Source and dispersal of suspended sediment in the macro-tidal Gulf of Kachchh
MetadataShow full item record
The macro-tidal Gulf of Kachchh, covering nearly 7000 km sup(2), is located about 150 km south of the Indus River mouth. In spite of semi-arid climate and lack of major rivers flowing into it, the Gulf is highly turbid with suspended sediment concentrations (SSC) during October-November 2002 ranging between 0.5 and 674 mg l sup(-1). Highly turbid waters are observed towards the northern portion of the mouth of the Gulf, at the head of the Gulf and adjacent to the numerous shoals present within the Gulf. Perennial high SSC in the Gulf is due to resuspension of sediments by strong tidal currents, shallow bathymetry and presence of fine-grained sediments on the sea floor. Numerical model studies show that there is a dynamic barrier in the central Gulf, which prevents the exchange of water and suspended sediments between the outer and inner Gulf. This dynamic barrier associated with strong east-west tidal currents restricts the turbid waters mainly to the northern Gulf, resulting in relatively clear waters (SSC less than 10 mg l sup(-1)) in the southern and central portions of the Gulf. Laser particle size distribution, clay mineralogy and geochemistry of the suspended matter show that the main source of sediments to the Gulf of Kachchh is the Indus River. Although the Indus discharge has been severely curtailed in the recent decades due to construction of numerous dams and barrages, the Gulf of Kachchh continues to receive resuspended sediments from the numerous meso and macro-tidal creeks of the Indus delta. The sediments at the head of the Gulf appear to be a mixture of sediments derived from the Indus as well as the numerous seasonal rivers draining the Rann of Kachchh.
- Scholarly literature