offered a newer and reliable picture of the tectonic make up of the Indian landmass,including the coasts paving the way of tectonics to enter the realm of coastal geologicalstudies. .Following the scheme of classification of Inman and Nordstrom (1971) based ontectonics and morphology, most of the Indian coasts will fall under one of their severalcategories. For example the TN coasts have segments of salt marshes, coral reefs,deltas, narrow shelf plain coast, wide shelf plain coast and narrow shelf hilly coast andwide shelf hilly coast. The coastal land of TN is typically a one with narrow or wide shelf Table 3 Characteristics of shore zoneErosional coasts Depositional coasts Organic coastsSea cliffs, Stacks and river erosion during past low sealevel standsBeaches, Barriers, spits,modified glacial deposits,River deltas and coastaldunesCoral and algal reefs,Mangroves and saltmarsheshilly and plain coasts and deltaic coast. Coastal land at Mahalipuram and Kudankulamand Kanyakumari can also be good examples of a wide shelf hilly coast. In fact, theland mass of TN has witnessed relatively large shifts of shore line in the Tertiary era aswell as in Holocene. The marine terraces of Kanyakumari, sedimentary structural faciesof Melemanakkudi and Kudankulam, the sedimentary motifs of Manappad, beach rockoccurrences etc are some compelling examples of neotectonics.
Physiography of TN
Based on physiography, State of TN is divided into three segments, viz., highland(chiefly underlain by P
crystalline rocks and their altered equivalents), inland plains(large and expansive pediments commonly underlain by older crystalline rocks) andcoastal plain (chiefly a region partly dominated by sedimentary fills of Cretaceous andearly Tertiary ages and ancient beach alluviam moulded into dunes, interdune plains,and sand-sheets). Most of the coastal plain forms a cardinal part of the coastal zone.
Coastal zone (CZ)
Due to the huge significance of the land edging the shore due to the inbuilt advantagesas well as the risks, almost all littoral nations have mandated and embarked on aCoastal Zone Management (CZM) Program. Table-1 is a subdivision of the CZ. Thesedays, after the devastating tsunami Dec.24, 2004, coastal zone has assumed hugeimportance in the minds of public and politicians alike due to the vulnerability of the landarea along with its people and materials. The chief aim of such a program is thescientific management by suitable interventions in this zone for the welfare and benefitof all players (settlement and utilization sans large scale long or short term adverseresponses).Table 4: Coastal zone ± divisions, limits & attributesDivisions Limits Attributes