Coastal erosion and habitat loss along the Godavari delta front – a fallout of dam construction

Analysis of multi-date satellite sensor data and maps indicated loss of 1836 ha of land during 1976–2001 along the Godavari deltaic coast resulting in displacement of coastal communities and mangrove destruction. Decrease in sediment loads from an annual average of 145.26 million tons in 1971–79 to 56.76 million tons during 1990–98, apparently due to construction of dams, largely diminished vertical accretion at the delta, while continued coastal subsidence that might have been accentuated by possible neotectonic activity and consequent relative sea level rise led to shoreline retreat. The extant conditions indicate that the problem may compound in future causing irreparable damage to this important deltaic ecosystem.

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