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High Resolution Modeling of River-floodplain-reservoir Inundation Dynamics in the Mekong River Basin

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Created: Sep 30, 2019 at 6:33 a.m.
Last updated: May 22, 2020 at 2:16 p.m.
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Numerous studies have examined the changes in streamflow in the Mekong River Basin (MRB) using observations and hydrological modeling; however, there is a lack of integrated modeling studies that explicitly simulate the natural and human‐induced changes in flood dynamics over the entire basin. Here we simulate the river‐floodplain‐reservoir inundation dynamics over the MRB for 1979–2016 period using a newly integrated, high‐resolution (~5 km) river hydrodynamics‐reservoir operation model. The framework is based on the river‐floodplain hydrodynamic model CaMa‐Flood in which a new reservoir operation scheme is incorporated by including 86 existing MRB dams. The simulated flood extent is downscaled to a higher resolution (~90 m) to investigate fine‐scale inundation dynamics, and results are validated with ground‐ and satellite‐based observations. It is found that the historical variations in surface water storage have been governed primarily by climate variability; the impacts of dams on river‐floodplain hydrodynamics were marginal until 2009. However, results indicate that the dam impacts increased noticeably in 2010 when the basin‐wide storage capacity doubled due to the construction of new mega dams. Further, results suggest that the future flood dynamics in the MRB would be considerably different than in the past even without climate change and additional dams. However, it is also found that the impacts of dams can largely vary depending on reservoir operation strategies. This study is expected to provide the basis for high‐resolution river‐floodplain‐reservoir modeling for a holistic assessment of the impacts of dams and climate change on the floodpulse‐dependent hydro‐ecological systems in the MRB and other global regions.

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Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
Mekong River Basin
North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


Start Date:
End Date:


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The following web services are available for data contained in this resource. Geospatial Feature and Raster data are made available via Open Geospatial Consortium Web Services. The provided links can be copied and pasted into GIS software to access these data. Multidimensional NetCDF data are made available via a THREDDS Data Server using remote data access protocols such as OPeNDAP. Other data services may be made available in the future to support additional data types.

Related Resources

This resource is referenced by Shin, S., Y. Pokhrel, D. Yamazaki, X. Huang, N. Torbick, J. Qi, S. Pattanakiat, T. Ngo-Duc, and T.D. Nguyen (2020) “High Resolution Modeling of River-floodplain-reservoir Inundation Dynamics in the Mekong River Basin”, Water Resources Research. doi:10.1029/2019WR026449.


Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 80NSSC17K0259
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 80NSSC18K1134
National Science Foundation (NSF) 1752729

How to Cite

Shin, S., Y. Pokhrel (2020). High Resolution Modeling of River-floodplain-reservoir Inundation Dynamics in the Mekong River Basin, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoCommercial CC BY-NC.


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