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J O U R N A L O F C O A S T A L

JOURNAL OF COASTAL SCIENCES

Journal homepage: www.jcsonline.co.nr

ISSN: 2348 – 6740

Volume 1 Issue No. 1 - 2014

Pages 15-21

ISSN: 2348 – 6740 Volume 1 Issue No. 1 - 2014 Pages 15-21 Influence of tidal

Influence of tidal cycle on heavy minerals variation in the Kottilpadu beach, Kanyakumari coast, Tamil Nadu, India

N.S. Magesh*, L.I. Chandralekha, N. Chandrasekar, S. Kaliraj

Centre for Geotechnology, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu 627 012, India

A B S T R A C T

`

The present study is focused on the influence of tidal cycle on heavy minerals variation in the beaches at Kottilpadu coast of Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu. The study area is enriched with a variety of heavy minerals, most commonly with ilmenite, along with monazite, rutile, zircon, garnet etc. These placer deposits often vary in distribution due to the effect of tides as well as waves. 5 sampling stations were selected to represent the beach and daily monitoring was carried out during high and low tide levels. Moreover, wave parameters such as wave height, wave period, littoral drift and wave direction are also taken into consideration. Further, the sediment samples were analyzed for size fraction and mineral composition. The beach morphology was assessed based on beach profile data. The results reveal that high percentage of heavy minerals is noticed at high tide and low percentage at low tide. Exceptions are noticed in few samples which may be due to varied hydrodynamic conditions prevails in the study area. In all samples more than 40% constitute opaques followed by sillimanite <25% and other constitute rest of the percentage. From the XRD analysis, the peak positions shown by diffractogram is ilmenite (FeTiO 3 ) pyrope and pseudorutile (Fe 2 Ti3 O9 ), sillimanite (AlFeO 2 .SiO5 ), zircon (ZrSiO4 ) and rutile (TiO2 ). X-ray fluorescence analytical results also reflect what was inferred from XRD and point counting data. The heavy mineral assemblage of the beach sediment indicates the possibility of mineral supply from alongshore and offshore sources.

*Corresponding author, E-mail address: mageshissivan@gmail.com Phone: +91 9944717646

© 2014 – Journal of Coastal Sciences. All rights reserved

A R T I C L E

I N F O

Received

23 November 2013 Accepted

2 March 2014

Available online

6 March 2014

Keywords

Tidal cycle

Heavy minerals

Beach profile

XRD

XRF

Grain size

Kanyakumari

India

1. Introduction

Coasts are dynamic in nature; it has been changing due to the action of winds, tides, currents, storms etc. Generally, morphology of the beach is controlled by wave, climate, tide and sediment characteristics (Bagnold 1940; Bascom 1951; Johnson 1956; King 1972; Strahler 1966; Eliot and Clarke 1988). Sea level change is also an important factor that controls beach morphology. The largest changes evident in a typical sea level record are those due to tides. Vertical distribution of sedimentation depends on various factors like breaking wave height period, beach grain size and slope of the beach state. However, wave condition is the main factor that controls beach erosion and beach accretion. Most of the times, beach erosion takes place under the influence of energetic wave condition however beach accretion and bar formation takes place under calmer wave condition. The substratum of sandy beaches is highly unstable, since sand

is continuously transported to the beach during accretion periods,

and removed from the beach during erosion events. The movement

of the sand alters the sediment grain size which results in profile and

slope modification. The process of accretion is normally associated with a reduction in mean particle size and with a flattening of the beach slope, whereas erosion produces the reverse. Therefore, the temporal variation of the slope and mean grain size of a given beach could be used to as an index of the magnitude of its erosion and accretion dynamics. A considerable portion of tidal energy is dissipated along the world’s coast, although the mechanism of such

dissipation and its influence of heavy mineral entrainment is not as clearly known as those of waves. A storm surge created by the increased wind forces increases wave height, and a storm surge at high tide makes the storm wave that much higher. The steeper the slope, the higher the energy of the wave once it hits the shore and thus the more sediment it can carry away (Duxbury et al. 2000). Heavy minerals are economically important, which are commonly deposited along the beach, if breaking wave height period, beach grain size and slope of morphodynamic beach state are favourable. Rich concentration of placer minerals that has high specific gravity occur at South West coast of India. Best-known deposits occur in this region are black sands like ilmenite, along with monazite, rutile, zircon, garnet etc. Heavy mineral deposits are formed in modern beach environment and older raised beach deposits formed during Pleistocene. By studying the beach micro- morphological change and surf zone dynamics, one can understand about the accumulation of heavy minerals. Kottilpadu is one of the important places where heavy mineral deposition is taking place. As already mining activities are actively going on this area, it is necessary to understand the heavy mineral accumulation and provenance of the area. Hence, a study is required to demarcate the beach morphology and heavy mineral distribution in this area. So the present study is carried out to identify the micro level changes in beach morphology and the accumulation pattern of heavy minerals in the study area by the tidal action.

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2. Study area

The study area (Kottilpadu) is located between Colachel and Mandaikadu village in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu with the coordinates of 8 ° 10ʹ 13″ N to 8 ° 9ʹ 58″ N and 77 ° 15ʹ 35″ E to 77 ° 16ʹ 05″ E (Fig. 1). It has gently sloping backshore dotted with remains of tsunami impact scour ponds; damaged trees and undulating topography with Palaeo-ridges. Beach cusps are common along this area and landward topography is moderately sloping towards sea. The entire foreshore and backshore contains black sands and are enriched with heavy minerals. The study area enjoys sub tropical climate and experiences tropical monsoon where south-west monsoon is the dominant one of the two active monsoon seasons. The rivers and streams of the study area are mostly dry during the greater part of the year and are flooded only during monsoons. The

therefore have some component of beach minerals brought in by the landward wind. The raw sand of Teri’s is medium grained (-40+60 mesh) with the singular exception at Kulathur-Melmandai, where it is coarse (-20+40 mesh). The heavy minerals as a class are fine to very fine (-80+200 mesh). Ilmenite has marginally less TiO2 (49.7 to 45.5%) as compared to that of the beach sands with the FeO/Fe2O3 value of 1.82 to 2.75 implying thereby less weathering and probably hematite intergrowth in ilmenite. The red Teri sands are derived from the weathering insitu of coastal dune sands. Reddening of sand is attributed to the release of iron from the garnet and opaque minerals (Gardner 1981). The red Teri sand compared with the beach sands have lesser concentration of heavy minerals but with large resources in a few well-defined deposits. They contain about 83% of the resources of titanium minerals identified so far in Tamil Nadu.

Fig. 1 Location map of the study area

so far in Tamil Nadu. Fig. 1 Location map of the study area southernmost part of

southernmost part of Tamil Nadu falling in Kanyakumari district receives higher rainfall and it is situated in a geomorphic setting similar to that of adjoining Kerala coast. The study area is highly dynamic with many cyclic and random processes owing to a variety of resources and habitats.

2.1. Geology

The study area is surrounded by majestic hills and plains bordered by colourful seashores. In Kanyakumari region, charnockite group of rocks are well exposed and consist of pyroxene granulite and leptynites. They are distributed as thin bands and lenses. Small patches of limestone deposits are noticed in and around Karamaniyar river. In contrast to the beach and dune sand, the Teri sand are uniformly rich in titanium minerals that constitute of the total heavy minerals followed by sillimanite, zircon and monazite; however, pyroxenes and amphiboles are almost absent. Garnets are the most or the second most abundant mineral in the beach sands. Navaladi-Periathalai and Eravadi-Kilakarai deposits contains up to 1.34% of garnet margin. These two deposits occur skirting the beach deposits and in some locations even underlain the beach dunes and

2.2. Geomorphology

The coastal geomorphology of the study area is mainly composed of beach ridges, rocky shores, sand dunes, sand sheets, swampy estuarine regions etc. The coastal zone has an average width of 15 km; it is wider (16 km) on the confluence of Tamiraparani and other minor seasonal streams of variable width are also present. The shoreline, west of Kanyakumari up to Kollamcode is mostly straight, barring a few rocky promontories alternating with the bays. The Tamiraparani delta lacks deltaic protuberance but has the typical shore concave to sea, implying dominance of marine erosion over riverine deposition.

3. Methodology

3.1. Field setup

In order to study the deposition and erosion nature during one tide cycle we selected five stations to represent entire beach by placing iron rods with loose fitting washer that moves freely along the rod, parallel to the shoreline in 10 meter interval and perpendicularly five

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meter interval. Initial beach surface level is noticed and daily monitoring was carried out during high and low tide level. Surface samples were collected from alternate profiles in LTR, HTR and MTR. Small topographic changes are obtained by measuring distance between the beach surface and top of the rod. Disturbance depth is represented by the thickness of new sand deposits. Moreover, wave parameters such as wave height, wave period, littoral drift, and wave direction are also observed. In order to study the changing beach micro morphology during one tide cycle and related change in heavy mineral distribution pattern on the beach face, a 50 meter strip of beach face between the Indian Rare Earth’s heavy mineral separation plant and the Kottilpadu village on the south-west coast of India was selected. Within this 50 meter stretch, five beach perpendicular profiles were established at 10 meter interval. Along each profile, six stakes were planted with an interval of five meter (Fig. 2). The seaward stake (stake with centimeter marking) of each of the profile was planted approximately along the high tide waterline of the neap tide in the study area. Initial beach surface level was noted by measuring the length of the rod above the beach surface up to the tip of the rod. Similarly, all the 30 stakes were measured as the benchmark level for the day. Later in a day, measurements were taken during the high tide time and the low tide time of the day. During every measurement surface samples were collected from alternate profiles. During the day, wave parameters were also measured by manual observation. This pattern of data collection was carried out for 28 days covering a full tidal cycle from 24 th November 2005 to 22 December 2005.

tidal cycle from 24 th November 2005 to 22 December 2005. Fig. 2 Field setup and

Fig. 2 Field setup and data collection in the study area

3.2. Sediment analysis

The collected samples were washed with freshwater and dried at 60° centigrade. Then the shelly fragments were removed by treating the sediment with dilute hydrochloric acid. Again the sediments were dried and sieved on sieve shaker for 15 minutes. Sieve data were subjected to textural analysis by using a computer program ‘SIZE’ which calculates moment measures of sedimentological parameters. The sieved fractions from +120 to +230 ASTM sieve sets were taken for heavy mineral separation. Heavy minerals were separated using analytical grade bromoform (specific gravity 2.8) using normal laboratory procedures. Separated heavies were examined under binocular microscope with cross nicols and percentage of each of the heavy mineral was calculated. Before examining under microscope the powdered samples were subjected to XRD analysis.

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3.3. XRD analysis

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X-ray diffraction is a versatile, non-destructive analytical technique used for identification and quantitative determination of various crystalline forms known as phases of compounds present in powdered and the solid samples. The result of an XRD measurement is a diffractogram showing phases present (peak position), phase concentration (peak heights), amorphous content (background hump) and crystalline size (peak width). Diffractometer that was used for determination is PANalytical- X’pert PRO diffractometer. The ideal powder sample should be homogeneous, with a grain size between 1 and 25 µm. In preparing the mineral separations for diffraction analysis, grains were ground in an agate mortar and pestle. The sample prepared in flat sample holder was mounted on the sample stage of the X-ray diffractometer. The XRD measurement was performed by operating the equipment using X’pert data collector software. Further processing on the XRD data was done using X’pert high score plus software.

3.4. XRF analysis

14 samples were powdered and subjected to X-ray fluorescence (XRF) using a ‘BRUKER S4 pioneer’ wavelength dispersive XRF. Finely powdered sample is pressed into a wafer like pellet for analysis by X-ray fluorescence technique. For determining major constituents in the sample, around 5.50±.5 g of sample was weighed out and transfered to a numbered aluminium cap (40 mm diameter) with the aid of a plastic paper. Out of that 2.5±.1 g of sample powder was weighed on a tracing sheet then sprinkle it over uniformly spread boric acid so that the sample spread is uniform and covers completely with boric acid. The sample material was leveled and placed it over the sample slot and it was subjected to pressing to form the pellet. The above raised pellet was removed from the instrument and the flaky materials were removed from the edges of the pressed pellet and are subjected to XRF analysis.

4. Results and discussion

4.1. Beach micro-morphology

Sediment budgets are influenced by the long shore sediment transport and cross shore sediment transport. From 24 November 2005 to 22 December 2005 observations on the beach morphology were conducted daily to assess the beach type in particular the presence/absence of nearshore bar morphology and erosion scarps. Comparing beach profiles from beginning to end reveals the beach dominated by deposition. Here beach cusps also play an important factor for changing beach morphology. Cusps shift in 4 to 5 days interval westward and the wave height ranges from 0.7 to 2 meter. A crucial notion is that waves, currents, tides and sediment transport do not depend only on external forces but also on the local topography and composition of the seabed. Hence, the magnitude and direction of sediment transport is not the same at different places in the coastal zone. At some places there will be erosion and at other places there will be deposition of sediment. As a result, seabed and shoreline are continuously changing and this change in turns affects waves, currents and tides. Sedimentary coastal environments are characterized by the continuous mutual adaptation of coastal morphology and water motion. Therefore the data collected in the study is likely to give a broad idea of how the different dynamics factors such as tide, wave

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and current independently or in combination affects the sediment accumulation on a high energy beach. The activation depth represents the thickness of bottom sediment layer affected by hydrodynamic processes, essentially waves and currents during a time span varying from few minutes or hours to tidal cycle or several days. As observed by several authors, vertical distribution of disturbance and mixing depths depends on various factors like breaking wave height and period, beach grain size and slope and the morphodynamic beach state (King 1951; Otvos 1965; Williams 1971; Greenwood and Hale 1980; Wright

1981).

The configuration is designed such a way that resultant database would provide not only the surface but the depth of activation as well. As of the south-west coast of India is concerned, it is usually dominated by shoaling and breaking waves, and the tide is believed

to have little or no effect on sediment transport from sub-tidal bars, being responsible only for modifying the shoaling and breaking patterns of waves (Wijnber and Kroon 2002). Gentle observation of the fluctuations in the beach face suggests that during storm-wave events, sediment migrated offshore from the crests and landward slopes to the side of the bars but sometimes no significant changes were noticed. When wave energy condition were moderate, the crests of profile one and two increased this phenomenon appears to be coincided with the cusps formation. Lateral migration of the cusps could be monitored in these profiles.

In general it occurs when significant wave height is less than 1 m.

The study area is gently sloping, dissipative beach with a nearshore bar system and a prominent berm at the backshore. During high wave conditions, the berm is eroded and sediment migrates offshore to be stored in a nearshore bar. It is suggested by

Aagaard et al. (2005) that the magnitude of shoreline erosion during

a sequence of high wave energy condition is dependent upon the

slope of the beach face. During the study period of 28 days, the observation of two storm events was noted in which berm was found to be eroded significantly during the beginning of the first storm and that erosion was greater on sections of the beach where the slopes were steeper. Therefore it

is suggested that the gently sloping, dissipative intertidal zones like

the one studied here the beach is relatively stable under high-energy conditions.

4.2. Grain size

To understand the depositional environment of the coastal sediments, grain size analysis has been carried out. The statistical method has been applied in diagnosing the finer differences that may exist within a particular environment of the same physiographic units such as dune, berm, high tide, mid tide and low tide sediments (Mohan and Rajamanickam 1998; 2001). In the present study, an endeavor has been made to make use of the grain size characteristics of sediments collected from different location within the study area that are subjected to various degree of erosion, transportation and deposition mechanisms. The various structural parameters obtained through graphic and moment methods are shown in table 1.

4.2.1. Frequency curves

In the study area, the frequency pattern point towards the presence of polymodal distribution having peaks at 1.0 to 1.6. The first population constitutes 12% to 23% of the sand. The excessive coarser population of sediments is suggestive of the influence of

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open sea conditions and strong winnowing action that in turn results in the removal of fines. It is supplemented by the presence of rocky beaches around the region. The characteristic presence of two populations may be attributable to the role of multisource probably the conditions here, the continuous stay of fine sediments may be ascribed to the prolific supply of the same through the rivers as well as the shelf.

4.2.2. Mean

The mean reflects the overall average size of sediment as influenced by source of supply and environment of deposition. It is the function of (1) total amount of sediment availability, (2) the amount of energy imparted to the sediments (3) nature of transporting agent. Here, mean value fluctuates from 1.98 to 3.17 phi which indicates the presence of finer sand and that may be due to the influence of higher wave energy and cusps shifting. The distribution of coarser sand in the study area indicates high energy environment which can alter the nature of sediments to a considerable extent.

4.2.3. Standard deviation

In the study area, the standard deviation values ranges from 0.41 to

0.79 which shows well sorted to moderately well sorted. Here the

sorting measures are of similar nature, where averages grain size as well as the modal distribution of sub-population is found to vary characteristically. The high tide and low tide region may probably due to uniform addition of a particular grade of grain size from the reworked beach ridges, while the mid-tide region is expected to face the removal of the fine sand uniformly.

4.2.4. Skewness

Skewness measures the asymmetry of the distribution and it also shows how closely grain size distribution advances the normal Gaussian probability curve and the more extreme the value the more non-normal the size curve. Skewness has proved its efficacy in distinguishing many sedimentary environments like beach, aeolian,

fluvial etc. (Folk and Ward 1957). It can be a sensitive indicator of sub-population mixing and the sign of the skewness is closely related to the environmental energy. The presence of negative skewness implies high-energy and winnowing action whereas the positive skewness is attributed to low energy condition with accumulation of finer sediments. The skewness values in the study area ranges from

0.31 to -0.17. In general, based on the classification of Folk and Ward

(1957) the skewness values of these beach sands vary from very negatively skewed to positively skewed.

4.2.5. Kurtosis

The graphic kurtosis is the qualitative measure of the part of sediments already sorted elsewhere in a high-energy environment and later transported and modified by another type of environment (Folk and Ward 1957). But the moment kurtosis is an index of mixing of two populations (Thomas et al 1972). Jaquet and Vernet (1976) have recommended the usage of graphic kurtosis to recognise the inherited characters of population and moment kurtosis for measuring the mixing between end populations. The graphic kurtosis varies in the study region from 0.06 to 1.53. They are platykurtic to leptokurtic. The movement of long-shore currents and the fluvial discharge of sediments from the river mouth have probably brought out mixing of sediments to the beach face.

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4.3. Heavy minerals

Heavy minerals in the study area are fine-grained and the heavy mineral percentage on beach face at different tidal conditions is shown in table 2. Heavy mineral percentage was low at the time of high tide and more heavies at the time of low-tide condition from the beginning of the study to 30/11/05. But from 1/12/05 to 15/12/05 i.e. one spring tide to next spring tide, heavies are high at the time of

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high tide condition. From 19 th onwards again heavies are low at the time of high tide and high at the time of low tide conditions. This is due to the swash hydraulics of grains and beach sand sorting. In point counting, opaques are high in both high and low tide samples. In all samples more than 40% constitute opaques followed by sillimanite <25% and other constitute rest of the percentage. High percentage of opaques is obtained at the low tide condition (> 50%). The samples were subjected to magnetic separation primarily before

S.No.

Id

Phi 10

Phi 12

Phi 16

Phi 25

Phi 50

Phi 70

Phi 80

Phi 100

Mean

SD

Skew

Kurt

1

P1S1:6.00

1.26

1.87

2.24

2.46

2.92

3.55

3.8

4.21

2.99

0.74

0.11

0.88

2

P5S1:2.00

1.52

1.7

2.08

2.27

2.64

2.9

2.99

3.45

2.57

0.49

-0.16

1.15

3

P3S4:2.00

0.04

1.19

2.08

2.29

2.77

3.27

3.47

3.9

2.77

0.76

-0.08

1.13

4

P1S6:6.00

1.71

2.08

2.39

2.54

2.75

2.95

3.1

3.49

2.74

0.39

0.02

1.41

5

P5S6:2.00

1.38

2.08

2.52

2.7

3.18

3.71

3.91

4.29

3.21

0.68

0.03

0.9

6

P5S1:6.00

1.65

2.1

2.51

2.67

3.14

3.65

3.85

4.24

3.17

0.66

0.05

0.89

7

P1S1:6.00

1.47

1.84

2.44

2.62

3.01

3.66

3.9

4.3

3.12

0.74

0.14

0.96

8

P1S6:2.00

2.07

2.42

2.62

2.72

3.01

3.38

3.52

3.92

3.05

0.45

0.16

0.94

9

P5S6:6.00

1.52

1.94

2.17

2.32

2.69

3.03

3.3

3.81

2.72

0.57

0.15

1.08

10

P3S4:6.00

0.2

1.41

2.14

2.5

2.85

3.33

3.56

3.95

2.85

0.74

-0.07

1.26

11

28/11/P3S

1.21

1.87

2.25

2.48

2.73

2.98

3.23

3.74

2.74

0.53

0.04

1.53

12

P1S6:9.15

1.54

1.91

2.13

2.26

2.6

2.94

3.17

3.65

2.64

0.52

0.16

1.04

13

P5S6:9.15

0.54

1.14

1.68

1.88

2.25

2.65

2.87

3.41

2.27

0.64

0.03

1.21

14

P6S6:4.30

1.64

2.06

2.33

2.52

2.85

3.45

3.7

3.99

2.96

0.64

0.21

0.85

15

P3S4:4.30

0.8

1.84

2.36

2.56

2.87

3.31

3.51

3.94

2.91

0.61

0.07

1.16

16

P1S6:4.30

1.79

2.09

2.38

2.56

2.88

3.39

3.65

4.04

2.97

0.61

0.2

0.97

17

P3S4:6.00

0.2

1.41

2.14

2.5

2.85

3.33

3.56

3.95

2.85

0.74

-0.7

1.26

18

P1S6:5.45

2

2.06

2.23

2.36

2.67

2.94

3.12

3.56

2.67

0.45

0.1

1.06

19

P3S4:10.3

1.85

2.32

2.59

2.68

2.92

3.33

3.52

3.92

3.01

0.48

0.27

0.99

20

P6S6:5.45

1.56

1.93

2.26

2.49

2.77

3.12

3.37

3.86

2.8

0.57

0.1

1.25

21

P3S6:5.45

1.11

1.61

2.03

2.12

2.37

2.73

2.9

3.36

2.43

0.48

0.17

1.17

22

P1S6:10.3

1.81

2.09

2.38

2.56

2.91

3.36

3.57

3.97

2.95

0.58

0.11

0.96

23

1/12:P1S6

1.78

2.07

2.3

2.49

2.8

3.22

3.45

3.92

2.85

0.57

0.17

1.04

24

P3S4:11.1

1.82

2.16

2.55

2.69

3.09

3.6

3.82

4.22

3.16

0.63

0.12

0.92

25

P3S4:6.15

1.64

2.08

2.4

2.56

2.85

3.25

3.44

3.86

2.9

0.53

0.13

1.06

26

P1S6:6.15

1.63

2.06

2.37

2.54

2.78

3.05

3.3

3.72

2.82

0.48

0.13

1.35

27

P5S6:11.1

0.68

1.54

1.91

2.09

2.46

2.84

2.98

3.48

2.45

0.56

0.01

1.07

28

6/12:P5S5

0.54

1.02

1.37

1.56

1.88

2.41

2.67

3

1.98

0.63

0.17

0.96

29

P1S4:3.00

0.63

1.39

1.86

2.12

2.65

3.06

3.38

3.91

2.63

0.76

-0.02

1.1

30

P5S6:3.00

0.07

0.53

0.84

1.13

1.74

2.24

2.49

3.05

1.69

0.79

-0.03

0.93

31

P1S1:10.1

1.57

2

2.17

2.31

2.68

3.08

3.35

3.83

2.73

0.57

0.19

0.98

32

P5S6:10.1

1.01

1.7

2.29

2.54

2.84

3.21

3.37

3.76

2.84

0.58

-0.06

1.27

33

P3S4:10.1

2.02

2.2

2.54

2.62

2.85

3.19

3.4

3.82

2.93

0.46

0.24

1.16

34

P5S2:10.1

2.02

2.28

2.57

2.66

2.9

3.32

3.54

3.95

3.01

0.5

0.29

1.03

35

P1S6:3.00

0.63

1.15

1.64

1.89

2.47

2.85

2.99

3.55

2.36

0.7

-0.17

1.02

36

P1S6:10.1

0.84

1.55

2.04

2.26

2.7

3.08

3.38

3.94

2.71

0.7

0.03

1.19

37

29/P3S4:5

1.1

1.85

2.15

2.28

2.66

3.08

3.34

3.84

2.71

0.6

0.16

1.02

38

P6S6:10.0

1.05

1.76

2.16

2.34

2.74

3.2

3.45

3.98

2.78

0.66

0.11

1.06

39

P1S6:5.00

1.74

2.18

2.56

2.66

2.94

3.43

3.69

4.14

3.06

0.58

0.28

1.04

40

P1S6:10.0

1.62

2.03

2.27

2.47

2.73

2.98

3.24

3.76

2.75

0.5

0.12

1.4

41

P3S4:10.0

1.58

2.01

2.24

2.43

2.77

3.18

3.41

3.87

2.81

0.57

0.13

1.01

42

P6S6:5.00

1.98

2.09

2.33

2.51

2.75

2.99

3.28

3.82

2.79

0.5

0.17

1.48

43

15/P3S4:75

1.57

1.98

2.2

2.36

2.71

3

3.27

3.72

2.72

0.53

0.11

1.12

44

P5S6:11.1

1.41

1.89

2.17

2.33

2.7

3.04

3.29

3.73

2.72

0.56

0.09

1.06

45

P1S1:11.1

1.54

2.04

2.35

2.54

2.81

3.19

3.42

3.89

2.86

0.55

0.15

1.16

46

P3S4:11.1

1.57

1.98

2.2

2.36

2.71

3

3.27

3.72

2.72

0.53

0.11

1.12

47

P5S6:7.45

1.53

1.94

2.33

2.55

2.88

3.39

3.64

3.99

2.95

0.64

0.12

1

48

P1S6:7.45

1.04

1.67

2.09

2.23

2.61

2.97

3.21

3.63

2.64

0.58

0.05

1.08

49

P5S2:7.45

1.62

2.03

2.32

2.53

2.89

3.33

3.51

3.9

2.91

0.58

0.07

0.96

50

19/P5S6:2

1.46

1.95

2.26

2.48

2.78

3.13

3.36

3.8

2.8

0.55

0.09

1.17

51

P5S6:9.45

2.03

2.5

2.61

2.7

2.94

3.33

3.49

3.93

3.01

0.43

0.31

0.92

52

P1S6:2.15

2.03

2.27

2.56

2.64

2.85

3.15

3.33

3.67

2.91

0.41

0.2

1.12

Table 1. Various textural parameters obtained through graphic and moment methods

19

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A R T I C L E

J

O

U

R

N

A

L

O

F

C

O

A

S

T

A

L

S

C

I

E

N

C

E

S

conducting XRD analysis. Peak positions shown by diffractogram is ilmenite (FeTiO3) pyrope and pseudorutile (Fe2Ti3O9) in magnetic, sillimanite (AlFeO2.SiO5), zircon (ZrSiO4) and rutile (TiO2) in magnetic.

ID

Tide

Total

Wt. of

%L

Wt. of

%Heavy

Cond

Wt.

Light

heavy

P1S6:2.00

L

10.99

4.42

40.22

6.75

59.78

P1S6:6.00

H

3.12

1.89

60.58

1.23

39.42

P1S6:5.00

L

23.03

4.83

20.97

18.19

78.98

P1S6:10.00

H

9.14

4.7

51.37

4.44

48.56

P5S6:5.45

L

16.31

7.46

45.77

8.84

54.21

P5S6:10.30

H

12.99

8.49

65.34

4.5

34.63

P1S6:6.15

L

7.65

4.75

62.09

2.86

37.39

P1S6:11.15

H

21.15

7.62

36.03

13.52

63.92

P1S6:10.15

L

13.75

4.18

30.44

9.54

69.48

P1S6:3.00

H

5.95

2.44

41.08

3.46

58.25

P1S6:7.45

L

6.5

4.68

72

1.73

26.62

P1S6:11.15

H

13.34

5.9

44.23

7.3

54.72

P5S6:9.45

L

16.86

7.02

41.63

9.84

58.37

P5S6:2.15

H

7.68

7.08

92.25

0.59

7.74

Table 2. Heavy mineral assay on the beach face during different tidal conditions

This was done in order to get an overall frame of the heavy mineral constituents in the sample. It is believed that during the high tide conditions the bulk of the sediment been scooped towards high water line. Therefore, the admixtures of all the constituents will be in the sediment load. During the low tide condition, the water starts recede and so a kind of panning and gravity separation is happening in the beach face. This phenomenon is reflected as high heavy percentage during the low tide condition. Total heavy mineral content that has obtained by gravity separation are shown in figure 3. The majority of the samples are showing high percentage of heavy

low heavy indicative elements. During low tide the panning and gravity separation action prompts a high heavy mineral development during high tide time.

a high heavy mineral development during high tide time. Fig. 4 XRD peaks of heavy minerals

Fig. 4 XRD peaks of heavy minerals in Low tide condition

Fig. 4 XRD peaks of heavy minerals in Low tide condition Fig. 5 XRD peaks of

Fig. 5 XRD peaks of heavy minerals in High tide condition

The present study has clearly indicated the patterns and the observed concentration of heavy minerals in the study region put forward implied that north ward moving current is the most favourable direction for accumulation of placers. Further, the heavy mineral assemblage of the beach sediment with respect to the nature of catchment rocks of the study region indicate the possibility of mineral supply from additional agency such as alongshore and offshore sources. Extreme events such as tsunami and storm surge have a significant role in the distribution pattern of heavy minerals on the beach face. However, such events have the capability to change the morphodynamics of the coast.

Fig. 3 Heavy mineral assemblage in point counting
Fig. 3 Heavy mineral assemblage in point counting

minerals at high tide and low percentage at low tide conditions (Fig. 4&5). Two sample showing variation from others due to hydrodynamic conditions prevail in that time i.e. in response to pressure gradients caused by the elevation variation of the water surface due to the magnitude of the tidal cycle. X-ray fluorescence analytical results also reflect what was inferred from XRD and point counting data. As discussed the earlier, high-tide samples were found to be of low TiO2 and FeO content when compared to the low tide samples (Fig. 6). This phenomenon can be explained as an earlier that the onrush of heavy sediment load during high tide time dilutes the heavy mineral content and so the

Fig. 6 XRF analysis data for high and low tide samples at different dates

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5. Conclusions

From the analysis of grain size data it is observed that characteristic environment of the position of wave influenced in the study area. From the study of heavy mineral assemblages it is accomplished this region with the non-opaque concentration ranges from 7.02 to 22.45% whereas opaque concentration ranges from 37.5 to 56.84%. The X-ray fluorescence analytical results are also in line with XRD results and the point counting data. It is inferred that the high tide samples were found with low TiO2 and FeO contents when compared with the low tide samples. During low tide condition the panning in gravity separation action prompts the high heavy mineral indicative elements during low tide time. This zone allots the presence of high concentration of heavy minerals due to west ward direction currents. Many of the lamellae are found to be of very fine in nature and hence magnetites may be attributed to have been derived from igneous suite of rocks. The present study is useful for exploitation of placer minerals and understanding the concept of tidal behaviour on the deposition of heavy mineral placers.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Centre for Earth Science Studies, Akkulam, Thiruvananthapuram to provide necessary laboratory facilities to carry out the research work. We also thank Dr. Terry Machado, Scientist – E, Centre for Earth Science Studies, Akkulam, Thiruvananthapuram for his guidance to carry out the field work.

References

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