Coastal circulation, sediment transport, and Shoreline changes


The coastline is subjected to several geo-morphological changes due to natural processes and manmade activities. Shoreline changes are one of the serious problems in several pockets along the Indian coast. The shoreline retreat leads to the loss of the beach and consequently to a setback of the coastline that threatens the coastal communities. The information of shoreline changes and understanding the trends of sediment pattern in coastal zone are very important in the case of the Indian coast which is thickly populated and where a lot of developmental activities are undertaken along the coast. Therefore, there is an increased demand for accurate information regarding past and present trend in shoreline changes and near shore circulation pattern. Such information along with seasonal movement of sediment along the coast will be useful to understand cause of erosion, designing navigational channels, breakwaters, jetties etc and deciding disposal grounds for dredged material etc.

This program was formulated with the aim of characterizing the shoreline using observations at select locations and stabilizing the shoreline at selected sites for demonstration purposes.

a) Objectives

  1. To assess shoreline changes annually and to understand the Coastal circulation and sediment transport processes in Coastal Waters to provide the seasonal pattern of sediment transport at priority areas using modelling
  2. Characterization of littoral transport along the Indian coast and detailed measurements at select sites
  3. Develop a database in the form of atlas for coastal sediment dynamics covering the entire country.
  4. Assessment of impact of alteration of sediment transport on coastal geomorphology

b) Participating Institutions

  1. National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai
  2. Integrated Coastal & Marine Area Management – Project Directorate, Chennai

c) Implementation Plan:

  1. Assessment of shoreline changes using satellite data and field verifications to generate shoreline-change maps (ICMAM)
  2. Setting of regional coastal circulation model for 3-4 regions along the Indian coast. (ICMAM & NIOT)
  3. Sediment transport modeling using secondary data and littoral environment observations and estimation of sediment transport rate cell wise /region wise (ICMAM & NIOT)
  4. Development of data base on sediment transport in the form of Atlas (NIOT)
  5. Water quality related inlet stabilization measures at prioritized tidal creeks and estuaries (NIOT)
  6. Location specific studies on impact of alteration of sediment transport on sand dunes

The project will be implemented jointly by NIOT and ICMAM PD. A common project document shall be prepared indicating division of work avoiding overlap among the participating institutions. Further, an inter-institutional work group will be formed involving NIOT, ICMAM and other institutions like NIO, CESS, NIT, Universities etc to collaborate in sediment transport studies. Being a field extensive project it would be desirable to involve organizations at different locations of the country to ease the observation efforts and better management.

Efforts would be initiated to integrate data various observation schemes currently operating in the country like tide gauge network, HF Radar, Port monitoring systems, LEO observations, etc into a suitably formatted database for use of coastal engineering community in managing shoreline management issues.

d) Deliverables:

  1. A GIS based database shoreline change maps at 1:25000 for entire country and 1:5000 scale for selected locations and mapping Annual/periodical Shoreline changes.
  2. Location-wise information on direction of sediment movement and estimation of sediment budget seasonally. and an Atlas for sediment transport along the Indian coast
  3. Recommendations on tidal inlet management to achieve best dilution as a part of water quality control programmes.
  4. Changes in sand dunes due to alteration of sediment transport processes

e) Budget : 65 crores (projected in 3.6.6)

(Rs. In crores)

Budget Requirement
Name of the Scheme 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Total
Shoreline Management 15 18 13 10 9 65


Last Updated On 04/06/2015 - 16:52
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