Tourist Destinations Near Lakshadweep

Sand Banks of Lakshadweep



The Lakshadweep sand banks have emerged from the blue waters of the Arabian Sea and form an important part of the archipelago that makes up the union territory of Lakshadweep. Along with the twenty seven inhabited and uninhabited islands of Lakshadweep, the government of India has recognized and named six other sand banks of Lakshadweep.

The Lakshadweep islands stretches over a vast geographical area of thirty two square kilometers on the Arabian Sea. The total area is divided between the inhabited and uninhabited islands, coral reef stretch, atolls, lagoons, sunken banks and sand banks.The sand banks of Lakshadweep are formed where the wide lagoons prohibit the movement of the sand or where the coral reef has formed openings. The sand is not transported across the length of the entire lagoon. Sand is also deposited in the openings of the reefs allowing the formation of the sand banks in Lakshadweep. Some of the sand banks grow to form islands with the lagoon encircling it. The islands of Bangaram and Suheli have emerged through the enlargement of the sand banks in Lakshadweep.

The government of India has recognized the following submerged sand banks of Lakshadweep:
  • Bassas de Pedro
  • Sesostris
  • Corahdiv
  • Amini-Pitti
  • Elikalpeni
  • Investigator Bank
The Lakshadweep sand banks are rich in the deposits that attract a large number of birds and fishes in the area. The sand banks are rich in the excreta deposits of the birds that nest in the sand bank. The deposits have made the soil fertile and facilitated the growth of coconut trees.

Investigator Bank

The Investigator Bank of Lakshadweep is one of the six sand banks recognized and named by the government of India. The Investigator Bank forms a part of the submerged landforms that compose the union territory of Lakshadweep.

The sand bank called the Investigator Bank is placed on the Arabian Sea that lies to the west of the mainland of India. The sand bank is situated at 8 degrees 33 minutes north latitude. The longitude of the island is 73 degrees 25 minutes. Like the other sand banks, the Investigator Bank was formed by the deposition of sand, decayed and decomposed coral reefs and the broken and destroyed shells that are found in the sea. The sand bank covers a total area of 141.78 square kilometers. Sand banks are divided into the land area and the area occupied by the lagoon. However, the Investigator Bank does not have any emerging land area. The sand bank does not reveal the formation of any cays or islands emerging from within the sand bank. The entire area of the sand bank is occupied by the lagoon that makes the total area of Investigator Bank. The closest inhabited island that lies near the Investigator Bank is the island of Minicoy.

Among the Lakshadweep sand banks, the Investigator Bank is one of the smallest sand banks of the union territory. The only other sand bank, smaller than the Investigator Bank is the Elikalpeni that covers an area of 95.91 square kilometers.

Elikalpeni Bank

The Elikalpeni is the sand bank that is submerged in the Arabian Sea and forms an integral part of the union territory of Lakshadweep that is composed of inhabited and uninhabited islands, coral reef stretches and submerged sand banks.

The Elikalpeni is located in the northern latitude of 11.7 degrees and the eastern longitude of 73.59 degrees. The total area occupied by the sand bank of Elikalpeni is 95.91 square kilometers. The entire area is composed of the lagoon. The sand bank does not compose of any land area in the form of the submerged cays or islands.

The bathymetry or the depth of the ocean in the region near the sand bank of Elikalpeni reads and records the depth of the sea bed as about 14 meters. However, the Elikalpeni sand bank is not as shallow as compared to the other shallow banks like Sosostris Bank with a depth of 20 to 25 meters. To the south west of the Elikalpeni sand bank lies Andrott at a distance of 62 kilometers. The Lakshadweep sand bank of Elikalpeni is composed of deposition of coral reefs that are decomposed and dead shells that are found in the sea. According to research conducted on the submerged sand banks of the union territory of Lakshadweep, the reef banks are more delineated by the light traveling at a shorter wavelength.

As compared to the other sand banks of the union territory of Lakshadweep, the Elikalpeni sand bank is the smallest in area submerged in the Arabian Sea.

Corahdiv

The Corahdiv is the one of the sand banks of the Lakshadweep islands. The sand bank is an integral feature of the archipelago that constitutes the smallest union territory of Lakshadweep. The sand bank is composed of coral deposits and sand.

The sand bank of Corahdiv covers the total area of 339.45 square kilometers. The sand bank does not show the presence of any land area in the form of cays or islands. The total area of the sand bank is occupied by the lagoon that extends covering all parts of the sand bank. The Corahdiv sand bank is situated in the north latitude of 13.34 degrees and the east longitude of 72.04 degrees. The sand bank of Corahdiv is the third largest sand bank of the Lakshadweep islands. The primary position in total area is that of the Bassas de Pedro and the Sesostris sand banks. The two other banks are situated close to the Corahdiv sand bank.

Research conducted on the three sand banks of Corahdiv, Bassas de Pedro and the Sesostris reveal that the bathymetry or the depth of the ocean ranges from the 20 to 60 meters. Satellite pictures reveal the difference of shape and size of the Corahdiv sand bank from the Sesostris sand bank.

Another important feature of the Lakshadweep sand bank of Corahdiv is that it marks the northern extreme of the union territory of Lakshadweep. The sand bank is rich in the deposition of sand, coral and shells that are worn out.

Bassas de Pedro

The Bassas de Pedro is the submerged sand bank that is an integral part of the archipelago of Lakshadweep. The sand bank of Bassas de Pedro covers the total area of 2474.33 square kilometers of which the entire part forms the lagoon.

The Naval Hydrographic Officein Dehradun locates the Bassas de Pedro as situated in the northern direction of the Chereapani Reef that lies in the Lakshadweep Sea. It is recognized as the reef bank that has developed with the two other large banks of Corahdiv and Sesostris Bank. The sand bank of Bassas de Pedro is situated between the latitude of 12.30 degrees north and the longitude of 72.14 degrees east parallels. The sand banks of Lakshadweep are occupied by the land area and the lagoons that together make up the region of the sand bank. However the entire area of the Bassas de Pedro comprises of the lagoon that has developed with the deposition of sand and corals. Research on the region conducted reveals that the wavelengths of light with shorter frequency illuminate the submerged bank of Bassas de Pedro.

The total area covered by the Lakshadweep sand bank of Bassas de Pedro is the largest as compared to the other sand banks of the union territory. Satellite views of Bassas de Pedro shows the sand bank to be shaped in the form of an arch with the Sesostris Bank located on the west and the Corahdiv Bank located on the northwest of the bank.



Last Updated on 02 April 2013



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