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Project Title:
Development and Application of Shoreline Evolution Model for Shoreline Management

Thematic Area:

Southwest coast of India.


The coast of Kerala, in the first phase, which can be extended to the Indian coasts later.


  • To develop, validate and implement models to predict the short-term and long-term shoreline changes.

  • To apply the model for a stretch of southwest coast of India and develop its shoreline management plan.


Beach erosion can be a chronic, long-term shoreline retreat or a short-term cyclic shoreline oscillation involving alternating erosion and accretion. On many occasions, these short-term cyclic oscillations can be of considerably large amplitudes, causing concern to the safety of coastal properties and even human life. This pattern of erosion/accretion attracts added importance in the case of Southwest coast of India which is thickly populated and where a lot of developmental activities are undertaken along the coast. Understanding the mechanism and environmental conditions that cause shoreline changes and favour different states of beaches is very important in coastal planning and defence. 

Beach processes are controlled by wave characteristics and the resultant nearshore circulation, sediment characteristics, beach form, etc. These environmental conditions and other morphodynamic states vary temporarily and spatially, while making it necessary to undertake an in-depth and long-term study of the processes. The magnitude of shoreline oscillations depends on the intensity and property of wave activity and beach and sediment characteristics. The monsoon waves cause major changes over beach and nearshore processes. The different beach states are associated with varying beach and surf zone topographies like longshore bar/trough, beach cusps and other rhythmic topographic features. Hence, developing predictive models is very important for sustainable shoreline management. 

Thus, this project envisages the development of a mathematical model to predict the shoreline change in different time scales (a) shoreline resulting from an event like a storm (short-term) and (b) cumulative changes occurring yearly (long-term). Finally, the model shall be demonstrated for its functionality and effectiveness at suitable location(s). The proposed study is the first attempt in this direction in the country. 

There are different numerical models available to predict the shoreline changes with applicability of each one to the selected locations. It is intended to validate the models to assess the suitability of them to the southwest coast of India. If appropriate models are available, it is intended to modify/improve them to suit to the locations of interest. If none are available, then remodel afresh by incorporating the adequate parameters based on field observations and to propose a model suited for the coast. To enable the task the following activities are planned:

(i) Beach profile and other littoral environmental observations for different locations.
(ii) Wave and current recording at the above locations using ADCP.
(iii) Model validation and fine tuning.
(iv) Preparation of shoreline management plan for a site.


The development of the shoreline change model is in progress.

Data Used: 

  • The available shoreline change models are being evaluated using secondary data.

  • The wave and sediment data collected by CESS together with other secondary data is utilized in this process.

  • Beach profile measurements are being carried out for two locations. 

  • Measurement of waves and currents using ADCP is envisaged. 

Date of project completion: 

It is expected to complete the project by the year 2005.

Total Cost of Project: Rs. 29, 25, 000/-

Project Investigator:

Dr. T. S. Shahul Hameed 
Centre for Earth Science Studies
Trivandrum 695 031
Phone: +471-2442451
E-mail: tsshameed[at]eth[dot]net