ICG2022-288, updated on 20 Jun 2022
10th International Conference on Geomorphology
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A Resilient Solution for Management of Beach Tourist Destination (NW Sicily, Italy)

Anselme Muzirafuti, Giovanni Randazzo, and Stefania Lanza
Anselme Muzirafuti et al.

Coastal erosion worldwide affects seaside resorts, linear infrastructures (promenades, railways, and coastal roads), small entrepreneurs’ activities, and local economies. On the other hand, the development of these human activities often leads to coastal dynamics and coastal erosion in general. With ever-changing environmental conditions due to both climate change and human activities, coastal area and particularly sandy beaches are being subjected to phenomenon of different kinds.  Local authorities and scientific communities have been working and searching for solutions to contrast these processes. Different solutions have been adopted regarding beach protection including hard engineering structures, seawalls, and beach nourishment. However, these solutions have been proven not to be cost effectives and sometimes they have been inefficient in terms of sustainability and resiliency. Within the last 50 years, the pocket beach of San Vito lo Capo located on the Northwestern coast of Sicily has undergone repetitive modifications in terms of beach morphology and grain sediment sizes. Moreover, this beach has been identified as an important tourist destination and contributes efficiently on local economic development.

The aim of this study is to conduct a comprehensive geomorphological and sedimentological analyzes in order to determine its natural resilience and eventually propose solutions to increase its protection and its sustainable management.

To achieve this objective, emerged and submerged sediments have been sampled and analyzed, single beam echo sounding and AUV photogrammetry surveys have been performed for morpho-topographic analyses, and a morpho-dynamic shoreline analysis has been conducted based on the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite images acquired from 2001 to 2017.

The results indicate that the sediments tend to move along the coastline generally from center to the western part of the beach with no loss of the sediments for the beach. Furthermore, wave penetration and wind analyses revealed the presence of non-destructive wave with maximum penetration reaching the urban area.  Such ability of the beach to dissipate the wave energy can be enhanced by using sever beaches to dissipate the winter waves. While morpho-dynamic evolution of the beach can be managed by establishing a seasonal re-equilibrium of internal sediment distribution.


How to cite: Muzirafuti, A., Randazzo, G., and Lanza, S.: A Resilient Solution for Management of Beach Tourist Destination (NW Sicily, Italy), 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-288, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-288, 2022.