Identification of Temporal Shifting Trends of Submarine Indus Canyon, Pakistan


Indus Canyon is one of the most prominent sub-aqueous features of the Indus Delta. Indus River, originating from the Manasarovour Lake, hosting at the foot of high Himalayan Mountains Glaciers, forms a huge delta after travelling more than 300 km at the north eastern coastline of the Arabian Sea. In view to assess the temporal geomorphic change associated with the Indus Canyon, a study has been carried out based on the bathymetric surveyed data compiled in 1895 and satellite data compiled in 1998. The result of the study shows distinct changes in the orientation of the Indus submarine Canyon. Moreover, significant erosional activities have also been identified, associated with the Canyon channel and the channel’s walls. Canyon’s head has shifted westward rotating about 22°. In addition, the chronological study of the water flow and sediment discharge of the Indus River shows a drastic decline in the flow of river water into the Indus Delta and the sea. This phenomenon appears to modify the fluvial as well as marine dynamics of Indus River consequently affecting the Indus Canyon on a significant scale.

Share and Cite:

G. Mahar and N. Zaigham, "Identification of Temporal Shifting Trends of Submarine Indus Canyon, Pakistan," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 5, 2013, pp. 520-528. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.55052.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Z. Yang and H. Wang, “The Coast of China,” In: N. Mimura, Ed., Asia-Pacific Coasts and Their Management, The States of Environment. Coastal Systems and Continental Margins, Springer, Berlin, 2008, pp. 65-171.
[2] S. L. Yang, M. Li, S. B. Dai, J. Zhang and P. X. Ding, “Drastic Decrease in Sediment Supply from the Yangtze River and Its Challenge to Coastal Wetland Management,” Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, 2006, Article ID: L06408. HUdoi:10.1029/2005GL025507U
[3] S. Vongvisessomjai, R. Polsi, C. Manotham, D. Srisaengthong and S. Charulukkana, “Coastal Erosion in the Gulf of Thailand,” In: J. D. Milliman and B. U. Haq, Eds., Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Subsidence, Kluwer, Dordrecht. 1996, pp. 131-150. HUdoi:10.1007/978-94-015-8719-8_7U
[4] S. Rokugawa, H. Suzuki, Y. Kazama and Y. Okubo, “Consideration on Management of Coastal Environment at Deltas in Thailand,” Research Report, UOT/AISt- CCO-PDMR/DMCR Joint Program, CCOP Technical Secretariat, Bangkok, 2006.
[5] J. M. Coleman, O. K. Huh and D. Braud Jr., “Wetland Loss in World Deltas,” Coastal Studies Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 2006.
[6] H. J. Wang, Z. S. Yang, Y. Saito, J. P. Liu, X. X. Sun and Y. Wang, “Stepwise Decrease of the Huanghe (Yellow River) Sediment Load (1950-2005): Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities,” Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 57, No. 3-4, 2007, pp. 331-354. HUdoi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2007.01.003U
[7] M. Mohanti and M. R. Swain, “Mahanadi River Delta, East Coast of India: An Overview of Evolution and Dynamic Process,” 2004.
[8] K. O. T. Thi, L. N. Van, T. Massaki, L. Kobayashib, S. Tanabeb and Y. Saitoc, “Holocene Delta Evolution and Sediment Discharge of the Mekong River Southern Vietnam,” Quaternary Science Review, Vol. 21, No. 16, 2002, pp. 1807-1819. HUdoi:10.1016/S0277-3791(02)00007-0U
[9] G. A. Mahar and N. A. Zaigham, “Geomorphic Degradation of Indus Delta and Its Demographic Impact,” Ph.D. Thesis, University of Karachi, Karachi, 2010.
[10] R. C. Sharma and M. Vatal, “Oceaneography for Geographer,” Chaitanya Publishing House, Allahabad, 1986.
[11] F. P. Shepard and K. O. Emery, “Submarine Topography off the California Coast: Canyon and Tectonic Interpretation,” Geological Society of America Special Paper, Vol. 31, 1941, pp. 1-171.
[12] S. E. Allen and X. D. de Madron, “A Review of the Role of Submarine Canyons in Deep-Ocean Exchange with the Shelf,” Water Science, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2009, pp. 607-620.
[13] L. Giosan, S. Constantinerscu, P. D. Clift, Tabrez, M. Danish and A. Inam, “Recent Morphodynamics of the Indus Delta Shore and Shelf,” Continental Shelf Research, Vol. 26, 2006, pp. 1668-1684. HUdoi:10.1016/j.csr.2006.05.009U
[14] F. Coumes and V. Kolla, “Deltaic Morphology and Sedimentology with Special Reference to the Indus River Delta,” In: Marine Geology and Oceanography of Arabian Sea and Coastal Pakistan, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1984, pp. 101-110.
[15] R. U. Von and M. Tahir, “Late Quaternary Sedimentation on the Upper Indus Shelf and Slope (Pakistan): Evidence from High Resolution Seismic Data and Coring,” Marine Geology, Vol. 138, No. 3-4, 1997, pp. 193-236. HUdoi:10.1016/S0025-3227(96)00090-4U
[16] R. R. Nair, N. H. Hashimi and V. P. Rao, “On the Possi-Bility of High Velocity Tidal Streams as Barriers to Long Shore Sediment Transport: Evidence from the Continental Shelf off the Gulf of Kutch, India,” Marine Geology, Vol. 3, 1982, pp. 11-427.
[17] S. R. Islam, “The Indus Submarine Canyon,” Pakistan Geographical Review, Vol. 14, 1959, pp. 32-34.
[18] J. T. Well and J. M. Coleman, “Deltaic Morphology and Sedimentology, with Special Reference to the Indus River Delta: Marine Geology and Oceanography of Arabian Sea and Coastal Pakistan,” Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1984.
[19] E. O. Waser, “Sedimentological Aspects of Strata Encounter on Leg 23 in Northern Arabian Sea,” Initial Reports of DSDP, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1974, pp. 503-529.
[20] A. H. Kazmi, “Geology of the Indus Delta,” In: B. U. Haque and J. D. Milliman, Eds., Marine Geology and Oceanography of Arabian Sea and Coastal Pakistan, Van Nostrand Reindhold, New York, 1984, pp. 71-84.
[21] J. N. Holeman, “Sediment Yield of Major Rivers of the World,” Water Resource Research, Vol. 4, No. 4, 1968, pp. 737-747. HUdoi:10.1029/WR004i004p00737U
[22] Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI), Redlands, 1999-2008.
[23] G. F. Thorpe, “The Submarine Ca?ons of the Ganges and Indus. Blackwell Publishing,” The Geographical Journal, The Royal Geographical Society, Vol. 26, No. 5, 1905, pp. 568-571.
[24] S. R. Islam, “The Indus Submarine Canyon,” Pakistan Geographical Review, Vol. 14, 1959. pp. 32-34.
[25] P. Clift, G. Christoph, E. Rosemary, L. Jae, H. Peter, S. Amjad, S. Robert and S. Hans-Ulrich, “The Stratigraphic Evolution of the Indus Fan and the History of Sedimentation in the Arabian Sea,” Marine Geophysical Research, Vol. 23, No. 3, 2002, pp. 223-245. HUdoi:10.1023/A:1023627123093U
[26] M. R., Haig, A. S. M. Robert, “The Indus Delta Country: A Memoir, Chiefly on Its Ancient Geography and History,” Vol. 6, 1894, 148 p.
[27] J. D. Milliman, G. S. Qureshee and M. A. A. Beg, “Sediment Discharge from the Indus River to the Ocean: Past, Present and Future,” In: Marine Geology and Oceanography of Arabian Sea and Coastal Pakistan, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1984, pp. 65-84.
[28] J. M. Coleman and O. K. Huh, “Major World Deltas: A Perspective from Space,” Research Report Submitted to NASA, Coastal Studies Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 2003.
[29] V. I. Kravtsova, V. N. Mikhailov and N. A. Efremova, “Variations of the Hydrological Regime, Morphological Structure, and Landscapes of the Indus River Delta (Pakistan) under the Effect of Large-Scale Water Management Measures,” Water Resources, Vol. 36, No. 4, 2009, pp. 365-379.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.