3rd International Conference on Physical Coastal Processes, Management and Engineering (Coastal Processes 20)

Venue: Seaside Palm Beach Hotel

Location: Gran Canaria, Spain

Event Date/Time: Apr 09, 2013 End Date/Time: Apr 11, 2013
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Coastal regions present a complex dynamic web of natural and human related processes. Although coastal zones are narrow areas extending a few kilometres on either side of the shoreline, and occupying a small strip of ocean and land, they play a very important role as they account for nearly a quarter of all oceanic biological production, which in turn supplies approximately 80% of the world's fish. About 60% of the human population live in the coastal zone, and around 70% of big cities are placed in this narrow area. Concomitantly, more than 90% of the pollutants generated by human economic activities end up in the coastal zone.

The unstoppable demand of the coast for recreational and tourism activities has increased the need for shore and beach protection, as well as the construction of artificial beaches, ports and harbours. Most coastlines are subjected to the direct impact of wind waves, swell and storm wave activity. As a result, wind waves and wave driven currents are the dominant mechanisms controlling littoral sand transport and determining the nearshore morphology. In addition, many other physical phenomena, such as tides and associated currents, long waves and storm surges, amongst others, can play a significant role in the dynamic behaviour of the coastal zone.

Due to its great socio-economic importance, the physical aspects of the coastal processes have been of concern for decades, but recent advances in a number of areas, including satellite remote sensing, are giving rise to significant progress in this field. In particular, the use of satellite and imaging systems has significantly enhanced the monitoring and understanding of coastal processes.
Accordingly, it has become clear that the ocean side of the coastal zone represents a very sensitive and particularly vulnerable sector of the ocean to any kind of man-made action or natural extreme events. Consequently, the problem of environmental protection and conservation takes special relevance in this zone, and any decision concerning its viability must be preceded by a forecast of its consequences. Their adequate prediction is only possible on the basis of a clear understanding and careful analysis of the fundamental dynamic processes occurring in such areas.

A greater knowledge of sediment transport mechanisms at beaches may avoid some common mistakes of the past, consisting of uncontrolled development of groyne fields and seawalls, dam constructions on rivers that reduce sand supply to the coast, hydrocarbon and groundwater extraction inducing local ground subsidence and associated floods and erosion of coastal areas.

In order to reach satisfactory solutions for the demands imposed on the coastal areas and the protection of its environment, one needs to understand very different aspects and their interaction. The problems are essentially interdisciplinary, and scientists need to be able to exchange ideas with colleagues from other fields with a variety of different experiences. Thus, an acceleration of research is needed to improve the quality of the coastal processes prediction, together with critical understanding about the model results and their comparison with well-documented case studies and field experiments.


Avenida del Oasis s./n. 35100 Maspalomas
Gran Canaria

Additional Information

Topics: Wave modelling Hydrodynamic modelling Effects of climate change in coastal zones Coastal defences Energy recovery Sediment transport and erosion Pollution and water quality Planning and beach design Coastal morphology Coastal processes and navigation Coastal processes and GIS Bio-physical coastal processes Remote sensing Systems approach Coastal zone management Impact and recovery from tsunamis Impact of storms and extreme events Ecosystems modelling Coastal lagoons Coastal oceanography Socio-environmental issues Papers presented at Coastal Processes 2013 will appear in a volume of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (ISSN: 1746-448X, Digital ISSN: 1743-3541). Delegates attending Coastal Processes 2013 will be invited to submit an extended version of their paper for possible publication in the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, one of the Journals edited by the Wessex Institute.