The Relationship between Coastal Erosion and Chlorophyll a Abundance along the Western Coast of the Gulf of Thailand

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Khanitta Buakaew
Charumas Meksumpun
Shettapong Meksumpun

Abstract

Research on the relationship between coastal erosion and related environmental factors and chlorophyll a abundance along the western coast of the Gulf of Thailand was carried out during the early southwest monsoon (June 2017 and May 2018), southwest monsoon (August 2017), northeast monsoon (November 2017), and dry season (March 2018). Results of chlorophyll a distribution indicated seasonal changes. Chlorophyll a levels increased during the early southwest monsoon of 2017 (from 1.04 µg·L-1 to 2.14 µg·L-1). Moreover, chlorophyll a concentrations along the inner part of the coastal zones (with a maximum of 42 µg·L-1) were higher than that in the outer zones (with an average of 2 µg·L-1). Across all study areas, beach slopes were widely varied (0.08-4°) over the study period. In this study, slopes that increased >4° (Thap Sakae area) coincided with an increase of chlorophyll a>15 µg·L-1 (reaching eutrophic condition). The beach slopes (S; degree°) were related to the chlorophyll a concentrations (Chl a; µg·L-1) by the equation: Chl a=7.35 S0.24 (r=0.314, p<0.05). The overall results implied that changes in the beach slopes of the western coast of the Gulf of Thailand due to monsoon-driven coastal erosion played a role in stimulation of near-shore chlorophyll a levels, particularly in the southwest monsoon period. Such chlorophyll a increases should be further utilized as an organic food source for various consumers in the coastal ecosystem. Assessment of primary production and related pelagic fishery resources, thus, should reflect the dynamics of coastal erosion that may enhance land-based nutrient inputs to the adjacent coastal ecosystem.

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