Spatiotemporal distribution of toxic metals, dissolved organic and inorganic carbon, and nutrients along the salinity gradients of tropical estuaries, Southwest coast of India

Project in charge: Dr. Nishitha J D’Souza

Photo: Study Area

Thematic Area: Estuarine Geochemistry

Project Guide(s): Dr. K Balakrishna

International partners: (If any) No

MAHE Partner: No

Village/City: Udupi and Uttara Kannada District

Project Duration:3 years

Aim: To identify the signatures of metal pollution in the estuarine sediments of Kali, Sharavati and Swarna

The study/ Innovation:

Dr Nishitha’s study addressed the spatiotemporal distribution of toxic metals, behavior of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon, and nutrients like dissolved silica along the salinity gradients of three tropical estuaries, Swarna, Sharavati and Kali. The study identified signatures of metal pollution in the estuarine sediments of these rivers, though major risk to the aquatic fauna and flora was not perceptible (1- 4).  This however will act as a baseline data for the decision makers, to monitor these rivers regularly in the future. Also, the dissolved inorganic carbon and dissolved organic carbon fluxes from these rivers were  ~8%  and ~4% respectively of the total fluxes from the west-flowing rivers of India to the Arabian Sea (1).  


Link to Research Publication (if any with DOI) –

1. Nishitha D, Akshitha V, Arun K, Amrish VN, Praveenkumarreddy Y, Khare N, Udayashankar HN, Manjunatha BR and Balakrishna K (2021) Dissolved carbon and silica fluxes from Kali, Sharavati and Sita-Swarna rivers, Southwestern India. Journal of Environmental Management, 286: 112273  Impact factor = 8.910 (Q1)

2. Nishitha D, Sudheer AK, Arun K, Amrish VN, Mahesh G, Udayashankar HN, Balakrishna K. Risk assessment and Spatio-temporal distribution of dissolved trace metals in Swarna, Sharavati and Kali estuaries, South-West Coast of India. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, pp – 1 to 18. Impact factor = 5.190 (Q1)

3.  Nishitha D, Amrish VN, Arun K, Warrier AK, Udayashankar HN, Balakrishna K (2022). Study of trace metal contamination and ecological risk assessment in the sediments of a tropical river estuary, Southwestern India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment,

 194:94. 10.1007/s10661-021-09728-1 Impact factor = 3.307 (Q2)

4.. Nishitha, D., Praveenkumarreddy, Y., Khare, N, Udayashankar, H. N and Balakrishna, K. (2019). Spatio-temporal variability of trace metals and major ions in a small tropical river, Southwest Coast of India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 191: 698 Impact factor = 3.307 (Q2)



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