Special Issue "Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas"

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 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Mauro Soldati
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Geologiche, Via Campi 103 - 41125 Modena, Italy
Interests: geomorphology; geohazards; mapping
Dr. Federica Foglini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Istituto di Scienze Marine (ISMAR), Bologna, Italy
Interests: benthic habitats; GIS; geodatabase
Dr. Mariacristina Prampolini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Istituto di Scienze Marine (ISMAR), Bologna, Italy
Interests: geomorphology; benthic habitats; mapping
Prof. Alessandra Savini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università di Milano Bicocca, Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Ambiente e della Terra, Milano, Italy
Interests: geomorphology; marine geology; benthic habitat mapping

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In most cases, the landscapes and landforms of emerged and submerged areas are investigated separately. Only recently, on-shore geomorphological data have been increasingly integrated with submerged dataset for paleo-environmental reconstructions and land management purposes. Near-shore areas, in particular, are jointly analyzed due to the increasing concentration of human activities that have significant negative impacts on landscapes and habitats.

Modern advances in geo-acoustic and optical full-coverage mapping of both seafloor and near-shore areas, supported by groundthruting information, allow us to acquire large amount of remote and direct data, also in combination with onshore data. Hence, the production of detailed and accurate maps of seabed morphology and substrate can deeply foster integrated studies of emerged and submerged landscapes and landforms.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect contributions that can demonstrate how the integration of emerged and submerged dataset is unquestionably beneficial, in a wider perspective, for geomorphological research. The manuscripts should focus on the description and analysis of terrestrial and marine landscapes and landforms, with special emphasis on coastal environments and recently submerged areas due to sea level rise. Furthermore, comparisons of terrestrial landforms and processes which have analogous underwater and vice versa would be welcome.

In particular, contributions dealing with the following topics are invited:

  • Terrestrial and marine landforms in near-shore areas, coupling terrestrial and marine datasets for geomorphological reconstruction, hazard assessment, benthic habitat mapping, environmental conservation, coastal management, Marine Spatial Planning, etc.

The integrated analysis of submarine and terrestrial landforms provides a fundamental contribution to the reconstruction of Late Quaternary landscapes and for assessing geohazards, especially considering the effects of climate change and sea level rise. Furthermore, the knowledge of both terrestrial and near-shore landforms is the basis for mapping the benthic habitats and monitoring their status with reference to the coastal processes.

  • Landscapes and landforms of recently submerged areas, e.g., during the post-LGM marine transgression and possible comparison with present terrestrial areas.

Most of the present marine areas, down to a depth of ca. 130 m, were emerged during the last glacial cycle and modelled by subaerial processes that shaped the landforms occurring on the seafloor today. These areas also hosted pre-historic and historic human settlements—as demonstrated by archaeological remains, pollens, bones or other remains in the sediments, caves, etc.—that can be discovered and investigated.

  • Analogous landforms in submarine and terrestrial environments.

This includes description and analysis of landforms that are analogous in terms of processes by which they were modelled; or analogous in terms of similar shape, but possibly related to different kind of processes or to the alternation of subaerial and submarine processes due to sea level oscillations.

Prof. Mauro Soldati

Dr. Federica Foglini
Dr. Mariacristina Prampolini
Prof. Alessandra Savini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Coastal and marine environments
  • Integration of terrestrial and marine datasets
  • Geomorphology
  • Geophysics
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Paleo-environmental reconstructions
  • Climate change and sea level rise
  • Geohazards
  • Geomorphological Mapping
  • Benthic habitats
  • Environmental protection and conservation

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas: A Way Forward
Water 2021, 13(9), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091201 - 26 Apr 2021
Viewed by 245
Abstract
In the last decade, the interest to jointly analyze landscapes and landforms of emerged and submerged areas has been expanding [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Terraced Landforms Onshore and Offshore the Cilento Promontory (South-Eastern Tyrrhenian Margin) and Their Significance as Quaternary Records of Sea Level Changes
Water 2021, 13(4), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040566 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 402
Abstract
Climate change and tectonic uplift are the dominant forcing mechanisms responsible for the formation of long and narrow terraced landforms in a variety of geomorphic settings; and marine terraces are largely used to reconstruct the Quaternary glacial and interglacial climates. Along the Mediterranean [...] Read more.
Climate change and tectonic uplift are the dominant forcing mechanisms responsible for the formation of long and narrow terraced landforms in a variety of geomorphic settings; and marine terraces are largely used to reconstruct the Quaternary glacial and interglacial climates. Along the Mediterranean coast, a considerable number of popular scientific articles have acknowledged a range of marine terraces in the form of low-relief surfaces resulting from the combined effects of tectonic uplift and eustatic sea-level fluctuations, as relevant geomorphological indicators of past sea-level high-stands. With the exception of a few recent studies on the significance of submarine depositional terraces (SDT), submerged terraced landforms have been less investigated. By integrating different marine and terrestrial datasets, our work brings together and re-examines numerous terraced landforms that typify the Cilento Promontory and its offshore region. In this area, studies since the 1960s have allowed the recognition of well-defined Middle to Upper Pleistocene marine terraces on land, while only a few studies have investigated the occurrences of late Pleistocene SDT. Furthermore, to date, no studies have consistently integrated findings. For our work, we correlated major evidence of emerged and submarine terraced landforms in order to support an improved understanding of the tectono-geomorphological evolution of the Cilento Promontory and to further clarify the geomorphological significance of submerged terraces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Barrier Islands Resilience to Extreme Events: Do Earthquake and Tsunami Play a Role?
Water 2021, 13(2), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020178 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 674
Abstract
Barrier islands are indicators of coastal resilience. Previous studies have proven that barrier islands are surprisingly resilient to extreme storm events. At present, little is known about barrier systems’ resilience to seismic events triggering tsunamis, co-seismic subsidence, and liquefaction. The objective of this [...] Read more.
Barrier islands are indicators of coastal resilience. Previous studies have proven that barrier islands are surprisingly resilient to extreme storm events. At present, little is known about barrier systems’ resilience to seismic events triggering tsunamis, co-seismic subsidence, and liquefaction. The objective of this study is, therefore, to investigate the morphological resilience of the barrier islands in responding to those secondary effects of seismic activity of the Sumatra–Andaman subduction zone and the Great Sumatran Fault system. Spatial analysis in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) was utilized to detect shoreline changes from the multi-source datasets of centennial time scale, including old topographic maps and satellite images from 1898 until 2017. Additionally, the earthquake and tsunami records and established conceptual models of storm effects to barrier systems, are corroborated to support possible forcing factors analysis. Two selected coastal sections possess different geomorphic settings are investigated: (1) Lambadeuk, the coast overlying the Sumatran Fault system, (2) Kuala Gigieng, located in between two segments of the Sumatran Fault System. Seven consecutive pairs of comparable old topographic maps and satellite images reveal remarkable morphological changes in the form of breaching, landward migrating, sinking, and complete disappearing in different periods of observation. While semi-protected embayed Lambadeuk is not resilient to repeated co-seismic land subsidence, the wave-dominated Kuala Gigieng coast is not resilient to the combination of tsunami and liquefaction events. The mega-tsunami triggered by the 2004 earthquake led to irreversible changes in the barrier islands on both coasts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Submarine Geomorphology of the Southwestern Sardinian Continental Shelf (Mediterranean Sea): Insights into the Last Glacial Maximum Sea-Level Changes and Related Environments
Water 2021, 13(2), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020155 - 11 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
During the lowstand sea-level phase of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), a large part of the current Mediterranean continental shelf emerged. Erosional and depositional processes shaped the coastal strips, while inland areas were affected by aeolian and fluvial processes. Evidence of both the [...] Read more.
During the lowstand sea-level phase of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), a large part of the current Mediterranean continental shelf emerged. Erosional and depositional processes shaped the coastal strips, while inland areas were affected by aeolian and fluvial processes. Evidence of both the lowstand phase and the subsequent phases of eustatic sea level rise can be observed on the continental shelf of Sardinia (Italy), including submerged palaeo-shorelines and landforms, and indicators of relict coastal palaeo-environments. This paper shows the results of a high-resolution survey on the continental shelf off San Pietro Island (southwestern Sardinia). Multisensor and multiscale data—obtained by means of seismic sparker, sub-bottom profiler chirp, multibeam, side scan sonar, diving, and uncrewed aerial vehicles—made it possible to reconstruct the morphological features shaped during the LGM at depths between 125 and 135 m. In particular, tectonic controlled palaeo-cliffs affected by landslides, the mouth of a deep palaeo-valley fossilized by marine sediments and a palaeo-lagoon containing a peri-littoral thanatocenosis (18,983 ± 268 cal BP) were detected. The Younger Dryas palaeo-shorelines were reconstructed, highlighted by a very well preserved beachrock. The coastal paleo-landscape with lagoon-barrier systems and retro-littoral dunes frequented by the Mesolithic populations was reconstructed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Geomorphology of Canyon Outlets in Zrmanja River Estuary and Its Effect on the Holocene Flooding of Semi-enclosed Basins (the Novigrad and Karin Seas, Eastern Adriatic)
Water 2020, 12(10), 2807; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102807 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 551
Abstract
Detailed multi-beam bathymetry, sub-bottom acoustic, and side-scan sonar observations of submerged canyons with tufa barriers were used to characterize the Zrmanja River karst estuary on the eastern Adriatic coast, Croatia. This unique karst environment consists of two submerged karst basins (Novigrad Sea and [...] Read more.
Detailed multi-beam bathymetry, sub-bottom acoustic, and side-scan sonar observations of submerged canyons with tufa barriers were used to characterize the Zrmanja River karst estuary on the eastern Adriatic coast, Croatia. This unique karst environment consists of two submerged karst basins (Novigrad Sea and Karin Sea) that are connected with river canyons named Novsko Ždrilo and Karinsko Ždrilo. The combined use of high-resolution geophysical data with legacy topography and bathymetry data in a GIS environment allowed for the description and interpretation of this geomorphological setting in relation to the Holocene sea-level rise. The tufa barriers had a predominant influence on the Holocene flooding dynamics of the canyons and karst basins. Here, we describe the possible river pathways from the basins during the lowstand and the formation of a lengthening estuary during the Holocene sea-level rise. Based on the analyzed morphologies and the relative sea-level curve for the Adriatic Sea, the flooding of the Novsko Ždrilo occurred 9200 years before present (BP) and Karinsko Ždrilo was flooded after 8400 years BP. The combination of high-resolution geophysical methods gave an accurate representation of the karst estuarine seafloor and the flooding of semi-isolated basins due to sea-level rise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Coastal Vulnerability Assessment along the North-Eastern Sector of Gozo Island (Malta, Mediterranean Sea)
Water 2020, 12(5), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051405 - 15 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1200
Abstract
The coastal landscape of the Maltese Islands is the result of long-term evolution, influenced by tectonics, geomorphological processes, and sea level oscillations. Due to their geological setting, the islands are particularly prone to marine-related and gravity-induced processes, exacerbated by climate change. This study [...] Read more.
The coastal landscape of the Maltese Islands is the result of long-term evolution, influenced by tectonics, geomorphological processes, and sea level oscillations. Due to their geological setting, the islands are particularly prone to marine-related and gravity-induced processes, exacerbated by climate change. This study aligns different concepts into a relatively concise and expedient methodology for overall coastal vulnerability assessment, taking the NE sector of Gozo Island as a test case. Geomorphological investigation, integrated with analysis of marine geophysical data, enabled characterization of coastal dynamics, identifying this stretch of coast as being potentially hazardous. The study area features a high economic value derived from tourist and mining activities and natural protected areas, that altogether not only make coastal vulnerability a major concern but also the task of assessing it complex. Before introducing the methodology proposed for overall vulnerability assessment, an in-depth revision of the vulnerability concept is provided. The evaluation was carried out by using a set of key indicators related to local land use, anthropic and natural assets, economic activities, and social issues. Results show that the most critical areas are located east of Marsalforn including Ramla Bay, an important tourist attraction hosting the largest sandy beach in Gozo. The method combines physical exposure and social vulnerability into an overall index. It proves to be cost effective in data management and processing and is suitable for the identification and assessment of overall vulnerability of coastal areas to consequences of climate- and marine-related processes, such as coastal erosion, landslides and sea level rise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Sound Velocity in a Thin Shallowly Submerged Terrestrial-Marine Quaternary Succession (Northern Adriatic Sea)
Water 2020, 12(2), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020560 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
Estimating sound velocity in seabed sediment of shallow near-shore areas submerged after the Last Glacial Maximum is often difficult due to the heterogeneous sedimentary composition resulting from sea-level changes affecting the sedimentary environments. The complex sedimentary architecture and heterogeneity greatly impact lateral and [...] Read more.
Estimating sound velocity in seabed sediment of shallow near-shore areas submerged after the Last Glacial Maximum is often difficult due to the heterogeneous sedimentary composition resulting from sea-level changes affecting the sedimentary environments. The complex sedimentary architecture and heterogeneity greatly impact lateral and horizontal velocity variations. Existing sound velocity studies are mainly focused on the surficial parts of the seabed sediments, whereas the deeper and often more heterogeneous sections are usually neglected. We present an example of a submerged alluvial plain in the northern Adriatic where we were able to investigate the entire Quaternary sedimentary succession from the seafloor down to the sediment base on the bedrock. We used an extensive dataset of vintage borehole litho-sedimentological descriptions covering the entire thickness of the Quaternary sedimentary succession. We correlated the dataset with sub-bottom sonar profiles in order to determine the average sound velocities through various sediment types. The sound velocities of clay-dominated successions average around 1530 m/s, while the values of silt-dominated successions extend between 1550 and 1590 m/s. The maximum sound velocity of approximately 1730 m/s was determined at a location containing sandy sediment, while the minimum sound velocity of approximately 1250 m/s was calculated for gas-charged sediments. We show that, in shallow areas with thin Quaternary successions, the main factor influencing average sound velocity is the predominant sediment type (i.e. grain size), whereas the overburden influence is negligible. Where present in the sedimentary column, gas substantially reduces sound velocity. Our work provides a reference for sound velocities in submerged, thin (less than 20 m thick), terrestrial-marine Quaternary successions located in shallow (a few tens of meters deep) near-shore settings, which represent a large part of the present-day coastal environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Fine-Scale Distribution and Volume of Mediterranean Algal Reefs through Terrain Analysis of Multibeam Bathymetric Data. A Case Study in the Southern Adriatic Continental Shelf
Water 2020, 12(1), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010157 - 04 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 940
Abstract
In the Mediterranean Sea, crustose coralline algae form endemic algal reefs known as Coralligenous (C) build-ups. The high degree of complexity that C can reach through time creates notable environmental heterogeneity making C a major hotspot of biodiversity for the Mediterranean basin. C [...] Read more.
In the Mediterranean Sea, crustose coralline algae form endemic algal reefs known as Coralligenous (C) build-ups. The high degree of complexity that C can reach through time creates notable environmental heterogeneity making C a major hotspot of biodiversity for the Mediterranean basin. C build-up can variably modify the submarine environment by affecting the evolution of submerged landforms, although its role is still far from being systematically defined. Our work proposes a new, ad-hoc semi-automated, GIS-based methodology to map the distribution of C build-ups in shallow coastal waters using high-resolution bathymetric data, collected on a sector of the southern Apulian continental shelf (Southern Adriatic Sea, Italy). Our results quantitatively define the 3D distribution of C in terms of area and volume, estimating more than 103,000 build-ups, covering an area of roughly 305,200 m2, for a total volume of 315,700 m3. Our work firstly combines acoustic survey techniques and geomorphometric analysis to develop innovative approaches for eco-geomorphological studies. The obtained results can contribute to a better definition of the ocean carbon budget, and to the monitoring of local anthropogenic impacts (e.g., bottom trawling damage) and global changes, like ocean warming and acidification. These can affect the structural complexity and total volume of carbonate deposits characterizing the Mediterranean benthic environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Terrestrial and Marine Landforms along the Cilento Coastland (Southern Italy): A Framework for Landslide Hazard Assessment and Environmental Conservation
Water 2019, 11(12), 2618; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122618 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
This study shows the terrestrial and marine landforms present along the Cilento coast in the southern part of the Campania region (Italy). This coast is characterized by the alternation of bays, small beaches, and rocky headlands. In the adjacent submerged areas, there is [...] Read more.
This study shows the terrestrial and marine landforms present along the Cilento coast in the southern part of the Campania region (Italy). This coast is characterized by the alternation of bays, small beaches, and rocky headlands. In the adjacent submerged areas, there is a slightly inclined platform that has a maximum width of 30 km to the north, while it narrows in the south to approximately 6 km. A wide variety of landforms are preserved in this area, despite the high erodibility of the rocks emerging from the sea and the effects of human activities (construction of structures and infrastructures, fires, etc.). Of these landforms, we focused on those that enabled us to determine Quaternary sea-level variations, and, more specifically, we focused on the correlation between coastal and sea-floor topography in order to trace the geomorphological evolution of this coastal area. For this purpose, the Licosa Cape and the promontory of Ripe Rosse located in northern Cilento were used as reference areas. Methods were used that enabled us to obtain a detailed digital cartography of each area and consequently to apply physical-based coastal evolution models. We believe that this approach would provide a better management of coastal risk mitigation which is likely to become increasingly important in the perspective of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Geomorphological Signature of Late Pleistocene Sea Level Oscillations in Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area (Adriatic Sea, SE Italy)
Water 2019, 11(11), 2409; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112409 - 16 Nov 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
Morphostratigraphy is a useful tool to reconstruct the sequence of processes responsible for shaping the landscape. In marine and coastal areas, where landforms are only seldom directly recognizable given the difficulty to have eyewitness of sea-floor features, it is possible to correlate geomorphological [...] Read more.
Morphostratigraphy is a useful tool to reconstruct the sequence of processes responsible for shaping the landscape. In marine and coastal areas, where landforms are only seldom directly recognizable given the difficulty to have eyewitness of sea-floor features, it is possible to correlate geomorphological data derived from indirect surveys (marine geophysics and remote sensing) with data obtained from direct ones performed on-land or by scuba divers. In this paper, remote sensing techniques and spectral images allowed high-resolution reconstruction of both morpho-topography and morpho-bathymetry of the Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area (Italy). These data were used to infer the sequence of climatic phases and processes responsible for coastal and marine landscape shaping. Our data show a number of relict submerged surfaces corresponding to distinct phases of erosional/depositional processes triggered by the late-Quaternary interglacial–glacial cycles. In particular, we observed the presence of submerged marine terraces, likely formed during MIS 5–MIS 3 relative highstand phases. These geomorphic features, found at depths of ~26–30, ~34–38, and ~45–56 m, represent important evidence of past sea-level variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the October 2018 Storm Vaia on Coastal Boulders in the Northern Adriatic Sea
Water 2019, 11(11), 2229; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112229 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1817
Abstract
Boulder detachment from the seafloor and subsequent transport and accumulation along rocky coasts is a complex geomorphological process that requires a deep understanding of submarine and onshore environments. This process is especially interesting in semi-enclosed shallow basins characterized by extreme storms, but without [...] Read more.
Boulder detachment from the seafloor and subsequent transport and accumulation along rocky coasts is a complex geomorphological process that requires a deep understanding of submarine and onshore environments. This process is especially interesting in semi-enclosed shallow basins characterized by extreme storms, but without a significant tsunami record. Moreover, the response of boulder deposits located close to the coast to severe storms remains, in terms of accurate displacement measurement, limited due to the need to acquire long-term data such as ongoing monitoring datasets and repeated field surveys. We present a multidisciplinary study that includes inland and submarine surveys carried out to monitor and accurately quantify the recent displacement of coastal boulders accumulated on the southernmost coast of the Premantura (Kamenjak) Promontory (Croatia, northern Adriatic Sea). We identified recent boulder movements using unmanned aerial vehicle digital photogrammetry (UAV-DP). Fourteen boulders were moved by the waves generated by a severe storm, named Vaia, which occurred on 29 October 2018. This storm struck Northeast Italy and the Istrian coasts with its full force. We have reproduced the storm-generated waves using unstructured wave model Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN), with a significant wave height of 6.2 m in front of the boulder deposit area. These simulated waves are considered to have a return period of 20 to 30 years. In addition to the aerial survey, an underwater photogrammetric survey was carried out in order to create a three-dimensional (3D) model of the seabed and identify the submarine landforms associated with boulder detachment. The survey highlighted that most of the holes can be considered potholes, while only one detachment shape was identified. The latter is not related to storm Vaia, but to a previous storm. Two boulders are lying on the seabed and the underwater surveys highlighted that these boulders may be beached during future storms. Thus, this is an interesting example of active erosion of the rocky coast in a geologically, geomorphologically, and oceanologically predisposed locality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Bridging Terrestrial and Marine Geoheritage: Assessing Geosites in Portofino Natural Park (Italy)
Water 2019, 11(10), 2112; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102112 - 11 Oct 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 849
Abstract
Interest in geoheritage research has grown over the past 25 years and several countries have issued laws to encourage improvement and conservation. Investigations on geosites are prevalently carried out on land environments, although the study of underwater marine environments is also of paramount [...] Read more.
Interest in geoheritage research has grown over the past 25 years and several countries have issued laws to encourage improvement and conservation. Investigations on geosites are prevalently carried out on land environments, although the study of underwater marine environments is also of paramount scientific importance. Nevertheless, due to the constraints of underwater environments, these sites have been little explored, also on account of the higher costs and difficulties of surveying. This research has identified and assessed the terrestrial and marine geosites of the Portofino Natural Park and Protected Marine Area, which are internationally famous owing to both the land scenic features and the quality of the marine ecosystem. The goal was to pinpoint the most suitable sites for tourist improvement and fruition and identify possible connections between the two environments. In all, 28 terrestrial sites and 27 marine sites have been identified and their scientific value as well as their ecological, cultural, and aesthetic importance has been assessed. In addition, accessibility, services, and economic potential of geosites has also been taken into account. Both the updated database of terrestrial and marine geosites in the Portofino protected areas and the assessment procedure adopted can become useful tools for the managers of these sites and provide decision-makers with possible strategies for tourist development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Geodiversity Evaluation and Water Resources in the Sesia Val Grande UNESCO Geopark (Italy)
Water 2019, 11(10), 2102; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102102 - 09 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1101
Abstract
This paper aims at systemizing knowledge related to geodiversity assessment for water resources and its evaluation. The novel aspect connected to geodiversity of this paper is the analysis of the components of hydrological system, both at the superficial and underground level, in the [...] Read more.
This paper aims at systemizing knowledge related to geodiversity assessment for water resources and its evaluation. The novel aspect connected to geodiversity of this paper is the analysis of the components of hydrological system, both at the superficial and underground level, in the territory of the Sesia Val Grande United Nations educational, scientific, and cultural organization (UNESCO) Global Geopark (Northwest Italy). More specifically, the research establishes a conceptual model and a specific procedure for the evaluation of geodiversity connected to water resources on a regional scale, by means of a qualitative-quantitative geographic information system (GIS) process, renamed here as hydro-geodiversity assessment. For these purposes, a targeted ecosystem approach is applied to consider the assets of the Geopark territory that has been derived from the interaction between water and other components of geodiversity, i.e., the hydro-geosystemic services. The element selection and processing operations led to the identification of areas characterized by greater values of hydrological geodiversity, in which the link between surface and underground hydrodynamics became closer and intense. The single geodiversity factor maps that were obtained from partial data aggregations were added together in map algebra operations, then subjected to weighing to formulate the hydro-geodiversity map of the Sesia Val Grande UNESCO Global Geopark. The results of the present study strengthen the strategic management of geological, geomorphological, and hydrological heritages of the study area by identifying different landscapes and local peculiarities determined by mutual influences between geology and hydrological dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Sensing the Submerged Landscape of Nisida Roman Harbour in the Gulf of Naples from Integrated Measurements on a USV
Water 2018, 10(11), 1686; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111686 - 19 Nov 2018
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1666
Abstract
This paper shows an interesting case of coastal landscape reconstruction by using innovative marine robotic instrumentation, applied to an archaeological key-site in the Campi Flegrei (Italy), one of the more inhabited areas in the Mediterranean during the Roman period. This active volcanic area [...] Read more.
This paper shows an interesting case of coastal landscape reconstruction by using innovative marine robotic instrumentation, applied to an archaeological key-site in the Campi Flegrei (Italy), one of the more inhabited areas in the Mediterranean during the Roman period. This active volcanic area is world famous for the ancient coastal cities of Baiae, Puteoli, and Misenum, places of military and commercial excellence. The multidisciplinary study of the submerged Roman harbour at Nisida Island was aimed at reconstructing the natural and anthropogenic underwater landscape by elaborating a multiscale dataset. The integrated marine surveys were carried out by an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) foreseeing the simultaneous use of geophysical and photogrammetric sensors according to the modern philosophy of multi-modal mapping. All instrumental measurements were validated by on-site measurements performed by specialised scuba divers. The multiscale analysis of the sensing data allowed a precise reconstruction of the coastal morpho-evolutive trend and the relative sea level variation in the last 2000 years by means of a new type of archaeological sea-level marker here proposed for the first time. Furthermore, it provided a detailed multidimensional documentation of the underwater cultural heritage and a useful tool for evaluating the conservation state of archaeological submerged structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceReview
Seven Good Reasons for Integrating Terrestrial and Marine Spatial Datasets in Changing Environments
Water 2020, 12(8), 2221; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082221 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1677
Abstract
A comprehensive understanding of environmental changes taking place in coastal regions relies on accurate integration of both terrestrial and submerged geo-environmental datasets. However, this practice is hardly implemented because of the high (or even prohibitive) survey costs required for submerged areas and the [...] Read more.
A comprehensive understanding of environmental changes taking place in coastal regions relies on accurate integration of both terrestrial and submerged geo-environmental datasets. However, this practice is hardly implemented because of the high (or even prohibitive) survey costs required for submerged areas and the frequent low accessibility of shallow areas. In addition, geoscientists are used to working on land or at sea independently, making the integration even more challenging. Undoubtedly new methods and techniques of offshore investigation adopted over the last 50 years and the latest advances in computer vision have played a crucial role in allowing a seamless combination of terrestrial and marine data. Although efforts towards an innovative integration of geo-environmental data from above to underwater are still in their infancy, we have identified seven topics for which this integration could be of tremendous benefit for environmental research: (1) geomorphological mapping; (2) Late-Quaternary changes of coastal landscapes; (3) geoarchaeology; (4) geoheritage and geodiversity; (5) geohazards; (6) marine and landscape ecology; and (7) coastal planning and management. Our review indicates that the realization of seamless DTMs appears to be the basic condition to operate a comprehensive integration of marine and terrestrial data sets, so far exhaustively achieved in very few case studies. Technology and interdisciplinarity will be therefore critical for the development of a holistic approach to understand our changing environments and design appropriate management measures accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Landforms of Terrestrial and Marine Areas)
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