Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ocean currents in Palk Bay; geological-oceanographic reasons to scrap Setu project

Overview of the monograph by Dr. Gopalakrishnan and Dr. Subramanian, former Directors, Geological Survey of India (31 March 2008). The monograph points to the likely impact of ocean currents in case a channel is cut through Rama Setu. The monograph highlights the likely devastations that will be caused to marine bio-sphere and to monazite sand deposits. The information may be brought to the notice of the Hon'ble Supreme Court.

Gopalakrishnan et al. (2008) in their para-wise comments on the Report of the Committee of Eminent Persons (CEP) have mentioned that if the SSCP canal across Rama Sethu is cut, the sediment laden turbid waters from Palk Bay will flow and fall into Gulf of Mannar churning the already existing sediments there and disturb the deep ocean currents and the tranquility in the Gulf of Mannar. (Based on an analysis of ocean currents on either side of Rama Setu)… scientific data point to a lower sea level of Gulf of Mannar compared to Palk Bay… even with the stoppage of main currents by Rama Sethu and only over flows have occurred, the currents have developed distinct swirling structure on the Gulf of Mannar side immediately south of the bridge. It is therefore very frightening to even imagine as to what will be effect of these ocean currents when the SSCP Canal [(330 m wide and 12m depth), much narrower and deeper than Pamban Channel] is cut across Rama Sethu. It is very significant to note that there are no barrier coral islands available in this sector south of Rama Sethu / Adam’s Bridge to absorb the force of the currents and the sediments carried by them and/or deflect them, thus reducing the impacts on the tranquil environment of Gulf of Mannar.

The full monograph with figures showing satellite images of ocean currents on both sides of Rama Setu may be read at...http://www.scribd.com/doc/2420232/gulfofmannaroceandynamics (Monograph in pdf format)

Comment: The Gulf of Mannar being at a lower level than the ridge of Rama Setu and Palk Straits, with a steep incline moving from 0 ft. (sea surface level) to 3000 m. within a short distance of about 15 kms., any channel cut through Rama Setu is likely to suck in the ocean currents and create a water fall into the Gulf of Mannar and devastate the fragile marine bioreserve and the placer deposits of rich rare earths of ilmenite/monazite sands (and in particular, the richest thorium deposits of the world - 32% of world reserves - accumulated just 150 kms. southwest of Rama Setu in Manavalakurichi, Aluva and Chava on the Tamilnadu-Kerala coastline). This tragedy should be averted. SSCP should be scrapped.

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

Read this doc on Scribd: gulfofmannaroceandynamics

No comments: