Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 24, Issue 1 2018; Page No.(326-335)

ASSESSMENT OF HUMAN INDUCED STRESS ON THE KARAIKAL COAST: A MULTI-DIMENSIONAL APPROACH FOR EVALUATING THE POLLUTION STATUS

V.P. Sathiyabama, R. Ramesh, R. Purvaja, R.S. Robin, M.D. Suganya, G. Hariharan and D. Ganguly

Abstract

In the past decades, the coastal stretch of Karaikal is identified to be a major ‘Pollution Hotspot’, in the southeast coast of India. In order to assess the impact of the land use / land cover changes (LULC) on the coastal water quality of this geographical area, the present research carried out a spatio-temporal study between the period 2001 and 2010. The analysis of the decadal change in LULC showed an increase in the area occupied by aquaculture (10%), industries (1%) and settlement with vegetation (30%). The expansion of settlement areas, aquaculture and construction of ports were found to result in the loss of crop land (21%), mudflats (1%), marshy land (0.12%) and sandy areas (2%) along the coast. Pollution Index (PI) was used to evaluate the pollution status of the coastal water quality, and the results obtained indicated a deteriorating coastal water quality between the period 2001 and 2010. The spatial variations of the water quality parameters were interpolated, overlaid and compared with the LULC map. The study revealed that the deteriorating water quality of the Karaikal coastal waters is linked to the LULC changes, which chiefly contributed to the pollution impact from both the point and non-point pollutant sources adjacent to the coastal water.

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