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Open AccessArticle

The Origin of Sand and Its Colour on the South-Eastern Coast of Spain: Implications for Erosion Management

1
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Marine and Environmental Sciences, University of Cádiz, CASEM, 11510 Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain
2
Department of Earth Science, University of Florence, Via Micheli 4, 50121 Florence, Italy
3
Spanish Geological Survey (IGME), Calle Ríos Rosas, 23, 28003 Madrid, Spain
4
Department of Earth Sciences and the Environment, University of Alicante, Apdo. Correos 99, San Vicente del Raspeig, 03080 Alicante, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020377
Received: 21 December 2019 / Revised: 19 January 2020 / Accepted: 25 January 2020 / Published: 30 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Dynamic and Evolution)
Sand colour can give important information about mineral composition and, consequently, sediment source areas and input systems. Beach appearance, which is mostly linked to sand colour, has a relevant economic function in tourist areas. In this paper, the colour of 66 sand samples, collected along both natural and nourished beaches in the western Mediterranean coast of Spain, were assessed in CIEL*a*b* 1976 colour space. The obtained results showed relevant differences between natural and artificially nourished beaches. The colour of many nourished beaches generally differs from the native one because the origin of the injected sand is different. The native sand colour coordinates’ range is: L* (40.16–63.71); a* (−1.47–6.40); b* (7.48–18.06). On the contrary, for nourished beaches’ the colour range is: L* (47.66–70.75); a*(0.72‒5.16); b* (5.82–18.82). Impacts of beach nourishment on the native sand colour were studied at San Juan beach, the most popular one along the study area. Nourishment works were performed after severe erosion, usually linked to anthropic activities/structures and storm events, but also to increase beach width and hence benefit tourism. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alicante; beach nourishment; CIEL*a*b*; coastal management; Costa Blanca; mineralogical characterization; sediment colour; tourism; western Mediterranean Alicante; beach nourishment; CIEL*a*b*; coastal management; Costa Blanca; mineralogical characterization; sediment colour; tourism; western Mediterranean
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Asensio-Montesinos, F.; Pranzini, E.; Martínez-Martínez, J.; Cinelli, I.; Anfuso, G.; Corbí, H. The Origin of Sand and Its Colour on the South-Eastern Coast of Spain: Implications for Erosion Management. Water 2020, 12, 377.

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