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1 June 2003 Assessment of coastal erosion susceptibility at the national scale: The Italian case
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To improve the present national and local sustainable planning capability for the coastal zone a GI application for the Italian Coastal Susceptibility Assessment was planned within an institutional agreement between ENEA and the Land Defence Service of the Italian Ministry of Environment. Taking into account previous European actions a suitable methodology to assess, in a quantitative way, the susceptibility of beaches to be eroded has been set up.

The methodology balances the coastline trend as evaluated for a defined time period with the present coastal areas morphology and land use, this in order to derive a value that expresses the evolutionary process in terms of probability of the loss of goods within the ‘Homogeneous Coastal Tracts’.

The trend in the movement of the sea-land line has been used as geo-indicator of a complex dynamic balance that refers both to marine and inland systems, and a vector GI application was built and locally applied in southern Italian coastal areas.

The present shoreline position and some other information describing the intrinsic beach morphologies, and having significance for the coastal erosion hazard assessment, have been derived from the national 1:10.000 ortho-images of the National Cartographic Reference System provided by the Italian Ministry of Environment. The illustrated GI application – CoSTAT – keeps the nominal scale of all data collected or produced. In this analysis the coastal dune presence is analysed as factor limiting coastal erosion susceptibility. Applying a matrix calculation a quantitative evaluation of erosion susceptibility degree was achieved and plans were made to develop new information for a suitable use of Italian coastal areas.

The work describes the methodology, the conceptual framework and the results of a local application.


  • ENEA PROT-PREV = Italian National Agency for New Technologies-Natural Risks Prevention and Effects Mitigation Division

  • GIS = Geographic Information System

  • CHU = Coastal Homogeneous Unit

  • IGM = Italian Military Geographical Institute

  • ICZM = Integrated Coastal Zone Management

E. Valpreda and U. Simeoni "Assessment of coastal erosion susceptibility at the national scale: The Italian case," Journal of Coastal Conservation 9(1), 43-48, (1 June 2003).[0043:AOCESA]2.0.CO;2
Received: 24 June 2002; Accepted: 3 April 2003; Published: 1 June 2003

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