The Ria de Vigo (NW Iberian Peninsula) is one of the most impacted coastal areas of Galicia, due to demographic and industrial pressure. One of the main consequences of this pressure is the need to extend the current wastewater treatment plant of the city of Vigo (295,000 inhabitants). This extension includes a new submerged pipeline construction to discharge the treated water in the central channel of the Ria. The new planned pipeline must cross Samil Beach, the most important urban beach of the city. Based on a multitool strategy, this work characterizes the interactions between the new pipeline route alternatives and the sediment dynamics of Samil Beach. This approximation improves the reliability of the results in the subtidal area of the beach, where studies are scarce due to the complexity of the data acquisition. The present study is based on high resolution bathymetry data, seabed physical characterization, a granulometric study of the superficial sediment, and a numerical simulation of the tide, wave climate, and sediment transport in low and high energy conditions using open source Delft3D software. The results showed that the area of interest is a low energy area, which is significantly shielded from wave attack, where fine sand predominates. However, the field data indicated an interaction (accretion-erosion) in the submerged obstacles between 0 and 12 m deep. The model revealed that there is significant sediment movement above a 7.4 m isobath, and that the pipeline would not alter the general transport dynamics of the beach, but would interact in the shallowest section. The main conclusion of this work states that the future structure would not alter the global sediment dynamics of the beach. In addition, in order to guarantee the safety of the new pipeline, it should emerge above an 8 m isobath. The multiapproach methodology presented can be applied to other studies of the interaction between coastal structures and the environment.
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