The Ganges Delta is located in both Bangladesh and the Indian State of West Bengal. Large, sediment-filled floods from the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers are primarily responsible for creating the delta.
The photograph shows the Brahmaputra River on the right and the Ganges River bed on the left. At the top of the picture, you can see the snow-covered Himalayas. The Ganges River transports rich nutrients and dirt, which it then distributes throughout its enormous delta floodplain. The river originates in the Himalayas and travels over 2400 kilometers before draining into the Bay of Bengal, the biggest bay in the world. The darker waves of the Indian Ocean blend in here with the muddy waters.
Near the coast, the delta is visible in dark green and is largely covered by a swamp forest called the Sundarbans, which has multiple rivers winding through it. The Sundarbans, which are the biggest mangrove forest in the world and are known in Bengali as the “beautiful forest,” are a vital habitat for many different species, including the Bengal tiger and the Indian python.
The delta is one of the world’s most densely inhabited deltas with a population of over 100 million, making it particularly sensitive to climate change. Residents of this area are especially vulnerable to frequent catastrophic floods brought on by significant Himalayan meltwater flow, heavy monsoon rainfall, and fast sea-level rise aggravated by land subsidence.
Over the ensuing decades, it is crucial to keep a constant eye on how high the sea surface is changing. The Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission, which is scheduled to launch next month, will be essential in carrying out this significant function until at least 2030.
(Credits: Copernicus Sentinel data, by ESA)