A Glimpse on the Textural Analysis of an Estuarine Ecosystem

International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume V, Issue V, May 2018 | ISSN 2321–2705

A Glimpse on the Textural Analysis of an Estuarine Ecosystem

Divya. S. Rajan

Guest Lecturer, P. G Department of Zoology, Christian College, Chengannur, Kerala, India.

Abstract: Estuary, as an integral part of the coastal environment have been the focal point of the maritime studies and activities. Biodiversity in this ecosystem are quite impressive and are also effective nutrient traps and provide a vital source of natural resources to man and are used for commercial, industrial and recreational purposes. The present investigation is mainly the textural analysis of the Thekkumbhagam creek of Ashtamudi estuary, the second largest estuary in Kerala. Anthropogenic activities in the estuarine environment change the landscape of an ecosystem. The analysis includes dispersion of the soil to ultimate grain sizes and grading the dispersed grains into groups. Sand fraction ranged between (8 – 93 %) followed by silt (3-55%) and clay (4-65%). Higher fraction of sand was observed during pre-monsoon period. Higher silt and clay content was recorded during the monsoon period. Various types of soils observed in the creek were sand, sandy clay, sandy clay loam, silty clay, clay, clay loam, silt loam, silty clay loam. The texture of sediments in the present study revealed that most predominant fractions were sand followed by silt and clay in this creek.Thus anthropogenic activities can alter the textural characteristics of sediment that plays a significant role in determining the organic carbon content. While, the developmental activities in the estuarine environment show the economic growth of the country, they also greatly affect the pristine purity of the ecosystem. Hence a judicious management of this estuarine resource with the co-operation of local people is needed with a very good understanding of the estuarine processes and their properties.

Key words: – Texture, sediment, sand, silt, clay

I. INTRODUCTION

Sediments are indicators of quality of overlying water and its study is a useful tool in the assessment of environmental pollution status. Sediment refers to soil particles that enter streams, lakes and other water bodies from eroding land, including plowed fields, construction and logging sites, urban areas and eroding stream banks etc (USEPA, 1995)[9]. Sediments have been the principal deposition of organic debris. In an aquatic system, sediment acts as sink and source of materials. The nature and extent of fluctuation in the composition of sediments can indicate the extent of stress on aquatic environment.

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