The expansion of agriculture and aquaculture farms in the coastal areas has led to conversion of mangroves in the recent past. The extent of mangroves has also changed due to the erosion of mangroves along the coast and accretion near river mouths, leading to the formation of new mangrove areas. This study has been undertaken in the mangroves of the Godavari estuary, Andhra Pradesh, India to understand the changes in the extent of mangroves, namely accreted mangroves, erosion due to wave action and river water flow during floods, and changes due to forest restoration between 1986 and 2001, through remote sensing. The geomorphological changes due to river water flow in and around the mangroves have also been analysed. The changes in the vegetation due to forest restoration and natural regeneration are appreciable, while the changes in the area due to erosion and accretion are more or less equal. An analysis of the remote sensing images of 1986 and 2001 reveal that the mangroves outside the forest boundary have been converted to aquaculture. The sand spit of Hope Island has changed with time and has grown nearly 2.6 km between 1937 and 2001.
Keywords: Accretion and erosion - Geomorphology - Mangrove ecosystem - Mudflats - Remote sensing - Satellite images - Shoreline changes