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Signatures of late quaternary land-sea interactions and landform dynamics along southern Kerala coast, SW India
Quaternary International ( IF 1.952 ) Pub Date : 2020-05-21 , DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2020.05.011
P. Arulbalaji; Upasana S. Banerji; K. Maya; D. Padmalal

The Kerala coast displays a spectrum of varied geomorphic features that are evolved as a function of Late Quaternary land-sea interaction. The southern Kerala coast, south of Achankovil Shear Zone (ASZ) has been characterised by cliffed coast with entrenched estuarine basins, pocket beaches, promontories, older and younger strand plains, etc., that are evolved as a result of the transgressive-regressive phases to which the coast has been subjected during late Quaternary Period. In spite of having varied geomorphic features, lacuna in comprehending the evolutionary phases of the coastal landform features is the primary impediment that bolstered us to unravel the Late Quaternary land-sea interactions and landform changes of the coast between Thottapally and Vizhinjam. Moreover, the last two centuries are known to have been witnessing many natural as well as human induced environmental perturbations in the area. The Late Quaternary landform dynamics were reconstructed based on the satellite data while the last century changes were extracted from Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS). The evidences based on geomorphic variations suggest that the present study area hosts two distinct paleo-coastlines – 1) coincides with the eastern boundary of the older strand plains (accreted during Late Pleistocene) and, 2) marks the boundary between older and younger strand plains (accreted during Early–Middle Holocene). A sector-wise analysis reveals that the northern half of the study area is characterised by many coast perpendicular estuarine basins with well-developed Bay Head Deltas in its fluvial end, and Flood Tide Islands near the estuarine mouth. On the contrary, the southern half is characterized by pocket beaches and coast parallel backwater bodies developed during the regressive phases of the sea. A high-resolution study of the shoreline changes during the period, 1920–2018 reveals that the younger strandlines are vulnerable to severe coastal erosion and shoreline retreat at many places compared to coastal accretion. The study stresses the imminent need for continuous monitoring and implementation of site-specific mitigation measures for the conservation and management of this coast known for its outstanding natural beauty and strategic beach placer deposits.
更新日期:2020-05-21

 

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