Does subterranean flow initiate mud banks off the southwest coast of India?
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Coastal waters off the southwest coast of India draw special attention because of the occurrence of mud banks at certain locations during southwest monsoon period. The present study puts forward a hypothesis of a subterranean flow, which could be a plausible mechanism to initiate the mud banks. The subterranean flow is believed to be coupled with activated trending faults and originate from the adjacent watershed (Vembanad Lake) separated from the sea by a narrow strip of land where submerged porous lime shell beds are present. When the lake water injection occurs through the fault, the mud/clay gets excited by its thixotrophic properties (as the overlying water looses its electrolyte) and transforms into a flowing fluid. The lowering of salinity due to the introduction of fresh water keeps the mud suspension in the water column for longer duration, leading to the formation of mud banks. The idea of subterranean flow through lime shell beds initiating formation of mud banks may apply globally to any coastal regions hugged by wetlands and of similar geological conditions.
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