Expanding level of coastal armouring: Case studies from different countries



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Concreting the natural shoreline by use of traditional hard protective structures, as well as by port/harbour developments is commonly known as coastal armouring. Over the recent decades the expanding level of coastline hardening and its adverse impacts on the environment has arisen as one of the most critical problems all over the world. Therefore, our goal in this study was to demonstrate the crucial issue of progressive extent of technogenous coastal occupation by two case studies from different countries in Europe and in South America: Bulgaria and Colombia. To assess direct impact of armouring on the coastline and adjacent areas two case areas were selected for detailed investigation: an 18 km long coastline of the large Varna Bay (Bulgarian Black Sea coast) and 349 km long littoral of the Cartagena municipality (Caribbean coastline of Colombia). An indicative coastal segmentation of the both case sites by geomorphologic and engineering criteria was first implemented in GIS environment. As well as, for quantitative assessment of the influence of all maritime structures (port and coast-protection) on the studied coasts the coefficient of technogenous impact K was explored. A GIS methodology was applied for data processing, mapping the natural landforms/structures and to evaluate the technogenous impact on the both coastlines. The identified high extent of impacts due to built hard defence structures along the selected study areas in Bulgaria and Colombia could be considered as indicative of the large technogenous occupation of the coasts and the increasing level of shoreline armouring as a global issue.


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