• N Basavaiah

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Changes in the source and transport mechanism of terrigenous input to the Indian sector of Southern Ocean during the late Quaternary and its palaeoceanographic implications

      M Thamban S S Naik R Mohan A Rajakumar N Basavaiah Witty D’Souza Sarita Kerkar M M Subramaniam M Sudhakar P C Pandey

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      Changes in the terrigenous sediment source and transport mechanisms during the late Quaternary have been investigated using four sediment cores within the Indian sector of Southern Ocean, using the magnetic susceptibility (MS) and sedimentological records. Sediments deposited during the Holocene and other interglacial periods were characterised by low MS, low sand content, reduced ice-rafted detritus (IRD) input and increased illite possibly transported via hydrographic advection from the south. The glacial intervals are characterised by high MS, high sand content, increased IRD input and reduced illite clays, derived from both local as well as Antarctic sources. Significant reduction in clay fraction and illite content during glacials suggests that the erosive and transporting capabilities of the deep and bottom waters could have reduced compared to the interglacial times. The changes in terrigenous influx to this region were significantly influenced by the rhythmic glacial-interglacial fluctuations in bottom circulation and the position of the Polar Front.

    • Shift in detrital sedimentation in the eastern Bay of Bengal during the late Quaternary

      C Prakash Babu J N Pattan K Dutta N Basavaiah G V Ravi Prasad D K Ray P Govil

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      Down-core variations of granulometric, geochemical and mineral magnetism of a 70-cm long sediment core retrieved from the eastern Bay of Bengal abyssal region were studied to understand sedimentation pattern and sediment provenance during the last ∼12 kyr BP. Based on down-core physical and elemental variations, three units were identified: unit 3 (70–43 cm) is a ∼30 cm thick clayey silt organic carbon-rich (0.5–0.92%) turbidite probably delivered by the Brahmaputra River during the late Quaternary period. Units 2 (43–24 cm) and 1 (24–0 cm) represent enhanced and reduced supply of coarse-grained detrital sediments from the Ganges River during early and late Holocene period, respectively. Increased terrigenous supply dilutes calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and biogenic elements (P, Ba and Cu) in units 3 and 2. On the contrary, a reduction in detrital input enhances CaCO3 and biogenic elements in unit 1. Lithogenic elements (Ti, Al, K and Rb) and shale-normalized REE patterns in all three units suggest terrigenous source. The shift in provenance from the Brahmaputra to the Ganges derived sediments is evident by a sharp increase in sediment grain size, increased concentration and grain size assemblages of magnetic minerals, lithogenic elements concentration and $La_{n}/Yb_{n}$ ratio. This study highlights terrigenous dilution on biogenic sedimentation in the eastern Bay of Bengal sediments.

    • Environmental magnetic and geochemical characteristics of Chennai coastal sediments, Bay of Bengal, India

      R Venkatachalapathy S Veerasingam N Basavaiah T Ramkumar K Deenadayalan

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      In this study, environmental magnetic, heavy metal and statistical analyses were conducted on 21 surface sediments collected from Chennai coast, India, to examine the feasibility of heavy metal pollution using magnetic susceptibility. The Chennai coastal sediment samples are dominated by ferrimagnetic minerals corresponding to magnetite-like minerals. The percentage of frequency dependent magnetic susceptibility reflects the presence of super-paramagnetic/single domain magnetic minerals in Chennai harbour, Cooum and Adayar rivers sediments. High pollution load index in sample E1, E2, CH7, C11, C12 and A16 is mainly due to anthropogenic activities such as, harbour activities, Cooum and Adayar rivers input and industrial effluent. Factor analysis shows that the magnetic concentration dependent parameters ($\chi , \chi_{ARM}$ and SIRM) covary with the heavy metal concentrations, suggesting that the input of magnetic minerals and heavy metals in Chennai coastal sediments are derived from the same anthropogenic sources. Strong correlation obtained between pollution load index (PLI) and concentration dependent parameters ($\chi , \chi_{ARM}$ and SIRM) for the polluted samples with magnetic susceptibility excess of 50 × 10−8 m3kg−1. Significant correlations between heavy metals and magnetic susceptibility point out the potential of magnetic screening/monitoring for simple and rapid proxy indicator of heavy metal pollution in marine sediments.

    • Understanding the sediment routing system along the Gulf of Kachchh coast, western India: Significance of small ephemeral rivers

      S P Prizomwala Nilesh Bhatt N Basavaiah

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      The present study is an attempt towards understanding the sediment routing system in the semi-arid margin of the Gulf of Kachchh, which is one of the largest macrotidal regimes in the northern Arabian Sea. Investigations based on heavy minerals, clay minerals, mineral magnetic properties and sediment geochemistry indicated that there are three major sources of sediments contributing to the Gulf of Kachchh basin: (1) Indus River, (2) Kachchh mainland coastal rivers and (3) the Saurashtra peninsular coastal rivers. The flanks of northern and southern coast of western Gulf of Kachchh show dominant signatures of Kachchh mainland/Saurashtra peninsular provenance. In contrast, the eastern Gulf of Kachchh coast bearing fine grained sediments shows dominant Indus River Provenance. Although ephemeral in nature, the small coastal rivers of Saurashtra and Kachchh contribute significant amount of sediments to the Gulf of Kachchh coastline because of their ‘dryland’ nature and thus they control the coarse grained sedimentation processes.

    • Identification and characterization of tsunami deposits off southeast coast of India from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami: Rock magnetic and geochemical approach

      S Veerasingam R Venkatachalapathy N Basavaiah T Ramkumar S Venkatramanan K Deenadayalan

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      The December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami (IOT) had a major impact on the geomorphology and sedimentology of the east coast of India. Estimation of the magnitude of the tsunami from its deposits is a challenging topic to be developed in studies on tsunami hazard assessment. Two core sediments (C1 and C2) from Nagapattinam, southeast coast of India were subjected to textural, mineral, geochemical and rock-magnetic measurements. In both cores, three zones (zone I, II and III) have been distinguished based on mineralogical, geochemical and magnetic data. Zone II is featured by peculiar rockmagnetic, textural, mineralogical and geochemical signatures in both sediment cores that we interpret to correspond to the 2004 IOT deposit. Textural, mineralogical, geochemical and rock-magnetic investigations showed that the tsunami deposit is featured by relative enrichment in sand, quartz, feldspar, carbonate, SiO2, TiO2, K2O and CaO and by a depletion in clay and iron oxides. These results point to a dilution of reworked ferromagnetic particles into a huge volume of paramagnetic materials, similar to what has been described in other nearshore tsunami deposits (Font et al. 2010). Correlation analysis elucidated the relationships among the textural, mineral, geochemical and magnetic parameters, and suggests that most of the quartz-rich coarse sediments have been transported offshore by the tsunami wave. These results agreed well with the previously published numerical model of tsunami induced sediment transport off southeast coast of India and can be used for future comparative studies on tsunami deposits.

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