Shoreline change assessment & future projections for a coastal tourism belt of West Bengal, India
Aditi Bose, Suchandra Bardhan, Kaberi Samanta
Coastal Tourism is a widely popular and commercially viable form of tourism around the world. However, it is also vulnerable to the active natural forces affecting the coast, for which management of coastal systems based on understanding of shoreline changes and their future projection plays a very important role. In this paper we have analysed the shoreline change dynamics of the well-known Digha--Mandarmani coastal tourism belt of West Bengal, India using Remote Sensing & GIS methods and also project the future shoreline profiles of 2050 with potential impact on the tourism establishments of the area. The Digha coastal zone is facing serious environmental challenges due to coastal erosion and unregulated human interventions. This paper presents a lustrum shoreline study along the Digha coast over the last 15 years using the application of multi-temporal high resolution Satellite datasets. The analysis of past and present changes of shoreline along the coast in Digha and Mandarmani shows significant variations in the form of erosion and accretion with negative consequences to the tourism infrastructure in certain cases. This study also predicts the future changes of Digha--Mandarmani shoreline assuming business as usual scenario. The GIS maps prepared in course of this research are expected to contribute to the shoreline management measures for sustainable tourism development in this very significant tourism belt of the state.