Environmental Processes

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 201–223 | Cite as

A New Coastal Erosion Risk Assessment Indicator: Application to the Calabria Tyrrhenian Littoral (Southern Italy)

  • Fabio Ietto
  • Nicola Cantasano
  • Gaetano Pellicone
Original Article


Littoral plains are exposed to natural phenomena, such as sea-waves, tides, rainfalls and sea-level rise, but also to human pressure, determining a growing exposure of the natural and man-made environments to hazard conditions. Through this work, a new kind of multiple approach is proposed to evaluate the coastal risk due to erosion processes, which was first tested on the Calabria Tyrrhenian coast. The resulting data show that 35% of the coastal stretches are classified into very high risk category, 30% into high risk, 28% into medium risk and only 7% into low risk. The coastal areas, characterized by high and very high levels of risk, are formed by sandy beaches and are distributed mainly at the northern side of the regional coastline while the southern part, distinguished mainly by rocky outlines, shows lower risk levels. The comparison between the calculated risk values and the real conditions of the damage state shows a good correspondence, testifying the pertinence of the new methodology. The latter is based on indices with data easily available, making the procedure fast and simple to use and applicable mainly in large scale surveys. The achieved good results suggest that the new methodology used to evaluate the coastal risk condition may be also extended to other Mediterranean beaches.


Coastal vulnerability assessment Coastal exposure assessment Sandy beaches Risk levels Calabria Tyrrhenian coasts 



This research was carried out within the MIUR-ex 60% Project (Resp. F. Ietto). The authors are indebted to the three anonymous referees for their comments and useful suggestions, which were constructive and useful at improving the quality of the manuscript.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio Ietto
    • 1
  • Nicola Cantasano
    • 2
  • Gaetano Pellicone
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth ScienceUniversità della CalabriaArcavacata di Rende (CS)Italy
  2. 2.National Research CouncilInstitute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean, Rende Research UnitRendeItaly

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