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The Influence of Shoreline Dynamics on the Use and Exploitation of Mediterranean Tourist Beaches

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The potential influence of shoreline dynamics on beach use and the exploitation of beaches for recreational purposes are analyzed for the Mediterranean coast. This is done by assuming that for intensively used beaches, such as those considered in this work, beach carrying capacity is mainly influenced by the available subaerial surface. In mid-latitude areas with well-defined climatic seasons, managers will need to know the optimum configuration for the beach's recreational purposes in May at the latest if they are to properly plan the services for users during the bathing season. This can be affected by three main aspects of shoreline dynamics: long-term erosion, shoreline reorientations in bayed beaches, and storm-induced changes. To analyze the influence of these processes, here we introduce the concept of “optimum beach width,” which is the value ideally used by visitors when no spatial constraints exist. The effect on this width by each of the mentioned processes is discussed by using examples taken from Spanish beaches.
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Keywords: beach erosion; beach management; beach recreation; carrying capacity; tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratori d'Enginyeria Maritima, ETSECCPB, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: 01 October 2006

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