Morpho-hypsometric evolution of the Karuvannur River Basin, a tropical river in central Kerala, southwestern peninsular India

  • Arun Bhadran
  • V. K. Vijesh
  • Girish GopinathEmail author
  • Drishya Girishbai
  • N. P. Jesiya
  • K. P. Thrivikramji
Original Paper


An integrated morphometric and hypsometric analysis coupled with asymmetric factor used as a proxy for the landscape evolution of the catchment of Karuvannur River. The present study area is a sixth order tropical river in the central Kerala which supplies water and sediments to the Vembanad-Kol Ramsar site. The Karuvannur River Basin (KRB) has been divided into six sub-watersheds (SW). Morphometric parameters (areal, linear, and relief) and hypsometric and asymmetric factors are measured for the delineation of morphotectonic evolution of the area. High values of drainage density, texture, ruggedness number, and hypsometric integral with relatively high volume of leftover rocks in the basin in SW-II and SW-III compared to the entire basin of KRB imply that these two sub-watersheds have been influenced by the tectonic activities. Further, detailed asymmetric data indicated that these two watersheds are tilted in opposite direction. It may be the result of reactivation of Precambrian fault/lineament in recent past. This has been supported by recent tremors and neotectonic studies in Kerala. Moreover, detailed field evidence along with google imagery revealed that the entire basin is a part of regional anticline associated with PCSZ. Geomorphic response to disturbance will produce a sensible, recognizable response; it can be well studied in rivers through detailed study of their sensitivity or behavioral changes. Rivers have an enormous capacity to absorb perturbation and these types of studies are essential for identifying/measuring tectonic activities, sediment diffusion, surface runoff in a drainage basin, and as an important tool for target oriented micro watershed management.


Morphometry Hypsometry Neotectonism Anticline Karuvannur Kerala 



The authors wish to acknowledge the Director General, Geological Survey of India (GSI), the Chairman, CGWB and the Executive Director, CWRDM (Centre for Water Resources Development and Management) Kozhikode, for their immense support. Further, we would like to extend our gratitude to the two unknown reviewers and editors for their constructive comments for improving the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arun Bhadran
    • 1
  • V. K. Vijesh
    • 2
  • Girish Gopinath
    • 3
    Email author
  • Drishya Girishbai
    • 4
  • N. P. Jesiya
    • 3
  • K. P. Thrivikramji
    • 5
  1. 1.Geodata Division, Geological Survey of India, Central Head QuartersKolkataIndia
  2. 2.CGWB, Southern RegionThiruvanathapuramIndia
  3. 3.Geomatics Division, CWRDMKozhikodeIndia
  4. 4.International Affairs & IGC, Geological Survey of IndiaKolkataIndia
  5. 5.Center for Environment and DevelopmentThiruvananthapuramIndia

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