Coastal erosion vs man-made protective structures: evaluating a two-decade history from southeastern India

Abstract

Remote sensing images of AD 1991–2011 and field observations help evaluate shoreline changes (erosion and accretion) in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu states of southeastern India. A minor harbor was constructed during AD 1986–1989 in the coast of Puducherry, and it initiated the gradual process of shoreline modification. In the subsequent years, beaches located toward the north of the harbor suffered erosion (−0.12–−4.19 m/year) and there was accretion (0.27–7.25 m/year) in the southern beaches. However, the man-made structures (seawall and groin) have reduced the shoreline changes after AD 2004. In the last two decades, the rate of erosion area-wise gradually decreased (0.24–0.013 km2/year) and accretion remained constant (0.019 km2/year). Our results suggest that accretion happened in the southern side of the breakwaters and erosion occurred in the northern part. Presence of groins structures in the region in the northern part has also provoked accretion in the south and erosion in the northern side close to the State of Tamil Nadu.

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Acknowledgments

GM wishes to thank French Institute of Pondicherry for their help in diverse ways. MPJ wishes to express thanks SNI, CONACyT, EDI and COFAA (IPN Mexico). PDR acknowledges the support from CTIC-UNAM, Mexico. This article is the 83rd contribution from Earth System Science Group (ESSG), Chennai, India.

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Correspondence to M. P. Jonathan.

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Muthusankar, G., Jonathan, M.P., Lakshumanan, C. et al. Coastal erosion vs man-made protective structures: evaluating a two-decade history from southeastern India. Nat Hazards 85, 637–647 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-016-2583-7

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Keywords

  • Erosion
  • Accretion
  • Shoreline changes
  • GIS
  • Seawall
  • Puducherry
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Southeast coast of India