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Geology Cafe

  River Geochemistry K.P. Thrivikramaji Department of Geology University of Kerala Kariyavattom – 695 581 Final Report Submitted To the Chairman, State Committee On Science, Technology and Environment. Government of Kerala Trivandrum April 1989.           Contents Abstract Acknowledgements Introduction             Modification             State of the art             State of the art in Kerala             Summary River basins             Introduction             Physiography             Geology of the basins            ...

Thrivikramji’s Glauconite story.
Glauconite is one of the minerals that is essentially a product of marine environment and entirely an authigenic mineral formed during diagenesis. The Glauconite I started on as a piece of research, when I "rejoined" the Department of Geology as Lecturer in the University of Kerala. I resigned my position as Asst. Geologist in the Mining and Geology department to join the university as a teacher. Those days the department was housed in the west wing of the first floor of the Finance department of the university. In fact 18-3-1968 was my entry to the Geology Department of the University of  Keraka.

My boss (during 1980-82), Prof. C. Karunakaran (founder Director, CESS, Trivandrum), quite often made it a point, to query me if and when I was readying my team in MSD (Marine Sciences Div.) to go for sea-work. Prof. CK had a knack of making this poser to me, especially in the Heads of Divisions meeting routinely held once a month in his office. 
Well, luck played a very interesting role in this respect, when the Harbour Engineering Department of the GoK came to CESS (in third quarter of 1980) to explore whether or not CESS could offer some scientific help in respect of abating the severe siltation in the mooring basin of the Vizhinjam Harbor (VH), south of Kovalam, near Trivandrum. 

Letters to Nature  Nature 213, 1219-1220 (25 March 1967) | doi:10.1038/2131219a0; Received 28 November 1966  Origin of Diagenetic Pyrite in the Quilon Limestone,Kerala,India  K. K. MENON  1.     Department of Geology,UniversityofKerala,Trivandrum,India.  External link  Abstract  ALTHOUGH microscopic pyrite from marine and non-marine argillaceous sediments of most geological ages has been extensively studied, its mode of origin...



(An English language version of a talk presented in a seminar organized by Malampuzha Dam Samrakshana Samithi, in Palakkad, July 11, 09)

It is 55 yr., since commissioning of the Malampuzha dam and the Malampuzha lake in Palakkad dist. of Kerala. The KERI (Kerala Engineering Research Institute) came up with a suggestion that the reservoir already lost 12% of the reservoir capacity due to the siltation. Walayar, another tributary of Kalpathipuzha, has a smaller dam and reservoir (Walayar reservoir) upstream of confluence of Malampuza and Kalpathipuzha. Both dams have been built on the right bank tributaries rising from the western ghats on the northern escarpment of Palakkad Gap.


My boss during 1980-82, Prof. C. Karunakaran (founderDirector, CESS, Trivandrum), quite often made it a point, if and when I was readying my team in MSD (Marine Sciences Div.) to go for sea-work. My boss, Prof. CK had a knack of making this poser to me in the Head of Divisions meeting held once a month in his office.

Well, luck played a very surprising role in this respect, when the Harbour Engineering Department of the GoK came to CESS to explore for the type of scientific help with regard to the severe siltation in the boat basin of the Vizhinjam harbor near Trivandrum, I had the first opportunity to go for seawork.. The siltation in the harbor was triggered right after the completion of the main breakwater – one covered with tetrapods on the sea facing side. In order to contain the siltation and erosion of the backshore coastal hills to the south, and after some model studies, a second EW oriented breakwater was designed and put in place.

Construction sand and Gravel: Let us be Scientific.
Times Of India second page carried a story today (July 25, 12) offering a solutions for the scarcity of construction sand as well as problems caused by continued borrowing of river channel sand. The proposed solutions center around dredging of sediment so far accumulated in the reservoirs (both Hydel and Irrigation) of Kerala. There is a suggestion in the article that the LDF Government had suggested this recourse and in fact launched sand collection from the reservoirs. True, there was attempts in Malampuzha and Aruvillara reservoirs as well as from the Veli Kayal.

Prof. Thrivikramji.K.P., University of Kerala, Kariavattom Campus 695 581 
Mud banks (MB) are very special to certain segments of the coastal waters of Kerala and were first reported by Bristo, the founder of the Cochin port. This phenomenon, not known elsewhere in the world is of interest not only to the fishing industry and Marine biologists, but also to physical and chemical oceanographers as well as geoscientists. The immediate attraction to the fishworkers is the very profitable fisheries opportunities due to very special fish species attached to the MB or fishing ground the mud banks are synonymous with. Further, such a phenomenon is also not noticed reported from elsewhere in the country. In what follows, one would come across a useful summary or rather a review of the various aspects the MB. 


The MSc class of the Dept. of geology was taken on a field show and study trip to parts of western south India. The first stop was Kozhikod, where we stopped to have a closer look at the Cheruppa hillock along the northern side of the road leading beyond the Kozhikod Government Medical College campus. The summit of the hill stands roughly at 250 ft. Magnetite-Quartzite reefs of 2.0-3.0 m wide sit atop the hill. The north facing slopes expose large chunks as well as wide bands of the magnetite quartzite rock.

This occurrence is among the smallest of all magnetite ore deposits in the Malabar region, in that the outcrop in the West Hill along the suburban Kozhikod and to the NW of the town, is located in a pretty busy area and heavily settled part.  But the largest exposure of all in the Nanminda village forms a topographic ridge and is the largest of all.  The ridge has a relative relief of say 100.0 m or more and extends for about 3 to 4 km., spreading through several villages abutting the foothills.


Dr Goplakrishana, founder HOD of the Geology department and the present Post Graduate research Department of Geology, retires from active academic work, by the end of academic year, i.e., March, 2012. The alumni and students of the Department of Geology resolved to accord a fitting send off for their visionary, inspiring and beloved teacher.  “GEM”, the alumni association of the Department of Geology of the college took up the task.

I was invited to participate in the two day Seminar - “GREEN-2012”- organized by the GEM, in the college campus for which I readily agreed and as directed by the organizers I e-forwarded an abstract on the role of ponds in OC sequestration, a topic in the center stage of global climate change, and especially when the national and international efforts are aimed at reducing the member nations Carbon foot print.