Processes and factors regulating the growth of an intertidal mudflat within a middle estuarine region of Zuari tropical estuary, west coast of India
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Mudflats and associated mangroves conjecture the tropical estuarine ecosystems, which support a diversity of fauna and flora. Besides, mudflats aid in preventing coastal erosion, and mangroves preserving the environmental balance. Sediment cores (six numbers) were collected from an intertidal mudflat from the middle region of Zuari estuary and investigated at 2-cm interval for its sediment components, organic carbon, pH and selected metals (two cores), to decipher the source, processes, depositional environment and factors regulating the growth of a mudflat. The ratio of sand-silt-clay and organic carbon content bares higher proportion of mud and organic matter deposition in the recent years that facilitate the growth of mangroves. Additionally, the sediment grain size varied from muddy sand to mud class from the downstream to the upstream of the mudflat, respectively. This observation advocates that the hydrodynamic conditions and anthropogenic activities are potential in the development of intertidal mudflats in this tropical estuary.
KeywordsTropical estuary Intertidal Mudflat Mangrove Hydrodynamic conditions Depositional environment Zuari India
The author thanks Ms. Shabnam Choudhary for extending her assistance in preparing some figures. The author wishes to thank Prof. R. Nagendra, Anna University, and Dr. Maheshwar R. Nasnodkar, Goa University, for their constructive comments and Prof. Ramola Antao for correcting the English language of the manuscript.
The author (GNN) places on record appreciation for the financial support received from the University Grants Commission (UGC/F.No.39-130/2010(SR) DT:27.12.2010) to carry out this research under a major research project and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi for awarding Emeritus Scientist Position.
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