Finkl, C.W. and Makowski, C., 2022. Identification of domain complexes in the Danube Delta Coastal Belt using the Biophysical Cross-shore Classification System (BCCS), based on interpretation of satellite imagery. Journal of Coastal Research, 38(1), 1–18. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The Biophysical Cross-shore Classification System (BCCS) was applied to the Danube Delta on the NW margin of the Black Sea to ascertain whether this method of classification was applicable to extensive low-lying and low-relief wetland coastalscapes. For organizational purposes, the coastal belt study area was broken into four previously recognized delta lobes (Kilia, Sulina, St. George II, and Cosna–Sinoie) and the Chituc Formation (beach ridge plain) because these provided distinctive coastal segments that were manageable for cross-shore classification. The village of Prymors'ke in the Lyman municipality of Ukraine and the onshore Chituc Formation beach ridge strandplain on the southern margin of the delta marked the northern- and southernmost extents of the Danubian classification effort, respectively. Codified cross-shore catenary sequences were based on the occurrence of recurring archetypes (i.e. Barrier, Beach, Beach Ridge, Delta, Developed, Lagoon, and Wetland) that had alongshore extent and could be identified as domains. Sub archetypes were also interpreted and added to the cross-shore sequences to further refine the Danube Delta classification. Because long cross-shore catenary sequences included inland biophysical and anthropogenic units that often differed dramatically from immediate onshore features, the conflated catenas were bifurcated into onshore (seaward) and inland (landward) domains, sections, or branches that were collectively referred to as domain complexes. Extension of cross-shore transects up to 20 km inland to incorporate all salient aspects of the delta provided useful subdivision of delta landscapes. Sixteen cross-shore transects were used to derive 12 domain complexes extending 167.5 km along the Danubian coastal belt that reached from the approximate latitudes of Prymors'ke, Ukraine, in the north to about Corbu in Romania to the south. Classification of the Danube Delta coastal belts showed that it is possible to apply the BCCS to large-area delta regions using extended cross-shore transects with bifurcated catenary sequences that together describe seaward (onshore) and landward (inland) sections of the delta in the form of domain complexes.