Paganelli D., Nonnis O., Finoia M.G. and Gabellini M., 2013. The role of sediment characterization in environmental studies to assess the effect of relict sand dredging for beach nourishment: the example of offshore sand deposits in Lazio (Tyrrhenian Sea)
Beach nourishment with relict sands has been carried out for several years as a way to counter coastal erosion problems, and it has proven to be a successful beach protection method and one of the most important coastal management tools available. It is however known that relict sand dredging may have significant physical and biological effects on the marine environment, especially in highly biodiverse environments and sensitive habitats such as the Mediterranean marine and coastal system. Within this framework, the Regione Lazio (Italy) local Authority has financed and implemented some research projects aimed at identifying marine sand deposits along the Latium continental shelf. The research brought to the identification of five areas suitable for the exploitation of relict sands along the Tyrrhenian continental shelf. ISPRA was commissioned to carry out environmental characterization studies to evaluate the effects of dredging nourishment-aimed relict sand on the marine environment. This paper presents the results of the grain-size characterization study carried out in the areas identified as suitable for dredging of relict sands; the study allows the identification of the main sedimentological features of the investigated areas, providing some of the necessary information to assess the potential environmental effects of relict sand dredging.