Physical features of an exposed sandy beach at Gopalpur (Orissa coast)

M.V.L. Rao, A. Pattnaik


Some physical parameters which determine the properties of the interstitial environment of the sandy beach at Gopalpur, Orissa, India have been discussed. The beach sediment is composed mostly of medium sand of mean particle size 250-350 mu m, and is well sorted. Large scale sand movements caused by seasonally reversing longshore currents and tide-dependent cyclic erosion and deposition affect beach stability. Sand temperatures show wide fluctuations diurnally and seasonally; the extremes recorded are 14.5 degrees C and 39.5 degrees C. The salinity of interstitial water varies between 16.53 and 34.16% and is not significantly different from that of shore water. The oxygen concentration of interstitial water was, slightly lower than that of shore water. Reduced layers were not encountered even at a depth of 100 cm in sand. On a 20-point rating system the beach is classified as 'exposed'. Moderate to heavy wave action, a surf zone that is 50-150 m wide and absence of Stable burrows of macrofauna are the other features that characterize the Gopalpur beach


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