Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Nature Communications






2429 (1-13)


The principal nature-based solution for offsetting relative sea-level rise in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta is the unabated delivery, dispersal, and deposition of the rivers’ ~1 billion-tonne annual sediment load. Recent hydrological transport modeling suggests that strengthening monsoon precipitation in the 21st century could increase this sediment delivery 34-60%; yet other studies demonstrate that sediment could decline 15-80% if planned dams and river diversions are fully implemented. We validate these modeled ranges by developing a comprehensive field-based sediment budget that quantifies the supply of Ganges-Brahmaputra river sediment under varying Holocene climate conditions. Our data reveal natural responses in sediment supply comparable to previously modeled results and suggest that increased sediment delivery may be capable of offsetting accelerated sea-level rise. This prospect for a naturally sustained Ganges-Brahmaputra delta presents possibilities beyond the dystopian future often posed for this system, but the implementation of currently proposed dams and diversions would preclude such opportunities.


© The Authors 2023

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

Data Availability

Article states: "The sediment data generated in this study are provided in the Supplementary Information file. Source data are provided with this paper."

"The online version contains supplementary material available at"

The online version of the article also contains the referenced source data for download.

Original Publication Citation

Raff, J. L., Goodbred, S. L., Jr., Pickering, J. L., Sincavage, R. S., Ayers, J. C., Hossain, M. S., Wilson, C. A., Paola, C., Steckler, M. S., Mondal, D. R., Grimaud, J. L., Grall, C. J., Rogers, K. G., Ahmed, K. M., Akhter, S. H., Carlson, B. N., Chamberlain, E. L., Dejter, M., Gilligan, J. M., . . . Williams, L. A. (2023). Sediment delivery to sustain the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta under climate change and anthropogenic impacts. Nature Communications, 14(1), 1-13, Article 2429.


0000-0002-7670-8959 (Hale)


Article Location