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Indian Geographical Quest w Vol. II w 2013 w ISSN : 2231-668X w IF : 0.6712 (2012-13)


Cross Sectional and Morphological
Changes after a Flood in Bhogawati
Channel of Kolhapur, Maharashtra
Jagdish B. Sapkale *
ABSTRACT
The present research work aims to study the cross sectional changes in Bhogawati
channel after a flood. Torrential rains of past 7-8 years monsoon caused extensive floods in
Kolhapur and other areas of Maharashtra and claimed so many deaths and damage to the
property. In view of this, aggradational and degradational impact in channel has been studied
because the channels are logical and efficient place to investigate the geomorphic effects of
force, resistance, erosion, transportation and deposition. In Bhogawati channel the flow of
river water and the distribution of bed material have been regulated by Radhanagari dam.
Uneven distribution and release of river water during monsoon rains leads to sudden changes
in river processes and effects on channel. In the present study, morphological changes in
river Bhogawati have been examined in terms of change in river cross-sections, channel
width, depth and its bed configuration. It has also observed that sugarcane is the main cash
crop in Bhogawati river basin. But increase in sugarcane cultivation also leads to show
indirect ill effects in the study area. Providing over- irrigation to the agricultural fields, the
soil material getting loose that helps in heavy erosion during the monsoon. The detached
loose material washed out from the fields and added with the rills and gullies of the tributaries,
moreover moving as a bed load in the river channel. Uneven and low discharges after monsoon
in the river channel due to controlling measures like dams and K.T.weirs (Kolhapur type
weirs) tends to slow down the river velocities and carrying capacity, resulting for silting up
of channel. Such conditions have been noticed at locations of Tarale K.T. weir, Avli and
Rashivade K.T.weir, where the variations in cross sectional area have been found. Sudden
breaks in channel slope have been noticed. Comparison of upstream side cross section and
downstream side cross section of K.T.weir reveals that such weirs acts as an obstacle for
dissipating the river energy and most of the bedload gets deposited in the upstream of the
K.T.weirs.
Keywords : River Cross-sections, Channel Morphological changes, Channel Siltation.
* Assistant Professor, (Senior Scale), Department of Geography, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, India
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Introduction:
The Bhogawati River basin of
Kolhapur has shown tremendous degradation
to an enormous level by unplanned
agricultural activities and deforestation. Such
conditions are also highly responsible to
flood that resulted in channel erosion and
shifts in channel locations. Bhogawati River
is a tributary of Panchganga River, which has
been regulated by Laxmibai Reservoir
(Radhanagari Dam), located at Radhanagari
of Kolhapur district. The Bhogawati River
and its tributaries have also gives the signs
of generalized morphological changes in
river channel. These changes are observed
in terms of aggradations and degradation of
channel bed, bank erosion, increase in
channel width, bar formation and shifts in
channel locations. In the present study more
emphasis has been given to river
characteristics and its processes in
association of flood that control substantial
environment and vegetation community in
the river. Rivers and their fluvial processes
like erosional, depositional and
transportation processes are believed to be
one of the most important geomorphic
systems of the earths surface (Dardis et al.,
1988).
River is generally controlled by
geological characteristics of basin and its
planform that equally influence on channel
slope and shows the erosional or depositional
signs of the river. Geomorphic characteristics
and within channel variations are also
influenced by the variability in river basin
and its hydrology. Small scale changes in
channel are also resulting due to the
deposition of woody debris (Bartley and
Rutherford, 2005). Such types of variation
remain observed in the Bhogawati channel.
In any river basin, soil erosion is the major
problem which is responsible for the
degradation of fertile agricultural land.
Eroded soil added with river water also
becomes a major problem to the river
environment. Deposited sediments tend to
raise the flood water levels during monsoon.
According to Baker and Kochel
(1988) River regimes has changed directly
when dams are built and blocking their
channels. A dam alters the hydrological
regime by regulating the flow with
decreasing peaks and increasing low flow
frequency. This in turn modifies the sediment
transport capacity by inducing erosion or
deposition and altering channel morphology.
Such types of deposition have been seen in
the Panchganga basin and along the
tributaries of Panchganga River i.e.
Bhogawati, Kumbhi, Kasari and Tulshi.
Flood actions are most vital as well as an
effective aspect in linear movement of
meanders. Present study also reveals the
influence of flood rigorousness on river
morphology. In some locations of the
Bhogawati channel, river meanders shifted
towards downstream after the flood. Hence
an attempt has been made to study the
morphological change after floods in
Bhogawati River.
Study Area:
The study area forms a part of
Bhogawati channel and its basin (fig 1)
between Laxmibai Reservoir to Prayag in
Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. River
Bhogawati has its source in the north
Dudhganga hill range or takes rise in the
Sahayadris i.e. Western Ghats, a few kms
south of Phonda pass, almost flowing in the
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Indian Geographical Quest w Vol. II w 2013 w ISSN : 2231-668X w IF : 0.6712 (2012-13)
northern direction for 45 km, parallel to the
phonda road. Further the river joins Tulshi
River near Bid. About 3.2 km north west of
Bid the Bhogawati river receives the
Kumbhi, which is another tributary of
Bhogawati and about 13 km further north,
the river is joined from the left by the Kasari
river about 4.8 km west of Kolhapur. These
two rivers make a confluence at Prayag,
which is well known place in Kolhapur
district of Maharashtra. Beyond the
confluence of these rivers the Bhogawati
River is called Panchganga, which is the
major tributary of River Krishna.
Source: Based on SRTM data.
Fig : 1 - DEM of Study area
Aims and Objectives:
The main aim of the present research
work is to study and understand the
processes, which are active during the flood
and geomorphic changes after a flood. In
order to fulfill the aim, following specific
objectives have defined:-
i) To study the micro features and micro relief
along the bed of the river.
ii) To study the details of channel cross
sections and morphological characteristics of
river.
iii) To study the downstream effects of the
dam and to observe changes in bed
configuration and types of bed material.
Methodology:
The methodology that has adopted for the
research work has the following aspects:-
i) Field work & field surveys: It was
decided to conduct detailed field survey for
measurements of channel cross sections and
morphological changes. Therefore detailed
field survey with the help of Transit
Theodolite and GPS was carried out in the
study area.
ii) River Cross Sections: During the field
surveys thirteen cross sections were
measured to understand the cross sectional
properties of the channel and variations in
them.
iii) Cartographic work and material map:
Cartographic work includes the plotting of
surveyed data and cross sectional data. It also
includes preparation of relevant maps and
diagrams based on the collected & generated
data. On the basis of field work data, material
and flow line maps were prepared for
detailed study of the channel and its
processes. SRTM data was also used for the
preparation of various maps and profiles.
Results and Discussions:
Many studies have been attempted in
fluvial geomorphology in terms of river
channel variations and cross sectional
changes of river that is associated to climatic
changes (Leopold et.al., 1964) and human
influences (Knox, 1977; Park, 1981; Wohl,
2000; Sapkale, 2008,2009).
Rowntree and Wadeson (1999) focuses that
fluctuations in channel discharge are
resulting either due to changing climate and
hydrology, basin morphology or as a result
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of human activities. Flood is the direct
response to heavy or prolonged storm events.
They are very important in Geomorphologic
processes, as medium to high discharge are
needed for significant fluvial system
morphological changes. Beaumont (1981)
reported that, the removal of forest cover and
vegetation from the catchments of the river
increased large floods which resulted in
significant channel erosion and channel
deposition. Uneven distribution of sediments
in Bhogawati channel has contributed due to
the hydrological and lithological
characteristics of the basin. Changing
cropping pattern in the basin also facilitate
for increasing sediments in river channel. It
has observed that, Bhogawati River carries
huge discharge, collected from Bhogawati
basin, and its sub-basin i.e Kumbhi, Dhamni,
Tulsi and meets with River Kasari at Prayag.
At this confluence site it becomes a
vulnerable location of flood during monsoon.
River Discharge :
In order to get some idea about the
river discharge, data from irrigation
department of Kolhapur and rain gauge
station of Rajaram weir (Kolhapur) have
been utilized. The concentration of rainfall
during the four months of monsoon is the
characteristic feature of monsoon climate. It
has observed that the showers of high
intensities, causing severe erosion in the river
basin. As a result, as and when it pours, the
discharges passing through the channel carry
tremendous load, which finds its way towards
the lower reaches of the basin. Some data
regarding discharges of river Bhogawati-
Panchganga could become available. Daily
discharges of different months have been
plotted on the graph for the years 2006 and
2007. It has seen that during year 2006, July
and August are the periods of very high and
continuous discharges and the discharge
thereafter is reduced to a considerable extent
(fig 2). It may also be seen from discharge
graph, that there are few peaks of high
discharge with 4000 cumecs in the month of
June and July that has separated by extended
dry spell in the month of September and
October (Fig 3). Such variation in discharge
may causes degradation and aggradation in
the river channel with different bed load
characteristics. The River discharges are
distinct and mostly associated with disastrous
effects during monsoon floods. Apart from
the natural conditions, human interventions
also causes variations in river morphology
and its cross-sections (Sapkale; 2008, 2009,
2010 & 2011).
Fig: 2 : River Discharge year 2006
Fig: 3 : River Discharge year 2007
RIVER DISCHARGE : 2006
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Indian Geographical Quest w Vol. II w 2013 w ISSN : 2231-668X w IF : 0.6712 (2012-13)
Cross-Sectional Characteristics of
Bhogawati Channel:
Present study also deals with the
channel deposition and aggradation therefore
it is necessary to study the characteristics of
channel cross section and material
distribution within channel. Some cross
section across the channel have been drawn
and measured at some selected sites of the
Bhogawati River and the details of some
among them have been discussed. Overall
thirteen cross-sections were surveyed over a
Bhogawati channel in Dec 2008 and Dec
2009; cross-sections were selected where
variations could be found in river channel.
Only nine cross sections have been
considered for the discussions as follows:
Cross-Section 01:
Cross Section 01 has measured near
and very close to Radhanagari Dam in down
stream side. The left bank side shows the
middle and high terrace with a dropping
height of 20-25 m (for approx distance of 175
m from left bank). The left side of the river
terrace with rocky exposure is steeper than
the right side low leveled terrace (fig 4). Left
bank of the channel is near vertical. At this
location the width of the channel is 90-100
m. A lateral bar was developed for a length
of 150 metres at the right side of the flow
line during 2007 (plate 1). Uneven sizes of
bed material with pebbles and cobbles have
been deposited in the channel. Somewhere,
bed material is quite large with a diameter
of 20-25 cm cobbles. Spreading of silt at this
cross sectional location have not seen due
to the continuous releasing of water from the
dam that is very close to this location.
Cross-Section 02:
This cross section is located near
small bridge of Radhanagari (fig 5). The
channel in this section has a relative relief of
3-4 m. The bank height is very low at this
location, more prone to inundation of flood
water. The average width of the channel is
60 m. Cross section also reveals the
deposition of bed material for a height of 0.5
m, resulting for the formation of central bar
in the channel. River flow lines have
bifurcated due to this bar as an obstruction.
The width of the flow line is 7-8 m to the left
side of the bar and 10-12 m at the right side
of the bar.
Cross-Section 03 and 04:
Cross section 03 and 04 have been
measured at Tarale K.T.weir . Cross section
03 has located on the upstream side of the
K.T.weir (fig 6) and cross section 04, on the
down stream side of the weir (fig 7). These
two cross sections, which are close to each
other, show the signs of aggradations and
degradation in the channel. At cross section
03 the left bank is nearly vertical while the
right bank shows somewhat deviations from
near vertical nature. Though insignificant the
cross section gives an idea about a tendency
of erosion along the right bank. Average
width of the channel as shown in cross
section 03 is 55 m; and the average width of
the channel at cross section 04 has increased
to 65 m. There is an increase in channel width
by 10 m in down stream part of the channel
due to natural erosion by river. Water pressure
in the down stream parts of the bank, just
closer to the weir has attacked continuously.
At cross section 03 the thalweg height is
555.5 m (above sea level) which is 552 m at
cross section no. 04. Both cross sections
reveal that, there is a sudden break in channel
gradient by 1.5 m. This condition gives rise
to refilling and scouring of the channel.
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Fig: 4 : Cross Section 01
Fig: 5 : Cross Section 02
Fig: 6 : Cross Section 03
Fig: 7 : Cross Section 04
Fig: 8 : Cross Section 05
Fig: 9 : Cross Section 06
K.T.weir traps most of the bed load sediments
in the upstream side, resulting for the
aggradations in channel (fig 6), but adjoining
part i.e. down stream of weir shows scouring
Cross Section - 01
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546
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Distance Across Channel (Metres)
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Cross Section - 02
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Distance Across Channel (Metres)
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Left Bank Right Bank
Cross Section - 04
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Distance Across Channel (Metres)
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Left Bank Right Bank
Cross Section - 03
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Distance Across Channel (Metres)
H
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Left Bank Right Bank
Cross Section - 05
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Distance Across Channel (Metres)
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Left Bank Right Bank
Cross Section - 06
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Distance Across Channel (Metres)
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of the channel bed (fig 7).
Cross-Section 05 :
Cross-section 05 has surveyed near
Avli village. At this location river is flowing
parallel to the Radhanagari-Kolhapur road.
Thick series of trees along the banks and
basaltic bank acts as an embankment, gives
linear pattern to the river. This cross-section
indicates the narrow channel than the channel
at Cross-section No. 03 and 04. Average
width of the channel is 45 m with 03 m of
bank height (fig 8). Left side terrace is steeper
with upper elevation than the right side
terrace.
Cross-Section 06 and 07 :
These two cross sections have
surveyed at Shirgaon K.T.weir. Cross section
06 at the upstream side of the weir and cross
section 07 is down stream side of the weir.
Average width of the bank is 60 m. Depth of
the channel at cross section 06 is 2 m ,
indicates the increase of bed elevation (fig
9). Consequently the depth of the cross
section 07 is 4 m that means there is sudden
drop in depth by 2 m in the channel (fig 10).
This variation shows the influence of flood
and weir as an obstruction in the channel,
which are responsible for the lowering the
channel bed.
Cross-Section 08 and 09 :
Cross section 08 and 09 have
measured near Rashiwade K.T.weir, at the
upstream side and down side of weir
respectively. Width of the channel is 60 m in
the upstream side of the weir (fig 11) and
same has increased to 90 m in down stream
side. This site is more vulnerable to Flood
water. Keen observation of both cross section
shows that channel bed has lowered by 3 m,
reveals widespread scouring of channel bed
at this location (fig 12).
Fig: 10 : Cross Section 07
Fig: 11 : Cross Section 08
Plate -1 : Lateral Bar along Right side of the
flow
Cross Section - 08
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Distance Across Channel (Metres)
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Cross Section - 07
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Distance Across Channel (Metres)
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Left Bank Right Bank
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Fig: 12 : Cross Section 09
Details of Material Map :
The location of the material map as
shown in fig no. 13 is near the small bridge
of Radhanagari. The average width of the
channel to the up stream of bridge is 25 m
which is widen upto 50 m, as come closure
to the weir (fig 13). Further the width
increase to 60 m in the down stream side of
the bridge due to erosive power of water with
high velocities. Uneven sizes of pebbles and
cobbles have been deposited in the channel.
Left side of the bank was protected with trees
but during the flood of 2005 and 2006 some
trees were uprooted, but down stream part
of the stream is well protected with trees and
bushes. Agricultural fields are covered by
sugarcane crop. The amount of silt
deposition is quite least in the upstream side
of the K.T. weir, due to continuous release
of discharge from the dam, as the location is
near to the dam site. Increasing cross
sectional area and reducing velocities tends
to change the bedform. A bar with a size of
60 m x 40 m has developed in the central
part of the channel. Vegetation growth with
bushes and small grasses holds the sand and
silt that helps in the growth of the central
bar.
Down stream to Rashiwade K.T.weir
(fig 14), the stream shows uneven pattern i.e.
the channel in section and channel in plan.
The right side of the bank is of basalt.
Overburden material has deposited which has
increased the height of the channel bed.
Cemented blocks and angular rocky blocks
or pieces of stones have detached from the
embankment due to the attacking power of
flood. The detached material gets deposited
in the channel bed. Cobbles and pebbles have
spread on the bank. The size of the bed
material varies from 15-25 cm in diameter.
In the same stretch, up stream part of the map
shows the widen channel with 90 m which
has sudden reduced to 7-8 m. A very narrow
channel has been seen in the downstream side
of the weir, resulting due to the series of
dense trees along both banks. Figure 15
shows bar that has developed at the right side
of the channel with a size of 200m x 100m.
This site is located in between Radhanagari
Beidge and Tarale K.T.weir. The height of
the deposited bar is 1 metre. Most of the bar
area is laden with sand with unconsolidated
material. The location of the bar is at the
mouth of the right bank tributary which leads
to the formation of the bar in river bed. The
rise in the channel bed in terms of such
depositional features at the mouth of the
tributary reveals the equilibrium condition
between the capability of the Bhogawati
River to move deposited bed material and
the quantity of bed material that has provided
by the tributary. The presence of such a large
bar within the main channel also reflects the
potential of the transport energy. If the energy
is more, then the river may transport huge
amount of bed material to the downstream
part of the river. Here at this location right
Cross Section - 09
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Distance Across Channel (Metres)
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bank tributary carries more amount of bed
load tends to shift the channel towards left
side. The river is unable to transport the
deposited material of the tributary to the
downstream. This also resulting for
increasing width of the channel. Such
widening of channel increases the cross
sectional area of the channel at a place and
lower down the river velocities. Decrease in
velocities unable to transport the bed load
with sand and silt. That gives the impression
of sand and silt deposition for varying height
in channel bed.
Fig 13 : Material and Channel Flow line map
near Radhanagari Bridge
Fig 14 : Material and Channel Flow line map
near Rashiwade K.T. weir
Fig 15 : Material and Channel flow line map in
between Radhanagari Bridge and Tarale K.T. weir
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Conclusions
Flooding in the study area occurs as
a result of heavy rainfall in the upper basin
and also due to channel instability. The
stability and channel in equilibrium can be
changed rapidly as a result of natural
processes and human made disturbances like
excavation-sand degradation, construction of
dam, K.T. weirs in river course etc. These
activities can change or alters channel
parameters and affecting sediment deposition
in the channel. During monsoon uneven
rainfall and variation in discharge also gives
rise to unexpected changes in the channel
bed. It has also concluded that the flood
control structures like dams and reservoirs
with various Kolhapur type weirs (KT Weir)
are also unable to protect the agricultural land
and public property from the inundation of
monsoon water. The study and the surveyed
cross sections also revealed that the KT Weirs
as an obstruction are also responsible for the
cross sectional change in the river channel.
These have accountable to increase the width
of channel just downstream from the weirs.
Afforestation and the soil conservation
methods should be undertaken in the upper
stream basin to control erosion. This could
be minimizing the aggradations in channel
after floods.
Acknowledgement :
The present research paper is the
outcome of the Minor Research Project,
sanctioned by Shivaji University, Kolhapur
that has completed in April 2011. The Author
would like to express his sincere thanks to
Shivaji University, Kolhapur for providing
the financial assistance to the research
project.
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