Geomorphic Features of Junput-shankarpur-udaipur Coast

Published: 2021-09-13 23:25:09
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The Udaipur-Shankarpur-Junput coast was subdivided into two sectors, namely the western part and eastern part. The western part includes Udaipur to Shankarpur coast and the eastern part stretches from east of Shankarpur to Junput coast. There is a line of division between these two sectors. This line of division on the coast follows more or less the alignment of the offshore reef “Western Brace” located in the inner continental shelf. There is another reef known as Eastern Brace which is situated just west of the Hooghly River navigational channel. The Udaipur-Shankarpur-Junput coasts are characterized by wide gently sloping low lying beaches. The beach is nearly flat. Its monotony is disrupted by presence of sand dunes which lying parallel to the shoreline. Collapsed cliffs and uprooted casuarina trees are prominent. Whereas the Gopalpur coast is characterised by moderately steep. Berm is a characteristic feature of Gopalpur coast. Berm is absent in Udaipur-Shankarpur-Junput coast. The beaches are veneered mostly by sandy sediments with minor occurrences of silty sediments in Udaipur-Shankarpur-Junput coasts. There are clayey pockets in Udaipur and Shankarpur coasts. Tidal wave plays a significant role in shaping the beaches. The coastal topography is influenced by the tidal wave and near shore current. The hazardous events affecting the coastal system are storm, cyclone etc. Embankments were made to prevent erosion. These structures were found in Udaipur and Shankarpur regions. In May, 2009 extensive damage has been occurred due to aila in the coastal areas of West Bengal.
Geomorphology of the coastal belts of both sectors such as Udaipur-Shankarpur-Junput coast and Gopalpur coast were delineated through field visits. Tentative low water line and high water line of different time periods have been demarcated during these field works. Various geomorphic features such as different units of sand dunes, swash marks, sandbar, and runnel were delineated during the field visits. Sedimentary features also have been identified. Shoreline position is not constant. It fluctuates and is related with erosion accretion pattern. The fluctuation was delineated. The shoreline position in different phases since 1932 in Udaipur-Shankarpur coast was revealed from satellite images, previous maps and present field observations.Coastal sand dunes, formed by aeolian process, are generally formed in close proximity of beaches where sands are accumulated by wave action. Udaipur, Shankarpur and Junput coastal plain show prominent coastal land forms with rows of sand dunes separated by old clayey tidal flat. Presence of series of parallel aeolian sand dunes with intervening clayey tidal flats indicates the periodic sea level fluctuation. The present beach-dune complex comprises of intertidal zone and neo dunes, followed landward by older dune, old tidal flat and older dune ridge. The neo dune unit, lying on the present day sea front is being developed by active dune building processes. Neo dunes are being formed on the upper beach face along the entire belt of coast. Those were formed during the drier season by sand drifts. The older dune unit is stabilized and the older dune ridge is matured. The two later units are mildly oxidized and brownish in color. The older dune ridge is almost parallel to the older dune. The highest HWL reaches almost up to the base of the neo dunes. At places the flow of water during peak high tide is obstructed by the embankment. The intertidal zone of all the three sectors are characterized by sandy beaches having gentle gradient towards the sea. The beach slope for Udaipur and Shankarpur areas are ranges from 0.530 to 0.260 and from 0.480 to 0.530 respectively.
The Junput area is having the beach slope from 0.420 to 0.290. The slope of the beach is basically a function of runoff of the water up the beach face and back wash of the water down the face. The beach under study is basically composed of very fine to fine sand. The loss of runoff due to discharge into the beach is negligible, resulting almost as much water in the back wash as in the runoff. Naturally, this type of beach face cannot stand at a steep angle, making gentle gradient of this beach. Ripple marks are very common sedimentary feature present here. Wave ripple and cross ripple both have been found. Wavelength of wave ripple is about 24 to 28 cm and amplitude of ripple is about 6 to 10 cm. Here mega ripples are also common, the formation of which may be the combined effect of interaction of transient coastal current with tidal current. The beach in Junput sector is about 347 m to 514 m wide. At places, there are runnels on the middle part of the beach. Here two sets of dune are delineated. The neo dune with a width of 80m is well developed with a relief of 1.5m from its base. This is followed landward by older dune having about 7 m height from its base with 10m width. Uprooting of trees due to storm surge is common on the Junput coast. In the studied area of Shankarpur two sets of dune are identified. Here, the width of beach is 224 m to 376 m and height of the neo dune is 1m from its base along seaward side. Close to the coast older dune is flattened at number of locations due to anthropogenic activities; otherwise this is of 9 m height from its base with 10m width. Rocky embankments are made at Shankarpur coast.
Udaipur coast, lying in the western most part of the study area of Junput-Shankarpur-Udaipur, is having well defined present beach-dune complex. Three units of dunes are delineated viz. neo dune, older dune and older dune ridge. The width of the beach varies from 237m to 426m. The present width of this beach in the western most part near the Subarnarekha delta front is 426 m. Chakrabarti (1990) has reported the width of the beach in this western part from their studies from the year 1963 to 1969 as 500 m. Heavy mineral concentration layers are found in beach section. The neo dune, having relief of 1m from its base is continuing all along the intertidal zone. Older dune is about 10 m in height and stretches parallel to neo dune and is intersected by the series of valleys. Old tidal flat is present between older dune and older dune ridge. Road was constructed by cutting older dune ridge. Rocky embankments are constructed at the coast. The entire beach of Udaipur-Junput coastal belt is covered with fine sand and neo dunes are formed on the upper beach face. There are “clay windows” in Junput sector which is part of old intertidal flat.

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