Skip to main content

Assessing land erosion and accretion dynamics and river bank line shifting of upper reach of Hooghly river of West Bengal, India


River bank line shifting and channel migration due to river bank erosion and accretion causes inevitable geomorphic hazards in Gangetic West Bengal, India. Channel oscillation and associated river bank erosion-accretion is the widespread hydro-geomorphic phenomenon of the Bhagirathi-Hooghly river. In the present analysis, an attempt has been made to investigate the pattern of bank line shifting and river bank erosion-accretion dynamics of the 85 km long upper reach of the Hooghly river for the last 100 years with the use of geospatial techniques. The study is based on police station maps (1917–1921), topographical sheets (1954) and Landsat imageries of 1972, 1990, 2005 and 2020, which were collected from different sources. Sinuosity index, radius-wavelength ratio and bend-tightness index of different time periods have been computed for analyzing the temporal changes that occurred in the study reach. The result shows that the sinuosity index decreased from 1.95 in 1921 to 1.87 in 2020 and the areal extension of bank erosion and accretion decreases. This study has also developed a model for future prediction of river centerlines in the coming decades to identify future hazard zones. The overall channel migration of the upper reach of the Hooghly river indicates the oscillatory nature of the river channel. Channel widening, meander bend development and lateral movement of the channel are responsible for erosion and accretion of the bank. Therefore, the present analysis may be helpful for the identification and mapping of future vulnerable areas and make a plan for the lives of the people living near the bank line for their safety and sustainability.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10

Similar content being viewed by others

Availability of data and material

Topographical sheets are available in the website of Army map service. Satellite imageries of different periods used for change analysis were downloaded from USGS Earth Explorer website. Data from other sources have been described appropriately.

Code of availability

Not applicable.


Download references


This work has been done with the funding of NET-JRF Fellowship scheme of University Grant Commission [(3312/(OBC)(NET-JAN 2017)].

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



Not applicable.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Abhijit Paul.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that there is no such conflict of interest regarding the results and data. We also disclose that all the ethical standards have been maintained for this research.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Paul, A., Bhattacharji, M. Assessing land erosion and accretion dynamics and river bank line shifting of upper reach of Hooghly river of West Bengal, India. Sustain. Water Resour. Manag. 8, 136 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: