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Port City of Kochi by Vembanad Lake, India – December 18th, 2010

9.9N 76.2E

December 18th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

India - December 1st, 2010

This orthorectified image focuses on Vembanad Lake, India’s longest lake at just over 96.5 km in length. It is the largest lake in the state of Kerala and one of the largest lakes in India. The Vembanad wetland system covers an area of over 1512 kmĀ².

The lake lies at sea level, and is separated from the Arabian Sea by a narrow barrier island. The port of Kochi (Cochin) is located at the lake’s outlet to the Arabian Sea. Several rivers flow into the lake, including the Achenkovil, Manimala, Meenachil, Muvattupuzha, Pamba and Periyar.

A unique characteristic of the lake is the location of the 1252 meter long Thanneermukkom salt water barrier. The Thanneermukkom salt water barrier was constructed as a part of the Kuttanad Development Scheme to prevent tidal action and intrusion of salt water into the Kuttanad low-lands. It is the largest mud regulator in India.

This barrier essentially divides the lake into two parts – one with brackish water perennially and the other half with fresh water fed by the rivers draining in to the lake. This barrier has helped the farmers in Kuttanad – where farming is done below sea level. It has however also created ecological problems, primarily, the rampant propagation of the Water Hyacinth in fresh water.