Reduced river discharge intensifies phytoplankton bloom in Godavari estuary, India

Acharyya, T. ; Sarma, V. V. S. S. ; Sridevi, B. ; Venkataramana, V. ; Bharathi, M. D. ; Naidu, S. A. ; Kumar, B. S. K. ; Prasad, V. R. ; Bandyopadhyay, D. ; Reddy, N. P. C. ; Kumar, M. D. (2012) Reduced river discharge intensifies phytoplankton bloom in Godavari estuary, India Marine Chemistry, 132-13 . pp. 15-22. ISSN 0304-4203

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Changes in river discharge alter material load and the consequent estuarine and coastal biogeochemical process. Evidence for biogeochemical response to variable rainfall over catchment area or changes in river discharges due to dam regulations is sparse. Inter-annual variability in monsoon rainfall and the consequent river discharges, either dam regulated or otherwise, in India are the best suited to test the influence of altered discharges on estuarine biogeochemistry. Our experiments in Godavari river estuary over three years revealed that a decrease in precipitation over the Indian subcontinent from 2007 to 2009 resulted in the lowering of mean annual discharge from 748.63 m3 s-1 in 2007 to 218.40 m3 s-1 in 2009. The reduced water discharge, during the peak discharge period, slowed the flushing of the estuary from 1.2 days to 6.3 days, respectively. The consequent increase in stability of water column and reduced suspended material load gave rise to intense phytoplankton blooms (Chl a 18 μg l-1 in 2007 to 28 μg l-1 in 2009). Resilience towards the unwanted phytoplankton bloom and overall health of the Indian estuaries is thus tuned by the variability in monsoon rainfall and dam regulated discharge.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords:Godavari Estuary; River Discharge; Inter-annual Variability; Dam; Phytoplankton Bloom
ID Code:105684
Deposited On:01 Feb 2018 12:15
Last Modified:01 Feb 2018 12:15

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