A study on regional sea level variation along the Indian coast

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Mean sea level variation is a global phenomenon with spatial variations in trends on regional levels. Among the key findings of IPCC, global mean sea level has increased and it will continue to increase in the coming century. The amount of sea level rise or fall and its effects at any given location is highly unpredictable. Increase in intense spells of precipitation, uneven spread of rainfall in space and time, damage due to storm surges and coastal flooding are increasing in frequency with increase in global warming trends and the changing sea level. Increasing trend in mean sea level may cause inundation of low lying areas especially affecting small islands. In case of storm surges the scenario may be even worse. Bay of Bengal being an active breeding area of tropical storms, it might become devastating to cope up with the situation if the increasing trend in sea level continues. Mangroves, the natural barrier of coastal flooding and erosion, will be at high risk of submergence due to sea level rise. There is a need to understand the statistics of sea level changes and adapt to the situation in all possible ways. This study focuses on changes in the mean sea level on a regional scale. The available tide gauge data (along the coasts of North Indian Ocean (NIO)) and satellite altimetry data are analysed to understand the changing trend of the sea level in the NIO. Though most of the tide gauges show a positive trend there exists a few which also shows a negative trend in the sea level. Also there lies a gap in the global estimates of sea level variation and the local average. For instance, based on the available long tide gauge data, it is found that the sea level at few stations showed a rise of nearly 1 to 8 mm/year whereas few stations experienced decrease in sea level by as much as 3 mm/year. It is therefore important to understand the increasing/decreasing trend of various tide gauge records individually before considering them in regional sea level variation studies. In this study only the tide gauges with longer periods of data with minimum gaps in data set are considered for analysis. Satellite altimetry data available since 1993 is used to investigate the changes in the sea level at locations where tide gauge data are not available.




Chowdhury, P., & Behera, M. R. (2015). A study on regional sea level variation along the Indian coast. In Procedia Engineering (Vol. 116, pp. 1078–1084). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2015.08.348

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