Study of Landscape Evolution in North Koel River Basin, Jharkhand, India: Tectonic and Structural Implications Based on Hypsometric Analysis
Abstract: Hypsometry is widely used for inferring tectonic effects and erosion status of landscapes. Tectonics, structural inhomogeneity, lithologic differences, and climatic variations lead to topographic undulations discerned into discrepancies in the values. Hypsometric index (and curve), indicative of frequency distribution of proportional elevation with the respective proportional area, is used as a tool to describe characteristics of landscape morphology, lithological variability, and degree of fluvial dissection. Many workers have used to infer comparison of rates of erosion with tectonic uplift rates. However, there are many other factors reported to influence topographic undulations other than tectonics which lead to a variety of hypsometries. Morphotectonic index, hypsometric integral, calculated using digital elevation models (DEMs) in GIS environment has been widely used for inferring tectonic effects, status of erosion, and structural controls. The present study is conducted in the North Koel River basin. This river rises in the Ranchi plateau and joins the Son River a few miles north-west of Haidarnagar, is the right bank tributary of the Son River. Along its entire course of flow, North Koel river (260 km) flows through plateau region mostly formed of metamorphic rocks. Hence, structural control seems to be the primary control on the landscape evolution of this sub-basin. In this study, hypsometric integral (and curve) has been calculated for third order and upper order streams to look whether this morphotectonic index shows any sign of tectonic, structural, or lithologic control on the landscape evolution in the North Koel River basin.