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Effects of Dam Regulation on the Hydrological Alteration and Morphological Evolution of the Volta River Delta

Authors
  • amenuvor, mawusi
  • gao, weilun
  • dongxue, li
  • shao, dongdong
Publication Date
Feb 28, 2020
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/w12030646
OAI: oai:mdpi.com:/2073-4441/12/3/646/
Source
MDPI
Keywords
Language
English
License
Green
External links

Abstract

The Volta River in West Africa is one of the most regulated rivers influenced by dams in the world, and the regulation has resulted in substantial impacts on the hydrological alteration and morphological evolution of the Volta River Delta. However, comprehensive analyses of the relevant effects are still lacking to date. In this study, inter-annual variations of river discharge and sediment load for pre- and post-Akosombo Dam periods (1936 to 2018) were analyzed through simple regression and Mann&ndash / Kendall (MK) trend analysis whereas the intra-annual variations were dictated by the non-uniformity and regulated coefficients. The shoreline changes were further evaluated using Landsat remote sensing images (1972 to 2018) to explore the effects of hydrological alteration on the morphological evolution of the Volta River Delta. Hydrological analyses show that the inter- and intra-annual variations are much higher in the pre-dam period, suggesting the substantial regulation of the Akosombo Dam on the Volta River. The dam regulation has more significant effects on the sediment load delivered to the delta than the river discharge, which decreased by 92.32% and 23.23%, respectively. Morphological analyses show that the progradation-erosion of the Volta River Delta constantly fluctuates within a relatively small range (maximum 0.5%) after the 1970s. The relationship between the variations of the delta area and sediment load implicates that a quasi-equilibrium state may have been established at the Volta River Delta, given the current sediment load. Our findings provide references for the future regulation and restoration of the Volta River Delta.

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