Coastal zone is a dynamic area between land and ocean, which refers to a broad geographic area in which terrestrial, and marine factors are mixed to produce unique landforms and ecological systems. Hence it becomes a must to understand the coastal zone processes and their interaction, which are influencing these complicated changes. So a careful assessment of the natural and anthropogenic changes in our Indian coast forms a major milestone for effective coastal environment management and leads to sustainable utilization of coastal resources. Knowing fully the importance the authors has brought out this proceeding volume a compilation of the scientific works available in the Indian Ocean coasts in the recent times. The papers (36) cover the field of sea level variation, Quaternary shore displacement, sediment movement, coastal dynamics, neotectonism, coastal resources and coastal environments. This volume also consist of the learned address of Scientist Prof. Ananthakrishnan and Key note address of Prof M.J.Tooley, President INQUA commission on Quaternary shorelines, UK.
First paper deals with the Coastal changes in and around Bombay. He attempt to place together all the physical evidence of whatever origin and nature, notwithstanding their contradictory directions, and shift evaluate them in the context of the evolving configuration of the Bombay coast. He has used the existing data on C 14 along with these data’s to predict the past sea level rise in Bombay. He also identified the causes for the rise and fall of sea level changes both natural and anthropogenic. Paul has discussed the cyclonic storms and their impacts on West Bengal coast. He has categorized the various factors influencing the severity of coastal storms and landward displacement of the shoreline after successive storm damage in West Bengal. Another paper by Asoakumar Bhattacharya deals with the changing configuration of the Sunderban coastal zones under the influence of variable coastal agencies, which operate in both in episodic and nonepisodic manner. He has identified the two kind of major disturbances causing erosion and sea level rise in the study area. Coastal changes in the Kochi embayment was discussed by Sukunmar and others. They found this embaymemnt is of recent origin i.e. post mid Holocene produced by fluviomarine process influenced by monsoon winds and currents. Subash C.Das studied the changing coastal morphology and its relation to the development works along the coast of Bangladesh. He has assembled an extensive information base and has provided a background for a in depth analysis of the changing behavior of the coastal morphology. Alpa Dholakia and his co-authors have use used the records of sea level changes to understand the Holocene sea level changes in Goa coast. They have concluded that Goa coast is in the phase of emergence and has not yet attained maturity. Loveson and co-author gave evidence for Quaternary sea level changes and shoreline displacement on the southern coromandal coast of India. This paper needs lot of scientific support and specific methodology and the analysis precession and technology which is lacking here. These pars give some insight to sea level changes.
Mahender has disused the Pleistocene climate and sea level using microfacies characteristics of miliolitic L.St of Gujart. The study clearly show the depositional environmental conditions and the Middle Pleistocene High sea level (+25 m asl) which progressively fell down to –100m bsl by the close of Pleistocene. Coastal changes and long term evolution of an Hoogly estuary was discussed by Bandopathyay. Govil and saxena describes the technique which takes tidal data as input from digitization of charts or ASCII files to represent one day chart to produce a efficient data structure to record tidal data. Mallik has explained in detail the methods involved in the undersea exploration for its various resources. It is a compilation of textbook chapters. Karelkar has found out the geomorphological evidence of the vertical displacement o shorelines in Konkan. Kumar and others has attempted to predict the depositional processes and paleoenvironmental changes from Konkan, central west coast of India. Shahilul islam has discussed the application of the tendency model to regional correlation of Holocene marine vents within Bay of Bengal. Abhay and karelkar has found out from their studies the existence of Holocene tidal banks of Diveagar and Valvati, Maharastra coast. Nigam and coworkers has used the otolith concretions in Paleo fishes in deterring the palaeoclimate and palaeotemperature. The coastal zone is an open natural system of high-energy environment where active migration of sedimentary material is affecting the shoreline. SSC and Turbidity are important interrelated aspects in the coastal sedimentation process. Jog and others has used the remote sensing data to study the SSC and their sources and the processes controlling their movement in the Konkan coast. The Andaman sea has a characteristic paleoocenagraphic records. So Bataacharya and Ghosh has attempted to study the foraminifer to decipher paleocenagraphic changes that took place during the late Quaternary time in Andaman, Hossian and others has assessed the dispersion coefficient and pollutants using a simplified procedure along the pussar estuary, Dhaka. Mukerjee and co-authors has revived the Quaternary coastal Environment and shoreline changes in the Bay of Bengal basin. Keeping the importance of mangroves in mind environmental geochemical studies on pichavaram has been included in this volume. Ramanathan and his co-authors has a done a detailed work on this area and they infer that the multiple source for the nutrient in this mangroves. They have identified anthropogenic and natural source. There are also few relevant papers of this kind are presented here. In most of the papers presented here literature reviews of the existing knowledge in their field area has not been given, without that the new knowledge of contribution to the present status remains questionable. Some papers lack scientific data base and some are only compilation of facts from various books.
All in all this volume gives a overall status of art on current ideas on a variety of crucial issues in the context of Quaternary research in the Indian coast. It is therefore appreciated that special attention has been devoted on this aspect especially on Indian Context. If more precaution has been given on the quality (of data and presentation) and standard of the published articles except one or two, it might have become a ready reference to Quaternary research on Indian coast in this decade.
Reviewed by AL. Ramanathan, School of Environmental Sciences, J.N.U., New Delhi-67