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Short- to mid-term shoreline changes along the southeastern coast of Gran Canaria Island (Spain)

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Abstract

The paper focuses on the mid-term shoreline evolution and recent short-term shoreline trends of five sandy beaches located along the southeastern coast of Gran Canaria. Using the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS), shoreline changes during the period 1961–2016 and sub-periods 1961–1998, 1998–2010 and 2010–2016 were assessed. Major results highlight a mid-term shoreline retreat of the southern coast stretch (Maspalomas Beach) and shoreline advance/stability of the eastern coast stretch (El Inglés, El Veril, Las Burras and San Agustin beaches), conversely positive and negative shoreline trends of Maspalomas and the eastern beaches, respectively, during the short-term period 2010–2016. Shoreline data and wind/wave data covering the period 1958–2004 highlight for Maspalomas a probable relationship between its negative mid-term shoreline evolution and a relative major severity of wave climate along the southern coast stretch. Moreover, regarding the negative short-term shoreline trend assessed for eastern beaches, an increase of wave dynamics is hypothesized, to be investigated in the near future. For the possible influence of hard defence structures on shoreline changes, data suggest that the groins placed along El Inglés, Las Burras and El Veril beaches have positively influenced shoreline trends in a first period, but did not contribute to overall beach stabilization or progradation in later periods. Results and data acquired during this study, concerning not only shoreline changes and related rates, but also possible causal aspects, can validly support both future research on sandy beaches in southeastern Gran Canaria and management interventions aimed at the development of coastal sustainable tourism in the studied coastal area.

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Correspondence to Gianluigi Di Paola.

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Di Paola, G., Rodríguez, G. & Rosskopf, C.M. Short- to mid-term shoreline changes along the southeastern coast of Gran Canaria Island (Spain). Rend. Fis. Acc. Lincei (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12210-020-00872-3

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Keywords

  • Multi-temporal GIS analysis
  • Shoreline evolution
  • Beach erosion–accretion
  • Marine climate
  • Coastal defences