Paolo Ciavola

Paolo Ciavola
University of Ferrara | UNIFE · Department of Physics and Earth Sciences

MSc, PhD

About

232
Publications
64,208
Reads
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4,093
Citations
Citations since 2017
52 Research Items
2228 Citations
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Introduction
Paolo is Full Professor of Coastal Dynamics and Geomorphology in the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara, where he teaches Physical Geography and Geomorphology, Coastal Risk, GIS and Remote Sensing, Landscape Analysis. His current main research interests include coastal processes, the impact of climate change on coastal morphology, the role of extreme storm events in generating coastal risk, river delta and estuarine dynamics, sedimentation in coastal lagoons. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Coastal Research and Continental Shelf Research. He was an expert reviewer of the IPCC WGII AR5 report- Europe Chapter and is currently a Science Officer of the EGU in the Natural Hazards division.
Additional affiliations
December 1996 - present
University of Ferrara
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Full Professor (2018-present), Associate Professor (2005-2018) and Lecturer (1996-2005). Tasks: teaching in the Departments of Engineering, Physics and Earth Sciences and Humanities
December 1996 - present
University of Ferrara
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Teaching geomorphology, coastal dynamics and marine geohazards
April 1995 - November 1996
Universidade do Algarve
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • Working on the study of longshore transport and developing field equipment for measurements of waves, currents and suspended sediment.
Education
April 1995 - November 2000
Universidade do Algarve
Field of study
  • Marine Sciences
November 1986 - October 1990
University of Bologna
Field of study
  • Geology

Publications

Publications (232)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Coastal cliff erosion process is the result of the interplay of many drivers: subaerial, marine or endogenic, including rock control in terms of both lithology and structure. Today, the proper quantitative characterization of such a complex process still represents a scientific challenge, despite its importance for hazard and risk assessments, and...
Presentation
Coastal storms constitute a key factor controlling shoreline position changes. They may deeply modify the beach morphology and contribute to erosive processes. Earth observation data as the images from the Sentinel satellites of ESA's Copernicus program and the Copernicus Contributing Missions offer potential information for characterizing beach ch...
Article
Full-text available
Study Region The coast of the Emilia-Romagna Region in northern Italy consists of about 210 km of sandy beaches that have been attracting tourists for decades. Since the 1980s, erosion processes resulted in a remarkable beach retreat, notwithstanding the construction of several protections works. Study Focus In 2005–2006 and 2017–2020, 30 floods o...
Article
Full-text available
The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) on wetlands is becoming a common survey technique that is extremely useful for understanding tidal flats and salt marshes. However, its implementation is not straightforward because of the complexity of the environment and fieldwork conditions. This paper presents the morphological evolution of the Po della...
Article
Full-text available
Nowadays, the employment of high-resolution Digital Surface Models (DSMs) and RGB orthophotos has become fundamental in coastal system studies. This work aims to explore the potentiality of low-cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) surveys to monitor the geomorphic and vegetation state of coastal sand dunes by means of high-resolution (2-4 cm) RGB ort...
Article
Full-text available
This work capitalises on the morphodynamic study of a scraped artificial dune built on the sandy beach of Porto Garibaldi (Comacchio, Italy) as a barrier to protect the touristic facilities from sea storms during the winter season and contributes to understanding of the role of elevation data uncertainty and uniform thresholds for change detection...
Chapter
Tracers are essentially sediment particles that can be easily identified within a large mass of sediment grains having different characteristics. The concept is widely used in sedimentary petrography, where particular mineral assemblages are inherited from the characteristics of the provenance basin. Another approach is to use sediment from the env...
Article
Full-text available
The knowledge of extreme total water levels (ETWLs) and the derived impact, coastal flooding and erosion, is crucial to face the present and future challenges exacerbated in European densely populated coastal areas. Based on 24 years (1993-2016) of multimission radar altimetry, this paper investigates the contribution of each water level component:...
Article
Full-text available
Grottoli, E.; Cilli, S.; Ciavola, P., and Armaroli, C., 2020. Sedimentation at river mouths bounded by coastal structures: A case study along the Emilia-Romagna coastline, Italy. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 505–510. Seville (Spain), ISSN 0749-0208. Beac...
Article
Coastal risk assessments rely on proper quantification of storm-induced erosion and flooding, and often involve calculations via numerical models. When the real time-series data of a storm are not available as forcing conditions and only bulk information is accessible, synthetic simplified time-evolutions are assumed. The most common approach in co...
Conference Paper
Over the last decades, most of the Emilia-Romagna (Italy) beaches have been affected by marked erosion that is still progressing, which is primarily due to the reduction of sediment supply by the local rivers. In addition to larger fluvial systems, the role of small rivers has been recognized as important in contributing to both beach stability and...
Article
Full-text available
The high water level and extreme waves that occur during a storm may threaten coastal landscapes, including densely populated zones that may also suffer from erosion, increasing the flooding magnitude and the total risk level. Climate change and future sea-level rise may result in an increased impact of storms due to the changes in the frequency an...
Article
Full-text available
This contribution presents the high-resolution Pan-European storm surge (SSL) dataset, ANYEU-SSL, produced with the SCHISM circulation model. The dataset covers 40 years (1979-2018) of SSL data along the European coastline with 3-hour temporal resolution and has been extensively validated for the period spanning from 1979 to 2016, considering the w...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most relevant features of alluvial rivers concerns flow resistance, which depends on many factors including, mainly grain resistance and form drag. For natural sand-bed rivers, dunes furnish the most significant contribution and this paper provides an insight on it. To achieve this aim, momentum balance equations and energy balance equat...
Article
Full-text available
In the present context of sea-level rise, the reconstruction of previously reclaimed intertidal areas represents an opportunity to build dynamic coastal defences to decrease flooding under storm conditions by the dissipation of wave and surge energy across the vegetated domain. In Europe, this approach started in the late 1990s along the coast of e...
Article
Full-text available
The role of short- to medium-term geomorphic variation is analyzed in two Italian mixed sand and gravel beaches to better understand how it could affect vulnerability assessments of oil spill events. The study sites, Portonovo and Sirolo, are in one of the most congested areas for oil transportation in the Adriatic Sea (Ancona port). A “snapshot” s...
Poster
Full-text available
In the current scenarios of sea level rise and increasing coastal erosion processes, dune conservation is one of the potentially more efficient solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction policies. Coastal dunes represent a natural defence barrier from flooding and can protect strategic infrastructures and populated urban areas located behind them. The a...
Article
Full-text available
Beach nourishments using coarse-gravel sediments are becoming a frequent practice to buffer coastal erosion, but usually little attention is spent on fill material characteristics. A better understanding of the influence of sediment characteristics on transport is crucial to establish the best compatibility of fill material with native beach sedime...
Article
Full-text available
Operational forecasting systems are important for disaster risk reduction. In this work we implement a coupled storm surge and tidal model on an unstructured grid over Europe towards the development of a pan-European Storm Surge Forecasting System (EU-SSF). The skill to predict tidal, surge and total water levels was evaluated based on measurements...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal communities and assets are exposed to flooding and erosion hazards due to extreme storm events, which may increase in intensity due to climatological factors in the incoming future. Coastal managers are tasked with developing risk-management plans mitigating risk during all phases of the disaster cycle. This necessitates rapid, time-efficie...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated risk assessment approaches to support coastal managers' decisions when designing plans are increasingly becoming an urgent need. To enable efficient coastal management, possible present and future scenarios must be included, disaster risk reduction measures integrated, and multiple hazards dealt with. In this work, the Bayesian network-b...
Article
The morphological and volumetric changes of the mouth of the small Magra River (catchment size: 1400 km2) in the Western Mediterranean were analyzed from high-resolution bathymetric data collected during several oceanographic surveys from 1882 to 2014, processed following international hydrographic standards (IHO S- 44), and stored in the Italian H...
Article
Full-text available
River currents, wind, and waves drive bed-load transport, in which sediment particles collide with each other and Earth’s surface. A generic consequence is impact attrition and rounding of particles as a result of chipping, often referred to in geological literature as abrasion. Recent studies have shown that the rounding of river pebbles can be mo...
Article
Full-text available
From the 1950s, the Po delta, one of the largest anthropogenic world deltas, has been subjected to a fast degradation and shoreline retreat due a marked reduction of sediment supply, mainly controlled by human impacts/factors, including subsidence. Through the interpretation of satellite images, coupled with the analysis of the flow discharge, and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Fiumi Uniti and Savio rivers are two small sandy-bed river systems which sediment yield contributes feeds part of the Emilia-Romagna beaches (Italy). Since the twentieth century the northern Adriatic coast has been affected by well-known beach retreat phenomena. As the sediment supply of these local rivers is not well known, an analysis of bed-...
Article
A two years field campaign of bedload transport measurements was carried out on the Fiumi Uniti R. a few kilometres upstream of its outlet into the Adriatic Sea in order to investigate the role of river sediment supply to a beach that has been experiencing severe degradation throughout the last decades. The threshold condition for bedload entrainme...
Article
The storm response of three Italian coarse-grained beaches was investigated to better understand the morphodynamics of coarse-clastic beaches in a microtidal context. Two of the studied sites are located on the eastern side of the country (Portonovo and Sirolo) and the third one (Marina di Pisa) is on the western side. Portonovo and Sirolo are mixe...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated risk assessment approaches to support coastal managers’ decisions when designing plans are increasingly becoming an urgent need. To enable efficient coastal management, possible present and future scenarios must be included, disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures integrated, and multiple hazards dealt with. In this work, the Bayesian Net...
Article
Recent and historic low-frequency, high-impact events have demonstrated the flood risks faced by exposed coastal areas in Europe and beyond. These coastal zone risks are likely to increase in the future which requires a re-evaluation of coastal disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies and a new mix of PMP (prevention, e.g., dike protection; mitigat...
Article
This paper presents a new storm impact database for European coastlines that facilitates the upload, browsing and download of a broad range of physical and impact information related to historical and recent marine storm events. The database is transparent in terms of open access to raw data and metadata, makes use of version control systems throug...
Article
Full-text available
An historical analysis of the occurrence of storms and their damage intensity is presented. The work analysed historical large-scale events from The Middle Ages to the 1960s at case study sites along the coasts of North Norfolk (UK); Charente-Maritime and Vendée (France); Cinque Terre-Liguria coast (Italy); Emilia-Romagna coast (Italy) and Ria Form...
Research
Full-text available
Final policy brief from the Resilience Increasing Strategies for Coasts - Toolkit (RISC-KIT) summarizing key recommendations for policy makers from the implementation of the toolkit in 10 European cities.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This Synthesis Report provides an overview of the achievements, lessons learned and challenges identified through the RISC-KIT project activities, including the development and application of the tools at ten case study sites in a range of coastal regions across Europe. The lessons learned are then fed into a series of recommendations for improved...
Chapter
Socioeconomic and environmental impacts related to natural hazards in coastal zones, and notably coastal flooding, are highly significant and subject to many controversial debates and studies. Actions related to improved risk prevention and reduction of climate-related hazards are embedded nowadays into international, European Union (EU) and nation...
Chapter
An historical analysis of storms from a physical viewpoint can be achieved through the collection of meteorological data over time. Access to this type of data, such as the occurrence of storms and their effects, is an essential element in the assessment of coastal risks, and for predicting future risk. Different computer models are used to evaluat...
Chapter
Full-text available
On February 28th 2010, Xynthia struck the French Western coast, mainly the portion of the Atlantic arc ranging between the south of Brittany and Bordeaux, causing the majority of the human and material losses in the French “departements” (or counties) of the Vendee and Charente-Maritime. The singularity of Xynthia lies mainly in the impact of the s...
Data
• Storm impact data from ten sites across Europe is combined in a user-friendly web viewer • Data transparency and international standards promoted through use of Version Control System, INSPIRE metadata and OpenEarth repository • Database combines historical and modern event information of physical forcing conditions and their socio-economic impac...
Article
An historical analysis of the occurrence of storms and their damage intensity is presented. The work analysed historical large-scale events from The Middle Ages to the 1960s at case study sites along the coasts of North Norfolk (UK); Charente-Maritime and Vendee (France); Cinque Terre-Liguria coast (Italy); Emilia-Romagna coast (Italy) and Ria Form...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
High-impact storm events have demonstrated the vulnerability of coastal zones in Europe and beyond. These impacts are likely to increase due to predicted climate change and ongoing coastal development. In order to reduce impacts, disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures need to be taken, which prevent or mitigate the effects of storm events. To drive...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Oil still represents the most adopted source of energy for several human activities and goods production. Its extraction, transport and storage frequently occur across the sea and affect the largest ports all over the world. These actions have an environmental cost which can affect the marine environment at several levels among which the coastline...
Article
In this paper the abrasion rate on a coarse-clastic beach was evaluated by calculating the volume loss recorded on indigenous pebbles within a 13-month timespan. The experiment was carried out at Marina di Pisa (Italy) on an artificial beach that was built to counteract the erosion processes affecting this sector of the coast. A total of 240 marble...
Book
A comprehensive introduction to coastal storms and their associated impacts Coastal Storms offers students and professionals in the field a comprehensive overview and groundbreaking text that is specifically devoted to the analysis of coastal storms. Based on the most recent knowledge and contributions from leading researchers, the text examines co...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The estimation of morphological and volumetric changes of the delta system at the mouth of the Magra River is presented in this paper using bathymetric and sedimentological data. The data series were collected during several hydro-oceanographic surveys carried out from 1882 to 2014, processed following the hydrographic international standards and s...
Article
Full-text available
Storms across the globe and their associated consequences in coastal zones (flooding and erosion), combined with the long-term geomorphic evolution of our coastlines, are a threat to life and assets, both socioeconomic and environmental. In a changing climate, with a rising global sea level, potentially changing patterns in storm tracks and stormin...
Article
Full-text available
The Emilia-Romagna early-warning system (ER-EWS) is a state-of-the-art coastal forecasting system that comprises a series of numerical models (COSMO, ROMS, SWAN and XBeach) to obtain a daily 3-day forecast of coastal storm hazard at eight key sites along the Emilia-Romagna coastline (northern Italy). On the night of 31 October 2012, a major storm e...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims at presenting and comparing two methodologies adopted by the Emilia-Romagna region, northern Italy, to evaluate coastal vulnerability and to produce hazard and risk maps for coastal floods, in the framework of the EU Floods Directive. The first approach was adopted before the directive had been issued. Three scenarios of damage were...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The present paper describes the geological, geomorphological and hydrological characteristics of the catchment area of the Magra River, providing an estimate of the bed load sediment deliver through two methodological approaches: the first one is based on the results of field measurements conducted between 1999 and 2000 by the local authorities of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The storm response of three Italian mixed beaches is investigated. Two sites are located on the eastern side of the country (Portonovo and Sirolo) and one on the western side (Marina di Pisa). Portonovo and Sirolo are two mixed sand and gravel beaches (MSG) where the storms approach from two main directions (SE and NE). Marina di Pisa is a composit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The coastal area of Porto Garibaldi-Bellocchio (Ferrara, Italy) is subjected to erosion that affects both tourism and generates coastal risk. Mega-nourishments are nowadays one of the most promising measures to compensate erosion and the Dutch Sand Engine project is confirming their capability. A first-step numerical study of the implementation of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The current paper describes the 50-year evolution of coastal lakes (Vendicari) in southern Sicily, separated from the sea by a barrier system, divided into two distinct cells by the presence of a rocky island nearshore. Shoreline and dune foot change were studied by means of the DSAS tool of ArcGis, interpreting aerial flights spanning from 1955 to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The erosion issue is a constant threat along most of the littoral areas around the Mediterranean Sea. The Northern Adriatic Sea makes no exception, in particular the Emilia-Romagna region is subject to erosion processes that jeopardize human activities and natural ecosystems along large stretches of the coast. The factors responsible for the erosio...