Do bio-shields affect tsunami inundation?

Bhalla, R.S. | Current Science | 2007 | Peer Reviewed | Original research |


Conversion of coastal sand dunes to plantations has intensified dramatically after the tsunami of December 2004, driven largely by the belief that bio-shields mitigated tsunami inundation. This assumption was tested using field-based mapping and remote sensing. A regression between the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and inundation distance was non-significant, questioning the premise for large-scale bio-shield plantations, mostly Casuarina equisetifolia, an exotic timber with unquantified ecological impacts. These plantations may obliterate the natural sand dune ecosystems along the Coromandel coast, which are an important natural defence and provide a range of ecological goods and services.