Coastal Seminar Series 2017 – Uxía López-Dóriga Sandoval

The impacts of sea-level rise on the recreational use of Catalan beaches: Application in the Costa Brava

by Uxía López-Dóriga Sandoval (Visiting PhD Student from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech, Spain)



The Catalan coast is a traditional tourist destination, where tourism represents 11% of the GDP and beaches are the main resource. Due to this; any significant change in coastal stability, as induced shoreline retreat by sea-level rise (SLR), will affect not only to the natural system, but also to the economic development of the region. Therefore, this study is focused on the impact assessment of SLR on the recreational use of Catalan beaches under different SLR scenarios to help decision-makers in long-term planning. To do this, a simple regional beach use model was developed, relating the beach carrying capacity with a set of variables such as beach morphology, beach type (urban, semiurban, rural), density of use (intense, moderate, low) and location (area supplying potential visitors). Moreover, this model is used to predict future carrying capacities under different SLR scenarios assuming a given coastal planning. Obtained results show that climate change will be a serious threat to beach recreation function since the expected enhanced shoreline retreat will severely decrease the recreational carrying capacity in the near future under tested scenarios.

Speaker information:

Uxía López-Dóriga is doing her PhD Thesis entitled “The influence of climate change on the risk landscape of the Catalan coast”, under the supervision of Prof. José A. Jiménez at UPC-Barcelona. Currently, she is doing a temporal internship at the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment under the supervision of Prof. Robert Nicholls; with the main objective of developing adaptation measures for Catalan beaches with special emphasis on the tourism sector. Her background is in coastal processes and management, with a BSc in Marine Sciences and a MSc in Oceanography.

When: Next Week Thursday, 20 April 2017 at 16:00

Where: Building 07/3031 L/R F2