Palaeogeography and evolution of the Godavari delta, east coast of India during the Holocene

An example of wave-dominated and fan-delta settings

Kakani Nageswara Rao, Yoshiki Saito, K. Ch V Nagakumar, G. Demudu, A. S. Rajawat, Sumiko Kubo, Zhen Li

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We investigated the Holocene evolution of the Godavari delta along the east coast of India, by analyses of landforms and 11 borehole cores collected from the delta plain during 2010-2013 with 113 14C dates. The Godavari delta covering an area of 5820km2 is one of the world's largest wave-dominated deltas fringed by a ~30km wide beach-ridge plain. Our analysis of sediment facies and their ages indicated that the Holocene marine sequence thickens seaward from ~10m to more than 50m and that the local relative sea level rapidly rose from 43.5m to 7.5m below the present sea level during 10.9-8.0calkyBP followed by a slow rise up to its current level around 5calkyBP. Spatio-temporal variations in sediment accumulation rates and palaeo-shorelines for the last 6ky revealed successive changes of the main depocentre (delta lobe). We recognised six stages of delta evolution with distinct cyclic shifts of delta lobes controlled by avulsions. A linear beach ridge located 12-14km inland from the present shoreline, which separates the first three lobes from the last three, represents the effect of coastal erosion of past cuspate delta lobes, as does the current linear shoreline of the central part of the delta. Our study documents continuous net progradation during the Holocene on millennial to centennial time scales. However, a considerable decrease of sediment discharge due to dam construction and water diversion since the 1970s has exacerbated coastal erosion, resulting in shrinking of the Godavari delta plain and tipping it into a persistent destruction phase.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)213-233
    Number of pages21
    JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
    Volume440
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 15

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    fan delta
    fans (equipment)
    paleogeography
    Holocene
    India
    coasts
    coast
    shoreline
    beach ridge
    coastal erosion
    sea level
    beaches
    sediment
    avulsion
    sediments
    dams (hydrology)
    dam construction
    sediment yield
    depocenter
    landforms

    Keywords

    • Cuspate delta lobe
    • East coast of India
    • Godavari delta
    • Holocene evolution
    • Holocene sea level
    • Wave-dominated delta

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Palaeontology
    • Earth-Surface Processes
    • Oceanography

    Cite this

    Palaeogeography and evolution of the Godavari delta, east coast of India during the Holocene : An example of wave-dominated and fan-delta settings. / Nageswara Rao, Kakani; Saito, Yoshiki; Nagakumar, K. Ch V; Demudu, G.; Rajawat, A. S.; Kubo, Sumiko; Li, Zhen.

    In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 440, 15.12.2015, p. 213-233.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Nageswara Rao, Kakani ; Saito, Yoshiki ; Nagakumar, K. Ch V ; Demudu, G. ; Rajawat, A. S. ; Kubo, Sumiko ; Li, Zhen. / Palaeogeography and evolution of the Godavari delta, east coast of India during the Holocene : An example of wave-dominated and fan-delta settings. In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 2015 ; Vol. 440. pp. 213-233.
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    AU - Nagakumar, K. Ch V

    AU - Demudu, G.

    AU - Rajawat, A. S.

    AU - Kubo, Sumiko

    AU - Li, Zhen

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