Thuy; Didier, Orange

The Red River is a typical example of the Southeast Asian rivers, which has been strongly affected by human activities. This paper analyses the change of total suspended sediment (TSS) load of the Red River from 1960 to 2015 in which numerous new dams in both China and Vietnam have been constructed. A strong decrease of TSS load of the whole Red River (from inline-formula M1inlinescrollmathml normal 79 ± normal 26 × normal 10 normal 6 66pt14ptsvg-formulamathimgcc84d7de3a9aaa08daa5361aba0327dd piahs-383-367-2020-ie00001.svg66pt14ptpiahs-383-367-2020-ie00001.png  t yrinline-formula−1 in 1960s to inline-formula M3inlinescrollmathml normal 6 ± normal 1 × normal 10 normal 6 54pt14ptsvg-formulamathimg8e492556945bd01e9445fec0db8ccc0d piahs-383-367-2020-ie00002.svg54pt14ptpiahs-383-367-2020-ie00002.png  t yrinline-formula−1 in 2010s) allocated to the dam impoundments in spite of population and deforestation increase. Base on the experimental equation describing the relationship between TSS and total organic nitrogen (TON) concentrations, and on the available data of TSS concentration and river discharge, the longterm TON concentrations and fluxes were calculated for the three tributaries and the whole Red River. The annual average of TON concentrations spatially varied from 0.41 to 3.19 mg Linline-formula−1, averaging 0.98 mg Linline-formula−1 for the whole period; the lowest was found for the Da River where the new dams have been impounded. The highest TON concentrations and fluxes occurred in the wet season in relationship with the highest sediment loads and river discharges. The riverine TON fluxes transferred to estuary significantly decreased from inline-formula M7inlinescrollmathml normal 141 × normal 10 normal 3 ± normal 38 × normal 10 normal 3 100pt14ptsvg-formulamathimgcdd0a5b5f63a1c435ec774257bb3c84b piahs-383-367-2020-ie00003.svg100pt14ptpiahs-383-367-2020-ie00003.png  t yrinline-formula−1 (equivalent to inline-formula902±247 kg kminline-formula−2 yrinline-formula−1) in 1960s to inline-formula M12inlinescrollmathml normal 32 × normal 10 normal 3 ± normal 5 × normal 10 normal 3 88pt14ptsvg-formulamathimgb1cd2c3f7ae2e0aee0930cee4cfa32b5 piahs-383-367-2020-ie00004.svg88pt14ptpiahs-383-367-2020-ie00004.png  t yrinline-formula−1 (equivalent to inline-formula207±35 kg kminline-formula−2 yrinline-formula−1) in 2010s. The TSS flux decrease has driven a clear reduction of associated elements like nitrogen, which let to hypothesis a change in biogeochemical processes in the coastal zone.

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Le, Nhu Da / Le, Thi Phuong Quynh / Phung, Thi Xuan Binh / et al: Impact of hydropower dam on total suspended sediment and total organic nitrogen fluxes of the Red River (Vietnam). 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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