Environmental degradation of a tropical estuary due to human interferences—a case study from southern Kerala, SW India

Environmental degradation of a tropical estuary due to human interferences—a case study from... The estuaries in the densely populated tropical coasts like Kerala (SW India) have been subjected to severe degradation due to various kinds of human interventions. Here, we report the case of environmental degradation of Paravur estuary in southern Kerala, southwest India, as an example. Large-scale extraction of alluvial deposits (sand and brick clay), improper engineering constructions, and other developmental initiatives are some of the interventions that have imposed immense stress on the system. Indiscriminate extraction of sand and clay has disrupted a major part of the drainage network at its upstream end, leaving the alluvial belt almost completely water logged. Land use changes show a significant increase in the water spread area of the estuary (6.31 to 7.85 km2), over the last century, with a concomitant decrease in alluvial/floodplain deposits (4.95 to 2.12 km2). The engineering interventions like the Flood Water Outlet System (FWOS) and its poor maintenance imposed marked changes in the sediment balance of the coastal zone, which ultimately led to the development of a flood tide island (FTI) (0.10 km2) in the estuary. The growth of the island, if not arrested by appropriate corrective measures, would lead to filling up of a greater part of the estuary at its southwestern end in the near future. The corresponding dearth of sand in the littoral zones on the other hand could exacerbate the hungry water effect of coastal waters. This, in turn, aggravates coastal erosion in the cliffed coast in the southern side of the FWOS. Considering the extent of human interventions in the estuary, an attempt has been made in this paper to address in detail about the different causes and effects of degradation of the system. Based on the study, a set of recommendations are also drawn to revive the Paravur estuary in particular and tropical estuaries of similar kinds in general. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Arabian Journal of Geosciences Springer Journals

Environmental degradation of a tropical estuary due to human interferences—a case study from southern Kerala, SW India

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Saudi Society for Geosciences
Subject
Earth Sciences; Earth Sciences, general
ISSN
1866-7511
eISSN
1866-7538
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12517-017-3112-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The estuaries in the densely populated tropical coasts like Kerala (SW India) have been subjected to severe degradation due to various kinds of human interventions. Here, we report the case of environmental degradation of Paravur estuary in southern Kerala, southwest India, as an example. Large-scale extraction of alluvial deposits (sand and brick clay), improper engineering constructions, and other developmental initiatives are some of the interventions that have imposed immense stress on the system. Indiscriminate extraction of sand and clay has disrupted a major part of the drainage network at its upstream end, leaving the alluvial belt almost completely water logged. Land use changes show a significant increase in the water spread area of the estuary (6.31 to 7.85 km2), over the last century, with a concomitant decrease in alluvial/floodplain deposits (4.95 to 2.12 km2). The engineering interventions like the Flood Water Outlet System (FWOS) and its poor maintenance imposed marked changes in the sediment balance of the coastal zone, which ultimately led to the development of a flood tide island (FTI) (0.10 km2) in the estuary. The growth of the island, if not arrested by appropriate corrective measures, would lead to filling up of a greater part of the estuary at its southwestern end in the near future. The corresponding dearth of sand in the littoral zones on the other hand could exacerbate the hungry water effect of coastal waters. This, in turn, aggravates coastal erosion in the cliffed coast in the southern side of the FWOS. Considering the extent of human interventions in the estuary, an attempt has been made in this paper to address in detail about the different causes and effects of degradation of the system. Based on the study, a set of recommendations are also drawn to revive the Paravur estuary in particular and tropical estuaries of similar kinds in general.

Journal

Arabian Journal of GeosciencesSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 14, 2017

References

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