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Variability of Total Suspended Matter in the Northern Coastal Bay of Bengal as Observed from Satellite Data

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The coastal regions of northern Bay of Bengal (BoB) are one of the most turbid areas owing to the large freshwater discharge from the three major river systems. This study is conducted to investigate the seasonal and interannual variability of total suspended matter (TSM) in the northern BoB. TSM concentration derived from medium resolution imaging spectrometer for the period 2002–2011 is used for this study. TSM concentration is observed to be the highest during summer monsoon season along the north-eastern region, off the Ganges–Brahmaputra river mouth. The variability of the TSM concentration depicts the role of river runoff associated with the summer monsoon in influencing the same. It is observed that the sediment concentration tapers away towards the offshore regions with the maximum extent observed up to 21.5°N latitude. Interannual variability is also observed with highest TSM concentrations occurring in the years 2003, 2008 and 2011 and least during 2004. Time series analysis performed at three major river discharge regions illustrated the distinct and highly variable nature of TSM dynamics prevailing in the northern BoB.

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GlobColour Project, of the European Space Agency (ESA) is acknowledged for making the MERIS derived TSM product. Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC), Germany is thanked for the river runoff climatology data. All the figures in this manuscript are generated using Ferret. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions that helped to improve the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Neethu Chacko.

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Chacko, N., Jayaram, C. Variability of Total Suspended Matter in the Northern Coastal Bay of Bengal as Observed from Satellite Data. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 45, 1077–1083 (2017).

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  • Total suspended matter
  • Bay of Bengal
  • Interannual variability