The aim of the present research was to investigate the seasonal impact on nearshore beach dynamics and the status of heavy mineral distribution along central Tamil Nadu coast, India. Beach profile measurements were made in 10 profiling sites between Thirukadaiyur and Velankanni on monthly and seasonal basis from January 2011 to July 2012. Using beach profile data, variation in beach width, slope and volumetric changes have been calculated. Beach slope and nearshore wave parameters were used to quantify the longshore sediment transport rate. Beaches between Thirukadaiyur and Karaikkal attained predominant transport rate in northern direction whereas, the rest of the beaches are in southern direction. The seasonal action of wind and wave currents create nearshore bar during northeast (NE) monsoon and frequent berms at tidal zone during southwest (SW) monsoon. Surface sediment samples were collected in each location for quantifying the heavy mineral weight percentage during the period of pre- and post-Thane cyclone. Sediments were also studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD) to evaluate the changes and occurrence of heavy minerals in beach sands. The XRD results show that sediments in the study area have enriched heavy mineral distribution even after strong cyclonic event. It confirms the redistribution of heavy mineral deposits present in the coast. The results suggested that monsoonal action has influenced the seasonal changes in beach morphology and it does not affect the heavy mineral distribution.
Volume 128 | Issue 8
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