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Senator Dr. Karim Khawaja visits NIO to discuss SWI and LS issues in Pakistan
The recorded data on sea level rise (SLR) at Karachi and adjoining Indus deltaic area is based on the data collected over the past 100 years. The estimated rise is 1.2 mm/year and it is expected to double during the next 50 to 100 years, resulting in 20-50 cm rise in sea level (UN ESCAP, 1996). The adverse effect of sea level rise on the Pakistan coast is expected to be pronounced in the Indus delta because the delta is generally flat and low-lying.

There are no direct measurements on subsidence rates in the Indus delta, however, experience in other deltas indicate that subsidence rates at the delta must have increased due to lack of sediment flux. Indus delta could have a relative sea level rise of up to 8 to 10mm/yr as per the projected rate of global component of sea-level rise of up to 6mm/yr in the next century. If the present trends continue the Indus delta will ultimately establish a transgressive beach dominated by aeolian dunes, due to lack of sediment inputs and the high energy waves (Haq, 1999).

NIO is of the view that the Indus delta is experiencing sediment compaction like other major deltas of the world mainly due to sediment starvation and ground water extraction. However, no observed data is available to provide concrete validation of the compound impact of sea level rise and ground subsidence. The ground subsidence has already resulted in the sea water intrusion upstream to 80 km in the coastal areas of Thatta, Hyderabad and Badin districts. The primary impacts include the erosion of beaches, flooding and inundation of wetlands and lowlands, salinization of ground and surface waters, extended intrusion of sea water, and impact on mangrove ecosystem and coastal agriculture.

Long duration study is required to identify the vulnerability index of creek system, for which oceanographic observations are planned. The exact extent of the land loss has yet to be determined. The Ministry of Science & Technology has established a Seawater Intrusion (SWI) and Land subsidence (LS) Cell at NIO. The Cell is comprised of the scientists and officers of NIO, SUPARCO, Hydrography Department, Pakistan Navy, and the Ministry of Defence.

The acquisition of oceanographic, Remote sensing and coastline/bathymetric observations along the coast and adjacent areas are critical in devising control measures, and suggesting management plans.

Iincreased threats of cyclonic activity in the Arabian Sea is likely to make the two coastal provinces more vulnerable in terms of loss of life and property not only in the coastal areas but this may also extend inlands. Particularly under threat is Karachi, the largest city of the country and the hub of its industry (TFCC, 2010). In view of the scenario, and the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) and SUPARCO have jointly prepared a PSDP proposal which was submitted as a PC-1 " Monitoring The Sea Level Rise, Sea Water Intrusion And Land Subsidence In Indus Deltaic Creek System With Special Reference To Sindh Coastal Cities Flooding" to the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan. The main objectives are to undertake long term qualitative and quantitative data collection using in-situ observatories and Remote Sensing Technology with a focus to address this issue. Only after undertaking a detailed study, it would be possible for the Seawater Intrusion Cell to identify vulnerable spots along the Pakistan coastline and also to estimate/predict the extend of potential threat due to climate change and other natural threats.

Watch the documentary on the Continental Shelf Extension of Pakistan.

Download Tender Document "Repair and Maintenance work of Oceanographic Research Laboratory Building Gwadar".



Download Tender Document "Instrument & Equipements".
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NIO has conducted coastal survey off Gwadar from 23-27 February 2016. During the oceanographic survey, observation of physical, chemical, geological and biological parameters are collected. The possibility of establishing permanent oceanographic observation stations on the coast was also explored. This survey was under NIO's regular R&D and will undertake the coast and shallow water monitoring program.

During the survey, samples were collected from ten oceanographic stations, using Conductivity Temperature Density (CTD), Grab, Niskin and plankton nets were used.

During the cruise, newly acquired Side Scan Sonar was used, the instrument is state-of-art system for detecting objects on the seafloor. Luckily during the survey, team has identified sunken fishing boat at the bottom of coastal area. This was a test for a newly acquired instrument for the fine scale at which the instrument may be able to provide seafloor observations.

NIO has a oceanographic substation at Gwadar and maintains local staff at the facility, during the survey one of the objectives was to provide on the job, hands on training to the NIO Gwadar staff in the field and laboratory. The Gwader staff was involved with the Karachi based NIO team to operate all the instruments and gear on the offshore sampling. Rapid Ecological Survey techniques were explained to the staff and data recording was demonstrated.

The UN Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf hason Friday 21st March 2015 finally announced adoption of the recommendations for Extension of Pakistan Continental Shelf. With this Pakistanís continental shelf limits stands extended from 200 to 350 nautical miles, giving Pakistan sovereign rights over additional areaof 50,000sq km beyond Pakistanís Exclusive Economic Zone thus increasing Pakistanís maritime area from 240,000 sq km at present to about 290,000 sq km.

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  • Bathymetric Survey
    Pishukan Fish Landing Jetty
    On a request of Gwadar Development Authority (GDA), the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) carried out detailed bathymetric survey of the Pishukan Fish Harbour. The harbour is facing problem of siltation therefore to make it useful for small and large fishing boats, the Gwadar Development Authority decided to dredge the silt deposited within the jetty area. As a pre-requisite of a dredging, two bathymetric surveys are required to be conducted to determine the volume of silt that need to be dredged before the dredging and after the dredging.
    NIO carried out the initial survey in February 2013. This report contains the details of the bathymetric survey and the data acquired. This report also contains the volume of sand at a pre-dredged stage. A comparison of present bathymetric data with the survey conducted by NIO in February 2013 is also included in this report.

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