The overall aim of the STELAR project is to understand the importance of climatic and autogenic controls in determining the transfer of sediment from source-to-sink within a mega-river. The specific objectives are to:

  1. Develop a model of large river morphodynamics capable of simulating floodplain sedimentation, channel bank erosion and within-channel erosion and deposition.
  2. Parameterise and evaluate that model using high quality field data collected via:
    1. high-resolution surveys of the channel bed and banks to quantify alluvial roughness, bedload transport, and changes of channel morphology;
    2. geochronology to determine spatial variations of floodplain sedimentation;
    3. field and laboratory characterisation of bed and bank materials, and;
    4. measurements of in-channel flow velocity and sediment flux.
  1. Undertake basin hydrological and sediment modelling for historical flow discharges and sediment flux at the upstream limit of the study reach (the Kratie gauging station).
  2. Implement the model developed in (1) using Monte Carlo (MC) simulation, with data from (2) and (3), to simulate historical sediment exchanges within the study reach. To assess the model quality, simulated data will be compared with observations from (2).
  3. Use the model data sets, to answer key questions concerning the nature and magnitude of sediment fluxes within the Mekong River. This will allow the STELAR team to test specific hypotheses regarding the ways in which climate variability controls the transfer of sediment between source and sink.