Sunday, 5 June 2022

Jaffna Lagoon

Jaffna Lagoon
Jaffna Lagoon (Sinhala: යාපනය කලපුව; Tamil: யாழ்ப்பாணக் கடல் நீரேரி) is a semi-enclosed shallow water body located in the Northern Province in Sri Lanka. Containing a number of coastal wetland habitats, the lagoon is an important breeding area for numerous marine species (IUCN & CEA, 2006). BirdLife International has identified the Jaffna lagoon as an Important Bird Area (IUCN & CEA, 2006).

Physical features & climate
Connected to the Palk Bay, the lagoon is long and narrow and is surrounded by a dry zone landmass dominated by sandy areas and dry zone scrublands including mangroves (IUCN & CEA, 2006). It has an area of approximately 421 km² extending from Elephant Pass in the southeast to Kayts in the northwest (Chitravadivelu, 1994; IUCN & CEA, 2006). The lagoon is relatively shallow and the depth doesn't exceed 4 m (Chitravadivelu, 1994; Sivashanthini & Abeyrami, 2003). The shoreline is composed mostly of sandy soil while the bottom is mostly mud (IUCN & CEA, 2006). The salinity is influenced by rainfall and freshwater run-off from surrounding areas (IUCN & CEA, 2006).

The lagoon is located in the dry semi-arid zone of the country with an average temperature of around 27˚C and an annual rainfall of between 500-700 mm (IUCN & CEA, 2006). Rain is mostly received during the northeast monsoon from October to February (IUCN & CEA, 2006).


1) Chitravadivelu, K., 1994. Aspects of fishery and species composition of edible crabs in the Jaffna Lagoon. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 22(1). pp.43-55.
2) IUCN & CEA, 2006. National Wetland Directory of Sri Lanka. IUCN Sri Lanka and the Central Environmental Authority. Colombo, Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-8177-54-7. pp.93-96.
3) Sivashanthini, K. and Abeyrami, B., 2003. Length-weight relationship and relative condition of a silver biddy Gerres oblongus (Pisces: Perciformes) from the Jaffna lagoon, Sri Lanka. pp.252-254.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 5 June 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


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