The Pulicat Lake is the second largest brackish water lake after Chilika Lake in India. The average area of the water spread is 461 sq km. During the monsoon Pulicat Lake receives freshwater through three major rivers, namely, the Swarnamukhi, the Kalangi and the Arani. The Pulicat lagoon system, which is a storehouse of rich biological resources, is under great threat because of the anthropogenic influences. The Pulicat Lake ecosystem is degraded by siltation, bar mouth dynamics, shell mining and processing and population pressure due to the resettlement of villagers from Sriharikota Island. It has been determined that the extent of the lake, including its water spread area, is decreasing. Therefore, it is essential to assess the land use / land cover changes taking place in and around Pulicat Lake using remote sensing and GIS. Studies on its sediment characteristics are also vital. The grain size content reveals that most of the sediments contain clay and silt in enormous amounts. This lake has been the prime source of a livelihood through fishing for a large section of the population living in the surrounding villages. It is the most important refuge for water birds in south India. The fishing community who lives in and around Pulicat Lake follows the Padu system for fishing in the lake. In this study, apart from studies on configuration changes and sediment analysis, a study of the flora and fauna of the lake and the socio-economic conditions of the local community were also carried out. Finally, mitigation measures for the sustainable protection of the lake’s ecosystem were identified.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Engineering, Introductions and Overviews, other