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Sci Total Environ. 2016 Jul 15;559:242-255. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.134. Epub 2016 Apr 8.

The influence of anthropic actions on the evolution of an urban beach: Case study of Marineta Cassiana beach, Spain.

Author information

1
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Alicante, Carretera San Vicent del Raspeig s/n, 03690 Alicante, Spain. Electronic address: jipc1@alu.ua.es.
2
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Alicante, Carretera San Vicent del Raspeig s/n, 03690 Alicante, Spain. Electronic address: laragones@ua.es.
3
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Alicante, Carretera San Vicent del Raspeig s/n, 03690 Alicante, Spain. Electronic address: ajt.abril@ua.es.
4
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Alicante, Carretera San Vicent del Raspeig s/n, 03690 Alicante, Spain. Electronic address: pablopabai@gmail.com.

Abstract

Coastal areas have been historically characterized as being a source of wealth. Nowadays, beaches have become more relevant as a place for rest and leisure. This had led to a very high population pressure due to rapid urbanisation processes. The impacts associated with coastal tourism, demand the development of anthropic actions to protect the shoreline. This paper has studied the impacts of these actions on the Marineta Cassiana beach, in Denia, Spain. This particular Mediterranean beach has traditionally suffered a major shoreline regression, and the beach nourishments carried out in the 1980s would not have achieved the reliability desired. This research has analysed the historic evolution of the beach and its environment for a period of 65years (1950-2015). A Geographic Information System (GIS) has been used to integrate and perform a spatial analysis of urban development, soil erosion, stream flow, swell, longshore transport, submerged vegetation species and shoreline evolution. The results show how the anthropic actions have affected the shoreline. After the excessive urban development of the catchments, there is no natural sediment supply to the beach. The change in the typology of the sediment, from pebbles to sand, during the beach nourishments has led to a crucial imbalance in the studied area. Moreover, the beach area gained has disappeared, affecting the Posidonia oceanica meadow, and incrementing the erosion rates. The findings obtained are relevant, not only in the management and maintenance of the beaches, but also, in the decision-making for future nourishments.

KEYWORDS:

Beach erosion; GIS; Shoreline; Urban development

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