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Partnerships for enhanced engagement in research (PEER) SCIENCE
Cycle 3 (2014 Deadline)

Sediment transport evaluation on the Bengawan Solo River (downstream and estuary) to minimize sedimentation and flood combining effect on nearby infrastructure

PI:  Ria Asih Aryani Soemitro ( and co-PI Dwa Desa Warnana, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS)
U.S. Partner: Gangfeng Ma, Old Dominion University
Project Dates: November 2014 to November 2018
Excessive upstream to downstream land-use and deforestation, as well as downstream local sand mining along Indonesian rivers, which started in the 1990’s, triggered significant river surface runoff and flow increases, unbalanced sedimentation, aggradations, and degradation. These interacting effects resulted in unpredictable changes of river morphology, leading to flooding and infrastructure instability problems in most Indonesian rivers. Considering the serious impact of flooding and infrastructure damage, river sedimentation problem research is necessary in order to furnish preliminary assessment guidance for river channel capacity normalization and estuary management to prevent estuary aggradations. The novelty of this proposed research is to develop a more accurate river discharge flow calculation and estuary sedimentation prediction and analysis, taking into account river morphology changes based on thorough and meticulous sedimentation process investigation.

Without a comprehensive detailed knowledge of sediment transport and the sea water tidal processes, it would be impossible to analyze downstream river and estuary morphology changes accurately. The research team of this project will focus on the Bengawan Solo River by taking into account river morphology. Collaboration with the U.S. partner is expected to strengthen the Indonesian team’s ability to better predict and analyze the estuary sedimentation problems and analytically predict downstream and estuary flooding, infrastructure failure, and channel port aggradation due to changes in river morphology. The research project results will be disseminated to the East Java Ministry of Public Works to provide preliminary assessment guidance for river channel capacity normalization and estuary management to prevent estuary aggradations. Collaboration between the Indonesian team and the U.S. partner is aimed at promoting knowledge transfer, training, and advancement for Indonesian researchers.
3-082 Cattle near Embankment3-82 Bathymetry Survey3-82 Hydrology Survey
Local cattle graze near the banks of a river after floodwaters have receded (photo courtesy of Dr. Soemitro).The team conducts hydrology and bathymetry surveys in a variety of conditions (photo courtesy of Dr. Soemitro).

Summary of Recent Activities

With the project in its final phase, most activities in the first quarter of 2018 were devoted to dissemination to share research results publicly and obtain feedback from government stakeholders and scientific colleagues. The PI Dr. Soemitro and her team received several useful comments from the dissemination event held January 19, 2018, at the Research Center of Bengawan Solo River Management (Balai Besar Wilayah Sungai Bengawan Solo, BBWS). Government officials recommended that the research team make an intensive study of the appropriate protection of the embankment of the Bengawan Solo River and further investigate the influence of coastal and marine factors on sedimentation in the estuary area. Based on requests made at this event and at a previous dissemination session at the Research Center for Water Resources in January 2017, an advanced dissemination workshop was conducted February 1, 2018, at the Coastal Research Center of the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing. Officials there were very interested in collaborating with Dr. Soemitro’s team, particularly on the modeling of estuary sedimentation and high sea waves.

In addition, from April 2 through 14, Dr. Soemitro visited three universities in the United Kingdom to collaborate with colleagues and present lectures. At the University of Essex, she pursued collaboration with faculty from the Department of Mathematics, and at Loughborough University she presented a guest lecture on sediment evaluation and the protection system for nearby infrastructure along the Bengawan Solo River. At the University of Bristol, she delivered a lecture as part of the Building Global Partnerships for Global Challenges Symposium. Immediately after she returned home to Indonesia, Dr. Soemitro took part in a special training workshop on academic writing, with Prof. Eric Vincens from the Université de Lyon as the keynote speaker. To wrap up the project, the PI plans to visit her U.S. partner Dr. Gangfeng Ma in Virginia in October 2018.

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