Four sets of maps and aerial photographs have been integrated into a Geographic Information System (GIS) project to investigate coastal changes along a 60-km-long littoral sector in south Sicily, Italy. The beaches studied recorded significant morphological changes essentially related to the presence of human structures that interrupted littoral drift. Most of the investigated beaches experienced progressive erosion because of sediments being trapped by human structures resulting in the formation of wide beaches on the updrift side and erosion downdrift. The latter has often been counteracted by the construction of breakwaters. However, local planning authorities did not carry out an assessment of the impacts related to the construction of harbours and ports and their successive enlargement. This article proposes alternative actions concerning the possible future erosion management of the studied littoral.
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Vol. 2008 • No. 241