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Water 2018, 10(9), 1218; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091218

Application of a Coastal Vulnerability Index. A Case Study along the Apulian Coastline, Italy

1
Innovation Engineering Department, University of Salento, I-73100 Lecce, Italy
2
Department of Engineering, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, I-81031 Aversa, Italy
3
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calabria, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract

The coastal vulnerability index (CVI) is a popular index in literature to assess the coastal vulnerability of climate change. The present paper proposes a CVI formulation to make it suitable for the Mediterranean coasts; the formulation considers ten variables divided into three typological groups: geological; physical process and vegetation. In particular, the geological variables are: geomorphology; shoreline erosion/accretion rates; coastal slope; emerged beach width and dune width. The physical process variables are relative sea-level change; mean significant wave height and mean tide range. The vegetation variables are width of vegetation behind the beach and posidonia oceanica. The first application of the proposed index was carried out for a stretch of the Apulia region coast, in the south of Italy; this application allowed to (i) identify the transects most vulnerable to sea level rise, storm surges and waves action and (ii) consider the usefulness of the index as a tool for orientation in planning strategies. For the case study presented in this work, the most influential variables in determining CVI are dune width and geomorphology. The transects that present a very high vulnerability are characterized by sandy and narrow beaches (without dunes and vegetation) and by the absence of Posidonia oceanica. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal vulnerability index; climate change; sea level rise; storm surges; waves action; Mediterranean coasts coastal vulnerability index; climate change; sea level rise; storm surges; waves action; Mediterranean coasts
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Pantusa, D.; D’Alessandro, F.; Riefolo, L.; Principato, F.; Tomasicchio, G.R. Application of a Coastal Vulnerability Index. A Case Study along the Apulian Coastline, Italy. Water 2018, 10, 1218.

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