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A new shoreline change assessment approach for erosion management strategies

  • Autori: Manno, Giorgio; Lo Re, Carlo; Basile, Mirko; Ciraolo, Giuseppe
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
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Shoreline evolution studies are fundamental to assess the rate of beach accretion or retreatment. In the last years, researchers developed many methods with several techniques belonging to different disciplines and backgrounds. Nowadays, the Shoreline Change Analysis (SCA) is the most widespread method to assess shoreline evolution. In fact, the SCA is needed to perform management strategies able to respond to current erosion or potential future erosion problems. This paper presents a new approach using an automatic method for SCA with accuracy and speed improvements. Indeed, in the framework of the management of coastal erosion and to develop an adaptation plan to coastal hazards it is necessary to study the links existing between coastal and marine morphological transformations. A new tool was written in Matlab, the input files were built using a GIS environment and the results were arranged in a GIS project. The present tool adopts two approaches: the Transect Based Analysis (TBA) and the Area Based Analysis (ABA). New roughness and irregularity indexes were defined to calculate the transects’ spacing. Moreover, a piecewise polynomial baseline was defined to improve accuracy in shoreline position assessment. The approaches TBA and ABA were validated both by synthetic benchmarks and by a study case. The adopted synthetic benchmarks represent very common types of beaches: with one or more salients, with cusps and groynes. The case study was a logarithmic spiral Mediterranean beach on the southwestern coast of Sicily. All the studied test cases provided good results in terms of accuracy and easiness of use. The new tool and methodology, with TBA and ABA coupling, encloses many practical aspects. Indeed, ABA allows the general assessment of advancing/retreating beach areas, whereas TBA is needed to study very short stretches of beach. The proposed SCA analysis is useful for the requirements of a complete coastal management plan and to evaluate erosion management options. Moreover, the SCA gives a sound technical understanding of the physical coastal processes and should engage the community, the stakeholders and the agencies responsible for development application decisions. The new approach gives high-quality results achieved with significant speediness making it suitable for regional studies and directly providing parameters needed for erosion managing strategies