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Author(s): Araújo, Maria da Assunção
Title: Climate, tectonics and beach erosion : the case of Espinho (nw portuguese coast)
Issue Date: 2014-05-30
Abstract: Sea level is a very changeable surface. Furthermore, the land may also be moving, in a slower rate, generating relative sea level changes. The causes of relative sea level changes are variable, but the ones that cause more intense variations are related to climate. During Little Ice Age (LIA) Northern Hemisphere's summer temperatures fell significantly below the AD 1961–1990 range. This climate situation was responsible for a greater discharge of rivers, which could lead to a greater transportation of sediments to the coastline. During these cold periods, sea level was lower than in present time. All this could imply a coastline progradation, with the successive abandon of older beach ridges, reinforcing the sandy supply for dune building. The coastal situation should be, in some sense, the opposite of the situations that we face today. In present warm period, rivers carry less sediment than during LIA. Moreover, the recent sea level rise contributes to a coastal migration inlands and the erosion of previous beaches and dunes. Our investigation on ancient marine levels and Holocene cemented dunes suggests that the area near Esmoriz (20 km south of Porto, NW Portuguese coast) is probably subsiding. This possible subsidence, together with recent sea level rise, induced by the end of LIA, could explain the severe coastal erosion that is taking place at Espinho area (15 km south of Porto) since the middle of the XIX century. This example shows clearly the complexity of relative sea-level changes. Because of this complexity, sea level curves are not similar worldwide, as they depend on the interference of multiple time-scales phenomena.
Subject: Geomorfologia costeira - Espinho (Portugal)
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Source: Estudos do quaternário : revista da Associação Portuguesa para o Estudo do Quaternário = Quaternary studies, n.º 5 (2008), p. 39-50
Document Type: Artigo em Revista Científica Nacional
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FLUP - Artigo em Revista Científica Nacional

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