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Impacts of wave energy and littoral currents on shoreline erosion/accretion along the south-west coast of Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu using DSAS and geospatial technology

Kaliraj, S., Chandrasekar, N., Magesh, N. S.
Environmental earth sciences 2014 v.71 no.10 pp. 4523-4542
Landsat, coasts, energy, geospatial technology, monsoon season, sediments, statistical analysis, India
The present study investigates the impact of wave energy and littoral current on shorelines along the south-west coast of Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India. The multi-temporal Landsat TM, ETM+ images acquired from 1999 to 2011 were used to demarcate the rate of shoreline shift using GIS-based Digital Shoreline Analysis System. The statistical analysis such as net shoreline movement and end point rate were determined from the multi-temporal shoreline layers. Moreover, the wave energy and seasonal littoral current velocity were calculated for each coastal zone using mathematical equations. The results reveal that the coastal zones, which include Kanyakumari, Kovalam, Manavalakurichi and Thengapattinam coasts, consisting of maximum wave energy along with high velocity of littoral current, have faced continuous erosion processes. The estimated wave energy along these zones ranges from 6.5 to 8.5 kJ/km²and the observed current velocity varies from 0.22 to 0.32 m/s during south-west and north-east monsoons. The cumulative effect of these coastal processes in the study area leads to severe erosion that is estimated as 300.63, 69.92, 54.12 and 66.11 m, respectively. However, the coastal zones, namely Rajakkamangalam, Ganapathipuram, Muttam and Colachel, have experienced sediment deposits due to current movement during the north-east monsoon. However, the trend changes during the south-west monsoon as a result of sediment drift through backwash. The spatial variation of shoreline and its impact on wave energy and the littoral current have been mapped using the geo-spatial technology. This study envisages the impact of coastal processes on site-specific shorelines. Hence, the study will be effective for sustainable coastal zone management.