Studies on the morphological changes in the mahanadi estuary and hukitola barrier island with the aid of photo interpretation techniques
Hukitola Bay, situated north of Mahanadi River Delta system in Orissa State is ptotected by a barrier island. This island also provides protection to the coastline in this region from the onslogunt of high waves during southwest monsoon. As such, the changes in the Mahanadi estuary governs the stability of this island to a considerable extent. From the examination of hydrographic charts as well as the toposheets prior to the year 1952 it is observed that the Mahanadi river had a long northerly course along a sandspit six km long prior to its confluence with the sea. With the breach in the sandspit at its southern extrem ty during October 1 51, the mouth of the river shifted southwards by about six km. Photographs taken during 1973 have indicated that the mouth of this river has again migrated northwards by about four Km between 1952 and 1973. The development of a new barrier isiand towards east of the existing Hukitola island is also in evidence. As a sequel to these studies it is inferred that despite the changes in the morphology of the barrier island over the past three decades, the barrier island at this region would be a permanent feature and continue to provide protection to the main coastline in this reach.
KeywordsRiver Mouth Sediment Load Sandy Beach Barrier Island Littoral Drift
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