Decadal changes (1980-2021) of shoreline and mangrove cover in Sundarban Delta, India using remote sensing and GIS

Sipra Biswas Assistant Professor and Head, Department of Geography, Kultali Dr. B. R. Ambedkar College under University of Calcutta, e-mail Id: biswassipra2020@gmail.com, Mobile: 94321 50779/ 79803 14938

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Kallol Sarkar Research Scholar, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, e-mail Id: kallol.1974@rediffmail.com, Mobile: 8910569016

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Tapan Kumar Das Assistant Professor in Geography, Cooch Behar College, West Bengal, India, e-mail Id: dr.tapankumardas2000@gmail.com, Mobile No- +917980002139 / +919475753844

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Abstract

Being situated in the estuary of the flood-dominated Hooghly River system, the macrotidal Indian Sundarban Delta (ISD) has become one of the most complex, dynamic and rapidly changing landforms on the earth’s surface. To study horizontal areal shifting of shoreline and its impact on mangrove-cover in the region, United State Geological Survey (USGS)-satellite data of 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2021 were used. Remote sensing and GIS techniques were employed in the investigation. Simultaneous prograding and retrograding shoreline shifting was distinguished almost in all the parts, though sediment-starved eastern and macrotidally more active southern lobes experienced dominantly retreating shift, and sediment-engorged western lobe demonstrated to be more dynamic. Net areal change over north-south tracks followed the trend of decreasing accretion to increasing erosion while going from west to east, whereas that over west-east tracks followed the trend of exponentially increasing erosion while going from north to south. Overall accretion of ∼91 sq. km in the ISD accounted for augmentation of sparse vegetation of ∼13 sq. km, whereas, ∼243 sq. km erosion called for depletion of sparse & moderate vegetation of ∼18 & ∼174 sq. km respectively over the 41-year period. Various oceanographic and riparian forces and actions, episodic natural events etc. vis-a-vis several anthropogenic interventions— all together contributed to such changes. The findings may help the coastal environmentalists, professionals, planners, decision-makers and implementers in formulating and taking up of suitable strategic measures for integrated and effective coastal zone management in this estuarine wetland-forest.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This is an Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding Author Assistant Professor and Head, Department of Geography, Kultali Dr. B. R. Ambedkar College under University of Calcutta, e-mail Id: biswassipra2020@gmail.com, Mobile: 94321 50779/ 79803 14938

Abstract

Being situated in the estuary of the flood-dominated Hooghly River system, the macrotidal Indian Sundarban Delta (ISD) has become one of the most complex, dynamic and rapidly changing landforms on the earth’s surface. To study horizontal areal shifting of shoreline and its impact on mangrove-cover in the region, United State Geological Survey (USGS)-satellite data of 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2021 were used. Remote sensing and GIS techniques were employed in the investigation. Simultaneous prograding and retrograding shoreline shifting was distinguished almost in all the parts, though sediment-starved eastern and macrotidally more active southern lobes experienced dominantly retreating shift, and sediment-engorged western lobe demonstrated to be more dynamic. Net areal change over north-south tracks followed the trend of decreasing accretion to increasing erosion while going from west to east, whereas that over west-east tracks followed the trend of exponentially increasing erosion while going from north to south. Overall accretion of ∼91 sq. km in the ISD accounted for augmentation of sparse vegetation of ∼13 sq. km, whereas, ∼243 sq. km erosion called for depletion of sparse & moderate vegetation of ∼18 & ∼174 sq. km respectively over the 41-year period. Various oceanographic and riparian forces and actions, episodic natural events etc. vis-a-vis several anthropogenic interventions— all together contributed to such changes. The findings may help the coastal environmentalists, professionals, planners, decision-makers and implementers in formulating and taking up of suitable strategic measures for integrated and effective coastal zone management in this estuarine wetland-forest.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This is an Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding Author Assistant Professor and Head, Department of Geography, Kultali Dr. B. R. Ambedkar College under University of Calcutta, e-mail Id: biswassipra2020@gmail.com, Mobile: 94321 50779/ 79803 14938
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