Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Systems and Global Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2022) | Viewed by 39187

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Department of Sciences and Technologies, Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, 80143 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
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Department of Earth and Geoenvironmental Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro, 70125 Bari, Italy
Interests: coastal geomorphology; risk assessment; climate change; sea level change; geomorphological mapping; geographic information systems
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Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico
Interests: coastal green infrastructure; coastal morphodynamics; physical oceanography; integrated coastal zone management; oceanographic risk; marine energy harnessing; rehabilitation and protection of coastal ecosystems
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Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Marine Sciences, University of Cádiz, 11510 Puerto Real, Spain
Interests: coastal geomorphology; coastal short-term evolution; disturbance depth; seasonal evolution; historical changes
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coastal areas are zones that are extremely influenced by climatic and anthropogenic-driven factors acting both at the local and global scales.

Among them, ongoing and expected land use and land cover changes, as well as catchment management activities and exploitation of natural resources, can influence the evolution of the coastal environments and landscapes, whose changes can, directly and indirectly, influence human economic assets and pose under pressure coastal habitats and related ecosystem services.

Interdisciplinary research has highlighted that low-lying coasts, worldwide, are currently subject to erosion, retreat, and flooding, and that these processes are expected to increase in intensity and frequency because of climate change consequences. Coastal areas play a relevant role in conditioning and providing those ecosystem services that are able to enforce coastal resilience against such extreme marine events.

The identification of the driving factors inducing coastal modifications, as well as the implementation of tailored solutions for coping with the potential consequences of climate change and land modification on biodiversity, ecosystems, and anthropic activities, to represent key factors for supporting the sustainable management of the coastal zone, under a climate adaptation perspective.

This SI “Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas” is aimed at collecting case studies from different zones across the world whose local economies and services strongly rely on marine and coastal assets conditioning marine activities, such as tourism and fishing. With the aim of covering a comprehensive assessment of the interaction of natural and anthropic drivers inducing such modifications, we encourage authors to submit contributions in the following priority areas:

  • Coastal evolution at different spatial and temporal scales;
  • Effects of human activities on coastline dynamic;
  • Impacts of extreme events and climate-related processes;
  • Traditional and “green engineering” modalities in coastal protection;
  • Mapping of land uses and land cover variations in coastal areas;
  • Advances in coastal landscape geomorphological evolution;
  • Agricultural activities in coastal areas;
  • Effects of saltwater intrusion;
  • Coastal area over-settlement.

Prof. Dr. Pietro Aucelli
Dr. Angela Rizzo
Prof. Dr. Rodolfo Silva Casarín
Prof. Dr. Giorgio Anfuso
Guest Editors

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 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 evolution
  • land use changes
  • watershed management
  • climate change impacts
  • anthropic impacts

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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35 pages, 15156 KiB  
Article
Weakening of Coastlines and Coastal Erosion in the Gulf of Guinea: The Case of the Kribi Coast in Cameroon
by Philippes Mbevo Fendoung, Mesmin Tchindjang and Aurélia Hubert-Ferrari
Land 2022, 11(9), 1557; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11091557 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2647
Abstract
For more than four decades, the Gulf of Guinea’s coasts have been undergoing a significant phenomenon of erosion, resulting from the pressures of both anthropogenic and marine weather forcings. From the coasts of West Africa (Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Togo, and Nigeria) [...] Read more.
For more than four decades, the Gulf of Guinea’s coasts have been undergoing a significant phenomenon of erosion, resulting from the pressures of both anthropogenic and marine weather forcings. From the coasts of West Africa (Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Togo, and Nigeria) to those of Central Africa (Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Cameroon), the phenomenon has been growing for more than four decades. The southern Cameroonian coastline from Kribi to Campo has become the scene of significant environmental dynamics that render it vulnerable to coastal erosion, which appears to be the major hazard of this coastal territory and causes a gradual degradation of the vegetative cover, thereby leading to the degradation of the coast’s land/ground cover and human-made infrastructure. The objective of this work is to analyze the kinematics of the Kribian coastline between 1973 and 2020; to quantify the levels of retreat, accretion, and stability; and finally, to discuss the factors influencing the evolution of the coastline. The methodological approach is based on the large-scale processing of Landsat images with a spatial resolution of 30 m. Then, small-scale processing is carried out around the autonomous port of Kribi using Pléiades and Google Earth images from the years 2013, 2018, and 2020 with a 0.5 m spatial resolution. The Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) version 5 and ArcMap 10.5® tool are used to model coastal kinematics. In addition, the dynamics of the agro-industrial plantations are assessed via satellite images and landscape perception. Environmental degradation is measured with respect to the entire Cameroonian coastline through the supervised classification of Landsat images (1986–2020). The results show that erosion is in its initial phase in Kribi because significant retreats of the coastline are noticeable over the period from 2015–2020. Thus, between 1973 and 2020, the linear data present a certain stability. In total, +72.32% of the line remained stable, with values of +1.3% for accretion and +26.33% for erosion—obtained from Landsat images of 30 m resolution—with an average retreat of +1.3 m/year and an average accretion of 0.9 m/year between 1973–2020. Based on high-resolution images, between 2013 and 2019, the average retreat of the coastline on the Kribian coast was −8.5 m/year and the average accretion was about 7 m/year. Agro-industrial plantations are responsible for environmental degradation. Thus, at SOCAPALM in Apouh, there has been a clear growth in plantations, which has fallen from 53% in 1990 to 78% in 2020, i.e., an increase of 25% of its baseline area. This is linked to the fact that plantations are growing significantly, with increases of 16% in 1990, 28% in 2000, and 29% in 2020, for old plantations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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24 pages, 10503 KiB  
Article
Implications of Spatio-Temporal Land Use/Cover Changes for Ecosystem Services Supply in the Coastal Landscapes of Southwestern Ghana, West Africa
by Stephen Kankam, Adams Osman, Justice Nana Inkoom and Christine Fürst
Land 2022, 11(9), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11091408 - 27 Aug 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2130
Abstract
Land use/land cover change (LULCC) is an important driver of ecosystem changes in coastal areas. Despite being pervasive in coastal Ghana, LULCC has not been investigated to understand its effects on the potential for coastal landscapes to supply ecosystem services (ES). In this [...] Read more.
Land use/land cover change (LULCC) is an important driver of ecosystem changes in coastal areas. Despite being pervasive in coastal Ghana, LULCC has not been investigated to understand its effects on the potential for coastal landscapes to supply ecosystem services (ES). In this study, the impacts of LULCC on the potential supply of ES by coastal landscapes in Southwestern Ghana was assessed for the years 2008 and 2018 by using remote sensing and benefit transfer approaches. Based on available data, relevant provisioning and regulating ES were selected for the assessment while indicators to aid the quantification of the ES were obtained from literature. Supervised classification methods and maximum likelihood algorithms were used to prepare land use/land cover (LULC) maps and the derived LULC categories were assigned according to the descriptions of the Land Cover Classification System (LCCS). Potential supply of provisioning (food, fuelwood) and regulating (carbon storage) services was quantified and the spatial and temporal distributions of these ES illustrated using maps. The results show variations in food and fuelwood supply and carbon storage potentials over the study period and across different locations on the landscape. Potentials for fuelwood supply and carbon storage in mangrove forests indicated declining trends between 2008 and 2018. On the other hand, food-crop supply and carbon storage potential in rubber plantations depicted increasing patterns over the same period. Population, slope and elevation exhibited strong effects on LULC conversions to food crop and rubber plantations whereas these factors were less important determinants of mangrove forest conversions. The findings of the study have implications for identifying and addressing tradeoffs between land uses for agriculture, industrial development and conservation of critical coastal ES within the context of rapid land system transformations in the study region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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25 pages, 22177 KiB  
Article
Geomorphological and Structural Assessment of the Coastal Area of Capo Faro Promontory, NE Salina (Aeolian Islands, Italy)
by Mauro Bonasera, Ciro Cerrone, Fabiola Caso, Stefania Lanza, Giandomenico Fubelli and Giovanni Randazzo
Land 2022, 11(7), 1106; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11071106 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2167
Abstract
Capo Faro Promontory, located in Salina (Aeolian Islands, southern Italy), is a popular summer destination due to its volcanic morphologies, seaside, and enogastronomy. A flat area, right behind the scarp edge of a coastal cliff, hosts the Capo Faro Estate, one of the [...] Read more.
Capo Faro Promontory, located in Salina (Aeolian Islands, southern Italy), is a popular summer destination due to its volcanic morphologies, seaside, and enogastronomy. A flat area, right behind the scarp edge of a coastal cliff, hosts the Capo Faro Estate, one of the most renowned vineyards and residences on Salina Island. The promontory has been characterised in terms of geomorphological features. Remote sensing analysis, after nadir and off–nadir UAV flights, supports the field activities to explore the hazard to which the area is subjected. In particular, the coastal cliff turns out to be affected by a rapid retreat inducing landslides. Therefore, the cliff area has been investigated through a detailed stratigraphic and structural field survey. Using the generated high–resolution Digital Elevation Model, bathymetric–topographic profiles were extracted along the coastline facing the cliff. The thickness of volcanic deposits was evaluated to obtain a geological model of it. The main rock mass discontinuities have been characterised to define the structural features affecting the stability of the rock wall. The obtained results prove the contribution of such research fundamental in planning risk mitigation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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23 pages, 5957 KiB  
Article
Using Spatial Planning Tools to Identify Potential Areas for the Harnessing of Ocean Currents in the Mexican Caribbean
by Isabel Bello-Ontiveros, Gabriela Mendoza-González, Lizbeth Márquez-Pérez and Rodolfo Silva
Land 2022, 11(5), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050665 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1707
Abstract
A spatial analysis was carried out to evaluate the compatibility of human activities and biophysical characteristics in the Mexican Caribbean Sea, in order to identify the most viable areas for energy generation from ocean currents and the areas where the population would most [...] Read more.
A spatial analysis was carried out to evaluate the compatibility of human activities and biophysical characteristics in the Mexican Caribbean Sea, in order to identify the most viable areas for energy generation from ocean currents and the areas where the population would most benefit from such energy projects. Of the study area, 82% have some form of protection legislation. Tourism is the main economic activity in the area and this is reflected in a wide range of activities and services that often overlap within the same spatial area. In the case study, the use of renewable ocean energies is seen as an important innovation to reduce fossil fuel dependency. These energies have the potential to meet the demands of the region. However, it is vital to seek for potential areas for this type of energy harvesting where the social, economic and environmental impacts would be minimal. The lack of marine policies and land-use planning processes in Mexico is a major obstacle in avoiding land use conflicts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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22 pages, 69011 KiB  
Article
Interconnections between Coastal Sediments, Hydrodynamics, and Ecosystem Profiles on the Mexican Caribbean Coast
by Juan Carlos Alcérreca-Huerta, Cesia J. Cruz-Ramírez, Laura R. de Almeida, Valeria Chávez and Rodolfo Silva
Land 2022, 11(4), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040524 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2244
Abstract
The interconnections between hydrodynamics, coastal sediments, and ecosystem distribution were analysed for a ~250 km strip on the northern Mexican Caribbean coast. Ecosystems were related to the prevailing and extreme hydrodynamic conditions of two contrasting coastal environments in the study area: Cancun and [...] Read more.
The interconnections between hydrodynamics, coastal sediments, and ecosystem distribution were analysed for a ~250 km strip on the northern Mexican Caribbean coast. Ecosystems were related to the prevailing and extreme hydrodynamic conditions of two contrasting coastal environments in the study area: Cancun and Puerto Morelos. The results show that the northern Mexican Caribbean coast has fine and medium sands, with grain sizes decreasing generally, from north of Cancun towards the south of the region. Artificial beach nourishments in Cancun have affected the grain size distribution there. On beaches with no reef protection, larger grain sizes (D50 > 0.46 mm) are noted. These beaches are subject to a wide range of wave-induced currents (0.01–0.20 m/s) and have steeper coastal profiles, where sediments, macroalgae and dune-mangrove systems predominate. The coastline with the greatest amount of built infrastructure coincides with beaches unprotected by seagrass beds and coral reefs. Where islands or coral reefs offer protection through less intense hydrodynamic conditions, the beaches have flatter profiles, the dry beach is narrow, current velocities are low (~0.01–0.05 m/s) and sediments are finer (D50 < 0.36 mm). The results offer a science-based description of the interactions between physical processes and the role played by land uses for other tropical coastal ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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35 pages, 5169 KiB  
Article
Natural and Cultural Lost Landscape during the Holocene along the Central Tyrrhenian Coast (Italy)
by Maurizio D’Orefice, Piero Bellotti, Tiberio Bellotti, Lina Davoli and Letizia Di Bella
Land 2022, 11(3), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11030344 - 25 Feb 2022
Viewed by 2697
Abstract
Landscape evolution over the last 8000 years in three areas located along Tuscany, Latium, and Campania coasts (central Tyrrhenian) has been deduced through a morphological, stratigraphical, and historical approach considering the physical evolution and human activity. Between 8000 and 6000 yr BP, the [...] Read more.
Landscape evolution over the last 8000 years in three areas located along Tuscany, Latium, and Campania coasts (central Tyrrhenian) has been deduced through a morphological, stratigraphical, and historical approach considering the physical evolution and human activity. Between 8000 and 6000 yr BP, the Sea Level Rise (SLR) dominated and, near the river mouths, inlets occurred. In the Tuscany area, Mt. Argentario was an island and to SE of the Ansedonia promontory a lagoon occurred. The areas were covered by a dense forest and the human influence was negligible. Between 6000 and 4000 yr BP, humans organized settlements and activities, and a general coastline progradation occurred. A tombolo linked Mt. Argentario to the mainland. In the Tiber and Campania areas, coastal lakes and a strand plain developed. Between 4000 and 3000 yr BP, near Mt. Argentario, two tombolos enclosed a wide lagoon. At the SE of the Ansedonia promontory, the lagoon split into smaller water bodies. In the Tiber and Campania areas, delta cusps developed. The anthropogenic presence was widespread and forests decreased. During the last 3000 years, anthropic forcing increased when the Etruscans and Romans changed the territory through towns, salt pans, and ports. After the Roman period, natural forcing returned to dominate until the birth of the Italian State and technological evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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35 pages, 8375 KiB  
Article
Most Attractive Scenic Sites of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast: Characterization and Sensitivity to Natural and Human Factors
by Alexis Mooser, Giorgio Anfuso, Hristo Stanchev, Margarita Stancheva, Allan T. Williams and Pietro P. C. Aucelli
Land 2022, 11(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010070 - 3 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2920
Abstract
Beach management is a complex process that demands a multidisciplinary approach, as beaches display a large variety of functions, e.g., protection, recreation and associated biodiversity conservation. Frequently, conflicts of interest arise, since management approaches are usually focused on recreation, preferring short-term benefits over [...] Read more.
Beach management is a complex process that demands a multidisciplinary approach, as beaches display a large variety of functions, e.g., protection, recreation and associated biodiversity conservation. Frequently, conflicts of interest arise, since management approaches are usually focused on recreation, preferring short-term benefits over sustainable development strategies; meanwhile, coastal areas have to adapt and face a changing environment under the effects of long-term climate change. Based on a “Sea, Sun and Sand (3S)” market, coastal tourism has become a major economic sector that depends completely on the coastal ecosystem quality, whilst strongly contributing to its deterioration by putting at risk its sustainability. Among beach users’ preferences, five parameters stand out: safety, facilities, water quality, litter and scenery (the “Big Five”), and the latter is the focus of this paper. Bulgaria has impressive scenic diversity and uniqueness, presenting real challenges and opportunities as an emerging tourist destination in terms of sustainable development. However, most developing countries tend to ignore mistakes made previously by developed ones. In this paper, scenic beauty at 16 coastal sites was field-tested by using a well-known methodology, i.e., the Coastal Scenic Evaluation System (CSES), which enables the calculation of an Evaluation Index “D” based on 26 physical and human parameters, utilizing fuzzy logic matrices. An assessment was made of these high-quality sites located in Burgas (8), Varna (3) and Dobrich (4) provinces. Their sensitivity to natural processes (in a climate change context) and human pressure (considering tourist trends and population increases at the municipality scale) were quantified via the Coastal Scenic Sensitivity Indexes (CSSIs) method. The CSES and CSSI methods allowed us to conduct site classification within different scenic categories, reflecting their attractiveness (Classes I–V; CSES) and level of sensitivity (Groups I–III; CSSI). Their relationship made it possible to identify management priorities: the main scenic impacts and sensitivity issues were analyzed in detail and characterized, and judicious measures were proposed for the scenic preservation and enhancement of the investigated sites. Seven sites were classified as extremely attractive (Class I; CSES), but with slight management efforts; several Class II sites could be upgraded as top scenic sites, e.g., by cleaning and monitoring beach litter. This paper also reveals that investigated sectors were more sensitive to environmental impacts than human pressure; for example, eight were categorized as being very sensitive to natural processes (Group III; CSSI). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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18 pages, 4084 KiB  
Article
History, Current Situation and Challenges of Gold Mining in Ecuador’s Litoral Region
by Carlos Mestanza-Ramón, Selene Paz-Mena, Carlos López-Paredes, Mirian Jimenez-Gutierrez, Greys Herrera-Morales, Giovanni D’Orio and Salvatore Straface
Land 2021, 10(11), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111220 - 11 Nov 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 5483
Abstract
Gold mining in Ecuador has been present in the country since Inca times; over the years interest in the mineral has increased, leading to the creation of legislation to control the mining sector in a safe manner. The Litoral region consists of seven [...] Read more.
Gold mining in Ecuador has been present in the country since Inca times; over the years interest in the mineral has increased, leading to the creation of legislation to control the mining sector in a safe manner. The Litoral region consists of seven provinces, six of which have registered gold concessions; the most affected provinces are El Oro and Esmeraldas. The objective of this study was to analyze the historical and current situation of artisanal and industrial gold mining in the Litoral region of Ecuador. Different methodologies were used for the elaboration of this study, including bibliographic review, grey literature, field interviews and a validation of expert judgment. The main results indicate that El Oro and Esmeraldas are essentially the most conflictive areas in the region, as they have sometimes had to establish precautionary measures due to the risks caused by illegal mining. In addition, in both areas there is a great socioeconomic impact ranging from lack of opportunities, forgetfulness, migration, emigration, and violation of rights, among others. With respect to environmental impacts, the study highlights the contamination of water sources (which leads to a lack of drinking water for people), and damage to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Finally, the study concludes that the authorities should control the mining sector more by implementing more laws and carrying out inspections to put an end to illegal gold mining, in order to improve the situation in the areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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21 pages, 6354 KiB  
Article
Shoreline Evolution and Environmental Changes at the NW Area of the Gulf of Gela (Sicily, Italy)
by Laura Borzì, Giorgio Anfuso, Giorgio Manno, Salvatore Distefano, Salvatore Urso, Domenico Chiarella and Agata Di Stefano
Land 2021, 10(10), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10101034 - 2 Oct 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2715
Abstract
Coastal areas are among the most biologically productive, dynamic and valued ecosystems on Earth. They are subject to changes that greatly vary in scale, time and duration and to additional pressures resulting from anthropogenic activities. The aim of this work was to investigate [...] Read more.
Coastal areas are among the most biologically productive, dynamic and valued ecosystems on Earth. They are subject to changes that greatly vary in scale, time and duration and to additional pressures resulting from anthropogenic activities. The aim of this work was to investigate the shoreline evolution and the main environmental changes of the coastal stretch between the towns of Licata and Gela (in the Gulf of Gela, Sicily, Italy). The methodology used in this work included the analysis of: (i) shoreline changes over the long- and medium-term periods (1955–2019 and 1989–2019, respectively), (ii) dune system fragmentation and (iii) the impact of coastal structures (harbours and breakwaters) on coastal evolution. The shoreline change analysis mainly showed a negative trend both over the long- and medium-term periods, with a maximum retreat of 3.87 m/year detected over the medium-term period down-drift of the Licata harbour. However, a few kilometres eastward from the harbour, significant accretion was registered where a set of breakwaters was emplaced. The Shoreline Change Envelope (SCE) showed that the main depositional phenomena occurred during the decade between 1955 and 1966, whereas progressive and constant erosion was observed between 1966 and 1989 in response to the increasing coastal armouring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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15 pages, 3344 KiB  
Article
Evolution of Sediment Parameters after a Beach Nourishment
by Juan J. Santos-Vendoiro, Juan J. Muñoz-Perez, Patricia Lopez-García, Jose Manuel Jodar, Javier Mera, Antonio Contreras, Francisco Contreras and Bismarck Jigena
Land 2021, 10(9), 914; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090914 - 29 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3142
Abstract
A methodology for monitoring the behaviour and size of sand after a beach nourishment process is presented herein. Four sampling campaigns (before and just after the nourishment, after six months and one year later) were performed on four beaches of the Gulf of [...] Read more.
A methodology for monitoring the behaviour and size of sand after a beach nourishment process is presented herein. Four sampling campaigns (before and just after the nourishment, after six months and one year later) were performed on four beaches of the Gulf of Cadiz (Spain). D50 and sorting size parameters were analysed. Among the results, it should be noted that differences of up to 20% between native and nourished sand values disappear only one year after the nourishment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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24 pages, 5108 KiB  
Article
Interaction between Tourism Carrying Capacity and Coastal Squeeze in Mazatlan, Mexico
by Pedro Aguilar, Edgar Mendoza and Rodolfo Silva
Land 2021, 10(9), 900; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090900 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2894
Abstract
While many coastal areas are affected by coastal squeeze, quantitative estimations of this phenomenon are still limited. Ambiguity concerning the degree of coastal squeeze, combined with a lack of knowledge on its interaction with human activities may lead to inadequate and unsuccessful management [...] Read more.
While many coastal areas are affected by coastal squeeze, quantitative estimations of this phenomenon are still limited. Ambiguity concerning the degree of coastal squeeze, combined with a lack of knowledge on its interaction with human activities may lead to inadequate and unsuccessful management responses. The objective of the present research was to quantify the degree of coastal squeeze on the highly urbanized coast of Mazatlan, Mexico, and to investigate the relationship between the development of tourism and coastal squeeze from various time perspectives. The Drivers, Exchanges, States of the environment, Consequences, and Responses (DESCR) framework was applied to identify the chronic, negative consequences of dense tourism in the area, together with the assessment of coastal squeeze. A Tourism Load Capacity (TLC) estimation was made and correlated with the DESCR results, showing that coastal squeeze is inversely correlated with tourism load in Mazatlan. The medium-intensity coastal squeeze currently experienced in Mazatlan requires interventions to avoid severe degradation of the ecosystem on which the local tourism industry relies, for which immediate, long-term, and administrative recommendations are given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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22 pages, 3775 KiB  
Article
Quantifying Drivers of Coastal Forest Carbon Decline Highlights Opportunities for Targeted Human Interventions
by Lindsey S. Smart, Jelena Vukomanovic, Paul J. Taillie, Kunwar K. Singh and Jordan W. Smith
Land 2021, 10(7), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070752 - 18 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3214
Abstract
As coastal land use intensifies and sea levels rise, the fate of coastal forests becomes increasingly uncertain. Synergistic anthropogenic and natural pressures affect the extent and function of coastal forests, threatening valuable ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and storage. Quantifying the drivers [...] Read more.
As coastal land use intensifies and sea levels rise, the fate of coastal forests becomes increasingly uncertain. Synergistic anthropogenic and natural pressures affect the extent and function of coastal forests, threatening valuable ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and storage. Quantifying the drivers of coastal forest degradation is requisite to effective and targeted adaptation and management. However, disentangling the drivers and their relative contributions at a landscape scale is difficult, due to spatial dependencies and nonstationarity in the socio-spatial processes causing degradation. We used nonspatial and spatial regression approaches to quantify the relative contributions of sea level rise, natural disturbances, and land use activities on coastal forest degradation, as measured by decadal aboveground carbon declines. We measured aboveground carbon declines using time-series analysis of satellite and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imagery between 2001 and 2014 in a low-lying coastal region experiencing synergistic natural and anthropogenic pressures. We used nonspatial (ordinary least squares regression–OLS) and spatial (geographically weighted regression–GWR) models to quantify relationships between drivers and aboveground carbon declines. Using locally specific parameter estimates from GWR, we predicted potential future carbon declines under sea level rise inundation scenarios. From both the spatial and nonspatial regression models, we found that land use activities and natural disturbances had the highest measures of relative importance (together representing 94% of the model’s explanatory power), explaining more variation in carbon declines than sea level rise metrics such as salinity and distance to the estuarine shoreline. However, through the spatial regression approach, we found spatial heterogeneity in the relative contributions to carbon declines, with sea level rise metrics contributing more to carbon declines closer to the shore. Overlaying our aboveground carbon maps with sea level rise inundation models we found associated losses in total aboveground carbon, measured in teragrams of carbon (TgC), ranged from 2.9 ± 0.1 TgC (for a 0.3 m rise in sea level) to 8.6 ± 0.3 TgC (1.8 m rise). Our predictions indicated that on the remaining non-inundated landscape, potential carbon declines increased from 29% to 32% between a 0.3 and 1.8 m rise in sea level. By accounting for spatial nonstationarity in our drivers, we provide information on site-specific relationships at a regional scale, allowing for more targeted management planning and intervention. Accordingly, our regional-scale assessment can inform policy, planning, and adaptation solutions for more effective and targeted management of valuable coastal forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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Review

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29 pages, 7148 KiB  
Review
Geo-Environmental Characterisation of High Contaminated Coastal Sites: The Analysis of Past Experiences in Taranto (Southern Italy) as a Key for Defining Operational Guidelines
by Angela Rizzo, Francesco De Giosa, Antonella Di Leo, Stefania Lisco, Massimo Moretti, Giovanni Scardino, Giovanni Scicchitano and Giuseppe Mastronuzzi
Land 2022, 11(6), 878; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11060878 - 9 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2416
Abstract
Despite its remarkable geomorphological, ecological, and touristic value, the coastal sector of the Apulia region (Southern Italy) hosts three of the main contaminated Italian sites (Sites of National Interest, or SINs), for which urgent environmental remediation and reclamation actions are required. These sites [...] Read more.
Despite its remarkable geomorphological, ecological, and touristic value, the coastal sector of the Apulia region (Southern Italy) hosts three of the main contaminated Italian sites (Sites of National Interest, or SINs), for which urgent environmental remediation and reclamation actions are required. These sites are affected by intense coastal modification and diffuse environmental pollution due to the strong industrialisation and urbanisation processes that have been taking place since the second half of the XIX century. The Apulian coastal SINs, established by the National Law 426/1998 and delimited by the Ministerial Decree of 10 January 2000, include large coastal sectors and marine areas, which have been deeply investigated by the National Institution for the Environmental Research and Protection (ISPRA) and the Regional Agency for the Prevention and Protection of the Environment (ARPA) with the aim of obtaining a deep environmental characterisation of the marine matrices (sediments, water, and biota). More recently, high-resolution and multidisciplinary investigations focused on the geo-environmental characterisation of the coastal basins in the SIN Taranto site have been funded by the “Special Commissioner for the urgent measures of reclamation, environmental improvements, and redevelopment of Taranto”. In this review, we propose an overview of the investigations carried out in the Apulian SINs for the environmental characterisation of the marine matrices, with special reference to the sea bottom and sediments. Based on the experience gained in the previous characterisation activities, further research is aimed at defying a specific protocol of analysis for supporting the identification of priority actions for an effective and efficient geo-morphodynamic and environmental characterisation of the contaminated coastal areas, with special reference to geomorphological, sedimentological, and geo-dynamic features for which innovative and high-resolution investigations are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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