Siltation analysis in the Neyyar reservoir and forest degradation in its catchment: a study from Kerala state, India
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Impact of catchment erosion and the resultant reservoir siltation from a tropical environment is reported here to discuss the effect of a reservoir in the natural degradation of an evergreen-forested segment. While an area of 8.01 km2 has been affected by direct inundation at the full reservoir level, another 2.6 km2 area once under thick forest cover, had also lost its identity over the last 38 years by indirect degradation. This zone mainly falls in the confluence of tributaries, namely Neyyar and Mullayar, with the reservoir. The capacity of the reservoir was found to be reduced by 28.8 Mm3 during this period and the annual average loss is calculated as 0.75 Mm3 (0.71%), indicating the intensity of erosion from the catchment zone. In case the proposed upper dam in the reservoir comes into existence, an additional area of 2.4 km2 from the virgin forest would be submerged and more area would face degradation around the inundated zone.
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