Coastal Geomorphological Changes from Past to Present

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Oceans and Coastal Zones".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2024) | Viewed by 7211

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Earth and Geoenviromental Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
2. Interdepartmental Research Center for Coastal Dynamics, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
Interests: coastal quaternary geomorphology and geology; marine terraces; palaeoshorelines; palaeoclimatic reconstructions; coastal dinamics

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Guest Editor
1. Department of Earth and Geoenviromental Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
2. Interdepartmental Research Center for Coastal Dynamics, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
Interests: sea-level rise; coastal flooding
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coastal areas represent complex environmental systems controlled by a high number of forcing factors and processes acting over different time scales. Coastal landforms and their dynamics are the result of the interaction between factors acting on a local and global scale: tectonic evolution, surface processes, climate, etc. Relevant for coastal trends are also local boundary conditions: watershed dynamics and anthropic load.  In general, in coastal areas, geomorphic responses to environmental changes can occur over a short or a long period of time. Low coastal areas, such as sandy coasts, dune systems, and spit and barrier islands, respond to the changes in physical factors on a time scale of decades or a few centuries. On the other hand, rocky coasts often change very slowly on a time scale of hundreds of thousands of years, even if abrupt changes can be possible.

In addition, today, sea-level changes are of great interest to coastal communities. Long-term changes in sea levels due to glaciations and tectonics comprise the background to which hazards are connected to anthropogenic pressure and extreme marine events, such as hurricanes, storms, and tsunamis. Short-term measurements from instrumental and historical records have to be placed within the long-term context that only geological records provide.

So, an understanding of these matters requires multi-temporal analysis approaches from historical to millennia time intervals.

Today, innovative methodologies and data are available for coastal studies, such s geochronological data, topographic analysis, geophysical surveys, sedimentology, and remote sensing techniques. A combined use of different methodologies and data allows obtaining an exhaustive framework of coastal geomorphological changes occurring from the past to the present. The amount of geological and geomorphological data could be processed by using modern techniques, such as artificial intelligence and deep learning, which allow the reconstruction of short- and long-term coastal evolution.

This Special Issue focuses on a multidisciplinary aspect related to the study of the short- to long-term changes of coastal areas from the past to the present, such as climate changes, sea level oscillations, vertical ground deformations, and anthropogenic activities. Knowledge with respect to coastal evolutions permits the planning of monitoring and intervention strategies aimed at appropriate coastal management.

Main topics:

  • coastal geomorphology and sea-level changes
  • rocky coasts as an archive of sea-level change
  • coastal monitoring and machine learning
  • archaeological data as markers in sea-level studies
  • rapid sea level changes: tsunami and storm surge
  • advances in techniques and applications for sea-level analysis
  • sea-level change and human activities
  • modelling future flooding scenarios

Dr. Vincenzo De Santis
Dr. Giovanni Scardino
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • coastal geomorphology
  • past sea-level changes
  • coastal monitoring
  • machine learning
  • tsunami and storm surge
  • flooding scenarios
  • archaeology in sea-level studies
  • humans and sea-level change

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 8360 KiB  
Article
Factors Controlling the Formation and Evolution of a Beach Zone in Front of a Coastal Cliff: The Case of the East Coast of Evia Island in the Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean
by Serafeim Poulos, Stamatina Lesioti, Aikaterini Karditsa and Christos Angelopoulos
Water 2024, 16(11), 1622; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16111622 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 338
Abstract
The present study examines the recent evolution of a cliff coast along the Aegean Sea, considering its geotectonic context, oceanographic factors, sediment dynamics, and human impact. Initially, the formation of this coastal stretch was influenced by neotectonic faults, oriented both semi-parallel and diagonally [...] Read more.
The present study examines the recent evolution of a cliff coast along the Aegean Sea, considering its geotectonic context, oceanographic factors, sediment dynamics, and human impact. Initially, the formation of this coastal stretch was influenced by neotectonic faults, oriented both semi-parallel and diagonally relative to the present coastline orientation (NE–SW). Subsequently, the delivery of terrestrial sediment from ephemeral rivers and cliff erosion, along with nearshore wave-induced hydrodynamics have played a secondary role in shaping its current configuration, which includes a beach zone along the base of the cliff. This secondary phase of coastal evolution occurred over the past 4–5 thousand years, coinciding with a period of slow sea level rise (approximately 1 mm/year). Evidence such as uplifted notches and beachrock formations extending to around 5 m water depth suggests intervals of relative sea level stability, interrupted by episodic tectonic events. Anthropogenic interventions, related to both changes in coastal sediment budget and coastal engineering projects, have caused beach erosion, particularly in its central and northern sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Geomorphological Changes from Past to Present)
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23 pages, 15963 KiB  
Article
How Does Human Activity Shape the Largest Estuarine Bay of the Pearl River Estuary, South China (1964–2019)
by Zhiyuan Han, Heng Wang, Hualiang Xie, Huaiyuan Li and Wendan Li
Water 2023, 15(23), 4143; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15234143 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 853
Abstract
The morphological changes in an estuarine bay are affected by fluvial and oceanic dynamics, as well as human activities. Human activity has increased considerably in recent years, especially in Lingding Bay of the Pearl River Estuary. Based on mass measured bathymetric data and [...] Read more.
The morphological changes in an estuarine bay are affected by fluvial and oceanic dynamics, as well as human activities. Human activity has increased considerably in recent years, especially in Lingding Bay of the Pearl River Estuary. Based on mass measured bathymetric data and remote sensing images, morphological changes in Lingding Bay were examined and its long-term morphological evolution from 1964 to 2019 was studied using GIS method and EOF methods. The water area of Lingding Bay gradually decreased through this period due to shore reclamation and the evolutionary characteristics of the underwater topography were different before and after 2007 due to changes in the intensity of human activities. From 1964 to 2007, the water depth and volume of Lingding Bay decreased slightly and the bay experienced a slow silting process with the geomorphic pattern of “three shoals and two troughs” under low-intensity human activity. From 2007 to present, high-intensity sand-dredging activities in the bay have led to considerable deepening and a significant increase in water volume in the East Trough and Middle Shoal areas. The amount of sediment loss caused by the sand-dredging activities after 2007 far exceeded the amount of sediment deposition over the past four decades prior to 2007. Therefore, even if the sand-dredging activities had been banned, the eroded parts of Lingding Bay (i.e., East Trough and Middle Shoal) may not recover in a short time due to the small sediment load from the Pearl River. These recent morphological changes in Lingding Bay may bring about challenges for estuary regulation, disaster control, environmental protection, and the operational safety of the nearby ports and channels. Consequently, the subsequent evolution of the bay requires further research. This will enrich the scientific work for estuarine and coastal research and be conducive to revealing the interaction mechanisms between humans and nature, guiding sustainable development, estuarine disaster control, and promoting interdisciplinary innovation in estuarine research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Geomorphological Changes from Past to Present)
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19 pages, 8716 KiB  
Article
Gravelly Beach Deposits as a Proxy for Relative Sea-Level Changes in Microtidal Wave-Dominated Shoreline Systems: Examples from the Hinterland of the Taranto Gulf (Middle Pleistocene, Basilicata, Southern Italy)
by Vincenzo De Giorgio, Luisa Sabato and Marcello Tropeano
Water 2023, 15(20), 3631; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15203631 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1149
Abstract
The hinterland of the Taranto Gulf in Basilicata (Southern Italy) provides a great opportunity for the study of coarse-grained coastal systems belonging to a staircase of Quaternary terraced marine-deposits. Among gravelly successions, beach deposits abound in the stratigraphic record, offering exceptional outcrops useful [...] Read more.
The hinterland of the Taranto Gulf in Basilicata (Southern Italy) provides a great opportunity for the study of coarse-grained coastal systems belonging to a staircase of Quaternary terraced marine-deposits. Among gravelly successions, beach deposits abound in the stratigraphic record, offering exceptional outcrops useful for providing detailed information on their facies features. In this paper, we describe sedimentary facies, textural variations, and the depositional architecture of these deposits in order to: (1) demonstrate that the area is an excellent training ground for the study of gravelly beaches in microtidal settings; (2) discuss the use of beach deposits as a proxy for even small relative sea-level variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Geomorphological Changes from Past to Present)
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17 pages, 4514 KiB  
Article
Shoreline Temporal Variability Inferred from Satellite Images at Mar del Plata, Argentina
by Carolina Billet, Guido Bacino, Guadalupe Alonso and Walter Dragani
Water 2023, 15(7), 1299; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15071299 - 25 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2196
Abstract
Sandy beaches are fragile and dynamic coastal areas exposed to numerous environmental forcings. Systematic long-term data acquisition programs and exhaustive data series analyses are fundamental for a comprehensive understanding of the coastal processes. The software CoastSat was implemented to detect the shoreline position [...] Read more.
Sandy beaches are fragile and dynamic coastal areas exposed to numerous environmental forcings. Systematic long-term data acquisition programs and exhaustive data series analyses are fundamental for a comprehensive understanding of the coastal processes. The software CoastSat was implemented to detect the shoreline position at beaches located to the south of Mar del Plata city (Buenos Aires Province, Argentina), by means of satellite images (period: 1986–2020). Tides in this area are mixed semidiurnal with a mean range of 1.74 m. The most frequent waves are characterized by significant wave heights from 0.5 to 2 m and periods of around 8 s propagating mainly from SSE. Seasonal and interannual variability and long-term trends of the shoreline position were investigated at Punta Mogotes (PM) bay, Faro Norte (FN) bay, and Ensenada Mogotes (EM). Seasonal cycles were noticed in the beach width variation series. In general, maximum accumulation was observed in summer and maximum erosion in winter. Exceptions were appreciated at southern PM bay (maximum accretion in autumn and maximum erosion in spring) and at FN bay (beach rotation on a seasonal scale). The drivers of seasonal variation are likely seasonal variations in the significant wave height and direction. PM bay showed a strong interannual variability with a clear alternating pattern between the northern and southern sectors of the bay, in an 8 ± 1.2 years period. Long-term trends showed a generalized erosion along 9 of the 12 km of the analyzed coast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Geomorphological Changes from Past to Present)
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16 pages, 16265 KiB  
Article
Influencing Factors of Submarine Scouring and Siltation Changes in Offshore Area of Shandong Peninsula
by Zhuoli Zhang, Wei Gao, Ping Li, Jie Liu, Yuanqin Xu, Xia Wei and Anlong Li
Water 2023, 15(3), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030435 - 21 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2001
Abstract
This study constructs a digital elevation model of the coastal waters of the Shandong Peninsula using GIS-based interpolation methods to investigate the 15-year characteristics of seabed scouring and siltation. It utilizes depth data of the Shandong Peninsula’s offshore area between 2004 and 2006 [...] Read more.
This study constructs a digital elevation model of the coastal waters of the Shandong Peninsula using GIS-based interpolation methods to investigate the 15-year characteristics of seabed scouring and siltation. It utilizes depth data of the Shandong Peninsula’s offshore area between 2004 and 2006 and 2017 and 2019. The results indicated that the Shandong Peninsula’s coastal-water seabed is characterized by integral siltation and local point scouring. In addition, the northwest Shandong Peninsula is dominated by siltation, mainly distributed between 2 and 5 m isobaths, with the largest siltation area located in Laizhou Bay. The net volume of siltation is 2.13 × 108 m3, the siltation rate is 0.152 × 108 m3.a−1, and the scouring is concentrated in the estuary and the west coast of Laizhou Bay. Scouring and siltation balance generally characterize the seabed in the northern coastal waters of the Shandong Peninsula, and the degree of scouring and siltation is weak. The siltation occurs primarily near the land area, while scouring occurs as the sea deepens. In the northeast of the Shandong Peninsula, the degree of scouring and siltation is extreme, and their distribution range is small, whereas in the south, siltation is distributed in large bays and straight coastal offshore waters, and its degree is relatively weak. At the southernmost end of the study area, the scouring and siltation in Jiaozhou Bay are spatially distributed and balanced. In reality, the key factors affecting the distribution of coastal-seabed scouring and siltation are materials transported by river sediment, coastal scouring, and human activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Geomorphological Changes from Past to Present)
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