NANO alumni publication: Assessment of the dynamics of the Volta river estuary shorelines in Ghana

NANO Alumnus Emmanuel Brempong and colleagues published the following article in the Geoenvironmental Disasters

Assessment of the dynamics of the Volta river estuary shorelines in Ghana

Addo et al. (2020) Geoenvironmental Disasters, DOI 10.1186/s40677-020-00151-1




Estuarine shorelines similar to marine coastlines are highly dynamic and may increase disaster risk in vulnerable communities. The situation is expected to worsen with climate change impacts and increasing anthropogenic activities such as upstream water management. This study assessed shoreline changing trends along the Volta river estuary in Ghana as well as the marine coastline using satellite imageries, orthophotos and topographic maps spanning a period of 120 years (1895, 1990, 2000, 2005 and 2015). Linear regression method in the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) was used to determine the estuary shoreline migration trend by estimating the shorelines rate of change for the eastern and western sides of the estuary. The rates of change of the marine coastlines on the east and west of the estuary were also estimated. The results show that the eastern and western shoreline of the estuary are eroding at an average rate of about 1.94 m/yr and 0.58 m/yr respectively. The coastlines on the marine side (eastern and western) are eroding at an average rate of about 2.19 m/yr and 0.62 m/yr respectively. Relatively high rates of erosion observed on the eastern estuarine shoreline as well as the coastline could be explained by the reduced sediment supply by the Volta River due to the damming of the Volta River in Akosombo and the sea defence structures constructed to manage erosion problems. The trend is expected to increase under changing oceanographic conditions and increased subsidence in the Volta delta. Effective management approach, such as developing disaster risk reduction strategy, should be adopted to increase the resilience of the communities along the estuarine shoreline and increase their adaptive capacity to climate change hazards and disasters.



  • Coastal erosion
  • Volta estuary
  • Shoreline change
  • Disaster risk
  • Vulnerability

Link for the publication here

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