Special Issue "Relative Sea-Level Changes and their Impact on Coastal Zones"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Pietro Aucelli
Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, Naples, Italy
Interests: geomorphology, climate change impacts, coastal processes, sea level changes and tectonics, quaternary geology, geological and geomorphological mapping, geographic information systems, risk assessment
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Mastronuzzi
Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Bari, Bari, Italy
Interests: quaternary geology, geomorphology, geomorphological mapping, paleogeography, marine geology, coastal processes, sea-level changes and tectonics, wave hydrodynamics
Dr. Gaia Mattei
Website
Guest Editor
Università degli studi Parthenope di Napoli, Napoli, Italy
Interests: coastal processes, sea-level changes and tectonics, geoarchaeology, geomorphology, paleogeography, marine geology, geographic information systems, vulnerability assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last centuries, the study of sea-level changes along the world’s shores has been a primary scientific focus in climate change studies, but also for scientists that would explore past landscape evolution, geomorphological processes, human impacts, and system responses. The relative variation in the sea level derives from the sum of global, regional, and local processes. All these processes are spatially and temporally variable and cause complex sea-level changes at both regional and local scales. A multidisciplinary approach addressed to palaeo-sea-level reconstructions at regional and local scales is the best method to understand the role of natural and anthropogenic forcing in the landscape evolution, as well as to discover the past human adaptions to natural modifications of the landscape. Recently, the integration between geo-acoustic and optical indirect methods has allowed for the high-resolution mapping of wide coastal areas and seabed morphologies by combining remote and direct data. These transdisciplinary studies are the modern approach to palaeo-landscape and palaeo-sea-level reconstructions, acquiring a large amount of four-dimensional—3D points and time—data that, in the case of archaeological sites, also have historic value in terms of cultural and natural heritage. High-resolution remote sensing techniques provide multiscale and multitemporal datasets about landscape reconstruction and its evolution over the last millennia; furthermore, these methods are the most precise technique to evaluate the local vertical ground movement (VGM) that is a primary forcing factor in sea-level oscillations in the medium/short term.

Definitely, investigating these regional and local patterns is mandatory to reconstruct a possible scenario of the relative impact of the sea level rise and to prepare the adaptation of coastal communities threatened by future climate changes.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect contributions that discuss methodological and multi-disciplinary approaches to studying regional and local coastal modification in relation to relative sea level changes in the past and the present to hypothesize future trends.

Themes of this Special Issue can include the following:

  • Sea-level changes and human activities;
  • Palaeo-environmental reconstruction in coastal areas;
  • Geomorphological, stratigraphical, and archaeological data as markers in sea-level studies;
  • Coastal geomorphology and sea-level changes;
  • Underwater archaeology;
  • Advances in methodology and applications for sea-level studies;
  • A high-resolution 3D model of underwater landscapes;
  • VGM in coastal areas measured by remote sensing techniques;
  • Cases of historical and recent coastal modification.

Dr. Pietro Aucelli
Prof. Giuseppe Mastronuzzi
Dr. Gaia Mattei
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 monthly 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 1800 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

  • Sea-level changes
  • Coastal processes
  • Landscape evolution
  • Vertical ground movements
  • Direct and indirect surveys
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Paleo-environmental reconstructions
  • Geohazards
  • Geomorphological mapping
  • Sea-level proxies.

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The First Video Witness of Coastal Boulder Displacements Recorded during the Impact of Medicane “Zorbas” on Southeastern Sicily
Water 2020, 12(5), 1497; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051497 - 23 May 2020
Abstract
Over the last few years, several authors have presented contrasting models to describe the response of boulders to extreme waves, but the absence of direct observation of movements has hindered the evaluation of these models. The recent development of online video-sharing platforms in [...] Read more.
Over the last few years, several authors have presented contrasting models to describe the response of boulders to extreme waves, but the absence of direct observation of movements has hindered the evaluation of these models. The recent development of online video-sharing platforms in coastal settings has provided the opportunity to monitor the evolution of rocky coastlines during storm events. In September 2018, a surveillance camera of the Marine Protected Area of Plemmirio recorded the movement of several boulders along the coast of Maddalena Peninsula (Siracusa, Southeastern Sicily) during the landfall of the Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone (Medicane) Zorbas. Unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) photogrammetric and terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) surveys were performed to reconstruct immersive virtual scenarios to geometrically analyze the boulder displacements recorded in the video. Analyses highlighted that the displacements occurred when the boulders were submerged as a result of the impact of multiple small waves rather than due to a single large wave. Comparison between flow velocities obtained by videos and calculated through relationships showed a strong overestimation of the models, suggesting that values of flow density and lift coefficient used in literature are underestimated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relative Sea-Level Changes and their Impact on Coastal Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Sea-Level Rise and Shoreline Changes Along an Open Sandy Coast: Case Study of Gulf of Taranto, Italy
Water 2020, 12(5), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051414 - 15 May 2020
Abstract
The dynamics of the sandy coast between Castellaneta and Taranto (Southern Italy) has been influenced by many natural and anthropogenic factors, resulting in significant changes in the coastal system over the last century. The interactions between vertical components of sea-level changes and horizontal [...] Read more.
The dynamics of the sandy coast between Castellaneta and Taranto (Southern Italy) has been influenced by many natural and anthropogenic factors, resulting in significant changes in the coastal system over the last century. The interactions between vertical components of sea-level changes and horizontal components of the sedimentary budget, in combination with anthropogenic impact, have resulted in different erosion and accretion phases in the past years. Local isostatic, eustatic, and vertical tectonic movements, together with sedimentary budget changes, must be considered in order to predict the shoreline evolution and future marine submersion. In this study, all morpho-topographic data available for the Gulf of Taranto, in combination with Vertical Land Movements and sea-level rise trends, were considered by assessing the local evolution of the coastal trend as well as the future marine submersion. Based on the predicted spatial and temporal coastal changes, a new predictive model of submersion was developed to support coastal management in sea-level rise conditions over the next decades. After that, a multi-temporal mathematical model of coastal submersion was implemented in a Matlab environment. Finally, the effects of the relative sea-level rise on the coastal surface prone to submersion, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports (AR) 5 Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 2.6 and RCP 8.5 scenarios, were evaluated up to 2100. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relative Sea-Level Changes and their Impact on Coastal Zones)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Costs of Sea-Level Rise: Coastal Adaptation Investments vs. Inaction in Iberian Coastal Cities
Water 2020, 12(4), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041220 - 24 Apr 2020
Abstract
Iberian coastal cities are subject to significant risks in the next decades due to climate change-induced sea-level rise. These risks are quite uncertain depending on several factors. In this article, we estimate potential economic damage in 62 Iberian coastal cities from 2020 to [...] Read more.
Iberian coastal cities are subject to significant risks in the next decades due to climate change-induced sea-level rise. These risks are quite uncertain depending on several factors. In this article, we estimate potential economic damage in 62 Iberian coastal cities from 2020 to 2100 using regional relative sea-level rise data under three representative concentration pathways (RCP 8.5, RCP 4.5 and RCP 2.6). We analyze the expected accumulated damage costs if no adaptation actions take place and compare this scenario to the investment cost of some adaptation strategies being implemented. The results show that some adaptation strategies are less costly than the potential damage under inaction. In other words, it is economically rational to invest in adaptation even in a context of high uncertainty. These calculations are very relevant to inform climate change adaptation decisions and to better manage the risk posed by sea-level rise. Moreover, our findings show the importance of a good understanding of the shape of the sea-level rise and damage cost distributions to calculate the expected damage. We show that using the 50th percentile for these calculations is not adequate as it leads to a serious underestimation of expected damage and coastal risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relative Sea-Level Changes and their Impact on Coastal Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Holocene Evolution of the Burano Paleo-Lagoon (Southern Tuscany, Italy)
Water 2020, 12(4), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041007 - 01 Apr 2020
Abstract
The study of Burano paleo-lagoon—Wetland of International Value, has allowed us to better define and extend the reconstruction of the Holocene paleoenvironmental evolution of the paleo-lagoons previously studied, located on the Tyrrhenian coast in central Italy. The investigated area is located in Southern [...] Read more.
The study of Burano paleo-lagoon—Wetland of International Value, has allowed us to better define and extend the reconstruction of the Holocene paleoenvironmental evolution of the paleo-lagoons previously studied, located on the Tyrrhenian coast in central Italy. The investigated area is located in Southern Tuscany near the Burano Lake. The area was investigated by means of field surveys, historical maps, 16 coring, sedimentological, palynological and microfaunal analyses (foraminifera and ostracods), combined with robust geochronological control provided by 52 datings (14C and OSL). The study allowed us to reconstruct the environmental and morphological evolution of the Burano paleo-lagoon during the last 8000 years and to hypothesize a Rise Sea Level (RSL) curve. In this context, 5 main evolutionary phases have been recognized. (1) before 7.5 ka BP in the southern-eastern part, an open lagoon developed; (2) ~6 ka BP a barrier-lagoon system develops throughout the entire area and the lagoon progressively changed from open to closed one; (3) ~5 ka BP the width of the lagoon increases and a lacustrine facies appears along the entire axis of the coastal basin; (4) ~4 ka BP the lacustrine facies shows a discontinuous distribution respect to the previous phase; (5) during the last 4 ka the lacustrine facies disappear and the lagoon turns into a wetland area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relative Sea-Level Changes and their Impact on Coastal Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Ancient Coastal Changes Due to Ground Movements and Human Interventions in the Roman Portus Julius (Pozzuoli Gulf, Italy): Results from Photogrammetric and Direct Surveys
Water 2020, 12(3), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030658 - 29 Feb 2020
Abstract
This research aims to evaluate the amount of vertical ground movements during Roman times inside the archaeological area of Portus Julius (Gulf of Pozzuoli) using high-precision surveys on the most reliable archaeological sea-level markers. Measuring the submersion of ancient floors, structural elements belonging [...] Read more.
This research aims to evaluate the amount of vertical ground movements during Roman times inside the archaeological area of Portus Julius (Gulf of Pozzuoli) using high-precision surveys on the most reliable archaeological sea-level markers. Measuring the submersion of ancient floors, structural elements belonging to a former fish tank, and several roman pilae, two different relative sea levels (RSLs), related to the beginning and the end of the first century BCE, respectively, −4.7/−5.20 m and −3.10 m MSL (mean sea level), were detected. A photogrammetric survey was carried out in order to produce a 3D model of the fish tank. The results in terms of the RSL variations have enabled us to reconstruct a morpho-evolution of the ancient coastal sector during the last 2.1 kyBP. At the beginning of the first century BCE, the area was characterized by a sheltered gulf with numerous maritime villae located along the coast. In 37 BCE, the construction of the military harbour of Portus Julius strongly modified the paleogeography of the sector, which was also affected by a prevailing subsidence at least until the end of the first century BCE (year 12 BCE), when the port was converted into a commercial hub. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relative Sea-Level Changes and their Impact on Coastal Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Beach-Foredune Sediment Budget Response to Sea Level Fluctuation. Curonian Spit, Lithuania
Water 2020, 12(2), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020583 - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
Beach-foredune sediment exchange maintains a coastal system’s stability. Sea level fluctuation is one of the most important factors that modifies the beach and foredune sediment budget. This study aims to assess beach and foredune sand budget changes depending on sea level fluctuations. On [...] Read more.
Beach-foredune sediment exchange maintains a coastal system’s stability. Sea level fluctuation is one of the most important factors that modifies the beach and foredune sediment budget. This study aims to assess beach and foredune sand budget changes depending on sea level fluctuations. On the basis of annual measurements of cross-shore profiles on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania, the sediment volumes on the beach and foredune and their changes between 2002 and 2019 were calculated. The sea level fluctuations were examined in parallel. The obtained data revealed that in the case of a sand surplus, a relatively low sea level rise does not have a significant impact on the development of a foredune (and a minimal impact on a beach) on a decadal time-scale. Short-term sea level fluctuations are reflected in year-to-year variability in a beach sediment budget. However, no significant relationship between year-to-year variability in sea level fluctuation and the foredune sediment budget has yet been identified, nor is there a reliable year-to-year variability relationship between the foredune and beach sediment budget. The foredune sediment budget remained positive both through an increase and a reduction in the sediment volume on the beach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relative Sea-Level Changes and their Impact on Coastal Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Mitigating the Effects of Sea-Level Rise on Estuaries of the Mississippi Delta Plain Using River Diversions
Water 2019, 11(10), 2028; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102028 - 28 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Using the Mississippi River as a tool for restoration has been a key element of restoration planning in Louisiana for decades. The results of allowing river water and sediment back into the coastal system are manifested in a number of places in present [...] Read more.
Using the Mississippi River as a tool for restoration has been a key element of restoration planning in Louisiana for decades. The results of allowing river water and sediment back into the coastal system are manifested in a number of places in present day Louisiana, with additional plans for large scale sediment and water diversions from the Mississippi River. Many previous numerical modeling studies have focused on sediment delivery to Louisiana estuaries. This study examines the effects of river diversions on salinity gradients in receiving estuarine basins. The Integrated Compartment Model, a planning-level model that simulates multi-decadal change in estuarine hydrodynamics and wetland systems under assumed sea-level rise scenarios, was used to assess the estuarine salinity gradient under potential management regimes. The simulations for current conditions are compared to a future 50-year simulation with additional diversions, as well as cases with a variety of diversion options. This modeling analysis shows that without additional action, 50-years of sea-level rise could result in substantial increases in salinity throughout the Mississippi Delta Plain estuaries. This can be largely offset with additional large river diversions which can maintain variable salinity gradients throughout the estuary basins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relative Sea-Level Changes and their Impact on Coastal Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Natural Variability and Vertical Land Motion Contributions in the Mediterranean Sea-Level Records over the Last Two Centuries and Projections for 2100
Water 2019, 11(7), 1480; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071480 - 16 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
We analyzed a set of geodetic data to investigate the contribution of local factors, namely the sea level natural variability (SLNV) and the vertical land motion (VLM), to the sea-level trend. The SLNV is analyzed through the Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) on tidal [...] Read more.
We analyzed a set of geodetic data to investigate the contribution of local factors, namely the sea level natural variability (SLNV) and the vertical land motion (VLM), to the sea-level trend. The SLNV is analyzed through the Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) on tidal data (>60 years of recordings) and results are used to evaluate its effects on sea levels. The VLM is measured at a set of continuous GPS (cGPS) stations (>5 years of recordings), located nearby the tide gauges. By combining VLM and SLNV with IPCC-AR5 regional projections of climatic data (Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 2.6 and 8.5), we provide relative sea-level rise projections by 2100. Results show that the combined effects of SLNV and VLM are not negligible, contributing between 15% and 65% to the sea-level variability. Expected sea levels for 2100 in the RCP8.5 scenario are between 475 ± 203 (Bakar) and 818 ± 250 mm (Venice). In the Venice Lagoon, the mean land subsidence at 3.3 ± 0.85 mm a−1 (locally up to 8.45 ± 1.69 mm a−1) is driving the local sea-level rise acceleration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relative Sea-Level Changes and their Impact on Coastal Zones)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Mediterranean sea-level records over the last two centuries and projections for 2100
Authors: Antonio Vecchio, Marco Anzidei, Enrico Serpelloni and Fabio Florindo
Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome, Italy
* Correspondence: [email protected]

Title: Foredune development response to sea level rise: Curonian Spit, Lithuania
Authors: Darius Jarmalavičius, Donatas Pupienis, Nikita Dobrotin, Gintautas Žilinskas, Rasa Janušaitė and Viktoras Karaliūnas
Affiliation: Nature Research Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania

Title: Holocene evolution of the paleo-lagoon of Burano (southern Tuscany- Italy)
Authors: Maurizio D'Orefice, Paolo Censi Neri, Domenico Fiorenza, Piero Bellotti, Letizia Di Bella, Lina Davoli, Gilberto Calderoni, Luca Foresi, Adele Bertini, Jean-Philippe Goiran and Cécile Vittori

 

 

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