Press Releases

Water Institute's Allison, Meselhe Join Vietnam Research Project

Feb 3, 2014

Baton Rouge, LA — Two senior members of The Water Institute of the Gulf – Mead Allison, director of Physical Processes and Sediment Systems, and Ehab Meselhe, director of Natural Systems Modeling and Monitoring, have been named to an international team organized by the U.S. Office of Naval Research to study Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta. Allison will also join other team members on a visit to the Mekong Delta Feb. 9-15.

The Office of Naval Research funded the project to foster partnership between American and Vietnamese research institutions studying the Mekong Delta, which has been called a biological treasure trove. The delta shares many cultural, economic and ecological similarities to the Mississippi River Delta and Louisiana’s coast, including land loss and the impacts of climate change and human modification.

Allison says the project represents a major opportunity for the participating institutions. “Information sharing and collaboration is critical to improving the health and functionality of all vital water bodies, whether it is the Mississippi or the Mekong River,” he says. “This project will give us information we need in developing practical solutions for the challenges facing the Mississippi River Delta.”

Joining Allison and Meselhe on the international team are:
• David DeMaster, North Carolina State University
• Sergio Fagherazzi, Boston University
• Steven Henderson, Washington State University
• Steven Jachec, Florida Institute of Technology
• Paul Liu, North Carolina State University
• Julia Mullarney, University of Waikato, New Zealand
• Charles Nittrouer, University of Washington
• Dano Roelvink, UNESCO, The Netherlands

Participating groups from Vietnam include the Institute of Marine Geology & Geophysics, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Can Tho University and Vietnam University. Research team members are scheduled to meet with their Vietnamese counterparts in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Can Tho.

At each location, the American delegation will conduct presentations on research techniques best suited for the Mekong Delta. Topics include sediment transport in tidal-influenced river channels, hydrodynamics in mangrove forests, sedimentation in seabeds and modeling applications. Participants will also build a set of collaborative studies on the Mekong River scheduled to begin later this year.