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Shoreline rotation and response to nourishment of a gravel embayed beach using a low-cost video monitoring technique: San Michele-Sassi Neri, Central Italy

ABSTRACT

On beaches where natural shoreline variability is significant, beach nourishment is a useful engineering method to augment the dry beach and protect infrastructure and/or unstable cliffs. In this study, a low-cost video monitoring system is used to monitor the shoreline response to a nourishment operation on a dynamic gravel embayed beach in Central Italy. Video-derived shorelines were collected over a 15-month period to measure the evolution of the beach with regards to three specific parameters: the dry beach width, the dry beach area and the beach orientation. Moderate increases in the dry beach width of 3.6 m and 6.7 m across the embayment were observed in response to two different gravel nourishments of approximately 40,000 m3 and 46,000 m3 respectively. The orientation of the beach meanwhile was found to rotate rapidly in the clockwise direction and more gradually in the counter-clockwise direction. Analyses of individual storm events suggest these rapid clockwise rotations are caused by ESE storms, which result in beach retreat particularly at the southern end. The combination of an overall narrow beach width and a clockwise beach orientation is observed to cause a cliff erosion event at a vulnerable point along the embayment.