Scientists urge Andhra Pradesh govt. to protect glacial-period coastal red sand dunes of Vizag

Source: The post is based on the article “Scientists urge Andhra Pradesh govt. to protect glacial-period coastal red sand dunes of Vizag” published in The Hindu on 5th December 2022

What is the News?

Geologists have urged the Andhra Pradesh Government to protect the site of Coastal Red Sand Dunes, of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

What are Coastal Red Sand Dunes?

Coastal red sand dunes are popularly known as Erra Matti Dibbalu.

The site is located along the coast and is about 20 km northeast of Visakhapatnam city and about 4 km southwest of Bheemunipatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Distribution: Such red sand deposits are rare and have been reported only from three places in the tropical regions in South Asia such as Teri Sands in Tamil Nadu, Erra Matti Dibbalu in Visakhapatnam and one more site in Sri Lanka.

– They do not occur in equatorial regions or temperate regions due to many scientific reasons.

Recognition: This site was declared a geo-heritage site by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) in 2014.

– The Andhra Pradesh government listed it under the category of ‘protected sites’ in 2016.

Features: The uniqueness of this site is that the red sediments are a part of the continuation of the evolution of the earth and represent the late quaternary geologic age.

– With a height of up to 30 m, they exhibit badland topography with different geomorphic landforms and features, including gullies, sand dunes, buried channels, beach ridges, paired terraces, the valley in the valley, wave-cut terrace, knick point and waterfalls.

What is the significance of this site?

Firstly, this site is about 18,500 to 20,000 years old and it can be related to the last glacial period. Hence, studying this site can help understand the impact of climate change as this site has seen both the glacial and the warm periods.

Secondly, this site has archaeological significance, as studies of artifacts indicate an Upper Palaeolithic horizon and on cross dating assigned to Late Pleistocene epoch, which is 20,000 BC.

– The site was also home to the pre-historic man as the excavations at several places in the region revealed stone implements of three distinctive periods and also the pottery of the Neolithic man.

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