ABSTRACT

Thakare, L.M. and Shitole, T.A., 2021. Vulnerability assessment of the Ratnagiri coast (Maharashtra, west coast of India). Journal of Coastal Research, 37(2), 421–432. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

The Ratnagiri coast, situated in Maharashtra state, West Coast of India, is potentially vulnerable to the erosional hazards, frequent rehabilitation of land, and accelerated sea-level rise. In recent years, the evidence shows erosional threats and gradual submergence along the creeks and lowlands of Ratnagiri. To deliberate the vulnerability of these hazards, vulnerability ranking was assigned using a coastal vulnerability index (CVI) using six geophysical parameters. The datasets were obtained from the satellite data of Landsat series from the years 1973, 2015, and 2019 to derive geomorphology of the coast and coastal landforms. Shoreline change along Kelshi, Kachave-Undi-Waravde region, and Mirya bay and beach have been evaluated using the Digital Shoreline Analysis System by demarcating the baseline and shorelines from the series of Landsat data. Data obtained is re-improvised with Google data for updating the recent change in the study area. Elevation data is extracted from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer data of 30 m spatial resolution, the susceptibility of coastal inundation was derived using General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans data, and this has indicated northerly submergence of the coast, prone to become vulnerable. The tidal variations along two major gauging stations were extracted from Windows Unix program for Tides 32 software for Rajapur and Mormugao stations. The CVI results in the categorization of areas with a high-risk vulnerability along the beaches, creeks, and estuaries of Kelshi, Jaigad, Rajapur, and Kajali, while low-risk areas like cliffs and shoals are geologically confronted. The findings from the CVI suggest the need for identifying and mapping such vulnerable areas and is an initial step to emphasize coastal regions for climate change adaptations.

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