Rivers of Western Ghats

Western Ghats rivers in Karnataka

Krishna The river Krishna rises in the Western Ghats, at an altitude of 1,336 metres near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra, flows from west to east for a length of about 1,400 km, through Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The Krishna has a drainage area of about 2.59 lakh sq km. Together with its trihutaries, it flows for about 704 km length in the State.

Ghataprabha The Ghataprabha river rises in the Western Ghats, at an altitude of S84 metres and tlows eastwards for a length of 283 km before joining the Krishna. The river debouches by 53 metres at Gokak Falls in Belgaum Dt. The total catchment area of the river and its tributaries accounts for 8,829 sq.km in Maharashtra and Karna,taka States.

Malaprabha We river Malaprabha also rises in Western Ghats at an altitude of 792 metres in Belgaum Dt. The river flows first in easterly and then in north-easterly directions and joins the Krishna at Kudalasangama, about 304 km from its source. The principal tributaries are the Bennihalla, Hirehalla and the Tas Nadi. The total catchment area of the Malaprabha and its tributaries is 11,549 sq km., wholly in Karnataka.

Bhima The Bhima river also rises in Western Ghats, at an altitude of about 945 metres and flows south-east wards through Maharashtra and Karnataka. It flows for 861 km before joining the Krishna near Kudlu in Raichur taluk. The latter 298 km of the Bhima's course is in the State. It has a drainage area of 70,614 sq km out of which 18,315 sq km lies in Karnataka.

Tungabhadra The Tungabhadra is formed north of Shimoga at an elevatibn of about 610metres by the union of twin rivers, the Tunga and the Bhadra, mhich rise together in the Western Ghats at an elevation of about 1,198 metres. The Varada and the Hagari are its important tributaries. It has a drainage area of 71,417 sq.km out of which 57,671 sq.km lies in the State. It flows for a distance of 293 km. in the State.

Cauvery basin About 42.2 per cent of the area of the Cauvery basin (81,155 sq km) lies in Karnataka. This basin covers 18 per cent of the State area comprising seven districts. Its major tributaries in Karnataka are the Hemavati, Lakshmanatirtha, Harangi, Kabini, Suvarnavati, Lokapavani, Shimsha and the Arkavati.

Cauvery The river Cauvery has its origin in the Western Ghats in Kodagu Dt. It flows for a length of 320 km in the State. The river flows generally in a south-east direction. The Chunchanakatte Falls (about 20 m) and the Shivasumdra Falls (about 100 m) exist in the State.

Hemavat The river Hemavati rises in the Western Ghats at an elevation of about 1,219 metres and joins the river Cauvery near Krishnarajasagar. The drainage area is about 5,410 sq.km and the approximate length of the river is 245 km.

Kabini The river Kabini has a total course of about 230 km and a catchment area of about 7,040 sq.km. It joins the Cauvery river at Tirumakudal Narasipur.

Godavari basin Godavari basin has a drainage area of 4,405 sq.km. Only a small part of Godavari basin lies in the State. The river Manjra is the major tributary of the Godavari and it flows for about 155 km in the State.

Pennar and Palar basins The North Pennar, South Pennar and the Palar rivers drain about 13,610 sq.km in the State.

The Mahe river, also called the Mayyazhi puzha, originates from the forests on the western slopes of the Wayanad hills which from part of the Western Ghats. This river flows through the villages of Naripetta, Vanimel, Iyyancode, Bhekiyad, Iringanoor, Tripangathur, Peringalam, Edachery, Kacheri, Eramala, kariyad, Olavilam, Kunnumakkara, Azhiyoor,and Mahe, before emptying into the Arabian Sea at the former French settlement of Mahe, about 6 kms. south of Talassery. The length of the river is about 54 kms. and it flows through an area of 394 sq. kms.

The Murad river, also known as the Kuttiady river, takes its origin from the Narikota ranges on the western slops of the Wayanad hills, a part of Western Ghats. This river flows through Vadakara, Koyilandy and Kozhikode taluks. It empties into the Arabian Sea at the historical Kottakkal fort, seven kms. south of Vadakara. This river has a length of 74 kms. and along with its tributaries it flows through an area of 583 sq. kms. The Onipuzha, the Thottilpalam puzha, the Kadiyangad puzha, the Vamathil puzha and the Madapalli puzha are the major tributaries of Muradriver. It passes through Oorakuchi, Kuttiady, Tiruvallur, Muyipoth, Maniyur and Karuvancheri.

The Korapuzha formed by the confluence of two strems called Punnurpuzha and Agalapuzha, this river and its main trinutaries are tidal in their lower reaches. The Agalapuzha is more or less a backwater, while the Punnurpuzha originates from Arikkankunnu. The Agalapuzha forms a part of the important. West Coast Inland Navigation System. There is heavy traffic through this river connecting all important industrial towns laying in the coastal areas such as Vadakara, Kozhikode, Kallai, Beypore etc. The total length of the river is 40 kms. with a drainage area of 624 sq. kms.

The Kallai river has its origin from Cherukulathur village and is connected to the Chaliyar on the south by a man-made canal. The river passes through Cherukulathur, Kovur, Olavanna, Manava and Kallai before finally joining the Arabian Sea at Kozhikode. The length of the river is 22 kms. and it has a drainage area of 96 sq. kms. Though small in size, the Kallai is one of the most important rivers in the entire State from the commercial point of view. Kallai, a main centre of timber trade, is situated on its banks.

The Chaliyar, known in the lower reaches as the Beypore river, this is one of the major rivers of the State. The lower reaches form part of the West Coast Inland Navigation system. It originates from the Ilambalari hills in Gudalur taluk of Nilagiri district in Tamil Nadu. The Chalipuzha, the Punnapuzha, the Pandiyar, the Karimpuzha, the Vadapurampuzha, the Iringipuzha and the Iruthilpuzha are its important tributaries. As an inter-state river, this has a total drainage area of 2923 sq. kms, of which 2535 sq. kms. lie in Kerala and the rest, 388 sq. kms. in Tamil Nadu. With a length of 169 kms., the Chaliyar river flows through Nilambur, Mambad, Edavanna, Areacode, Vazhakkad in Malappuram district and Feroke in Kozhikode district before it joins the Arabian Sea near Beypore.

The Kadalundi river is formed by the confluence of its two main tributaries, the Olipuzha and the Veliyar. the Olipuzha takes its origin from the Cherakkombhanmala and the Veliyar from the forests of Erattakombanmala. The total length of this river is 130 kms, with a drainage area of 1099 sq.kms. The river flows towards the Chaliyar and joins the Arabian Sea at about 5 kms. south of the Chaliyar river mouth. The Pooraparamba river, a small stream, is also included in this basin, as its lengh is only 8 kms. with a drainage area of 23 sq. kms. The total drainage area of the basin is thus 1122 sq.kms. The Kadalundi river, also known by the names, Karimpuzha and Oravanpurampuzha, is important from the navigation point of view.


Western Ghats rivers in Tamil Nadu

The Tamiraparani is a symbol of Tamil culture and civilization and an identity of the far south of India. In Tamil and Sanskrit literature of earlier times, the Pandyas were referred to as the rulers of the land where the Tamaraparani flowed. Tamiraparani is the chief river of the district which has a large network of tributaries which includes the Peyar, Ullar, Karaiyar, Servalar, Pampar, Manimuthar, Varahanathi, Ramanathi, Jambunathi, Gadananathi, Kallar, Karunaiyar, Pachaiyar, Chittar, Gundar,Aintharuviar, Hanumanathi, Karuppanathi and Aluthakanniar. The two rivers of the district which are not linked with Tamiraparani are the Nambiar and the Hanumanathi of Nanguneri taluk. (There are two Hanumanathis in the district). Spelt differently as Tampraparani, Tamraparni, Tamiravaruni, etc., the river is mentioned as the Porunai nathi in Tamil poetic literature. It gets recognition and is referred to as the renowned one in Sanskrit literature references to which are as old as that of the Puranas and Epics. The meaning and origin of the name Tamiraparani is reasoned out differently. Bishop R. Caldwell, in his book, A History of Tinnevelly discussed the various interpretations of the word 'Tamiraparani' at length. According to him the meaning of the name Tamiraparani in itself is sufficiently clear, but its application in this connection is far from being self-evident. Tamara means, red, parani means parana, a tree which has leaves. Tamiraparani might, therefore mean a tree with red leaves, but, this is a strange derivation for, the name of a river and the ideas naturally suggest itself that some events or legends capable of explaining the name lies beyond. He further discussed the similarity of the name Tamiraparani and of the old name of the present Sri Lanka which was called in olden days as Tambrabane and tried to find out the political, cultural and anthropological intercourse of the land of the river with that island. He concludes that it seems more natural that Tamiraparani, the tree with the red leaves should have been first the name of a tree, then of a town, then of a district and then of a river (it being not uncommon in India for villages to adopt their names from remarkable trees). Some scholars interpret the name Tamiraparani as Tamiram (Copper) + Varuni (stream or river). They ascribe this origin as the bed of the river is of red soil and when the water flows on the red soil it gives a copper like appearance. The Greeks of the Ptolemy's time refer to this river as Solen.

Origin of Tamiraparani The Tamiraparani originates from the peak of the Periya Pothigai hills of the Western Ghats above Papanasam in the Ambasamudram taluk. The great river like the Cauvery, but unlike most of the other Indian rivers, is fed by both the monsoons - the south west and the north-eastern and is seen in full spate twice a year if the monsoons do not fail. The Tirunelveli Sthalapurana associates the origin of the river with sage Agasthiyar. It states that when Agasthiyar was requested by Lord Siva to move to the South, Parvathi Devi, the divine consort of Siva filled the sage's font meant to hold water for poojas (kamandala) with the water from the Ganges and on his arrival at Pothigai, he released it and the water ran as Tamiraparani. Prior to the bifurcation of the Tirunelveli district, the Tamiraparani was the only major river in Tamilnadu which had its source and end in the same district. After bifurcation, the river traverses the two districts of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin before joining the Gulf of Mannar of the Bay of Bengal at Punnaikayal in Tiruchendur taluk of Thoothukkudi district.

The Pachaiyar The river Pachaiyar rises on the eastern slope of Western ghats about 11 km. north west of Kalakadu at an altitude of 1000 m. above MSL. It flows eastward upto Padmaneri village from where it changes its course towards north east. It is a tributary of Tamiraparani and makes its confluence with the river in the village Tharuvai. The total length of the river from its source to its confluence with the Tamiraparani is about 32 km. The river Pachaiyar has three tributaries which are Kavayan Odai, Anaikidangu Odai and Uppan Odai. These tributaries join the river Pachaiyar in the villages Arasppattu, Vadagarai and Padmaneri respectively.

The Korayar The river Korayar is a tributary to the Tamiraparani. It originates in the eastern slopes of Western ghats, flows in the northern direction and empties into the main river Tamiraparani near Vellanguli village in Ambasamudram taluk after crossing the Kannadian channel through and outlet. This river has no direct 'ayacuts' (irrigation area) but contributes a heavy flood of water to Tamiraparani during rainy season.

The Chittar The Chittar meaning little river or Chitranathi meaning beautiful river is a nature's invaluable gift to the district as it is the river which causes a set of splendid cascades in Courtalam and its suburbs, and international cynosure often compared to the famous Spa falls of Belgium for its curative value. It is a major tributary of the river Tamiraparani. The river takes its origin in the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats in the Courtalam hills, called Tirikoodam in literature, at an altitude of 1750m. above MSL. From its origin, the river climbs down for about six km. turns north and flows for about 16 km. before turning towards the east. Its total length is about 80 km. It joins the river Tamiraparani near Sivalapperi village of Tirunelveli Taluk. The river Chittar has its own tributaries. They are, the Aintharuviar which joins its main river near Gajamajorpuram, the Gundar or Govindar which joins near Tenkasi town the Hanumanathi which mingles with its main river near Veerakeralampudur village and the Aluthakanniar which meets the main river in Kadapagothi village, all in Tenkasi taluk. The river Chittar makes many patches of, Tenkasi Taluk fertile.

Aluthakanniar It is a major tributary to the Chittar river. Arising in the eastern slopes of the western Ghats, it flows 10km. towards north east before joining its main river (Chithar) near Kadapagothi village of Tenkasi taluk. The eight anaicuts that are built across this river are named as Thalai anaicut, anaicuts II, III, IV, Kandamangalam anaicut and anaicuts, VI, VII, and VIII.

Aintharuviar The Aintharuviar is one of the tributaries of the river Chittar. It takes its origin from the eastern slopes of Eastern ghats and Joins the Chittar river near Gajamajorpuram village. The river in its course causes a waterfall, popularly known as Aintharuvi. There are two anaicuts across the river and they are Aintharuvi anaicut and Ilanji anaicut.

Jambunathi It is a tributary of the Ramanathi. Like all the rivers of the district, it also originates from the eastern slopes of the Western ghats. The river confluences with the Ramanathi near Mokkadagam village. The only anaicut built across this river is Subramaniathevar anaicut.

Ramanathi Originating in the eastern slopes of Western ghats at an altitude of 1720m. above MSL in the north western corner of Ambasamudram taluk, the Ramanathi flows down the hills for about six km. in the thickly wooded forest and reaches the plain in Melakadayam village from where it runs about eight km. and receives its tributary Jambunathi. The course of the Ramanathi after its merger with the Jambunathi is known as the Veeranathi or Varahanathi. This river joins the Gadananathi near the village Kila Ambur. The Ramanathi finally empties into the river Tamiraparani near Thiruppudaimaruthur. The Ramanathi, the Jumbunathi and the Gadananathi are both direct and indirect tributaries of the prime river of the district. Ramanathi branches off into two, the Ramanathi Vadakal and the Ramanathi 'thenkal' and rejoins at the juncture of its confluence with the Jambunathi. The division of the river have totally eight reservoirs. The northern branch has three anaicuts, viz., Kallakal anaicut, Suchimadayar anaicut and Savalakaran anaicut. The Southern branch has five anaicuts (i.e) Mannanai (Sand dam), Ottai anaicut, Alkolli anaicut, Pottalpudhur anaicut and Adachani anaicut.

Gadananathi The Gadananathi or Karunaiyar, like the other rivers of the district, has its origin in the eastern slopes of Western ghats at an altitude of about 1700 m. in Ambasamudram taluk. It is a major tributary of the Tamiraparani. The river after flowing about 8km., receives the Pampar and on it course, two other rivulets, Kallar and Iluppaiyar, all these tributaries, join it at Sivasailam village. After the confluence, the river flows about 10km. and merges with the Ramanathi in Kila Ambur village. The following are the anaicuts across the Gadananathi. They are Arasapattu anaicut, Alwarkurichi Thenkal anaicut, Manjapalli anaicut, Kakkavallur anaicut and Kangeyan anaicut.

Hanumanathi It is a tributary of the Chittar river. It rises at an altitute of 1650m. above Courtalam in Tenkasi taluk, traverses in the slopes about 10km. receives Karuppanathi, its tributary, then it flows and merges with Chittar near Surandai village. The anaicuts built across the river, are Mettukal anaicut, Karisalkulam anaicut, Panpoli anaicut, Vallalkulam anaicut, Elathoor anaicut, Nainaragavan anaicut, Pungamkal anaicut and Kambli anaicut.

Karuppanathi Arising adjacent to the Hanumanathi to the north of it at the same altitude, it constitutes the major tributary of the river Hanumanathi. The Karuppanathi flows in the slopes for about 9km. reaches the plains in the village Visavankulam where Vembunathi, contributes its waters to the Karuppanathi as a tributary. Then it runs for 18km. and joins the Hanumanathi below Urmelalagian anaicut built across the river Karuppanathi. From its source to its merger with the Hanumanathi, there are six anaicuts constructed over the river. They are Thalai anaicut, Pappalkal anaicut, Srivalankal anaicut, Open Head-Klangad Vadakkukal anaicut and lastly Urmelalagian anaicut.

Gundar The river Gundar originates at Mundankoil mottai above Courtalam. Mottaiyar and few streams contribute to its water and it flows in Sengottai and Tenkasi taluks for 20 km. and combines with the Hariharanathi. The combined river runs for about 8 km. and joins its main river the Chithar. Three masonry and three temporary anaicuts have been raised across the river. They are Nelloorkal anaicut, Thottachi anaicut and Piranoor anaicut and Maravankal, Sambodaikal and Varahamadankal respectively.

Mottaiyar Mottaiyar is a tributary of the Gundar. An anaicut called Mottai anaicut has been built across the river.

Manimuthar The river Manimuthar is a major tributary of the Tamiraparani. It arises from the dense forest a top Senkutheri in Ambasamudram taluk at the height of about 1300 m. from MSL. The tributaries of the Manimuthar are the Keezha Manimuthar (lower or eastern Manimuthar) and the Varattar. The river runs from its source for a distance of 9 km. and confluences with the Tamiraparani near Kallidaikurichi. In its 9km. course, it makes minor cataracts. The river contributes a lot, as tributary, to enhance the water level of Tamiraparani as it is always in full spate and perennial. In the year 1957, Manimuthar anaicut was built across the river just three km. above its confluence with Tamiraparani.

Nambiyar The Nambiyar river is the water source to the Nanguneri taluk. It takes its origin in the western slopes of the Western ghats - 8 km. west of Thirukurungudi village at an altitude of 1500 m. above MSL. It runs eastwards and turns south east and confluences in the Gulf of Mannar at Tiruvambalapuram village. It's course of 45km. is restricted entirely to Nanguneri taluk. The river has two tributaries, the Parattaiyar and the Thamaraiyar. The first tributary is a stream from Mahendragiri hills and the second tributary originates from the combination of two hill streams, Mombaiyar and Kodumudiyar. These tributaries join Nambiyar at the foot of the Mahendragiri hills. The river has nine anaicuts, Mailaimani anaicut, Dhalavaipuram anaicut, Rajakkamangalam anaicut, Mylapuram anaicut,Kannanthur anaicut,Vijayan anaicut,Kovankulam anaicut,Thittikulam anaicut, and Pulimangulam anaicut.

Karunaiyar The surplus waters of Vijayanarayanam tank in Nanguneri taluk together with the local drains flow as Karunaiyar or Karuvenniraiyar. This river runs for a distance of 30 km. and meets the sea near Manappadu in Tiruchendur Taluk of Thoothukkudi district.

Vadamalaiyaru Two rivulets, Virisidai-idiyaru and Kadaiyaru in the eastern slopes of the Western ghats above Sankarankoil taluk, combine and flow as Vadamalaiyaru which runs in the taluk and empties into the big tank of Malaiyadikurichi.

Kottamalaiyaru This river also originates at an altitude of 1700 m. above M.S.L. in the Western ghats above Sankarankoil taluk. It merges with the small tank of Durgapuram.Apart from the above rivers, there are some more rivers also orginates in this district Kothaiyaru, Rajasingiyaru and Mundhal Odai.

Paiaru (368 km): starts in eastern ghatt (near coimbatore), runs through North Arcot, Chingleput Dts terminates into Bay of Bengal (near caturangapattinam)

Thenpannai (400 km) : starts in eastern ghatts, runs through Salem, South Arcot districts and terminates into Bay of Bengal (near Cuddalore)

Vellaru (215 km): starts at cErvarAyan hills (Salem), runs through Trichi, south arcot districts and terminates into Bay of Bengal (near paRangippEttai)

Kaviri (760 km): starts in western ghatts, runs through Salem, Coimbatore, Trichi, Tanjore dts and terminates in Bay of Bengal; tributaries/branches: bhavani, neyyal, amaravathi, kollitam

Vaigai (190 km) starts in western ghatts, runs through Madurai, Ramanathapuram Dts and terminates in Palks Straights; tributaries/branches: varahanathi, cuRuLiyAru, veththilai

Thamiraparuni (32 km): starts in western ghatts, runs through Tirunelveli Dt and terminates near mannArkudi; tributaries/branches: ciRRAru, maNimuththARu


Western Ghats rivers in Kerala

Introduction to Kerala

Kerala is a land rich in water resources. There are 41 rivers flowing westwards and three flowing eastwards.Periyar is the longest river of Kerala and Bharathapuzha, which originates from Tamilnadu is the longest among rivers that flow through Kerala. Poorapparambu and Kalnadu are the shortest rivers. Another important river is Chaliyar. Iringhippuzha, Cherupuzha, Kurumbanpuzha, Kanjhirappuzha,Pannappuzha,Karimbuzha, Vadapurampuzha together form the Chaliyar river. This originates from the Ilambaleri hills in Tamil Nadu. The holy river Pamba is the third longest river. It originates from Peerumedu near Sabarimala. Three rivers that flow towards the east are tributaries of the river Kaveri. Among these Pambar and Bhavani flow into Tamilnadu while Kabani into Karnataka.

Bharathapuzha Bharathapuzha alias Nila originates from Aanamala mountains in Tamil Nadu. Flows through Pollachi in Coimbatore District, Chittoor, Palakkad, Ottappalam and Ponnani in Kerala. Gayatrippuzha, Kannadippuzha, Kalppathippuzha, Thoothappuzha are its main tributaries. Within Kerala the river measures a length of 209 Km. Its total length is 374 Km. Originating from the Sahyadri and flowing through 11 taluks Bharathappuzha covers an area of 6186 sq. kilometers. During the monsoons the river is seen in its full width and is indeed navigable. Else most of the area remains a vast expanse of land.

Bharathapuzha Bharathapuzha alias Nila originates from Aanamala mountains in Tamil Nadu. Flows through Pollachi in Coimbatore District, Chittoor, Palakkad, Ottappalam and Ponnani in Kerala. Gayatrippuzha, Kannadippuzha, Kalppathippuzha, Thoothappuzha are its main tributaries. Within Kerala the river measures a length of 209 Km. Its total length is 374 Km. Originating from the Sahyadri and flowing through 11 taluks Bharathappuzha covers an area of 6186 sq. kilometers. During the monsoons the river is seen in its full width and is indeed navigable. Else most of the area remains a vast expanse of land.

Periyar The longest river in Kerala. Originates from Sivagirimala. Numerous rivulets join to form the Periyar River. It runs through Devikulam, Thodupuzha, Moovattupuzha, Kunnathunadu and Paravur Taluk and at Aluva takes two different directions. While one flows into the Chalakkudipuzha the other joins the Vembanadu Lake at Varapuzha. It measures a length of 244 kilometers and an area of 5398 sq.km.


Ecohydrological Investigations in the Western Ghats of India

M. P. Sujatha, S. Sankar and T. P. Thomas

Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Thrissur, Kerala

Studies quoted in this paper give a broad outline of the hydrological scenario in the Southern Western Ghats. Runoff values of 1% and less were reported from the Nilgiris irrespective of the type of vegetation while much higher values have been reported from Kerala part (20-25% of rainfall) especially after conversion of natural forests to plantations probably due to differences in rainfall. Nilgiris received hardly 1200 mm while Kerala received around 2500-4000 mm annually. Sediment yield from exploited basins were found to be higher, about four times that of protected basins. Thus it can be seen from the limited number of studies that runoff and soil erosion from forested watershed are minimum. Plantations on the other hand seem to induce erosion, especially in Kerala part of Western Ghats.

Hydrogeochemistry of Mandovi, Zuari and Kalinadi, West Coast of India

Anuradha Verma

School Of Environmental Sciences,

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 110 067

The water chemistry of three rivers along the western coast of India were investigated during dry and wet seasons. The rivers showed a significant seasonal variations. The higher concentrations of all the major ions during the dry season was due to reduced surface runoff and due to which the sea water intrusion occurs. Chloride, sulphate, sodium and magnesium are major ions in the waters of Mandovi, Zuari and Kalinadi. During monsoon, there is heavy inputs of freshwaters which changes the complete chemistry of the rivers from brackish to freshwater. The waters of Mandovi, Zuari and Kalinadi rivers are mostly N limiting in most of the seasons.

Solute Variation in Some Minor Water Sheds, Kerala, India

K. P. Thrivikramaji and Sabu Joseph

Dept. of Geology & Dept. of Environmental Science,

University of Kerala, Kariavattom Campus 695 581

Result of a study of solute (DL) and suspended load (SL) discharge and their characteristics and transformations due to anthoropogenic action, in some of the minor (area + <2000 Km2) and adjacent rivers in southern Kerala like Vamanapuram ar., Ithykara ar., Kallada ar. And Achankovil ar. Are examined here. The load characteristics amply demonstrate consequences of a very "high degree" of human action these river basins and processes have been subjected to "Phaneomenal" changes have occurred in respect of landcover-landuse parameters due to conversion of large chunks of land into plantation (monoculture) and agricultural lands, which warrant application of chemical fertilizers, soil conditioners, fungicides and / or insecticides. Addition of organic and inorganic chemicals into the physical system resulted in considerable modification of characteristics as well as levels of DL. Estimates of sediment yield, in these minor basins, varies from 72 to 227 t Km-2Yr-1.

Water Quality of Rivers of Kerala, South Western, India

Sujit Kumar Bajpayee1 and Anuradha Verma2

Environment Office, NHPC, Sikkim School of Environmental Sciences,

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-110 067

Eleven rivers of Kerala were studied for their major ion chemistry, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in dry periods and wet period. The HCO3- concentration was found to be very low in comparison to other peninsular rivers of India in all the three sampling seasons with discharge weighted values 11.9 ppm and 0.9 ppm for monsoon and non-monsoon seasons. Discharge weighted total dissolved solid (TDS) concentration was 38.8 ppm and 3.0 ppm in monsoon and non-monsoon seasons respectively. The average values of rate of chemical and mechanical erosion in this area was found to be 142.95x103 and 108.17x103 tonnes/yr respectively with Bharathpuzha river showing highest value for rate of chemical erosion (382.83x103 tonnes/yr) and Chaliyar river showing highest value for rate of physical erosion (509.64x103 tonnes/yr). DOC concentrations ranged between 0.51 and 5.25 ppm for monsoon samples and between 2.1 and 32.6 ppm for dry season samples.

Effects of Forest Clearing on Certain Climatic Parameters - Case Studies from the Catchments of the Western Ghats

P. K. Pradeep Kumar and E. J. James

Centre for Water Resources Development and Management

Calicut 673 571. Kerala, India

Forest play a major role in maintaining the climatic peculiarities needed for the ecosystem. In view of the degradation caused to the forest areas of Kerala, a study was conducted to know the influence of forest on atmospheric temperature, humidity and wind of the region. Three sets of catchments were selected for the study in the Kerala portion of the Western Ghats. Each set consisted of a dense forest, partially exploited and fully exploited catchment. The temperature values observed in dense forest catchments are always lesser than the exploited ones. The relative humidity in the dense forest catchment is more than that of exploited catchments. The wind speed at 2 metres height goes up with increased deforestation.

Impact of Plantation Activities on Soil Properties in the Western Ghat Region of Kerala

M. Balagopalan

Division of Soil Science, Kerala Forest Research Institute,

Peechi - 680 653, Kerala

This study was carried out in the Kerala part of Western Ghat to evaluate the impact of plantation activities of teak and eucalypt, the two most important species planted in more than 95,000 ha in Kerala on soil properties in relation to adjacent natural forest, South Indian Moist Deciduous type. The study revealed that soil texture varied from loam in the natural forest to sandy loam in plantations. Soils in the natural forest were medium acidic while those in the plantations were slightly acidic. Plantation soils had higher contents of gravel, sand and bulk density and lower silt, water holding capacity, pore space, volume expansion, organic carbon and cation exchange capacity. The total as well as different forms of N and P were also lower in the plantations.