Erosion consequences on beach functions along the Maresme coast (NW Mediterranean, Spain)

Caridad Ballesteros, José A. Jiménez, Herminia I. Valdemoro, Eva Bosom

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A methodology to analyse the influence of erosion on beach functions at a regional scale is presented. The method considers erosion hazards at different timescales and assesses consequences by evaluating impacts on recreation and protection functions. To provide useful information to decision makers for managing these functions, hazard and consequences are integrated at the municipal level within a risk matrix. This methodology is applied at the Maresme, a 45-km sandy coast situated northward of Barcelona, which supports a strong urban and infrastructure development as well as an intensive beach recreational use. Obtained results indicate differentiated erosion implications along the region, depending on the management target considered. Thus, southern municipalities are more prone to erosion affecting the protection function of the beach and leisure use by the local population, whereas erosion will have a greater effect on foreign tourism in the northern municipalities. These results highlight the necessity to employ an articulated erosion risk assessment focusing on specific targets depending on the site in question. This methodology can help coastal managers to adopt tailored measures to manage erosion impacts towards specific goals, in a more efficient and sustainable manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-195
Number of pages23
JournalNatural Hazards
Early online date7 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

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