Textural and mineralogical signatures of fluvial sediments in Mountain Streams of contrasting climates in the Southern Western Ghats (India)

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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Analysis of fluvial sediments is fundamental to our understanding of the physical and chemical processes reflecting the denudation, transport, and deposition of sediments. Here, the topographic and climatic controls on sediment characteristics are demonstrated through textural and mineralogical analysis of 16 sediment samples from the mountain stream channels of the southern Western Ghats (India). The sediment samples represent two mountainous river basins, viz., Muthirapuzha River Basin and Pambar River Basin, with different topography and contrasting climate settings (tropical humid vs. semiarid). Data show that the grain-size distribution facilitates discrimination of the channel morphological types, which are indicative of characteristic stream channel gradient and hydrodynamics, whereas the variabilities in mineralogical maturity and weathering signify the controls exerted by climate. As the study suggests the role of climate and topography on grain-size distribution and denudation, the results have extended implications for the drainage basin evolution of the southern Western Ghats.

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Weathering and Erosion Processes in the Natural Environment