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Potential impact of sea level rise on the geomorphology of Kuwait state coastline


Abstract and Figures

Sea level rise (SLR) is one of the most severe risks threatening coastal zones all over the world. In Kuwait, coastal areas accommodate about 90% of the total population and most of the urban area. Thus, SLR is expected to have significant impacts on Kuwaiti coastal areas, which may lead to changes in their ecosystems and the geomorphological units in the coastal area. This paper aims to assess the impacts of SLR on the geomorphology of the Kuwaiti coastline under two different scenarios of SLR: an integrated analysis model involving a variety of methods and a composite vulnerability index integrating five criteria. The results revealed that about 58% of the total coastal area is susceptible to inundation under 1-and 2-m SLR scenario, whereas 8.3% of Kuwaiti coastal areas have moderate to high vulnerability levels. Moreover, it was found that SLR may have significant implications for some Kuwaiti coastal areas including expanding sabkhas areas, shoreline retreat, changing coastal hydrodynamics, and erosion patterns and accelerated weathering process. To avoid such potential impacts, it is essential to develop a national strategy for adaptation to SLR impact and mainstreaming adaptation into development plans.
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Potential impact of sea level rise on the geomorphology of Kuwait
state coastline
Ahmed Hassan
&Mahmoud A. Hassaan
Received: 15 July 2020 /Accepted: 2 October 2020
#Saudi Society for Geosciences 2020
Sea level rise (SLR) is one of the most severe risks threatening coastal zones all over the world. In Kuwait, coastal areas
accommodate about 90% of the total population and most of the urban area. Thus, SLR is expected to have significant impacts
on Kuwaiti coastal areas, which may lead to changes in their ecosystems and the geomorphological units in the coastal area. This
paper aims to assess the impacts of SLR on the geomorphology of the Kuwaiti coastline under two different scenarios of SLR: an
integrated analysis model involving a variety of methods and a composite vulnerability index integrating five criteria. The results
revealed that about 58% of the total coastal area is susceptible to inundation under 1- and 2-m SLR scenario, whereas 8.3% of
Kuwaiti coastal areas have moderate to high vulnerability levels. Moreover, it was found that SLR may have significant
implications for some Kuwaiti coastal areas including expanding sabkhas areas, shoreline retreat, changing coastal hydrody-
namics, and erosion patterns and accelerated weathering process. To avoid such potential impacts, it is essential to develop a
national strategy for adaptation to SLR impact and mainstreaming adaptation into development plans.
Keywords Sea level rise (SLR) .Coastal Geomorphology .Climate Changes .GIS .RS
Coastal zones are of great importance for economic and wel-
fare of human communities accommodating a large portion of
world population and valuable assets such as ports, cities,
heritage monuments, tourist locations, and infrastructures
(Dhanalakshmi et al. 2019). For example, it was estimated
that more than 600 million of the worlds population live in
areas less than 10 m above mean sea-level, (Janin and Scott
2012) and two-thirds of the worlds cities with populations
over 5 million are found in coastal areas. Coastal zones are
dynamic ecosystems with a complex range of interrelated nat-
ural and anthropogenic processes.
Generally, global warming leads to global sea level rise
(SLR) because of two main mechanisms: thermal expansion of
ocean water and the melting of ice sheets at the poles (Neelamani
and Al-Shatti 2014). These two mechanisms have led to a no-
ticeable rise in global sea level during the last two decades. In
this respect, it was estimated that global sea is expected to rise
25 cm during the period 19802020 (Fig. 1). One of the most
significant challenges that threaten coastal environments across
the world is SLR that is expected to inundate wide areas of low-
lying coastal areas all over the world (Alsahli and AlHasem
2016). For instance, it is estimated that about 33% of coastal
and wetland habitats are likely to be lost by 2100 due to expected
SLR (IPCC 2014 and 2019). This, in turn, highlights the need
for a systematic approach to evaluate the potential impacts of
SLR on shorelines (Al-Nasrawi et al. 2018; Dhanalakshmi et al.
2019; Masselink and Russell 2013).
Many of the geomorphological processes and factors of coast-
lines are related to sea level. For example, on rocky shores,
bioerosion at mean sea-level forms mid littoral notches and tidal
platforms. This is best developed on limestone, where they are
carved by boring and grazing organisms and/or dissolved and
abraded by wave action being a combination of physical, chem-
ical, and biological erosion (Stewart and Morhange 2009;
Oppenheimer et al. 2019; Al-Awadhi et al. 2020). Thus, it can
Responsible Editor: Stefan Grab
*Ahmed Hassan
Mahmoud A. Hassaan
Ministry of Education, Kuwait, Kuwait
Institute of Graduate Studies and Research, Alexandria University,
Alexandria, Egypt
Arabian Journal of Geosciences (2020) 13:1139
be argued that expected sea level rise may have significant im-
pacts on the geomorphology of coastal areas. Varied estimates
for future global and downscaled SLR during the twenty-first
century vary between 0.56 and 1.53 m on average (Table 1)
(IPCC 2007;IPCC2014; Jevrejeva et al. 2010; Pfeffer et al.
2008; Rahmstorf 2007; Rohling et al. 2008; Vermeer and
Rahmstorf 2009;Churchetal.2013;Hassaan2013). Due to
significant impacts of expected SLR, the physical vulnerability
of coastal areas to inundation by SLR in different parts of the
worldparticularly in low-lying subsiding Deltashas been re-
peatedly studied since mid-1990s (EL Raey et al. 1995; El Raey
1997; van der Meij and Minnema 1999; Nicholls 2002;Alpar
2009; Snoussi et al. 2009; Smith et al. 2010; Hereher 2015;
Darwish et al. 2017). Additionally, other studies have been con-
ducted on the impacts SLR has on agriculture activities in coastal
zones (Abdrabo and Hassaan 2014; Abdrabo et al. 2015).
In Kuwait specifically, the vulnerability to inundation by
SLR has been briefly studied. For example, SLR impacts on
Kuwaiti coasts were assessed, and areas susceptible to inun-
dation under five different SLR scenarios ranging from 1 to 5
m were delineated by Neelamani and Al-Shatti (2014). Their
assessment and delineation were based on an online tool
( Also, the potential impacts of sea
level rise on the coastal zone of Kuwait were assessed based
on satellite imagery based DEMs (SRTM DEM 90 m, see
Redha 2015). More recently, the vulnerability of Kuwaits
coast to SLR was assessed using a coastal vulnerability index
(CVI) map (see Alsahli and AlHasem 2016). Despite the sig-
nificant impacts of SLR on coastal geomorphology in terms of
redistribution of coastal landformsand particularly subtidal
bedforms, intertidal flats, saltmarshes, sand dunes, cliffs, and
coastal low-lying land (cf., Pethick and Crooks 2000)only a
limited number of previous studies consider SLR impacts on
coastal geomorphology (cf., Crooks 2004;Frenchand
Burningham 2013). This paper is intended to assess the im-
pacts of SLR on the geomorphology of Kuwaitscoastlineup
Table 1 Different projections of
global sea level rise up to the year
Authors Scenario timescale Minimum value (m) Maximum value (m)
IPCC 2007 2100 0.18 0.59
IPCC 2014 2100 0.45 0.82
Jevrejeva et al. 2010 2100 0.60 1.60
Pfeffer et al. 2008 2100 0.80 2.00
Rahmstorf 2007 2100 0.50 1.40
Rohling et al. 2008 2100 0.60 2.50
Vermeer and Rahmstorf 2009 2100 0.81 1.79
Average 0.56 1.53
Source: (Neves et al. 2013; IPCC 2014)
Fig. 1 SLR in the period 1880
2020. Source: https://www.csiro.
1139 Page 2 of 16 Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139
to the year 2100 under two hypothetical SLR scenarios: 1 and
2 m. Such an assessment can support policy making process in
terms of developing adaptation strategies that will help protect
the valuable assets of Kuwaiti coastal areas.
Fig. 2 Some general geographical attributes of the coastal area of the State of Kuwait. (a) Kuwaits coastal region or parts, (b) surface sediments map, (c)
slope map, (d) types of beaches. Sources: Landsat 8 OLI; DEM, Kuwait municipality; EMISK 2012; El-kasaby 2014; Al-Yamani et al. 2004
Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139 Page 3 of 16 1139
Materials and methods
Study area
The State of Kuwait lies between latitudes 28° 30and 30° 05
N and longitudes 46° 33and 48° 30E, covering an approxi-
mate area of 18,000 km
. Kuwait is bordered by the Arabian
Gulf from the East, Iraq from the North and West, and Saudi
Arabia from the South. In general, the Kuwaiti mainland is
characterized by low relief with the highest elevation being
295 m (Al-Yamani et al. 2004). Kuwait has an arid to semiarid
climate, with an average annual precipitation of 129 mm (KMD
2020), and prevalence of northwest winds. Its summers are very
hot, with a maximum mean temperature of 50 °C, and its win-
ters are warm. The Kuwaiti coastline, which extends from north
to south for about 414.9 km, can be subdivided into 3 sectors:
Northern, Kuwait Bay, and Southern coasts (Fig. 2a).
Geological formations along the coastal region of Kuwait
belong to three types of sediments: Fars and Ghar formations,
Pleistocene formations, and Holocene formationswith pro-
portional areas of 28, 22.9, and 49.1% of the total coastal
region area, respectively (Al-sulamimi and Mukhopadhyay
2000; Austria 1968; Kuwait oil company (KOC) 1980).
These formations are characterized by loose and fragile sandy
deposits (Fig. 2b) which are highly susceptible to coastal ero-
sion due to SLR and increased wave power and accelerated
decay (weathering) processes.
Kuwaits topography is characterized by a flat coastal
plain (Kleo et al. 2003;Picha1978), with territorial waters
estimated at 7611 km
. These waters can be divided into
two parts: the shallow northern area, which is less than 5-m
deep in most places with a muddy bed, and the relatively deep
southern area, which has a bed of sand and silica deposits
(Neelamani and Al-Shatti 2014). Generally, the Kuwaiti
coastal areas have gentle, gradual slopes representing about
40.1% in the coastal region, with an average slope of the
coastal region at about 4.8° (Fig. 2c). According to sediment
grain size, the coastline of Kuwait can be divided into four
main categories: sandy beaches, rocky beaches, muddy
beaches, and sandy muddy beaches, representing 40.%3,
28.5%, 23.6%, and 7.6% of the total area of natural beaches,
respectively (El-kasaby 2014)(Fig.2d).
To assess various potential SLR impacts on the geomorphol-
ogy of Kuwaiti coastal areas, a methodology of three main
steps was developed (Fig. 3).
&Step 1: Assessing physical vulnerability. This step was
concerned with delineating areas susceptible to inundation
by SLR. For this purpose, a geodatabase of Kuwait coastal
area was created through ArcGIS 10.8 desktop (2020)
( To develop such a
geodatabase, various data sources were employed such
as Landsat-8 OLI satellite image, drone image for some
beaches and locations, Google Earth pro imagery, and
field surveying to collect ground control point by GPS
Garmin Etrex20. Also, a Digital Elevation Model
(DEM), which was produced through aerial survey under-
taken in 2012, was acquired from the Kuwait Municipality
survey department. Additionally, all geomorphological
units and surface sediments were digitized based on satel-
lite imagery, fieldwork, and a map from the Environment
Public Authority (EMISK 2012). The developed
geodatabase consists of six layers, including: coastal area,
Fig. 3 Flowchart for
methodology of potential SLR
impact in Kuwait
1139 Page 4 of 16 Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139
DEM, Slope, surface sediments, coastline geomorpholog-
ical landforms, and land use/land cover.
Field visits were undertaken in order to make site investi-
gation and photography of phenomena by digital camera and
drone (DJI, Mavic2 pro). The developed geodatabase was
then employed in assessing the vulnerability to inundation
by SLR through comparing elevation information of each re-
gion of different Kuwaiti coastal areas with expected SLR at
both 1 m and 2 m, to delineate vulnerable areas.
&Step 2: Impact Assessment. On the vulnerability map,
different socioeconomic impacts of inundation by SLR
were assessed in Boubyan Island and the north coast of
Kuwait, Failaka Island, Kuwait Bay, and the southern
coast. Also, various geomorphological impacts of SLR
on tidal flats and sabkhas, sandy beaches, and coastal hy-
drodynamic and erosion patterns accelerating decay
(weathering) processes were identified. Moreover, to
assess the vulnerability of Kuwaiti coastal areas to
SLR impacts comprehensively, a composite vulnerabil-
elevation, surface sediments, geomorphology, slopes,
and land use.
&Step 3: Developing an adaptation strategy. Based upon the
identified impacts, various potential adaptation options
were suggested to improve the resilience of Kuwaiti coast-
al areas under different scenarios of SLR.
Fig. 4 Vulnerable area under 1
and 2 m of SLR scenarios
Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139 Page 5 of 16 1139
Results and discussions
Socio-economic impacts under different SLR scenarios
Assuming SLR scenarios of 1 and 2 m, a considerable portion
of Kuwaiti coastal areas are vulnerable to inundation (Fig. 4).
Those vulnerable parts include considerable areas of Boubyan
Island and the northern coast of Kuwait, Failaka Island, Kuwait
Bay, and the southern coast. The total area of vulnerable regions
is expected to be 623.95 km
and 1155.01 km
under the 1- and
2-m SLR scenarios, respectively. These areas represent about
3.5% and 6.4% of the total Kuwaiti Territory (Table 2).
Effects on Boubyan Island and north coast
Boubyan Island is located in the northeast of Kuwait covering a
total area of 850 km
(Neelamani and Al-Shatti 2014). It is ex-
pected that more than half of the island area will disappear under
the waters of the Arabian Gulf in both 1- and 2-m SLR scenarios.
Meanwhile, the remaining portion of the island will be vulnerable
to waterlogging due to higher groundwater levels (Fig. 4).
5a), several projects are planned for the island, with total invest-
ments of US$ 410 million (Omar and Roy 2014;Neelamaniand
Al-Shatti 2014). Under a businessasusualscenario, such in-
vestments may be lost unless an appropriate action is undertaken
to protect the island from such potential risk and its associated
impacts. Also, it is anticipated that natural ecosystems on the
island and the hydrodynamic regime and sediment transport dy-
namics in the northern zone will be altered. In this respect, it was
suggested that SLR may lead to an increase in the total tidal prism
and current velocities in the channels, which consequently will
have significant implications on suspended sediment concentra-
tion, erosion, and deposition. Moreover, SLR will affect the rate
of tidal wave propagation that causes a modification of the flood/
ebb dominance ratio (Environment Public Authority 2012).
Effects on Failaka Island
Failaka Island is one of the landmarks in Kuwait with historical
importance (Hassan et al. 2020); therefore, the island is planned
to be developed as a tourism hub in Kuwait including a protec-
torate, a residential area, and a tourist marina (Fig. 5b,seealso
Hassan et al. 2020) that involves a total investment of US$ 2.4
billion (KUNA 2004). The vulnerability assessment revealed that
one-third of the island will disappear under the sea in case of sea
Fig. 5 Master plan of Boubyan and Failaka Island. (a) Boubyan Island and north coast, (b)Failaka Island. Sources: Kuwait Municipality 2005;Omarand
Roy 2014
Table 2 The expected inundated area under 1 and 2 m of SLR scenarios
SLR scenarios Inundation area (km
) % of total Kuwaiti territory
1 m 623.95 3.5
2 m 1155.01 6.4
1139 Page 6 of 16 Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139
level rise of 2 m (Neelamani and Al-Shatti 2014)(Fig.4). It has
been observed in recent decades that the sabkhas on the island
have expanded, perhaps due to higher levels of groundwater
tables associated with SLR. The expansion of sabkhas on the
island can be attributed partially to increased rainfall in some
seasons, as happened in the winter of 2018 (Al-Matar et al. 2020).
Effects on Kuwait Bay
Compared with Boubyan and Failaka islands, Kuwait Bay will
be less vulnerable to SLR impacts (Fig. 4). The northern coast
of Kuwait bay is expected to be less vulnerable to SLR impacts
as it accommodates limited human activities and is dominated
by natural geomorphological landforms such as tidal flats, sand
sheets, and coastal dunes. Thus, even if affected by flooding,
there is a little risk at end of Jaber Bridge (Fig. 4). Meanwhile,
the southern coast of Kuwait Bay, where Kuwait City and many
urban areas are located, is highly vulnerable to SLR impacts
compared with the north coast of Kuwait Bay.
Effects on the southern coast
A relatively low-lying Kuwaiti southern coast, extending from
Ras Aljulauh at the southern border with Saudi Arabia, is
highly vulnerable to SLR impacts (Fig. 4). The model showed
that nearly 30% of the AlKhiran area will be inundated by
SLR under a 2-m scenario (Neelamani and Al-Shatti 2014;
Redha 2015). The area has been experiencing rapid urban
development that will be threatened if potential risks associ-
ated with SLR are overlooked. Under a scenario of 1-m SLR,
it is expected that the area of coastal sabkhas will increase and
the sandy beaches along the southern coast will suffer from
increasing erosion rates. Under a 2-m SLR event, however,
sea channels adjacent to the coastal area will be inundated by
the sea, and the sabkhas will reach Highway 40.
SLR impacts on coastal geomorphology
The expected SLR may have significant implications for the
geomorphology of Kuwaits coastline. Designing long-term
coastal management plans to adapt to SLR impacts requires
accurate and detailed assessment of coastal vulnerability to
these impacts (Alsahli and AlHasem 2016). These impacts
may involve the expanding sabkhas area, shoreline
retreatment and loss of sandy beaches, changing coastal hy-
drodynamic patterns, and accelerated decay (weathering)
mechanisms. For validation purposes, field visits were under-
taken to collect observations and evidence on these impacts.
Expanding sabkhas
Coastal sabkhas are spread in many parts alongside the
Kuwaiti coast from north to south (Fig. 6a). They are generally
located above sea-level in the high tidal conditions, below the
5-m contour line (Al-Hussaini 1988;Al-Ghadban1980;Al-
Hurban and Al-Sulaimi 2009;Hassan2018).
Sabkhas in this region have general tendency to move land-
ward, especially in the northern Kuwaiti coast. The northern
coast sabkhas are mostly wet, parallel to the coastline, and adja-
cent to the high tide line. In fact, there are some sabkhas that are
directly bordered by the coastline, and many highland waters are
often flooded at high tide (Al-Ajami 2008). While of Kuwait
Bays sabkhas are located at a relatively high-level ranging be-
tween 2.5 and 5.5 m above mean sea level (El-Sheikh 1992), it is
expected that any slight rise in sea-level may lead, directly or
indirectly, to an increase in the area of adjacent sabkhas.
Similarly, marine terraces usually play a crucial role in providing
Fig. 6 (a) Distribution of sabkhas alongside the Kuwaiti coastal region, (b) Changes in sabkhas areas (19852019). Source: EMISK 2012; El-Baz and
Al-Sarawi 2000; Al-Dalamah and Al-Hurban 2019, with modifications from, Landsat 8 OLI)
Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139 Page 7 of 16 1139
natural protection for the coastal areas, and marine terraces in the
Kuwait Bay area are generally located 13 m above mean sea
level (Fig. 7)(Al-Asfour1975), which means the lower eleva-
tion marine terraces (at or below 1 m) may be vulnerable to
submergence under 1- and 2-m SLR scenarios. Indirectly, SLR
may lead to higher levels of the groundwater, which in turn may
affect infrastructure and building foundations along the coastal
areas. Furthermore, the sand sheets and coastal nebkhas (shrub-
coppice dunes) in the terrestrial portion of the coastal zone will
be affected (Fig. 8) with significant environmental implications
(Burt 2014; Neelamani 2017; Lokier 2013).
Shoreline retreat and loss of sandy beaches
Beach data are usually used for estimating shoreline dynamics
and characterizing beach morphology and typology (Pierre
et al. 2019). Different parts of Kuwaiti coasts have been
experiencing varied rates of erosion/accretion. For example,
Fig. 8 Tidal flats, low muddy beaches, coastal sabkhas, and coastal sanddune in the Northern coastof Kuwait. Taken by drone Mavic2 pro, altitude 355
m, May 2019. Ground control point taken by GPS Garmin Etrex20. The contour lines drawn through GCP and DEM
Fig. 7 Marine terraces and coastal sabkhas in Sulaibikhat area in Kuwait Bay (Location, 29° 1923.61 N, 47° 5215.87 E). Taken by drone Mavic2 pro,
altitude 85 m, May 2019
1139 Page 8 of 16 Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139
it was estimated that during the period 2016 to 2019, the
erosion rate at Marina Beach and Alblajat Beach (Fig. 9)
was 710 m/year, while the northern beaches in Kuwait have
an annual accretion rate of 4 m (Alsahli and Almutairi 2019).
Generally, SLR will accelerate erosion of Kuwaiti sandy
beaches, which are generally characterized by a gentle slope
of 7.5° on average (El-kasaby 2014). The fieldwork in
May 2019 revealed that Kuwaiti sandy beaches have two
types of sediments: sandy deposits in the form of conglomer-
ates and artificially created beaches.Table 3summarizes some
morphometric characteristics of two examples for these types.
These deposits are highly exposed to erosion by coastal cur-
rents, waves and tides, and general decay (weathering) pro-
cesses (Torab 2011;Goudie2004). Such exposure is expected
to accelerate under SLR and consequent retreatment of coast-
line leading to loss of wide areas of sandy beaches.
Fig. 9 The potential impact of SLR on some beaches of Kuwait. Marina
beach (29° 2038.24 N, 48° 355.90 E) and AlBlagat beach (29° 203.73
N, 48° 541.38 E). (a) Google Earth pro image showing AlArd headland
in Salmiya city. (b) The effect of shoreline moving upward with SLR,
scenario of 1 and 2 m. Source of bAerial photo, taken by drone Mavic2
pro, altitude 45 m, May 2019. Ground control point taken by GPS Garmin
Etrex20. The contour lines are drawn through GCP and DEM
Table 3 Morphometric characteristics ofMarina and AlBlagat beach
two important beaches in Kuwait
Beach Length (m) Width Area (m
) Perimeter (km)
Marina beach 536 81 46723 1.28
AlBlagat beach 1765 126 235123 3.75
Source: Measurements from Google Earth Pro, 2020, Imagery date 30/1/
Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139 Page 9 of 16 1139
Fig. 10 The effects of SLR on some recreational facilities in ALFintas
Beach. (a) Google Earth images showing coastal facilities and offshore
infrastructures in AlFintas beach and show some coastal landforms. (b)
Marine erosion bay after storm waves, location 29° 1044.95 N: 48° 7
21.07 E. Source: an oblique image taken by Mavic2 pro drone, altitude 35
m. (c, d, and e) Land photos to the destruction of the walkway and the
concrete wall that protects the beach in 2014 and 2019
1139 Page 10 of 16 Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139
Accordingly, studying and tracking changes in the shoreline
and its rate of retreat and progress help in understanding geo-
morphological processes.
Changing coastal hydrodynamic and erosion patterns
As a result of SLR, the depth of water near offshore areas will
increase, leading to greater wave intensity and accelerated coastal
erosion. It should be noted that the destructive impact of coastal
hydrodynamics is generally aggravated by unplanned develop-
ment projects that are closely located adjacent to the high-water
level (Leatherman. 2017), particularly under the absence of reg-
ulation for a setback line. In this respect, it was noticed that there
are some touristic recreational facilities located directly in front of
the shoreline. For instance, AlFintas beach, which was created in
2013, was exposed to storm waves during winter seasons of 2014
and 2019 leading to destruction of the walkway and some facil-
ities (Fig. 10). In a Google Earth image (Fig. 9a), three erosion
bays in the middle of the beach can be observed, and in the east, a
concrete wall and rock blocks to protect the walkway can be seen.
The example of AlFintas Beach illustrates potential impacts of
SLR on costal hydrodynamics and its accompanying erosion
patterns. It is expected with changes in SLR, the erosion bays
may increase all over the coasts of the State of Kuwait, and this
point needs separate study and research to track the changes to
understand and track the future of coastal erosion on Kuwait.
Accelerating weathering processes
The geological formations and surface sediments in the coastal
zone, which are sandy and calcareous, date to the Pleistocene
and Holocene periods. Owing to the rocks composition then,
increasing water heightwhether due to the high tide or the
rise of the groundwater levelleads usually to accelerate de-
cay (weathering) processes such as enhanced salt decay (Torab
2011). Mechanical, chemical, and biological rock decay pro-
cesses act to break down the strata in situ, altering material
properties and behaviors, producing sediment, and preparing
materials for erosion and transport (Coombes 2014;Dornetal.
2013). As a result, landforms seen along the Kuwaiti coastline
(e.g., tidal swamps, old and new beaches, marine platforms,
marine terraces) can be attributed to these various rock decay
processes (Fig. 11). It is generally expected that SLR will ac-
celerate the decay processes on most rocky and sandy beaches
of Kuwait. Yet, understanding the consequences of decay is
hampered by poor understanding of the mechanisms, their re-
lationships to environmental controls, and the lack of long,
reliable records (Trenhaile 2014;Dornetal.2013).
Composite vulnerability index
Coastal areas of Kuwait display many landforms that are re-
main highly susceptible to decay and erosional processes
beaches, barriers, marshes, sabkhas, addition to
hosting a wide range (90%) of human activities. Owing to this
continually high amount of activity along Kuwaitscoast,to
assess the States vulnerability of coastal area to SLR in an
integrated manner, a composite vulnerability index was sug-
gested. The index considers five main criteria: elevation, sur-
face sediments, geomorphology, slopes, and land use. For
each of these criteria, different parts of the coastal areas were
ranked on a scale from one to three, where 1refers to the
Fig. 11 Differential decay features on Failaka island in Kuwait. Source: an oblique image taken by Mavic2 pro drone, altitude 25 m
Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139 Page 11 of 16 1139
lowest level of vulnerability and 3indicates the highest level
of vulnerability. After applying an equal weighing scheme,
the five criteria were aggregated, and a composite vulnerabil-
ity index was calculated.
The composite vulnerability index of Kuwaiti coastal areas
revealed that the northern and southern cost of Kuwait had the
highest level of vulnerability compared with the Kuwait Bay
coast (Fig. 12). It was also found that about 1494.6 km
of the
Kuwaiti coastal area, or 8.3% of the area of the State of
Kuwait, has a moderate to high level of vulnerability in SLR
impacts (Table 4).
Potential adaptation options
According to Kuwaits master plan, many parts of Kuwait
particularly areas 1, 2, 4, and 6 (Fig. 13)which are intended
Fig. 12 Vulnerability index of
Kuwait coastline for inundation
by 1- and 2-m scenarios
1139 Page 12 of 16 Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139
to accommodate a variety of development projects, are highly
vulnerable to SLR impacts. Fortunately, the future risks will
likely occur gradually, giving policy and decision-makers the
opportunity to develop appropriate adaptation strategies in a
proactive manner(Americas Climate Choices
2016; NASA 2020). In this respect, the master and urban
development plans prepared by the State should be
reconsidered to relocate future development away from coast-
al areas, whose elevation range from 0 to 3 m, to avoid the
potential impacts of SLR. The state has begun to protect the
urban area through protective engineering works and revet-
ment projects, such as concrete walls and artificial beaches
(Fig. 13 a and b). However, these engineering works are
designed and established to slow down coastline retreat
due to current patterns of coastal hydrodynamics that are
expected to alter under future scenarios of SLR (Le
Cozannet et al. 2020). This requires examining, simulating,
and predicting the effectiveness of such engineering works
to deal with SLR impacts in the future under different
With the average tide in most Kuwaiti coastal regions being
nearly 3 m, and the occurrence of storm waves, potential
problems arising from a 1- to 2-m SLR are only exacerbated.
In other words, if the average tide is already 3 m, it would
increase to 4 or 5 m, in 1- and 2-m SLR scenarios, respective-
ly. That means some places will need to be raised, and some
facilities will need to be relocated inland, away from the coast.
With a 12-m SLR, many parts of the coast of Kuwait will
also need defenses against storm waves that are expected to be
more frequent due to climate change and associated SLR.
Some large and important coastal installations will need ap-
propriate protection strategies as well. For example, more than
half of AlShuwaikh port is expected to be inundated under 1-
and 2-m SLR scenarios, and without proper mitigation, this
could lead to catastrophic economic consequences. Such im-
portant and vital institutions will need innovative solutions to
protect them (Goudie and Viles 2016).
Two main hypothetical sea level rise (SLR) scenariosone at
1-m level and one at 2-m levelwere applied to assess the
Fig. 13 National physical plan strategy 20052030. (a and b represent some formsof engineering protection works) (Source: Kuwait Municipality 2005;
Ministry of Public Works Portal 2020)
Table 4 Areas and
flooding in the State of
Index Area (km
Low 154.77 0.86
Moderate 953.85 5.35
High 540.79 3.03
Total 1649.41 9.24
Arab J Geosci (2020) 13:1139 Page 13 of 16 1139
potential impacts of SLR on the geomorphology of the
Kuwaiti coastline. The vulnerability assessment showed that
four sectors of the Kuwaiti coastal area would be affected:
Boubyan Island, Failaka Island, the northern coast of Kuwait
Bay, and the Al-Khiran area along the southern coast. An
integrated vulnerability assessment of SLR impacts using a
composite vulnerability index showed that about 953.85 km
and 540.79 km
of Kuwaiti coastal areas have moderate and
high vulnerability levels SLR impacts, respectively.
According to a business as usualscenario (i.e., if nothing
changes), the human activities and infrastructure located at the
coastal areas in these sectors will be threatened, and potential
damage could increase significantly. In other words, if the
state does not develop a national strategy for adaptation to
SLR brought on by continuing climate change, the Kuwaiti
coastal areas will be highly vulnerable to coastal flooding,
accelerated erosion rates, and destruction of some key instal-
lations and infrastructure. This highlights the need for under-
standing the general evolution of Kuwaitscoastand
projecting socio-economic and demographic conditions in
the coastal zone of the study area up to the year 2100. Such
an assessment is of great importance to estimate the potential
impacts of SLR on future socio-economic settings.
Compliance with ethical standards
Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing
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... While geomorphology studies the changing physical Earth broadly speaking, anthropogeomorphology focuses on both human and natural factors that influence landscape formation/change, with an emphasis specifically on the role people play as a geomorphological agent, including their influence on geomorphological forms and processes (Goudie, 2003; El-kasaby, 2014, Oula et al., 2019, Thornbush and Allen, 2018, Goudie and Viles, 2016). With the acceleration of climate change, most of the coasts of the world are suffering severe damages due to changes in sea level rise, for example, about 58% of the total coastal area is susceptible to inundation under 1-and 2-m sea level rise scenarios, whereas 8.3% of Kuwaiti coastal areas have moderate to high vulnerability levels (Hassan and Hassaan, 2020). ...
... These ecosystem changes have also led to changes in the coastal geomorphology (El-kasaby, 2014; Baby et al., 2014). Generally, coastal zones are of great importance for the economic welfare of human communities accommodating a large portion of the world population, and including valuable assets such as ports, cities, heritage monuments, tourist locations, and various infrastructure projects (Dhanalakshmi et al. 2019; Hassan and Hassaan, 2020). Over the past two decades, the extensive intertidal mudflats in Kuwait Bay were subjected to land degradation and deterioration due to dredging and landfilling activities (i.e., sand mining) associated with urban and industrial developments (cf., Abou-Saida and Al- Sarawi, 1990). ...
Human activities comprise a third agent of modern geomorphological processes. A human-made landform represents a unit characterized by human activities combined with natural geomorphologic agents, the study of which is referred to as anthropogeomorphology. Ras Ashairej in Kuwait Bay is undergoing many such changes due to the disposal of untreated sewage and industrial effluents that contain high concentrations of ammonia, mercury, chlorine, and oil residue resulting from the disposal of ballast water inside inshore water. This paper aims to: 1) describe the changes in Ashairej promontory during the period 1990 to 2021, 2) investigate the present water quality at Ashairej headland, 3) evaluate the currents’ normal circulation pattern, and 4) determine decay and sedimentation rates along the Ashairej coast. This study utilizes both remote sensing (satellite imagery and UASs to photograph the study area and track recent changes) and field-based data gathering (i.e., ground-truthing) to identify changes in land use and land cover, including using sample analysis of the water for tracing evidence and creating/updating a land-use map. The goal rests in creating the first geographic information systems (GIS) database for the headland capable of analysing coastal anthropogeomorphology changes at the Ashairej promontory that, as an example, can then be generalized and expanded for Kuwait’s other coasts. The result rests in presenting a plan to protect the study area from human encroachments, as well as aiding specialists and decision-makers in the State of Kuwait in further protecting Kuwait’s coastal/near-coastal ecosystems.
... Climate change-induced Sea Level Rise (SLR) has been a major concern for coastal and low-lying areas of the world since these areas undergoes several morpho-dynamic processes due to several geomorphological, climate change and oceanographic factors [1,2]. and adaptations to SLR induced challenges, with a focus on the agricultural activities and livelihood diversifications. ...
... This is a non-administrative unit; developed by the Union parishad to facilitate the administrative work of the Union.2 In South Asia, the crop calendar is divided into three main seasons named as Kharif -I (March-May), Kharif -II (June-November) and Rabi (December-February) and the paddy crops grown in these seasons are referred to as Aus, Aman and Boro, respectively(Hoque et al., 2018).B. ...
Bangladesh is as a low-lying country, susceptible to various Sea Level Rise (SLR) induced impacts. Previous studies have separately explored SLR effects on Bangladesh's coastal ecosystems and livelihoods, across multiple spatial and temporal scales. However, empirical studies acknowledging local population's perceptions on the causal factors to different SLR induced physiographic impacts, their effects at societal scale and ongoing adaptation to these impacts of SLR have not been able to establish a causal-linkage relationship between these impacts and their potential effects. Our study explores how SLR has already impacted the lives and livelihoods of coastal communities in Bangladesh and how these have been responded by adopting different adaptative measures. We applied a qualitative community-based multistage sampling procedure, using two Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools, namely Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and Community Meetings (CM), to collect empirical data about SLR effects on livelihoods and implemented adaptation responses. Our study found that both man-made and natural causes are responsible for different physiographic impacts of SLR, and which seem to vary between place and context. Five major SLR induced impacts were identified by coastal communities, namely: salinity increase, rising water levels, land erosion, waterlogging and the emergence of char land. Salinity increase and land erosion are the two most severe impacts of SLR resulting in the largest economic losses to agriculture. Our results highlight how coastal communities in Bangladesh perceive the impacts of SLR and the benefits of different adaptation processes set in motion to protect them, via development projects and other local interventions.
... Also, the proportion of intense tropical cyclones and peak wind speeds of the most intense tropical cyclones are projected to increase at the global scale with increasing global warming (Masson-Delmotte et al. 2021). In this context, most coastal ecosystems and developed coasts are acknowledged to be highly vulnerable to coastal recession and flooding (Hassan and Hassaan 2020;Thakur et al. 2021). The shoreline retreat rates up to 1 m/year have been observed around the African coast from 1984 to 2015 (Masson-Delmotte et al. 2021). ...
The natural and man-induced processes increase the littoral instability of the Small Island Developing States, such as the Ngazidja Island, Comoros, West Indian Ocean. The shoreline position is retrograding and reduces habitable areas. This study uses Landsat TM1990 and OLI2020, band ratio technique, End Point Rate (EPR) method through Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS). Calibration of the shoreline changes is conducted through field work and the coastal state indicators. About 21 km of shore segments have been classified, according to the EPR values, into erosion, low stability, high stability, and accretion areas. From 1990 to 2020, the results show accurate shoreline change rates with a margin of error of + / − 0.07 m/year. Four shores, Mbachile, Chindini, Hantsindzi, and Ndroude, are under erosion with EPR values of more than − 1 m/year. Low stability is noticed on five shores, Foumboudzivouni, Male, Moindzaza-Amboini, Ikoni, and Bangoi-kouni, which more than 80% of transects display EPR values of − 1 to 0 m/year. High stability was only found on Mitsamiouli shore, where 51%, 40%, and 9% of transects show EPR values of − 1 to 0 m/year, 0.1 to 1 m/year, and more than 1 m/year, respectively. It is found that marches and coastal greening mitigate the shoreline retreat and enhance coastal stability. By contrast, poorly designed or improperly installed seawalls and sand mining exacerbate coastal erosion.
... Coastal communities are a substantial part of the global population and will experience the harshest realities of climate change. This is particularly true for urban cities along the coastline that depend on oceans for their livelihood and economic security (Abadie et al., 2020;De Dominicis et al., 2020;Hassan & Hassaan, 2020). Cities in coastal areas are likely to be a casualty of climate change, as beach and ocean tourism will be heavily impacted (Demiroglu et al., 2020;Kasmi et al., 2020;Khalfaoui et al., 2018). ...
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Given the socio-economic significance of oceans in South Africa and the threat of climate change, it is vital to understand the effects on coastlines and tourism. With very little known about the implications of sea level rise in Southern Africa, this study investigates its impact on tourism and conservation of coastlines in Durban, South Africa. The study conducted in 2021 used primary data collected through key informant interviews (n10), an online questionnaire (303), direct field observations and archival data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Trend analysis for climate data was done using Mann Kendal Trend Analysis, while the content and thematic analysis were used to assess qualitative data. The study found that the compounded effect of sea level rise of 1.49 mm/year in Durban between 1971 and 2018 poses a threat to the beach and coastal tourism. The compounded impact of sea level rise, sea surges, coastal storms and high tides often results in high levels of beach erosion and coastal flooding, threatening tourism infrastructure. The municipality has embarked on a beach nourishment programme, dune restoration and coastal defence mechanisms to preserve and conserve the beachfront to ensure coastal tourism sustainability.
... • Some metropolitan areas and new cities suffer from the danger of sea level rise, where 58% are threatened by flooding operations during the current century [62]. This situation requires setting a clear vision and practical solutions to confront the problem. ...
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Coastal regions are of extraordinary significance for the financial and welfare of human communities. Unfortunately, coastal regions are naturally pressured by anthropogenic activities that increase their vulnerability. Hence, there is a drastic need to monitor coastal changes to protect and manage them sustainably. Since Kuwait's coast is inhabited by about 94% of the inhabitants and most of the metropolitan area and the urgent need for sustainable planning and management of Kuwait's coast, this paper aims to analyze the historical changes rate of Kuwait's coast and Kuwait islands over 40 years from 1980 to 2020 and to predict the future changes of the shoreline in 2035 using EPR model. The results show that the highest accretion rate of the shoreline is 32.79 m/year, while the lowest erosion rate is −23.45 m/year. EPR of the islands revealed a fluctuation between erosion and deposition at each island. The future predicted shoreline changes were also mapped for the shoreline and islands.
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The IPCC-AR6 report suggests that the sea-level in the Persian Gulf is expected to rise by 2.1-4.9mm/year by 2100, which is lower than the global projections of 4-14mm/year. However, a central nationwide ground subsidence in Bahrain's low-lying island can aggravate these figures. The island is only 14-kilometers-wide, yet we observe a 7×12-kilometer ground subsidence with vertical rates up to 20mm/year for 2016-2021. To characterize the subsidence, we use the following methods: (i) SBAS-InSAR with 94 and 131 C-band Sentinel-1A orbital radar acquisitions in ascending and descending directions for 2016-2021, respectively, and (ii) Stacking-InSAR with eight L-band ALOS-1-PALSAR acquisitions for 2007-2010 and six ALOS-2-PALSAR-ScanSAR acquisitions for 2016-2021. Although the observed subsidence velocities are non-linear, we estimate a subsidence of up to 1.5-meters by 2100 by extrapolating the average rates. We suggest three causes associated with this subsidence: (i) Exploitation of the Awali oil field, (ii) Local aquifer depletion, and (iii) Subsurface dissolution of anhydrites and chalky-limestones. To assess the potential impact of subsidence on the shoreline, we measure the coastline evolution at three undisturbed beaches on the West-coast from 1985-to-2021, excluding areas that underwent land-reclamation. Using sub-pixel shoreline detection analysis from 308 Sentinel-2 and Landsat (L5, L7, and L8) acquisitions, we observe that the selected shores remain stable. However, observations reveal a shoreline retreat of up to 5m/year on the southwestern coast for 2003-2014. This rate exceeds the modeled rate of 0.85m/year derived solely from local tide gauge sea-level measure. This nationwide subsidence should be considered when forecasting coastal infrastructure-planning in Bahrain. We recommend performing a similar analysis in other low-lying Gulf islands where oil exploitation occurs.
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Kuwait faces many environmental challenges in the twenty-first century. These challenges require that researchers, relevant authorities, and decision makers confront the speed of action to protect the environment. In this regard, geography comes as an effective tool for drawing environmental plans through its effective tools: Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). Which provides spatial analysis tools to help the decision maker to confront climate changes and its repercussions in a way that preserves the sustainability of ecosystems in accordance with the rules of sustainable development, to preserve the right of future generations to a clean environment and a sustainable homeland. This book discusses several topics and issues of interest to specialists and decision makers in how to make environmental decisions according to the point of view of geography, especially geomorphology and GIS. It provides various examples of how geography and spatial analysis tools are used to support decision-making processes, for sound environmental planning to preserve the right of future generations to a clean and sustainable homeland that meets the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) launched by the United Nations in 2015.
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Objectives: The study seeks to analyze trends in physical geography research at the local (Kuwait), regional (selected journals in the Arab region) and global (international journals and conferences) in the last decade. Methodology: The Geographical Letters Journal of the Kuwaiti Geographical Society (2010-2021) was used to analyze research trends in Kuwait, the Arab Geographical Journal of the Egyptian Geographical Society (2010-2021) selected to analyze regional trends, in addition to the Journal of Physical Geography (2011-2021) the Conference of the International Geographical Union (IGU) in Moscow 2015 and Beijing 2016 choiced for international trend, where one of the researchers attended the two conferences. The trends of Geomorphology (2004-2017) and the International Journal of Climatology (1995-2017) were also discussed. Results: The results showed a clear trend at all levels of geomorphology, with a clearer international orientation towards studying the climate and its changes. Conclusion: The orientation of contemporary trends in physical geography towards geomorphology, with an orientation towards climatology, environmental studies, and GIScience applications in physical geography. أهداف الدراسة: تسعى الدراسة إلى تحليل اتجاهات أبحاث الجغرافيا الطبيعية على المستوى المحلي (الكويت) والإقليمي (دوريات مختارة في المنطقة العربية) والعالمي (الدوريات والمؤتمرات العالمية) في العقد الأخير. المنهجية: تم الاعتداد بمجلة رسائل جغرافية التابعة للجمعية الجغرافية الكويتية (2010-2021) لتحليل اتجاهات البحوث في الكويت، كذلك تم الاعتداد بالمجلة الجغرافية العربية التابعة للجمعية الجغرافية المصرية (2010-2021) لتحليل الاتجاهات الإقليمية، بالإضافة إلى دورية الجغرافيا الطبيعية (2011-2021) ومؤتمر الاتحاد الجغرافي الدولي IGU في موسكو 2015 وبكين 2016، حيث حضر أحد الباحثين هذين المؤتمرين. كذلك أسقط الضوء على دوريتي الجيومورفولوجيا (2004-2017) والمجلة الدولية لعلم المناخ (1995-2017) لمزيد من التفاصيل بناءً على ما أظهره التحليل. النتائج: أظهرت النتائج توجهاً واضحاً على جميع المستويات للجيومرفولوجية، مع توجه دولي أكثر وضوحاً نحو دراسة المناخ وتغيراته. الخلاصة: توضح الدراسة توجه الاتجاهات المعاصرة في الجغرافيا الطبيعية نحو الجيومورفولوجية، مع توجه نحو علوم المناخ، البيئة، وتطبيقات علم المعلومات الجغرافية في الجغرافيا الطبيعية.
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Abstract Choosing the optimal location for a city based on sound environmental geomorphology planning is of the utmost importance for achieving environmental sustainability, as it can spare the state and other decision-making entities a great deal of stress in the long run. GIS offers great potential for environmental planners to choose the most appropriate places for the cities of the future, especially when coupled with environmental geomorphological analyses. The State of Kuwait seeks sustainable development through the implementation of clear and specific urban plans, some of which suffer from a severe lack of geomorphological and spatially based environmental planning. This study aims to (1) conduct suitability modeling for establishing new cities in Kuwait, (2) assess the current 2005–2030 urban plan, and (3) propose possible recommendations and solutions for potential urban problems. The study relies on integrating several methods to devise a framework that will aid researchers and decision-makers in selecting optimal locations for built structures based on analysis and modeling (e.g., digital elevation model, geologic mapping, geomorphology, natural hazards, heritage/archeological sites, military areas, oil fields, soils). Using this methodology in choosing city sites contributes to achieving sustainable development, reducing problems during construction processes, saving countries’ budgets, and saving lives. Results from this study enhance understanding of how environmental geomorphology, when combined with GIS, can be harnessed to achieve sustainable urban development in the Arabian Gulf countries and other desert countries.
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Failaka Island, located in the far east of Kuwait Bay about 20 km from the State of Kuwait’s coast, represents a focal point for regional geography and history, including natural wonders and archaeological sites dating to the Bronze, Iron, Hellenistic, Christian and Islamic periods. According to environmental data and in coordination with local authorities to develop an urban plan, the island is set to become the first tourist destination for the State of Kuwait. To achieve the Vision of Kuwait 2035, one of the planning objectives centers on Urban Planning for the Establishment of Environmental Cities that Achieve (UPEECA) environmental sustainability criteria. The article then, aims to propose the environmental urban plan for Failaka Island. Based around Environmental Analytical Hierarchical Processes (EAHP) and using the Field Calculator and ModelBuilder functions in ArcGIS, this research centers on the feasibility of carrying out an urban plan using suitability modeling that incorporates 4 factors and 13 criteria covering the island’s ecological and human composition. This study utilizes both remote sensing (Unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs for 3D imaging) and field study (ground truthing) to identify changes in land use and land cover—such as using sample analysis of the historical sites and soils for tracing evidence and creating/updating a soil map—and create the first geographic information systems (GIS) database for the island that can lead capable of generating a suitability model.
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European coastal databases contain information on the evolution of European shorelines in the 1990s and the 1980s. We investigate if a shift toward erosion has been observed between these two periods, as it could be expected as a consequence of contemporary sea-level rise or changing coastal management practices. We select comparable European coastal sites, consider their state transitions as the parameters of a discrete-time Markov chain, and analyze their steady states in order to reveal underlying changes in shoreline evolution trends. The results suggest that European coastal wetlands and small beaches have initiated a shift toward erosion, which attenuates previous optimistic statements. Our results should be interpreted with caution due to the limited number of observations and presumed errors in the database. However, they suggest that the impact of contemporary sea-level rise along European coastlines in the 1990s may be more important than previously thought. Our results suggest that more research is needed to quantify the morphodynamics of muddy coasts and to develop data models able to represent coastal morphodynamic changes adequately.
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This paper aims to analyze the shoreline changes of coastal accumulations (sandy and gravel beaches/barriers) of Brittany (Western France). Three long, medium, and short term spatio-temporal scale observations are taken into consideration for the assessment of shoreline dynamics at this regional scale. Firstly, the long-term shoreline position evolution is based on a comparison of two sets of aerial orthophotos (1949-1952 and 2006-2009). A total of 652 beaches were analyzed in order to map and quantify erosion (35% of the total studied coastline), stability (38%), and accretion (27%) over the last 60 years. In detail, these percentages vary significantly according to the beach/barrier morphologies (spits vs pocket beaches), sediment composition (sandy vs gravelly), and hydrodynamic context (exposed vs sheltered). Secondly, a pluri-annual (i.e., medium-term) shoreline change analysis based on five representative beaches was conducted. This analysis was also based on image processing using sets of aerial photos taken every five years over the last 60 years (1948-2013). Results show an alternation of significant erosion- and accretion-dominated periods (respectively EDP and ADP), with six main EDP (i.e., periods 1962-1968, 1977-1978, 1980-1985, 1987-1990, 1993-1997, and 2013-2014) related to an increase in the frequency of extreme water levels associated with storm events. Finally, the short-term change analysis based on high-frequency monitoring of 11 sites was carried out over the period 1998-2017. These surveys, based on field topo-morphological measurements, highlight the impact of five morphogenetic events associated with significant storm events: 1998-2000 (storms Lothar and Martin in December 1999), 2008 (storm Johanna on March 10, 2008), the winter of 2013-2014 (a cluster of storms in January, February, and March 2014), 2016 (storm Ruzica/Imogen on February 8, 2016) and 2018 (storm Eleanor on January 2, 2018). A relevant recovery phase, which took place between 2008 and 2012 due to the calm and cold winters, was also recognized. The identification of parameters involved in shoreline variations at these three timescales is important for future management options of the Brittany coast.
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Coastlines are dynamic environments, with their Eco-geomorphology controlled by a complex range of natural and anthropic processes. Estuarine environments and associated wetland ecosystems are a critical shoreline types with regards to biodiversity, and are particularly susceptible to the influence of sea-level rise. This project applied future sea-level rise of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) hydro-scenarios to assess its impact on the eco-geomorphic aspects of coastal ecosystems in terms of risk assessment and sustainability. Comerong Island is used as a case study and is compared with other surrounding ocean-influenced and lagoonal deltas to assess the regional effects of sea-level rise. Applying the IPCC scenarios to the chosen geomorphic coastal data-sets resulted in a hydro-geomorphic model that shows the study site was already under pressure in 2015, with significant land area projected to be lost by 2050 and 2100. These findings are also expected to occur across the remaining estuaries in southeastern Australia. Applying this broad-scale, multi-strand application of geoinformatics simulation (GIS & RS), together with the various IPCC sea-level rise scenarios, will be necessary to assess future ecosystem sustainability management plans for coastal zones worldwide.
Muscat metropolitan area holds the major urban masses and capital investments in Oman. The shoreline significantly varies in its geomorphology, slope, width, land use, and ecosystems. As tsunamis and tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean are frequent, coastal inundation by sweater is inevitable and losses of lives, infrastructures, and ecosystems are expected. The current study attempts to assess the susceptibility of Muscat coast to the sudden sea level rise caused by tsunami waves and tropical cyclones using a weighted coastal sensitivity index (CSI). Data extraction and processing were carried out using remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS). Results showed that the coast is highly vulnerable to flooding for about 101 km (40%). Demographic data analysis, unfortunately, reveals that at least 400,000 persons are under the direct influence of this natural hazard. On the other hand, low susceptible coastal segments account for 113 km (47%). The CSI provides an objective technique for the evaluation of coastal vulnerability to sea level rise.
Densely populated south-east coast of India is susceptible to disasters such as tsunami, coastal flooding storm-surge and shoreline erosion. Apart from episodic events, the gradual sea-level rise (SLR) has got more attention to coastal researchers recently relating to the potentially impacted coastal zone, its anthropogenic/environment associations, and the possible future scenarios. Global average SLR rate has increased in recent decades from 1.7 mm year⁻¹ 1901 to 2010, 3.1 mm year⁻¹ from 1993 to 2003 and 3.12 mm year⁻¹ from 1993 to 2012. The present study is an aim to assess the impact of future sea-level rise along Pondicherry—Chidambaram coast using Bruun Rule and Modified Bruun Rule. Eight satellite-derived data sets were used to study the shoreline change trends during 1990–2015. 25 years of shoreline change trend reveals that ~ 49% of the coastline is under erosion. Shoreline retreat to an increase in local sea level was also mapped by Bruun Rule. Bruun Rule has some limitations, and hence Modified Bruun Rule was used to analyze the inundation factor. The horizontal inundation of the study area was estimated as ~ 1.1 km (Bruun Rule) and ~ 1.6 km (Modified Bruun Rule). The impacts of SLR in the study area were determined by integrating inundation data with geomorphological and land use/land cover data. The study reveals that about 16.08 area of geomorphological features is likely to be highly affected, while 17.5 of the area likely to be affected on land use/land cover features. This study provides an interactive means to identify the vulnerable zone. The output maps can be used to visualize the affected areas spatially.
تتفاعل السواحل مع العوامل الطبيعية والبشرية باستمرار، مما يجعلها عرضة للتغير. فكان من المهم رصد هذه التغيرات، ومراقبة هذه البيئات الغنية بمواردها، للحفاظ عليها وصيانتها واستثمارها الاستثمار الأمثل؛ لذا قدّمَت هذه الدراسة أسلوب تحليل لرصد تغير خط الشاطئ الشمالي لدولة الكويت وارتباطه بنوعية الرواسب والتربة والنبات من خلال التكامل البياني المكاني. وتَبين من رصد تغير الشاطئ أن أغلبه تقدم متأثراً بالإرساب النهري، كما كان للأنشطة البشرية المحلية دورٌ فعالٌ في تغير الشاطئ في بعض الأماكن. وكانت أغلب تغيرات خط الشاطئ في المسطحات المدية، وفي مناطق الترب الملحية الجبسية المائية، والرملية ذات القوام الملحي المائي، والترب منخفضة الرطوبة. كما أن تغيرَ خط الشاطئ امتد في المدى الجغرافي للنباتات الملحية. ونتائج الدراسة هذه ركيزة في وضع الخطط البيئية والحضرية للنطاق الساحلي. والشاطئ متغيرٌ في طبيعته، يستوجب رصده بشكل دوري، ومراجعة الخطط البيئية والحضرية للنطاق الساحلي وفقاً لذلك التغير، والأسلوب المتبع في الدراسة يمكن تطبيقه على أي شاطئ، وكذلك في رصد تغير شاطئ منطقة الدراسة مستقبلاً. Coasts are dynamic environments affected by physical and anthropogenic factors. One of the most dynamic coastal features that requires a continuous monitoring to maintain these productive environments is the shoreline. Thus, we proposed in this study a systematic methodology in which the geospatial data were integrated to study changes of the northern Kuwait shoreline and physical factors (i.e., coastal sediments, soil and vegetation) associated with these changes. Northern Kuwait shorelines were significantly affected by sediment depositions of Shatt Al-Arab River, whereas local anthropogenic activates influenced certain coasts. Most of shoreline advancements extended on tidal mudflat. Torriothents, Aqusisailids and Torrisamments soil types were observed at areas of shoreline change where salt tolerant plants spread. The study findings must be considered in environmental and urban planning at the coastal zone. The method proposed in this study can be applied in studying shoreline changes elsewhere or for the same area in the future.
Kuwait is a coastal country with 496 km coast. It is located in the Arabian Peninsula, at the north-western part of Arabian Gulf. Many coastal infrastructures are close to high water line and hence attract erosion, especially in the south. The northern part is significantly dominated by sedimentation. Remote sensing is used to identify the hot spot of erosion and accretion. Kuwait does not have good quality natural stones and needs to be imported from other countries for any coastal structure project and is expensive. Hence innovative coastal protection solutions, which are cost competitive, environment friendly, easy to fabricate, install and reorient, are needed. Geo-bags, filled with sand are field tested. New type of floating breakwaters are developed which has reduced width compared to conventional pontoon breakwaters, by introducing skirt walls at the keel of the floating breakwater. It is found that material saving of more than 60%–75% is possible when compared to rubble mound offshore breakwaters. Many coastal infrastructures in the northern part of Kuwait are suffering due to sedimentation. Detailed field, lab and numerical modeling studies were carried out to understand the sedimentation problem and for providing solutions to reduce the degree of accretion in the marinas and seawater intake structures. Work is in progress for rolling out the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan for Kuwait.