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Environmental Impact & Hydro-Geophysics Group (EIHGG)

Coordinator: Dr. Gautam Gupta
Team members: Dr. B.V. Lakshmi, Dr. K. Deenadayalan

Deccan Volcanic Province (DVP), is engrossed with a plethora of scientific questions which need to be addressed, although a variety of scientific experiments have been conducted till date. Under Environmental Impact and Hydrogeophysics research, focus will be to understand the palaeo-climate, effects of weathering during and after sediment deposition, saline water ingress, aquifer mapping & water quality studies, and characterization of geothermal springs.  
There is severe dearth of groundwater in hard rock terrains and the fracturing, faulting etc within these hard rocks trap limited amount of groundwater. However connotation on the lineaments, joints and fractures in the occurrence and movement of groundwater in semi-arid regions of DVP is not manifestly recognized. This hurls defy before hydrogeophysicists to discern the role of geological features in the occurrence and movement of groundwater. The challenge therefore lies in locating auxiliary sources of groundwater in DVP.
Environmental magnetism involves reconstruction of palaeoclimatic changes in Quaternary sediments. The fact that magnetic minerals are present in all the sediments and rocks formed and that they are influenced by ambient temperature and pressure conditions was realized not so long ago. Magnetic minerals respond to changing physical and chemical realm that exists all around them which induces discernible changes in the magnetic minerals as well. These changes can be studied to infer the environmental and climatic situation that existed at the time of the formation of sedimentary deposits.
Archaeomagnetic studies are based on the fact that baked clay materials acquire thermoremanent magnetization when they cool down from high temperatures in the Earth’s magnetic field. The thermoremanent magnetization retains information about both direction and intensity of the geomagnetic field that has existed at the time and place of the last cooling. The most valuable materials for archaeomagnetic investigations are baked clays of all forms which are found in situ.

Significance of this Research
It is important to study the hydrogeological configuration of watershed/river basin and coastal region in hard rock terrain. An integration of hydrogeological, geophysical and geospatial approach for delineating groundwater potential zones, demarcation of fresh and saline water interface and development of modified Water quality index for drinking and irrigation purpose is essential for utilization, planning, and management of groundwater resources. 
The most important single climate factor is the monsoon that determines the lives, ecology and economics of the region in Indian context. Agriculture critically depends on water received during summer monsoon and even the winter crops use the residual moisture from summer rainfall. To an extent, paleoclimatology in the Indian context is a synonym for the reconstruction of monsoon through time. Therefore, studying the past monsoon behavior is likely to provide clues to identifying major environmental factors affecting human settlements in the recent geological past and vital inputs for constructing future scenarios.
A large amount of archaeological artefacts are available in India, unfortunately such reliable archaeointensity and palaeo-direction data are lacking. It is therefore imperative to generate and increase the pool of India-specific archaeomagnetic data, based on archaeological artefacts, to help build and improve upon the Indian secular variation curve.

Instruments in use
The Environmental Magnetism and Hydrogeophysical instruments are located at IIG HQ, Panvel

Contact details
Dr. Gautam Gupta