Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 67, Issue 8, pp 2449–2458 | Cite as

Some results of coastal defences monitoring by ground laser scanning technology

  • Marco Infante
  • Antonella Marsico
  • Luigi PennettaEmail author
Original Article


A general coastal retreat affects almost all the beaches of the Apulia region (southern Italy). In particular, the coastal strip of the Gulf of Manfredonia shows an evident retreat due to human activity. To control coastal erosion, several defence interventions have been realised: breakwaters, shore parallel defences, and, above all, several types of groynes (rectilinear, hook-shaped, T-shaped) were built along the shoreline in accordance with local request. Nowadays, there are about 300 coastal defences built up to protect against human activities. A laser scanner survey of these defences, using a Leica Geosystems HDS3000, was carried out between April 2006 and September 2008 to collect data about the beach profiles and changes occurring in the defence framework. The survey work consists of 3D rendering of defences in order to make comparisons between scans of different periods. Overlap between the points cloud of the whole coastline showed that defences preserved their own profile when no human interventions took place. Moreover, throughout the length of the investigated area, not a single trend occurred in the beach profile: according to the defence framework, some stretches of coast display advancing trend, while others are stable or retreating. Therefore, this preliminary study indicated that the changes that occurred in the beach profiles and defence structures are mainly due to human interventions.


Coastal defences Laser scanner 3D models Gulf of Manfredonia Apulia (southern Italy) 



This research has been financially supported by POR Puglia 2000–2006 Project (Misura 1.3-Azione 2b “Monitoraggio fisico degli interventi di difesa delle coste già finanziati e realizzati” ed Azione 4 “Miglioramento delle conoscenze di base, adeguamento e ampliamento del sistema di monitoraggio del suolo, del corpi idrici superficiali, sotterranei e costieri”) of the Apulia Regional Government. The authors would like to thank the English editor for making improvements to the manuscript in its English form and are grateful to the three anonymous referees whose indications have improved the original paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Infante
    • 1
  • Antonella Marsico
    • 1
  • Luigi Pennetta
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e GeoambientaliUniversità degli studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”BariItaly

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