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Reading: Variation of Salinity in Batticaloa Lagoon in Sri Lanka during Wet Season

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Variation of Salinity in Batticaloa Lagoon in Sri Lanka during Wet Season

Authors:

M. Sugirtharan ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About M.
Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
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S. Pathmarajah,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S.
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture
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M.I.M. Mowjood

University of Peradeniya, LK
About M.I.M.
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

Batticaloa lagoon occupies an area of 168 km2 in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Change in lagoon water salinity is an important aspect that affects the availability and composition of aquatic resources and the livelihoods of the people who are depending on these resources. In this view, lagoon water level, electrical conductivity (EC), salinity, pH and temperature were continuously monitored at two locations, namely Kallady and Manmunaithurai, which are located 7.5 km apart. Readings were taken at weekly intervals during the wet season between September 2012 to March 2013. The lagoon water levels varied between 0.01 and 1.32 m above mean sea level (AMSL) at Kallady, which is located near the barmouth, whereas the variation at Manmunalthurai was between 0.15 and 1.54 m. Corresponding salinity variation was from 37.5 to 3.5 ppt and 31.0 to 4.5 ppt at Kallady and Manmunaithurai, respectively. Surface water temperature at these two locations varied between 25.1oC to 30.6oC and the pH varied between a narrow range of 7.7 and 8.7. Salinity showed a highly significant decreasing trend with time (r=-0.693 and -0.71, p0.01 at Kallady and Manmunai area, respectively) during the rainy season. Similarly, a significant positive correlation was observed between the rainfall amount and the lagoon water height (r=0.782 and r=0.853, p0.01 at Kallady and Manmunai area, respectively). However, salinity showed no significant correlation with lagoon water height and the amount of rainfall. This may be due to the influence of tidal action on lagoon water salinity. The study revealed that a substantial variation in salinity occurs during a short period during the wet season and warrants further investigation on its influence on ecosystem and livelihoods.


Tropical Agricultural Research Vol. 25 (3): 403-411 (2014)
How to Cite: Sugirtharan, M., Pathmarajah, S. & Mowjood, M.I.M., (2015). Variation of Salinity in Batticaloa Lagoon in Sri Lanka during Wet Season. Tropical Agricultural Research. 25(3), pp.403–411. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v25i3.8048
Published on 22 Oct 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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