Study sites

Two study areas were selected in the northwest Iberian Peninsula (Figure 2), locations where the intensive coastal monitoring program is being carried out during Mode A and which represent different types of sandy beaches. The locations differ in their heterogeneous geological configuration and represent different coastal sectors subjected to the same wave regime. On the one hand, the semi-urban beach with geological restriction (Patos) and an open beach exposed and partially artificially enhanced (Mira).

Patos Beach

Patos beach is located in the south of the Galician estuaries. This coastal stretch comprises 1.5km oriented NE-SW. This beach suffered a very high population pressure due to urbanization processes in recent years. Thus, during the winter can occur overflows or floods in anthropogenic areas.

Mira Beach
The sandy stretch between the beaches of Poço da Cruz and Mira is located south of the municipality of Aveiro, on the coast of Portugal. It has an extension of 4.7 km with NNE-SSW orientation. his sector is located in a coastal barrier dune system vulnerable to coastal erosion.

The project is organized in three main tasks.

Task 1 is related to the analysis of hydrodynamic data. ask 2 combines and analyses the morphodynamic data. Task 3 will develop and validate a morphodynamic model to predict the impact of waves on the coast and evaluate the morphodynamics in different future scenarios.

Task 1 is dedicated to the analysis of hydrodynamic data. A first effort will be focused on characterizing the occurrence of storms between 1958-2020, period in which there are available data of the region (buoys and hindcast). The statistical data obtained will be used and combined with the climate change forecast to elaborate a wave model for the near future (middle and end of the 21st century).

The recent wave data will be used in combination to characterize the morphodynamics of the study sites in Task 2. The historical data will be used for the calibration of the morphodynamic model (X-Beach) developed in Task 3.

Task 2 is dedicated to the analysis of morphological data. All the available data collected during the numerous field campaigns carried out will be integrated into a single database (geodatabase) in the SIX Geographic Information Systems environment.

The database will include profiles and high resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) of the dune-prairie system and bathymetric cartography of the two study sites. A Matlab-based algorithm that was developed will be used for the automated extraction of geo-indicators and analysis of shoreline variations due to forcing.

Task 3 brings together the data obtained in Task 1 and Task 2 to calibrate and validate a model of coastal vulnerability to extreme storm events. The model will provide a useful tool for forecasting current storm impacts and predicting coastal vulnerability in the context of climate change.

The main characteristics of storm events (Task 1) and the study of topographic variability as well as the evolution of the beach-dune and shallow zone geo-indicators in response to storms (Task 2), will be used for calibration and validation of the Open Source morphodynamic X-Beach model (https://oss.deltares.nl/web/xbeach/).