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Evidence of coastal dune mobility increases over the last half century in response to historical human intervention
Marina Navarro-Pons, Juan J. Muñoz-Pérez, Jorge Román-Sierra, Santiago García

Given the risk of two roads being buried by the sand of two highly mobile coastal dunes (Valdevaqueros and Bolonia, SW Spain), several measures have been taken over the last half century in order to stabilize them or at least slow their progress: installation of several rows of 1-m-high concrete structures, planting of species such as Pinus pinea, Retama monosperma and Ammophila arenaria, wicker and wooden fencing, and sand mining (only performed on the Valdevaqueros dunefield). The evolution of the two dunes was investigated through the interpretation of intensive topographical monitoring and aerial photography. Average migration rates of approximately 10 m yr–1 were detected and the burial of anthropic structures has eventually occurred. This process has caused a serious regional problem, making dune management of these areas a difficult challenge. The comparison of the evolution of these two dunes has been of great importance in assessing the effect of historical human intervention and has provided a new perspective for future dune management strategies. The results obtained show that management measures based on sand removal have been proven to be unsustainable. Moreover, the monitoring methodology presented herein has proven very useful in predicting dune advance rates. For instance, the Bolonia dune could reach the nearest road in approximately 12 years.

Keywords: coastal dunes, dune mobility; aeolian transport rate; topographic monitoring; aerial photography; dune management; dune evolution
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 80(2) : 261-272 Back PDF
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