Environmental sensitivity mapping of the coast of Karnataka, west coast of India
Environmental sensitivity maps have been prepared to identify the sensitive coastal resources, oil spill contingency planning and its results. The present study attempts to identify the environmental sensitivity to the oil spill of Karnataka coast by using GIS and remote sensing techniques. Nearly 300 km long coastline of Karnataka is endowed with a vast variety of natural resources and aesthetics. Several of the rivers that originate in the Western Ghats form wide extensive estuaries, backwaters and mangrove forests before debouching into the Arabian Sea. Besides, several non-vegetal wetlands like beaches, spits, shoals, mudflats, rocky cliffs and a few islands are found scattered all along the coast. A major port (New Mangalore Port), ten minor ports and a naval base (near Karwar) are also situated in the study area. As a result, various ESI types namely: 1A, 1B, 3A, 4, 6B, 8B, 9B, 10A, 10B and 10D were noticed in the study area. Bio-resources such as birds, marine mammals, reptiles (sea turtle), shellfish; and habitats like corals etc.; and human-use resources such as factories, ferry, boat ramp, access to vehicles, beach etc. are mapped in this study.
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