• D Sundar

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Propagation of tides in the Mandovi-Zuari estuarine network

      S R Shetye A D Gouveia S Y Singbal C G Naik D Sundar G S Michael G Nampoothiri

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      Located in Goa on the west coast of India and joining the Arabian Sea, the Mandovi and the Zuari are two estuaries, each about 50 km long, connected by a narrow canal. A number of small rivers join the two estuaries, forming a network of channels, whose cross-sectional area decreases rapidly in the upstream direction. They receive large freshwater influx during the southwest monsoon and little during the rest of the year. During April (dry season) and August (wet season) 1993, the water level and salinity at 15 locations in the network were monitored for 3 days to determine characteristics of tidal propagation in the network. Analysis of the data shows that the speed of propagation of both the diurnal and the semi-diurnal tide through the main channels of the network is approximately 6 m/s. Amplitudes of these tides in the channels remain unchanged over a distance of about 40 km from the mouth and then decay rapidly upstream over the next 10 km. The undamped propagation is a consequence of the balance between geometric amplification, due to decrease in the cross-sectional area in the upstream direction, and frictional dissipation. The rapid decay near the upstream end of the channels appears to result primarily from freshwater influx.

    • Hydrography of the eastern Arabian Sea during summer monsoon 2002

      D Shankar S S C Shenoi R K Nayak P N Vinayachandran G Nampoothiri A M Almeida G S Michael M R Ramesh Kumar D Sundar O P Sreejith

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      Hydrographic observations in the eastern Arabian Sea (EAS) during summer monsoon 2002 (during the first phase of the Arabian Sea Monsoon Experiment (ARMEX)) include two approximately fortnight-long CTD time series. A barrier layer was observed occasionally during the two time series. These ephemeral barrier layers were caused byin situ rainfall, and by advection of low-salinity (high-salinity) waters at the surface (below the surface mixed layer). These barrier layers were advected away from the source region by the West India Coastal Current and had no discernible effect on the sea surface temperature. The three high-salinity water masses, the Arabian Sea High Salinity Water (ASHSW), Persian Gulf Water (PGW), and Red Sea Water (RSW), and the Arabian Sea Salinity Minimum also exhibited intermittency: they appeared and disappeared during the time series. The concentration of the ASHSW, PGW, and RSW decreased equatorward, and that of the RSW also decreased offshore. The observations suggest that the RSW is advected equatorward along the continental slope off the Indian west coast.

    • Tides in the Mandovi and Zuari estuaries, Goa, west coast of India

      D Sundar S R Shetye

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      Mandovi and Zuari are two estuaries located in Goa, west coast of India. Variation of water level in the estuaries was monitored for a month at 13 locations using tide-poles during March–April 2003. Analysis of this data has provided for the first time, characteristics of how tidal constituents vary in the narrow and shallow estuaries, typical of those found along the west coast of India. At a distance of 45 km from the mouth the tidal range increased in both estuaries by approximately 20%. The tidal range at the upstream end of the two channels at the stations dropped sharply because of the increase in elevation of the channels.

    • Wind-driven estuarine turbidity maxima in Mandovi Estuary, central west coast of India

      Pratima M Kessarkar V Purnachandra Rao R Shynu Ishfaq Mir Ahmad Prakash Mehra G S Michael D Sundar

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      Systematic studies on the suspended particulate matter (SPM) measured on a seasonal cycle in the Mandovi Estuary, Goa indicate that the average concentrations of SPM at the regular station are ∼20mg/l, 5mg/l, 19mg/l and 5mg/l for June–September, October–January, February–April and May, respectively. SPM exhibits low-to-moderate correlation with rainfall indicating that SPM is also influenced by other processes. Transect stations reveal that the SPM at sea-end stations of the estuary are at least two orders of magnitude greater than those at the river-end during the monsoon. Estuarine turbidity maximum (ETM) of nearly similar magnitude occurs at the same location in two periods, interrupted by a period with very low SPM concentrations. The ETM occurring in June–September is associated with low salinities; its formation is attributed to the interactions between strong southwesterly winds ($5.1–5.6ms^{−1}$) and wind-induced waves and tidal currents and, dominant easterly river flow at the mouth of the estuary. The ETM occurring in February–April is associated with high salinity and is conspicuous. The strong NW and SW winds ($3.2–3.7ms^{−1}$) and wind-driven waves and currents seem to have acted effectively at the mouth of the estuary in developing turbidity maximum. The impact of sea breeze appears nearly same as that of trade winds and cannot be underestimated in sediment resuspension and deposition.

    • Tidal variations in the Sundarbans Estuarine System, India

      Meenakshi Chatterjee D Shankar G K Sen P Sanyal D Sundar G S Michael Abhisek Chatterjee P Amol Debabrata Mukherjee K Suprit A Mukherjee V Vijith Siddhartha Chatterjee Anwesha Basu Madhumita Das Saranya Chakraborti Aravind Kalla Surja Kanta Misra Soumya Mukhopadhyay Gopal Mandal Kankan Sarkar

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      Situated in the eastern coastal state of West Bengal, the Sundarbans Estuarine System (SES) is India’s largest monsoonal, macro-tidal delta-front estuarine system. It comprises the southernmost part of the Indian portion of the Ganga–Brahmaputra delta bordering the Bay of Bengal. The Sundarbans Estuarine Programme (SEP), conducted during 18–21 March 2011 (the Equinoctial Spring Phase), was the first comprehensive observational programme undertaken for the systematic monitoring of the tides within the SES. The 30 observation stations, spread over more than 3600 km2, covered the seven inner estuaries of the SES (the Saptamukhi, Thakuran, Matla, Bidya, Gomdi, Harinbhanga, and Raimangal) and represented a wide range of estuarine and environmental conditions. At all stations, tidal water levels (every 15 minutes), salinity, water and air temperatures (hourly) were measured over the six tidal cycles. We report the observed spatio-temporal variations of the tidal water level. The predominantly semi-diurnal tides were observed to amplify northwards along each estuary, with the highest amplification observed at Canning, situated about 98 km north of the seaface on the Matla. The first definite sign of decay of the tide was observed only at Sahebkhali on the Raimangal, 108 km north of the seaface. The degree and rates of amplification of the tide over the various estuarine stretches were not uniform and followed a complex pattern. A least-squares harmonic analysis of the data performed with eight constituent bands showed that the amplitude of the semi-diurnal band was an order of magnitude higher than that of the other bands and it doubled from mouth to head. The diurnal band showed no such amplification, but the amplitude of the 6-hourly and 4-hourly bands increased headward by a factor of over 4. Tide curves for several stations displayed a tendency for the formation of double peaks at both high water (HW) and low water (LW). One reason for these double-peaks was the HW/LW stands of the tide observed at these stations. During a stand, the water level changes imperceptibly around high tide and low tide. The existence of a stand at most locations is a key new finding of the SEP. We present an objective criterion for identifying if a stand occurs at a station and show that the water level changed imperceptibly over durations ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours during the tidal stands in the SES. The tidal duration asymmetry observed at all stations was modified by the stand. Flow-dominant asymmetry was observed at most locations, with ebb-dominant asymmetry being observed at a few locations over some tidal cycles. The tidal asymmetry and stand have implications for human activity in the Sundarbans. The longer persistence of the high water level around high tide implies that a storm surge is more likely to coincide with the high tide, leading to a greater chance of destruction. Since the stands are associated with an amplification of the 4-hourly and 6-hourly constituents, storm surges that have a similar period are also likely to amplify more during their passage through the SES.

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