Assessment of the levels of coastal marine pollution of Chennai city, Southern India SCIE SCOPUS

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Assessment of the levels of coastal marine pollution of Chennai city, Southern India
Shanmugam, Palanisamy; Neelamani, S.; Ahn, Yu-Hwan; Philip, Ligy; Hong, Gi-Hoon
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The levels of hydrological pollution of Chennai coastal zone in the southeastern part of India have been increased in the recent years by an uncontrolled disposal of wastewater and pollutants due to human activities. This study gave a special emphasis on the determination of the levels of pollution, the identification of vulnerable zones and providing some probable remedial measures for severely impacted coastal zone of Chennai city. During the period from September to November 2002, sampling was carried out along the shore in two traverses running in the seaside (surf zone) and landside (coastal aquifer). When sampling efforts took place the middle of the above period experienced a monsoonal storm over Chennai coast that significantly influenced large variations in the pollution level at both traverses in seaside and landside. Analysis of physical, chemical and biological parameter determinations indicated that the concentrations of dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), nutrients (nitrate, nitrite and phosphate), turbidity, maximum probable number (MPN) and chlorophyll a (Chl a) reached notably high levels at all sample locations before monsoonal storm prevailed over these areas during October 2002, which resulted in large fresh water input to the coastal system reducing the levels of pollution to some extent. Analysis of water samples collected during November apparently indicated that the concentrations of above parameters attained abnormal level and often exceeded the permissible limit of international standards. The concentrations of trace/toxic metals such as manganese, copper, nickel, lead, cadmium and cobalt also reached very high levels as a result of their sub-aqueous disposal to these areas, leading to further habitat and ecological destruction. On the other hand, analysis of groundwater samples collected from coastal aquifer for determination of certain chemical parameters such as Ca2+/Mg2+, Cl-/(CO32- + HCO3-) and the ratio of total alkalinity (TA) and total hardness (TH) revealed that coastal groundwater appeared to be severely contaminated by saltwater intrusion as a result of overexploitation and enormous pressure imposed by monsoonal storm of October. Higher concentrations of toxic elements, for example, lead, nickel, cobalt and cadmium from the influence of industrial wastes and contaminated coastal waters, were also found to deteriorate the quality of coastal aquifer system. Based on detailed examination, four sites including Cuvum estuary, Adyar estuary, Kannikoil and Bharathiyar nagar are identified as highly venerable zones because of receiving a large quantity of municipal and industrial wastes. To reduce severe pollution levels in these areas it is therefore necessary to design and construct the submarine pipeline system to transport and disperse such a large quantity of waste materials to the deep open ocean areas.
Bibliographic Citation
WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, v.21, no.7, pp.1187 - 1206, 2007
coastal marine pollution; physical; chemical and biological pollutants; surf zone; coastal aquifer; Chennai city
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