Seasonal variation in physicochemical properties of coastal waters of Kalpakkam, east coast of India with special emphasis on nutrients

K K Satpathy, A K Mohanty, U Natesan, M V R Prasad, S K Sarkar
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2010, 164 (1-4): 153-71
A study pertaining to the seasonal variation in physicochemical properties of the coastal waters was carried out at Kalpakkam coast for a period of 1 year (February 2006 to January 2007). It revealed that the coastal water was significantly influenced by freshwater input during North East (NE) monsoon and post-monsoon periods. Concentration of all the nutrients and dissolved oxygen (DO) was relatively high during the NE monsoon, whereas, salinity and chlorophyll-a (chl-a) were at their minimum level during this period. Phytoplankton production peak was observed in summer during which a typical marine condition prevailed. The present observed values of nitrate, phosphate, silicate, and turbidity are significantly high (five to ten times) compared to that of the pre-Tsunami period from this coast. Relatively low DO and chl-a concentration was noticed during the post-Tsunami period. A notable feature of this study is that though nutrient concentration in the coastal waters during post-Tsunami period has increased significantly, turbidity, the most single dominating factor, was found to adversely affect the phytoplankton production during post-Tsunami period as reflected by relatively low chl-a concentration. Thus, the post-Tsunami period may result in a change in coastal biodiversity pattern concomitant with change in coastal water quality.

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