Special Issue "Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate"

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 December 2021) | Viewed by 12398

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ioannis P. Panagiotopoulos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geology and Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimioupolis, 15784 Zografou, Greece
Interests: marine sedimentology; marine geology; seabed morphology; sediment dynamics; environmental oceanography
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Serafeim E. Poulos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography and Climatology, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15772 Athens, Greece
Interests: environmental oceanography; physical geography; coastal landforms; nearshore morphodynamics; coastal erosion
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Vasilios Kapsimalis
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, 46.7 km Athens-Sounio Ave., 19013 Anavyssos, Greece
Interests: marine geology; coastal geomorphology; sediment quality assessment; dredged material management; coastal erosion; underwater geoarchaeology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In an ever changing Earth, coastal areas and continental shelves represent the dynamic transition zone between the land and ocean, including a variety of geomorphic features as well as rich living and non-living natural resources. They are also extremely important systems that enhance prosperity in many societies by integrating ecosystem services and several uses (e.g., agriculture, tourism, fishing, aquaculture, maritime transport). In particular, shelf seas contribute to climate amelioration and absorption of atmospheric gases including climatically-crucial greenhouse gases.

However, anthropogenic activities affect the natural evolution and, in many cases, even the connectivity of vulnerable coastal landforms (e.g., river deltas, estuaries, lagoons and beaches) by changing the availability and transport of sediments (either terrestrial or marine) and by intervening in the nearshore hydrodynamics through "hard" engineering constructions. Moreover, modification of freshwater influxes in association with climate variability (i.e., solar radiation, wind field) change the seawater temperature, shelf waters stratification and circulation patterns, while acidification enhancement poses a great risk to marine biota.

Based on the above, the research on coastal areas and shelf seas has to be increasingly focused on producing data and information to promote a science-based understanding of the changes in these environments with their consequences and to enable realistic assessments of the potential benefits and risks of human activities. Hence, the ambition of this Special Issue is to draw the attention of all environmental scientists in order to fill significant knowledge gaps related to pressures, impacts and trends in coastal areas and shelf seas, configured by the climate change and increased human presence.

We welcome innovative contributions, including collection and analysis of field observations or simulations with physical and numerical models, focusing on the topics (although provisional) referred to below:

  • Changes in hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics in relation (for example) to the impacts of sea level rise and modified storm intensities, coastal defence measures, dredging operations, offshore constructions, long-term coastal evolution and interactions of shelf seas with the ocean.
  • Anthropogenic impacts on shelf water’s biogeochemical cycles derived, for example, from changes in agriculture practices, dam operations, urban and industrial sewages, etc.
  • Biological changes (e.g., benthic biodiversity, food webs under the influence of new invasive species and climate change).

Dr. Ioannis P. Panagiotopoulos
Dr. Serafeim E. Poulos
Dr. Vasilios Kapsimalis
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2200 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 landforms
  • Coastline evolution
  • Submarine geomorphology
  • Environmental oceanography
  • Marine sedimentology
  • Fluvial fluxes
  • Biodiversity
  • Biogeochemical cycles
  • Sea level rise
  • Seawater Stratification intensity
  • Coastal zone management

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
An Insight into the Factors Controlling Delta Flood Events: The Case of the Evros River Deltaic Plain (NE Aegean Sea)
Water 2022, 14(3), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030497 - 07 Feb 2022
Viewed by 415
Abstract
The present contribution aims to give an insight into the main terrestrial and marine processes leading to delta flooding in the case of the transboundary Evros delta, located at the microtidal NE Aegean Sea, on the basis of recorded flood events in the [...] Read more.
The present contribution aims to give an insight into the main terrestrial and marine processes leading to delta flooding in the case of the transboundary Evros delta, located at the microtidal NE Aegean Sea, on the basis of recorded flood events in the Evros deltaic plain. The prevailing weather conditions at the onset of the event, along with sea-level rise above the mean state, portray the mechanism for the development of compound flood events and subsequent riparian flooding. This system blocks the riverine water’s seaward exit, resulting in the flooding of the lower deltaic plain. The river discharge is recognized as a secondary factor acting mainly toward the persistence of the events. Several limitations restrict the quantification potential of the relative contribution of the key factors to the development, onset, and duration of a flood. Mitigation of the impacts of such flood events requires intercountry cooperation and a management plan based on a network of environmental monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Assessing the first MSFD Implementation Cycle in Greece under Biodiversity and Contaminants Descriptors
Water 2021, 13(24), 3547; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243547 - 11 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 743
Abstract
The present work constitutes an assessment of the first implementation cycle of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC in Greece by focusing on biodiversity and contaminants, i.e., Descriptors 1 (biodiversity), 4 (food webs), 6 (seafloor integrity), 8 (contaminants), and 9 (contaminants in seafood), [...] Read more.
The present work constitutes an assessment of the first implementation cycle of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC in Greece by focusing on biodiversity and contaminants, i.e., Descriptors 1 (biodiversity), 4 (food webs), 6 (seafloor integrity), 8 (contaminants), and 9 (contaminants in seafood), and by following the directive’s requirements regarding Articles 8—Initial Assessment, 9—Definition of Good Environmental Status, 10—Establishment of Environmental Targets, 11—Monitoring Programmes, and 13—Programmes of Measures. In this study, the analysis that was conducted investigated the integration of the Com Dec 2010/477/EU criteria and the indicators that have been applied for each descriptor and the approaches and standards that have been used in order to determine the adequacy of the directive’s implementation towards the achievement of GES, the consistency of Articles 8, 9, 10, 11, and 13, and the integration of existing EU legislation and regional/ international agreements or policies as well as the level of coherence among EU Mediterranean MSs. Overall, Greece addressed the requirements of Articles 8, 9, and 10 rather inadequately for D1, D4, D6 and partially adequately for D8, D9, integrating existing legislation to a certain extent. The implementation of Article 11 was satisfactory for all of the descriptors regarding monitoring the needs and the progress towards GES, whereas the measures that were established under Article 13 need to be improved in the forthcoming update. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Late Holocene Hydro-Climate Variability in the Eastern Mediterranean: A Spatial Multi-Proxy Approach
Water 2021, 13(22), 3252; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223252 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 546
Abstract
A total of thirteen (13) paleoclimatic coastal and hinterland archives of the broader eastern Mediterranean region were collected and examined statistically in search of underlying trends for the period 2800 to 200 BP. For each archive, a proxy record representative of hydro-climatic changes [...] Read more.
A total of thirteen (13) paleoclimatic coastal and hinterland archives of the broader eastern Mediterranean region were collected and examined statistically in search of underlying trends for the period 2800 to 200 BP. For each archive, a proxy record representative of hydro-climatic changes was selected, normalized using z-factors to facilitate intercomparison, and analyzed statistically. Multivariate statistical analysis was performed using a clustering analysis (HCA) and dimension reduction (PCA), which led to groupings of similar records temporally, and allowed the identification of spatially underlying modes of variability. Two main modes of variability were identified, further supporting complex trajectories of paleoclimatic evolution in the region. The first mode was identified for sites presenting a trend from a wetter to an overall drier phase, with respective changes at major phase shifts at 1400 BP and 1100 BP. All sites were from the southern and northern Balkan region, as well as southwestern Turkey. A contrasting dry to wet trend was identified for a site in the Peloponnese (Greece) and the Levant, with a major phase shift at around 750 BP. The inclusion of different proxies from very different environmental settings and the 200-year window has complicated the connection of established short-term climatic events to the study’s findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Assessment of the Coastal Vulnerability to the Ongoing Sea Level Rise for the Exquisite Rhodes Island (SE Aegean Sea, Greece)
Water 2021, 13(16), 2169; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162169 - 07 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
The foreseeable acceleration of global sea level rise could potentially pose a major threat to the natural charm and functional integrity of the world-renowned tourist coastal attractions of Rhodes Island, as a result of the anticipated increasing frequency of flooding and erosion events. [...] Read more.
The foreseeable acceleration of global sea level rise could potentially pose a major threat to the natural charm and functional integrity of the world-renowned tourist coastal attractions of Rhodes Island, as a result of the anticipated increasing frequency of flooding and erosion events. Hence, this study aims to determine the most vulnerable segments (in terms of physical impact) of the Rhodes coastline through the widely accepted coastal vulnerability index (CVI), applying a combination of well-known, broadly used approaches and methods. The frequency distribution of the current CVI along the island’s coastline suggests a rather worrying high to very high vulnerability of 40%. In addition, a CVI projection to the end of the 21st century (based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predictive scenarios) indicates an enhancement of the total vulnerability by 48%, mainly focused on the majority of the western coastline. Hence, a considerable number of popular coastal destinations in the island shall remain under unignorable threat and, therefore, coastal managers and decision-makers need to hatch an integrated plan to minimize economic and natural losses, private property damage and tourism infrastructure deterioration from flooding and erosion episodes, which will most likely be intensified in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Paleoenvironmental Evolution and Sea Level Change in Saronikos Gulf (Aegean Sea, Greece): Evidence from the Piraeus Coastal Plain and Elefsis Bay Sedimentary Records
Water 2021, 13(12), 1621; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121621 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
Thorough faunal (benthic foraminifera, ostracods, molluscs) and palynomorph analyses as well as magnetic susceptibility measurements performed on the Piraeus coastal plain sedimentary sequences have shed light on the paleoenvironmental evolution of the area since ca. 9000 cal BP. Benthic and palynomorph assemblages along [...] Read more.
Thorough faunal (benthic foraminifera, ostracods, molluscs) and palynomorph analyses as well as magnetic susceptibility measurements performed on the Piraeus coastal plain sedimentary sequences have shed light on the paleoenvironmental evolution of the area since ca. 9000 cal BP. Benthic and palynomorph assemblages along with magnetic susceptibility suggest a typical lagoonal environment with significant freshwater inputs at the eastern part of the plain after 8700 cal BP. Between 7500 and 5400 cal BP, microfaunal assemblages, mollusc fauna and magnetic susceptibility suggest a shallow marine paleoenvironment, with Piraeus forming a tied island in the center of the bay. Since ca. 4800 cal BP a closed oligohaline lagoon is evidenced in the western part of the Piraeus plain further developed to a marsh after 2800 cal BP, while a coastal environment associated with the fluvio-deltaic system of Kifissos and Korydallos Rivers is continually developing to the west. Signs of cultivation and grazing activities in the area are evidenced since the Early Bronze Age, culminating during the Classical Period. A comparison with a well-dated marine record, recovered from the nearby shallow Elefsis Bay, provides a reasonable estimation of ~5 mm/yr for the absolute sea level rise rate in the inner Saronikos Gulf during the Mid-Holocene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Late Glacial Marine Transgression and Ecosystem Response in the Landlocked Elefsis Bay (Northern Saronikos Gulf, Greece)
Water 2021, 13(11), 1505; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111505 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Coastal landscapes are sensitive to changes due to the interplay between surface and submarine geological processes, climate variability, and relative sea level fluctuations. The sedimentary archives of such marginal areas record in detail the complex evolution of the paleoenvironment and the diachronic biota [...] Read more.
Coastal landscapes are sensitive to changes due to the interplay between surface and submarine geological processes, climate variability, and relative sea level fluctuations. The sedimentary archives of such marginal areas record in detail the complex evolution of the paleoenvironment and the diachronic biota response. The Elefsis Bay is nowadays a landlocked shallow marine basin with restricted communication to the open Saronikos Gulf. A multi-proxy investigation of a high-resolution sediment core recovered from the deepest part of the basin offered a unique opportunity to record the paleoenvironmental and aquatic ecosystem response to climate and glacioeustatic sea level changes since the Late Glacial marine transgression. The retrieved sedimentary deposits, subjected to thorough palynological (pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, dinoflagellates), micropaleontological (benthic foraminifera, calcareous nannoplankton, ostracods), and mollusc analyses, indicates isolation of the Elefsis Bay from the Saronikos Gulf and the occurrence of a shallow freshwater paleolake since at least 13,500 cal BP, while after 11,350 cal BP the transition towards lagoon conditions is evidenced. The marine transgression in the Elefsis Bay is dated at 7500 cal BP, marking the establishment of the modern marine realm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Pre-Messinian Deposits of the Mediterranean Ridge: Biostratigraphic and Geochemical Evidence from the Olimpi Mud Volcano Field
Water 2021, 13(10), 1367; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101367 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1102
Abstract
This study presents the results derived from micropaleontological and organic geochemical analyses of mud breccia samples obtained (through gravity coring) from five mud volcanoes (Gelendzhik, Heraklion, Moscow, Milano, Leipzig) located at the Olimpi mud volcano field on the Mediterranean Ridge accretionary complex. A [...] Read more.
This study presents the results derived from micropaleontological and organic geochemical analyses of mud breccia samples obtained (through gravity coring) from five mud volcanoes (Gelendzhik, Heraklion, Moscow, Milano, Leipzig) located at the Olimpi mud volcano field on the Mediterranean Ridge accretionary complex. A thorough calcareous nannofossil semi-quantitative analysis was performed to determine the biostratigraphic assignment of the deep-seated source strata. Mudstone/shale clasts of different stratigraphic levels were identified and assigned to the Miocene nannofossil biozones CNM10, CNM8–9, CNM7, CNM6–7, and Oligocene CNO4/CNO5. A single mudstone clast from the Gelendzhik plateau, assigned to the biozone CNM10, demonstrated unique micropaleontological and geochemical characteristics, suggesting a sapropelic origin. Subsequently, the total organic carbon (TOC) content and thermal maturity of the collected mud breccias was evaluated using the Rock-Eval pyrolysis technique, and their oil and gas potential was estimated. The pyrolyzed sediments were both organic rich and organic poor (TOC >0.5% or <0.5%, respectively), with their organic matter showing characteristics of the type III kerogen that consists of adequate hydrogen to be gas generative, but insufficient hydrogen to be oil prone. However, the organic matter of the late Serravallian (CNM10) sapropelic mudstone was found to consist of a mixed type II/III kerogen, implying an oil-prone source rock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Potential Sources of Particulate Iron in Surface and Deep Waters of the Terra Nova Bay (Ross Sea, Antarctica)
Water 2020, 12(12), 3517; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123517 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 868
Abstract
The distribution of particulate Fe (pFe), suspended particulate matter (SPM), and other particulate trace metals were investigated in Terra Nova Bay as part of CDW Effects on glaciaL mElting and on Bulk of Fe in the Western Ross sea (CELEBeR) and Plankton biodiversity [...] Read more.
The distribution of particulate Fe (pFe), suspended particulate matter (SPM), and other particulate trace metals were investigated in Terra Nova Bay as part of CDW Effects on glaciaL mElting and on Bulk of Fe in the Western Ross sea (CELEBeR) and Plankton biodiversity and functioning of the Ross Sea ecosystems in a changing Southern Ocean (P-ROSE) projects. Variable concentrations of SPM (0.09–97 mg L−1), pFe (0.51–8.70 nM) and other trace metals were found in the Antarctic Surface waters (AASW) layer, where the addition of meltwater contributed to the pool with both lithogenic and biogenic forms. The deeper layer of the water column was occupied by High Salinity Shelf Water (HSSW) and Terra Nova Bay Ice Shelf Water (TISW) encompassing glacial water as confirmed by the lightest δ18O measured values. The concentration of pFe in TISW (11.7 ± 9.2 nM) was higher than in HSSW samples (5.55 ± 4.43 nM), suggesting that the drainage of material released from glaciers surrounding the area is relevant in terms of pFe contribution. Particulate Fe/Al and Mn/Al ratios were substantially in excess compared with the mean crustal ratios. Microscopic analyses confirmed that more labile Fe oxyhydroxides and authigenic MnO2 phases were present together with biogenic sinking material. Future expected increasing melt rates of these glaciers enlarge Fe input, thus having a greater role in supplying iron and counteracting the reductions in sea ice cover around Terra Nova Bay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Tidally Forced Saltwater Intrusions might Impact the Quality of Drinking Water, the Valdivia River (40° S), Chile Estuary Case
Water 2020, 12(9), 2387; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092387 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
The Valdivia River estuary (VRE) located in south-central Chile is known as one of the largest estuarine ecosystems on the Pacific coast. This research aims to determine the intra-tidal and sub-tidal variability of saline intrusions into the VRE between November 2017 and March [...] Read more.
The Valdivia River estuary (VRE) located in south-central Chile is known as one of the largest estuarine ecosystems on the Pacific coast. This research aims to determine the intra-tidal and sub-tidal variability of saline intrusions into the VRE between November 2017 and March 2019 derived from salinity sensors located along the VRE. Complementary hydrographic measurements were conducted during flood and ebb conditions of the spring and neap tides for each of the four seasons of the year along the central axis of the VRE. The results of the salinity time series showed that saline intrusions (values greater than 0.5 Practical Salinity Units) occurred ~20 km from the estuary mouth, when the total flow of the Cruces and Calle-Calle rivers (main tributaries of the estuary) was low, around 280–300 m3 s−1. During the same period, the best co-variability was observed between the saline intrusions and the mixed-semidiurnal tide and the fortnightly and monthly periods of the tide. Regression analyses indicated that salinity intrusion length (L) is best correlated to discharge (D) with a fractional power model L α D−1/2.64 (R2 = 0.88). The decreasing discharge trend, found between 2008–2019, implies that saline water intrusions would negatively impact the Valdivia’s main drinking water intake during the low rainfall season under future climate conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Review
MSFD In-Depth Knowledge of the Marine Environment as the Stepping Stone to Perform Marine Spatial Planning in Greece
Water 2021, 13(15), 2084; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152084 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 867
Abstract
The multiple anthropogenic activities taking place in the marine environment increase and create a high demand for maritime space. The pressures generated thereof on coastal and marine resources require an integrated planning and management approach. The MSPD (2014/89/EU) forms the legislative framework to [...] Read more.
The multiple anthropogenic activities taking place in the marine environment increase and create a high demand for maritime space. The pressures generated thereof on coastal and marine resources require an integrated planning and management approach. The MSPD (2014/89/EU) forms the legislative framework to regulate maritime activities and ensure a sustainable use of the marine environment. Based on the MSFD (2008/56/EC), the present study provides an overview of the state of the marine environment in Greece and the existing pressures while examining the potential contribution of MSFD knowledge to the MSPD implementation, identifying possible knowledge gaps for the subsequent MSP process phases. It is supported that the MSFD constitutes the best available scientific knowledge about the ecosystem and its dynamics, and provides an open access database which should be optimally used in the MSP process. The MSFD data provided concerning Greece can support the implementation of the MSP process, as the MSFD qualitative descriptors of state and pressures feed MSP sectors with environmental data essential for the MSP application, and weigh the intensity of each descriptor contribution to this interrelationship. Considering MSPD requires the adoption of an ecosystem-based approach, it can only attain its goals based on MSFD input and aspirations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal and Continental Shelf Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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