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CENAS Project


An integrated modeling approach implemented into a GIS has been developed for the simulation and prediction of the littoral morphodynamics of the Upper Adriatic Sea in the next century. The study area is characterized by a precarious setting and a relatively fast evolution trend. The approach comprises the major physical events which impact on the stability and defence of the coastline including natural and anthropic land subsidence, sea level rise due to storm surges and wave set-up and the coastal sediment transport. Expected sea level rise due to global climate change as predicted by the most recent IPCC meeting has also been considered. The results from the analysis show that the entire Upper Adriatic Sea coastal area is very sensitive to land/sea elevation changes, and particularly so the Romagna shore south of the Po river delta. The most important occurrences affecting the coastal setting and the shoreline dynamics include storm surges/waves, land settlement due to groundwater withdrawal and the reduced sediment inflow from the watercourses.

Although the expected changes in the Upper Adriatic Sea bathymetry appear to have a minor influence on storm surge levels and wave fields, nevertheless a large fraction of the present lowland areas is potentially flooded in 2100 even by meteo-marine events with a 1 year return period. The detailed study of the coastline evolution at the local site of Ravenna, Rimini and Cesenatico (Romagna area) offers a valuable tool to the Municipalities to face the projected beach regression and plan the necessary actions of coastal defence.

Presentation author: Andrea Pellizzon