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Sediments by Ayeyarwady Delta and Gulf of Martaban, Myanmar – February 28th, 2012

16.5N 97.5E

February 28th, 2012 Category: Sediments

Myanmar - December 30th, 2011

The Irrawaddy Delta or Ayeyarwady Delta lies in the Ayeyarwady Region, the lowest expanse of land in Myanmar that fans out from the limit of tidal influence at Myan Aung to the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, 290 km to the south at the mouth of the Ayeyarwady River. The delta region is densely populated, and plays a dominant role in the cultivation of rice in rich alluvial soil as low as just 3 meters above sea level.

Visible by the delta is the Gulf of Martaban, an arm of the Andaman Sea in the southern part of Myanmar. The brown sediments coloring its waters come from the Salween Sittaung and Yangon Rivers. The gulf has a tide-dominated coastline, with a tidal range of four to seven meters. During spring tide, when the tidal range is around 6.6 m, the turbid zone covers an area of more than 45,000 sq km making it one of the largest perennially turbid zones of the world’s oceans. During neap tide, with tidal range of 2.98 m, the highly turbid zone coverage drops to 15,000 sq km. The edge of the highly turbid zone migrates back-and-forth in-sync with every tidal cycle by nearly 150 km.

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