Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 19–37 | Cite as

Integrating multidisciplinary instruments for assessing coastal vulnerability to erosion and sea level rise: lessons and challenges from the Adriatic Sea, Italy

  • D. BonaldoEmail author
  • F. Antonioli
  • R. Archetti
  • A. Bezzi
  • A. Correggiari
  • S. Davolio
  • G. De Falco
  • M. Fantini
  • G. Fontolan
  • S. Furlani
  • M. G. Gaeta
  • G. Leoni
  • V. Lo Presti
  • G. Mastronuzzi
  • S. Pillon
  • A. Ricchi
  • P. Stocchi
  • A. G. Samaras
  • G. Scicchitano
  • S. Carniel


The evolution of coastal and transitional environments depends upon the interplay of human activities and natural drivers, two factors that are strongly connected and many times conflicting. The urge for efficient tools for characterising and predicting the behaviour of such systems is nowadays particularly pressing, especially under the effects of a changing climate, and requires a deeper understanding of the connections among different drivers and different scales. To this aim, the present paper reviews the results of a set of interdisciplinary and coordinated experiences carried out in the Adriatic Sea (north-eastern Mediterranean region), discussing state-of-the art methods for coastal dynamics assessment and monitoring, and suggests strategies towards a more efficient coastal management. Coupled with detailed geomorphological information, the methodologies currently available for evaluating the different components of relative sea level rise facilitate a first identification of the flooding hazard in coastal areas, providing a fundamental element for the prioritization and identification of the sustainability of possible interventions and policies. In addition, hydro- and morpho-dynamic models are achieving significant advances in terms of spatial resolution and physical insight, also in a climatological context, improving the description of the interactions between meteo-oceanographic processes at the regional scale to coastal dynamics at the local scale. We point out that a coordinated use of the described tools should be promptly promoted in the design of survey and monitoring activities as well as in the exploitation of already collected data. Moreover, expected benefits from this strategy include the production of services and infrastructures for coastal protection with a focus on short-term forecast and rapid response, enabling the implementation of an event-oriented sampling strategy.


Monitoring Multi-scale modelling Climate change Coastal vulnerability 



This work was supported by RITMARE National Flagship initiative funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (IV Phase, Line 5, “Coastal Erosion and Vulnerability”), by the UE H2020 Programme (CEASELESS Project, grant agreement No. 730030), and by the Interreg-MED Programme (CO-EVOLVE Project).

The Authors thankfully acknowledge Dr. Edoardo Bucchignani (CMCC and CIRA, Capua, Italy) for providing the climatological model data mentioned in the present study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Bonaldo
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. Antonioli
    • 2
  • R. Archetti
    • 3
    • 11
  • A. Bezzi
    • 4
    • 11
  • A. Correggiari
    • 5
  • S. Davolio
    • 6
  • G. De Falco
    • 7
  • M. Fantini
    • 6
  • G. Fontolan
    • 4
    • 11
  • S. Furlani
    • 4
  • M. G. Gaeta
    • 3
  • G. Leoni
    • 8
  • V. Lo Presti
    • 9
  • G. Mastronuzzi
    • 10
    • 11
  • S. Pillon
    • 4
    • 11
  • A. Ricchi
    • 1
  • P. Stocchi
    • 6
  • A. G. Samaras
    • 3
  • G. Scicchitano
    • 12
  • S. Carniel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Marine Sciences, National Research Council (ISMAR-CNR)VeniceItaly
  2. 2.ENEA – National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and EnvironmentRomeItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e dei MaterialiUniversità degli Studi di BolognaBolognaItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Matematica e GeoscienzeUniversità degli Studi di TriesteTriesteItaly
  5. 5.Institute of Marine Sciences, National Research Council (ISMAR-CNR)BolognaItaly
  6. 6.Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council (ISAC-CNR)BolognaItaly
  7. 7.Istituto per l’Ambiente Marino Costiero (IAMC-CNR)OristanoItaly
  8. 8.ISPRA - Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca AmbientaleRomeItaly
  9. 9.Department of Earth SciencesUniversità La SapienzaRomeItaly
  10. 10.Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e GeoambientaliUniversità “Aldo Moro”BariItaly
  11. 11.CONISMA, Consorzio Interuniversitario per le Scienze del MareRomeItaly
  12. 12.Studio Geologi Associati T.S.TCataniaItaly

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