The Adriatic Coastal Zone geomorphology

M.G.Angeli*, P.Gasparetto**, F.Marabini***, A.Mertzanis**** & F.Pontoni*****, 2012, The Adriatic Coastal Zone geomorphology, Atti del Convegno_ Italy-China: An ancient cultural heritage and the challenge for future development, Bologna 22 - 23 Ottobre 2012, Bologna, 22-24 ottobre 2012,

Since the beginning of this century, everywhere in the world, the coastal areas have, been affected by a widespread regression, which reached the critical stage after 1950. This situation is in contrast with the general trend of accretion that has affected the coastal zone in the past century. The 8000 kms of Italian coast show a large variety of shoreline. Today about forty- five percent of the Italian coast is threatened by a progressive and general degradation which mainly is manifested as beach erosion. This phenomenon seemed to worsen in the '50s after a long period of general beach stability (fig. 1). If one considers the intense interventions of man on its coasts for touristic purposes, by demolishing the dunes to create beach areas, summer residential and marine areas; the diminished fluvial sediment load to the sea by haphazard removal of riverbed material; the creased subsidence caused by groundwater, gas and oil extractions in areas too dose to the sea; one obtains a picture which easily explains the rapid instability of this coastal environment. This situation is present not only along the Italian coast but, in a greater or lesser degree, includes the coastlines of many other countries. This increased economic development, without worrying about what would be the future impact on the environment, tends to worsen the already precarious situation even more. From the end of the fifties, up to the present day, the coastal area -was used as an inexhaustible and indestructible property on which it would be possible to burden an infinite "number of works without this feeling the least bit. An improper exploitation (by 'robbery') was used in this fragile region, without taking into account the consequences, instead of managing it as a precious commodity which must last in time to permit better economic management.

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