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Geo-historical Appraisal of Embankment Breaching and Its Management on Active Tidal Land of Sundarban: A Case Study in Gosaba Island, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal


The embankments act as a life line for deltaic people of the Sundarbans. The reclamation of immature land through the construction of embankment without proper planning has been increasing the vulnerability of embankment breaching due to various natural and anthropogenic causes. The construction and maintenance of embankments are difficult tasks without prior knowledge about the mode of vulnerability and ground situations of the sites. To understand the scenario of embankment breaching and its recent management strategy, an intensive field survey was conducted to comprehend the underlying reasons for embankment breaching and its management techniques at the ground level. The modern techniques were also incorporated to identify the vulnerable sites of river bank erosion. The study reveals that the southern part of the delta is more vulnerable due to intensive river bank erosion. To understand potential capabilities of these embankments to combat against fluvio-hydrological challenges, a sequential change of embankment construction from historical past to present and recent scientific engineering model of Aila Dam has been chalked out in this study. The present study is an attempt to understand the geo-historical perspectives of embankment construction and to identify the vulnerable coastal zone of Gosaba Island of Sundarban. The study also aims to illustrate the modern techniques of embankment management for its longevity in such a dynamic land.



Embankment breaching, Vulnerability assessment, Fluvio-hydrological challenges, Management techniques



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