What is that attracts the most visitors to Goa? Without doubt it is the Sun kissed beaches and over developed tourism sectors that boasts of night life. Goan coast is just Sun and sand for them though there is rich floral and faunal biodiversity of marine life for person with an eye for exploration. Cool wind and the lashing waves soothe our senses. Such a climate one can truly experience in any tropical region and country like India provides enough of such places.
Goan coastline is composed of uniformly rising plateau topped headlands interspersed with long stretches of pristine beaches that forms the lifeline of communities residing along the coast, which provide them marine produce for sustenance. However, we often missed out on other aspect of diversity that any place can offer besides its biological wealth. Certain things are for students of science or person with academic interest, whereas for a layperson may have little significance.
Goan coast is replete with rich geological diversity showcasing different types of rocks and geo-morphological features. What the rock tells is very interesting as regards to their evolution, age, mineral composition and the type of morphological shapes they highlight. Very few people may be aware that Goa is home to one of the oldest rock type in India, which is exposed not far away along the Canacona coast near Palolem beach.
While various regions in this small state of Goa measuring around 3702 square kilometers show diverse rocks and forms, one place is very unique not only in Goa, may be in entire India too, that is coastal site of Fort Aguada at Sinquerim. Though this is one of the earth science student’s favourite places to study coastal features from across the country, others can simply enjoy the fascinating locales.
Coast along a small stretch next to Sinquerim beach, below the Agauda fortress deserve to be a geological museum of Goa for the very reason that within one square km area one can sight many depositional and erosional rock features. Depositional features such as ripple marks and cross bedding in sedimentary rock, which were formed in the early stage of rock formations are very rarely exposed. According to geologist they were formed about 2500 million years during Archean period and erosional features.
Some of you might have visited the coast, then even a cursory look was enough to identify many of its erosional structures such as sea cliff, sea cave, sea arch, sea stack, wave cut platform leaning into the sea and honey comb structure, though much younger in age, but are quite prominent. Another very conspicuous rock structure are the dolerite dykes that cut across the parent rock such as greywacke and meta-greywacke which are much older than the intruding volcanic rock body. Study of coast gives indication of sea level rise or fall and emergence and submergence of landform over a period millions of years.
So, whenever you go out on excursion to headland near Fort Aguada, make sure it is an exploration expedition of the coastal region, which has been at the mercy of ravaging sea that has withstood millions of years and still the carving a new features. While man-made heritage buildings and monuments in the nearby area have entered the list of protected sites, it is equally of greater important that such a unique natural geological location must come in the radar of conservationist.