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Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Vol. 31, No. 1,2003

Influence of Rock Types and Structures in the

Development of Drainage Network in
Hard Rock Area
Department of Geological Sciences, Jadavpur University, Calcutta-700032
*Department of Civil Engineering, B. E. College (DU), Howrah-711103

Remote sensing techniques has proved to be an extremely useful tool in
morphometric analysis and groundwater studies. Remote sensing techniques with an
emphasis on lineament identifications can play a great role in groundwater prospecting in
semi-arid hard rock areas of Purulia district. In the present study, morphometric analysis
using remote sensing technique has been carried out in parts of Baghmundi block, Purulia
district, West Bengal. The parameters worked out include Bifurcation ratio (~), Stream
length (I~), Form factor (Pc), Circulatory ratio (Re), and Drainage density (D). The
morphometric analysis suggests that fractured, resistant, permeable rocks cover the area, the
drainage network not so affected by tectonic disturbances. Using satellite imageries of two
dates of IRS, different hydrogeomorphological units have been delineated. Among different
hydrogeomorphic units (i) very shallow weathered pediment and (ii) Structural hills/residual
hills/inselbergs have very poor ground water prospects, while moderately weathered
pediplains and valley fills are good prospective zones for groundwater exploration.

Introduction the degree of jointing/fractures also affect the

extent to which the materials can be detached by
Stream processes in any terrain are fluvial processes (Derbyshire et al., 1981) Thus
controlled not only by the climatic conditions, the role of rock types and geologic structure in
but also the lithology and geologic structures the development of stream networks can be
have great control as they influence the nature of better understood by studying the nature and type
flow, erosion and sediment transportation, The of drainage pattern and by a quantitative
degree of dependence varies with the physical morphometric analysis.
and chemical properties of the rocks. The
permeability, the structural characteristics and Quantitative analysis of drainage basins and
channel networks developed from qualitative and
Recd. 12 April, 2002; in final form 10 Oct., 2002 deductive studies subsequent to the valuable
26 S.K. Nag and Surajit Chakraborty

contributions of(Horton, 1945; Strahler, 1952 & * To derive the different drainage
1957; Morisawa, 1959; Melton, 1957; Leopold characteristics of the drainage basins and
and Miller, 1956). The analysis of basins, as understand the relationships among them
either single units or groups of basins which
9 To understand the role of lithology and
(taken together) comprise a distinct morphologic
geologic structures in the development of
region, has particular relevance to
drainage pattems
geomorphology (Doornkamp and Cuchlaine,
Study Area
Thus the development of landforms and
drainage networks depends on the bedrock The study area lies between latitudes 23007 '
lithology and associated geologic structures. N and 23 ~ 14' N and longitude between 86 ~ 00' E
Hence, information about geomorphology, and 86 ~ 08' E and cover an area of 156 sq.km.
hydrology, geology and land cover can be Three drainage basins (I, II and III) have been
obtained by studying reliable information of the chosen for the detailed analysis (Fig. 2). Soba
drainage pattern and texture (Astras and river mainly flowing from east to west and the
Soulankellis, 1992). In the present study, tributaries Kistobazar river and Daurigarh river
attempts have been made to understand and flowing from northeast to western direction
evaluate the influence of bedrock lithology and traverse the area. Turga river is flowing from
geologic structures in development of such north to south. The drainage pattern of all the
drainage networks through deriving river systems are uniformly distributed over the
morphometric characteristics for three different study area.
drainage basins, each representing a different
The study area forms a part of Purulia
geologic environ.
district which is located on the eastern slopes of
The major objectives of the study include: Chhotanagpur plateau. The district is bounded in

Fig. 1. Location Map of the Study Area. In and around Baghmundi, Purulia, West Bengal
Influence of Rock Types and Structures in the Development of... 27

the north by Burdwan and Dhanbad districts landform features

(Bihar), in the east by Bankura, in the south by * Quantitative analysis of the drainage pattern
Midnapore and Singhbhum districts (Bihar) and obtained from both satellite data and
in the west by Ranchi and Hazaribagh districts toposheets
(Bihar). The district is characterised by
undulatory topography with rugged hilly terrain 9 Lineaments studies
in the Western and Southern part. General 9 Field verifications of the interpreted
elevation of land surface ranges from 150 m to geomorphic units and
200 m, though on the western part hills are
* Finalization ofhydrogeomorphological map.
conical and rise sharply above the plains. The
hilly terrain is mainly covered with forest while
the plains are mainly barren or scattered Morphometric Analysis
grasslands/croplands with a few villages. A quantitative, morphometric analysis of a
drainage basin is considered to be the most
Geology of the Area satisfactory method because it enables us (i) to
understand the relationship among different
Geologically, the area forms part of the aspects of the drainage pattern of the basin, (ii) to
Chhotanagpur Gneissic Complex (CGC) of make a comparative evaluation of different
Archean age. The litho-units present in the drainage basins developed in various geologic
northern part of the block include granite- and climatic regimes and (iii) to def'me certain
gneisses, amphibolites/epidiorites and calc- useful variables of drainage basins in numerical
gneisses/calc-silicates. The southern part is terms.
mainly characterised by mica-schists of the
One of the most important added advantage
Singhbhum Group of rocks. Vast areas within the
undulating terrain is covered by residual soils. of quantitative analysis is that many of the basin
variables derived are in the form of ratios or
The area has undergone multphase (3 phases)
deformation giving rise to different structural dimensionless numbers, thus providing an
effective comparison regardless of scale. The
elements like folds, faults and joints with varied
orientations (viz. E-W or ENE-WSW, N-S, NW- morphometric analysis of a drainage basin and
SE and NE-SW) (1MSD Report 1996). its stream channel system can be better achieved
through the measurement of linear aspects of the
drainage networks, area aspects of the drainage
Data Source and Methodology
basins and relief aspects of channel networks and
RS-IB LISS 11 geocoded FCC of two dates contributing ground slopes.
(24.10.93 and 11.02.94) on 1:50,000 scale of The morphometric parameters computed
Path 20, Row 51, corresponding Survey of India include Stream order (u), Bifurcation ratio (Rb),
(SO1) toposheets of the area were used for the Stream length (L~, Form facWr (Rf), Circulawry
study. ratio (Re) and Drainage density (D) (Table 1).
In the present study base map showing
drainage details (Fig. 2) have been prepared from Stream order
toposheets (SOI) and satellite imagery (IRS-1B, The first step in morphometric analysis of a
LISS-II). drainage basin is the designation of stream
The methodology used consists of the orders. The designation of stream orders is based
following steps: on a hierarchic ranking of streams.

9 Visual interpretation of the satellite imagery Measurements and statistical analysis of

to delineate various geomorphic units and stream lengths and the length of overland flow
28 S.K. Nag and Surajit Chakraborty

are among the most commonly used attributes. measured independently using a curvimeter.
There are a number of methods for indicating Length of the stream is indicative of the
stream orders for a stream network (Horton, contributing area of the basin of that order.
1945; Strahler, 1964). In the present study, the Generally, cumulative length of stream of a
Strahler system of stream ranking are used for all particular order is measured and the mean length
three basins. The stream order is a measure of the (L~) of that order (u) is obtained by dividing
position of a stream in the hierarchy of the cumulative stream length by number of segments
tributaries. The first order streams are those, of that order (Nu). The mean stream length ( ~ )
which have no tributaries. The second order of a stream-channel segment of order (u) is a
streams are those, which have only first order dimensionless property, which reveals the
streams as tributaries. Similarly, the third order characteristic size of components of a drainage
streams receive first and second order streams as network and its contributing basin surfaces. It is
tributaries and so on. observed that the mean length of channel
segments of a given order is more than that of the
Bifurcation ratio next lower order but less than the next higher
order. Plots of the logarithm of stream length
The term bifurcation ratio (P~) is used to versus stream order generally is a linear pattem
express the ratio of the number of streams of any when basin evolution follows the erosion laws
given order to the number of streams in the next acting on geologic material with homogeneous
higher order. The lower bifurcation ratio values weathering-erosion characteristics. The study
are characteristics of the watershed, which has area is traversed by a number of lineaments (Fig.
suffered less structural disturbances and the 3). Superimposition of the lineament map of the
drainage pattern has not been distorted by the area over the drainage map showed that the
structural disturbances. The bifurcation ratio is drainage lines form straight lines at various
indicative of shape of the basin also. An places. This departure from the normal shape of
elongated basin is likely to have a high Rb, the stream defined in a homogeneous terrain may
whereas a circular basin is likely to have low R~. result in a non-linear length-order relationship.
The values of Rb indicate that the basin has
suffered less structural disturbances and the basin Basin shape
is of elongated nature. The average bifurcation
ratios calculated for all three basins are given in The shape of a basin affects stream-flow
Table-1. These values are more or less normal hydrographs and peak flows. The important
according to Horton's law, as they range between parameters describes the shape of the basin are
1 and 3. The variations in Rb values among these Form factor (Rf), Circulatory Ratio (P~),
drainage basins are attributed to the differences Elongation ratio (Re). Form factor is defmed as
in their stages of geomorphic development and the ratio of the area of the basin to the square of
topographic variations. The plots made for all the length of the basin. Circulatory ratio (1~) is
three drainage basins in the study area are the ratio between the area of the basin and the
consistent with the law of stream numbers (Fig. area of the circle having the same perimeter as
2a). According to Horton's law of stream that of the basin. Elongation ratio (Re) is the ratio
numbers, the number of stream segments of each between the diameter of the circle having the
order forms an inverse geometric sequence with same area (as that of the basin) and the
order number. maximum length of the basin. More the value of
form factor more elongated is the basin. In this
Stream length case, elongated basin with low form factor
The stream length of each individual stream indicates that the basin will have a flatter peak of
segments for all stream orders have been flow for longer duration. Flood flows of such
Fig. 2. Drainage Map of the Study Area

Fig. 4. HydrogeomorphologicaiMap of the Study Area

Influence of Rock Types and Structures in the Development of... 29

m m
rn rn rn


(/3 (/) (/)






/ ." "1
~176 I
~176 iI ei o
~176 #
~176 iI
~ Z
#I 0
.~ I 0
.~ I
~176 I
.~ I

~ I
~176 I
0 0

s ,ueLu6es ON
30 S.K. Nag and Surajit Chakraborty

Fig. 3. Map showing the Lineaments of the Study Area.

elongated basins are easier to manage than of the LISS-II imagery and topographic maps
circular basin. suggested that this drainage basin is
characterised by highly permeable subsoil
Drainage density material, which is evident by broad valley zones,
dense vegetative covers (especially agricultural
Drainage density (D) is one of the important crops) and low relief. The underlying rocks in
indicators of the linear scale of landform the study area are peninsular gneiss. Thus the
elements in stream-eroded topography; it was study of various factors which control drainage
defined by Horton as the ratio of total channel density such as lithology, compactness of the
segmem lengths (cumulated for all orders) within surface, vegetative covers, relief, etc. for the
a basin to the basin area. The drainage density, study area shows that the results are consistent
which is expressed in terms km/kmz, indicates the with drainage density measurements made in
closeness of spacing of channels, thus providing similar terrain. The value of drainage density is
a quantitative measure of the average length of given in the Tables 1 and 2.
stream channel for the whole basin. It has been
observed from drainage density measurements Constant of Channel Maintenance
made over a wide range of geologic and climatic
types that a low drainage density is more likely Schumm (1956) used the inverse of drainage
to occur in regions of highly resistant of highly density as a property termed "the constant of
permeable subsoil material under dense channel maintenance" (C), which may be simply
vegetative cover, and where relief is low. In defined as the area of basin surface needed to
contrast, high drainage density is favoured in sustain a unit length of stream channel. The
regions of weak or impermeable subsurface constant (C) is expressed as km2/km, and
materials, sparse vegetation and mountainous depends upon not only the rock type and
relief. The detail landform study made with permeability, climatic regime, vegetation cover
Influence of Rock Types and Structures in the Development of... 31

and relief, but also the duration of erosion and have been interpreted and delineated using IRS
climatic history. The constant is extremely low in imagery on 1:50,000 scale (Fig. 4) and have
areas of close dissection. The values of the been grouped as follows:
constant derived for all three basins are shown in
Table 2. Structural and denudational hill (SDH)

Lineaments Erosional remnants of Chotanagpur plateau

- the Ajodhyay range (610 m-677 m) and
In the hard rock areas, the movement and intermittent valleys, steep to moderately steep,
occurrence of groundwater depends mainly on rounded to sharp crest; lithology comprising
the secondary porosity and permeability resulting different variants of CGC with enclaves of
from folding, faulting, fracturing etc. The most metasedimentaries; moderately dissected,
obvious structural features that are important parallel to sub-parallel drainage, dark grayish
from the groundwater point of view are the brown loamy skeletal to rocky dark brown,
lineaments. The remote sensing data, which offer shallow to deep, fine loamy soil based on slope.
synoptic view of large area, helps in
understanding and mapping the lineaments both Buried pediments (BPM and BPS) and
on regional and local scale. The lineament dissected pediment
analysis of the area from remotely sensed data
These landforms are erosional geomorphic
provides important information on subsurface
features and have developed by the processes of
fractures that may'control the movement and
weathering of hills, having a thin veneer of
storage of groundwater.
deposition adjacent high relief outcrop. If the
In the study area, major lineaments are pediments are covered by alluvium or Weathered
identified (Fig. 3) from the satellite data material, they are formed buried pediments.
interpretation, which are surface manifestation of These burried pediments with thick overburden
some structural features in the bedrock as (5 - 10 m) are potential sites for groundwater
fracture and joints developed due to tectonic prospecting. They are known as Buffed Pediment
stress and strain. The lineaments identified in Moderate (BPM). There are also burried
structural hills, pediments and valley fill zones in pediment with thin overburden (0 ~ 5 m) on the
the study area are controlling the river channels. study area. This is known as Buried Pediment
Shallow (BPS). BPS is less potential site for
Landform Classification groundwater prospecting than BPM. The burried
pediments are found almost in the whole area
The drainage basin is a fundamental
while BPM have dark greenish gray tone in FCC
geomorphic unit and the watershed acts as a
and BPS have light yellow tone.
source area for precipitation that eventually
provide to the stream channels by various path.
Erosional glacis (EG)
The drainage basin morphology being an
important aspect of geopmorphic analysis has Occur along the foothill region, gently to
been undertaken in the present context to moderately sloping, highly to moderately
determine the various properties of form dissected by rills and gullies; essentially knife
elements, their distributional variation, edged badland, with or without skeletal soils.
interrelationship, determination of correlation
coefficients and sets of highly correlated Accumulation glacis (AG)
variables and other multivariant relationship as it
throws light on the rate of the fluvial erosional Hill-wash deposits in the frontal part of the
processes operating under varied physical Ayodhya - Baghmundi hill range; gently to
condition. All the landform units of the terrain moderately sloping, moderately dissected, brown
32 S.K. Nag and Surajit Chakraborty

Table 1. Different parameters of Morphometric Analysis

Sub- Area Stream No. Total Bifur- Stream Cumulative Cumulative Form Elong- Circula- Drain-
Basin of Seg- length of cation Length stream mean a~on tory Rati~ age
(Kin 2) Order ments each Ratio Factor Densi~
, segment Length stream Ratio

u Nu Km Rb Lu Km length Rf Re Re D

1 38 1 113 58.6 1.85 0.52 58.6 0.52

2 61 19.78 1.79 0.32 78.38 0.84

3 34 15.54 1.89 0.46 93.92 1.30 0.345 1.04 0.176 2.98

4 18 13.68 0.76 107.60 2.06

II 32 1 78 43.46 1.90 0.56 43.46 0.56

2 41 9.51 1.46 0.23 52.97 0.79

3 28 5.68 1.04 0.20 58.65 0.99 0.23 1.69 0.098 0.397

4 27 15.19 0.56 73.84 1.55

III 56 1 117 62.47 1.33 0.53 62.47 0.53

2 88 24.63 2.51 0.28 87.10 0.81

3 35 8.25 2.48 0.24 95.35 1.05 0.379 0.379 0.144 1.95

4 30 14.14 0.47 109.49 1.82

Table 2. Characterization of three drainage basins representing different geologic environment

Basin I II III
Area (sq. km.) 38.0 32.0 56.0

Max. Length (km.) 10.5 12.0 14.5

Stream Orders 4 4 4
Cumulative Stream Length (km.) 107.6 73.84 109.49

Cumulative Stream segments 226 174 270

Bifurcation Ratio 1.84 1.46 2.10
Drainage Density (sq. km.) 2.98 0.397 1.95

Constant of Channel Maintenance(sq. km./km) 0.33 0.43 0.51

Influence of Rock Types and Structures in the Development of... 33

Table 3. Geomorphological units and their characteristic features

Map Symbol Geomorphic

Unit Description

SDH Structural Denudational Erosional remnants of the Chotanagpur plateau - the

Ajodhya hill range (610-677m) and intermittent valleys;
Steep to moderately steep; rounded to sharpcrest;
Lithology comprises different variants of CGC with
Enclaves of metasedimentaries; moderately dissected;
Parallel to sub-parallel drainage; shallow to deep,
fine loamy soil depending on slope.

PS Planation Surface Level surface of the hill range ( 510-550m); gently to

moderately sloping surface with moderate dissection;
deep, fine loamy soil.

AG Accumulation Glacis Hill-wash deposits in the frontal part of the Ajodhya-

Baghmundi hill range; gently to moderately sloping;
moderately dissected; shallow to moderately deep,
to fine loamy soils.

EG Erosional Glacis Present along foothill region; gently to moderately

Sloping; highly to moderately dissected by hills and
gulleys; with or without skeletal soils.

ER Erosional Remnants Isolated rocky upland; gently sloping; dissected by rills

and gulleys; sandy skeletal soils.

BPM Burried Pediment Gently sloping topography; very deep, clayey to fine
Medium loamy soils.

BPS Burried Pediment Nearly flat to gently sloping topography, shallow to

Shallow moderately deep, loamy soils followed by regolith zone.

VF Valley Fills Accumulation zone of colluvial materials derived from

surrounding uplands ; shallow to deep ; fine loamy to
clayey soils.

to yellowish red, shallow to moderately deep, Valleyfills (VF)

rocky to fine loamy soils.
The unit has been demarcated on the basis of
Erosional remnants (ER) its typical flatness, smooth texture, drainage
patterns etc. The river valley in the plantation
Isolated rocky upland of Chhotanagpur GC surface exhibits features of matured flood plains.
or mica-schists; gently sloping dissected by rills An extremely low gradient of the plain has
and gullies; yellowish brown, sandy skeletal helped to form a sluggish course of rivers.
soils. Infilled valleys have dark tone in FCC. The unit
34 S.K. Nag and Surajit Chakraborty

is good potential site for groundwater arid areas of Purulia district. Integration of
prospecting. remote sensing data, helps us to identify some
areas which are having favourable rock type such
Results and Discussion as coarse grain gneiss and lineament
intersections, drainage density and favourable
Remote sensing studies permit the
geomorphic units as well such as valley fill etc.
evaluation of regional geological structures and
On overall analysis it emerges out that the areas
their trends to advantage, possibility of repeat or
where two or more sets of lineaments intersects,
sequential coverage is an added advantage since
having covered with valley fills are potential
it provides scope for geological interpretations
areas for groundwater prospecting.
via temporarily varying land features/land use
patterns. It also permits preparation of
geomorphological map and delineation of
groundwater potential zones. The drainage The author (SKN) is grateful to DST
pattern and texture can be easily identified from (NRDMS), Government of India for financial
the terrain analysis based on satellite assistance (ES/11/466). The authors express their
information. Quantitative description of the basin gratitude to Dr. P. Chakraborty, Principal
geomorphic analysis requires measurements of Scientist, DST and NES, Government of West
linear features, gradients of channel networks Bengal, Bikash Bhavan for his guidance and help
and contributing ground slopes of the drainage in perforrrfing the work.
basin. For this, remote sensing study using
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