Sand Mining, Channel Bar Dynamics and Sediment Textural Properties of the Kaveri River, South India: Implications on Flooding Hazard and Sustainability of the Natural Fluvial System

  • Mu. RamkumarEmail author
  • K. Kumaraswamy
  • R. Arthur James
  • M. Suresh
  • T. Sugantha
  • L. Jayaraj
  • A. Mathiyalagan
  • M. Saraswathi
  • J. Shyamala
Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH)


The Kaveri River, the fourth largest river in India, undergoes the onslaught of urbanization and extensive construction activities within, along and adjoining its channel. In addition to its dwindling natural flow due to the failing monsoonal supply, and constructions of major, medium and minor dams, the extensive mining of sand from its channel bed causes severe stress on its natural fluvial processes. Reduction of carrying capacity of the channel, extensive vertical accretion of sediments within the channel, development of channel-in-channel physiography, and alteration of stream configuration and textural parameters of the stream bed sediments have contributed towards deterioration of the environmental integrity of this important river and exacerbated the flood hazard in the adjoining regions. This paper is an attempt to document the deterioration of natural fluvial dynamics due to the anthropogenic intervention and lack of required data for proper understanding for environmental management and sustenance of the fluvial system. The textural and geomorphic characteristics and the mechanism of mid-channel bar formation and stabilization documented through this study suggest that the whole of the river channel of the Kaveri River behaves like a braided bar/flood plain, which means  the prevalence of slow abandonment of the fluvial processes, that could only be observed in the flood plain region of mature and or old stage of a river and/or in the event of shifting of channel course. Occurrence of such characteristics at the upper deltaic region and the observation that the channel area gets converted into mid-channel bars (in terms of textural-geomorphic traits), at a rate of 1.08 km2/year warrant immediate measures for the restoration of natural fluvial processes.


Environmental integrity Kaveri River Sand mining Channel bar Flooding 



Prof. Radhakrishnan, Department of Marine Sciences, Bharathidasan University is thanked for permission to utilize the sieve-shaker. Prof. V. Rajamani, School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, is thanked for enlightening the authors on the importance of conserving river and flood plain sediments for the sustenance of natural environment and mitigation of geohazards.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mu. Ramkumar
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • K. Kumaraswamy
    • 3
  • R. Arthur James
    • 4
  • M. Suresh
    • 2
  • T. Sugantha
    • 2
  • L. Jayaraj
    • 2
  • A. Mathiyalagan
    • 2
  • M. Saraswathi
    • 2
  • J. Shyamala
    • 2
  1. 1.South East Asia Carbonate LaboratoryUniversiti Teknologi PetronasTronohMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of GeologyPeriyar UniversitySalemIndia
  3. 3.Department of GeographyBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirapalliIndia
  4. 4.Department of Marine ScienceBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirapalliIndia

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