Coastal Plains of India: West and East coasts

The physical features of India:

(1) The Himalayan Mountains

(2) The Northern Plains

(3) The Peninsular Plateau

(4) The Indian Desert

(5) The Coastal Plains

(6) The Islands

Coastline of India – Coastal Plains of India

  • India has a coastline of 7516.6 Km (6100 km mainland and 1197 km islands) touching 13 States and Union Territories.

  • On the basis of the location and active geomorphological processes, it can be broadly divided into two: (i) the western coastal plains; (ii) the eastern coastal plains.

coastal-plains-of-india-coastal-map-of-indiaCoastline of India – Indian Coastline Western Coastal Plains of India

  • The western coast, sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, is a narrow plain.

  • It consists of 3 sections. The northern part of the coast is called the Konkan (Mumbai – Goa), the central stretch is called the Kannad Plain while the southern stretch is referred to as the Malabar coast.

  • The western coastal plains are an example of submerged coastal plain. It is believed that the city of Dwaraka which was once a part of the Indian mainland situated along the west coast is submerged under water.

Sub – division of the West Coast of India

  • Gujarat coast

  • Malabar coast (Kerala Coast)

  • Konkan coast (Maharashtra and Goa Coast)

Gujarat Coastal Plain

  • The Gujarat Plain lies east of Kachchh and Kathiawar and slopes towards the west and south west.

  • Formed by the rivers Narmada, Tapi, Mahi and Sabarmati, the plain includes the southern part of Gujarat and the coastal areas of the Gulf of Khambhat.

Malabar Coastal Plain

  • The Kerala Plain also known as the Malabar Plain.

  • Between Mangalore and Kanniyakumari.

  • The existence of lakes, lagoons, backwaters, spits, etc. is a significant characteristic of the Kerala coast.

  • The backwaters, locally known as kayals are the shallow lagoons or inlets of the sea, lying parallel to the coastline.

Konkan Coastal Plain

  • It extends from Daman to Goa (50 to 80 km wide).

  • Some features of marine erosion including cliffs, shoals, reefs and islands in the Arabian Sea.

Eastern Coastal Plains of India

  • The eastern coastal plain is broader and is an example of an emergent coast.

  • There are well developed deltas here, formed by the rivers flowing eastward in to the Bay of Bengal.

  • These include the deltas of the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri.

  • Because of its emergent nature, it has less number of ports and harbours.

  • The continental shelf extends up to 500 km into the sea, which makes it difficult for the development of good ports and harbours.

  • Extending from the Subarnarekha river along the West Bengal-Odisha border to Kanyakumari.

Sub – division of  the east Coast of India

  1. Utkal coast
  2. Northern Circar and
  3. Coromandel coast

Chilaka lake - coastal plains Utkal coast

  • The deltaic plains of Ganga to Mahanadi delta (Odisha) it is known as Utkal coast.
  • It includes the Mahanadi delta.
  • Chilka Lake is the largest salt water lake in India is located in this plain.

Northern Circar

  • This plain is known as the Northern Circars between the Mahanadi and the Krishna rivers and Carnatic region between the Krishna and the Cauvery rivers.

  • This part of the plain has a straight coast and badly lacks good harbours with the exception of Vishakhapatnam and Machilipatnam.

Coromandel coast

  • Between Krishna & Kanyakumari (Consist of Kaveri Delta)

  • The Tamil Nadu coast and parts of Andhra coast together are known as Coramandal Coast.
  • The most important feature of this plain is the Cauvery delta where the plain is 130 km wide.
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