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Morphodynamic evolution of Laida beach (Oka estuary, Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, southeastern Bay of Biscay) in response to supratidal beach nourishment actions

Abstract: Laida beach, located at the Oka estuary mouth (Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve) in the southeastern region of the Bay of Biscay, suffered the impact of a severe succession of storms during the first months of 2014. As a result of the erosion induced by these events, the beach lost its supratidal zone almost completely. The absence of a supratidal beach generated an impact on the recreational use of the beach during the summer 2014, and represented a potential impact for the coming summer 2015. Furthermore, it resulted in an overexposure and damage of adjacent infrastructures due to impinging strong waves. Therefore, the competent authorities, in coordination, decided to take action in order to nourish the supratidal zone of this beach. The solution adopted combined two different actions. The first one accomplished in spring of 2015, consisted in the mobilization of 44,800 m3 of sand from an area of 35,200 m2 equal to the 7% of the intertidal zone of Laida beach interpreted as the existing surface between the average low and high tidal limits, to the zone next to the eastern rocky beach contour. This action successfully resulted in an increase of the supratidal beach for the entire summer 2015 without negatively perturbing the morphological system. The second action was somewhat experimental and consisted in the mechanical plough of the previously existing intertidal low-amplitude ridges with the aim of increasing the sand transport toward the supratidal beach. Although this action did not lead to the increase of the supratidal beach, it seems to have resulted in an acceleration of the natural onshore migration of the bars. The objective of this contribution is to describe the morphodynamical response of the estuarine mouth after the performed actions with special emphasis on the evolution of extracted sites and the supratidal Laida beach area. The information here presented represents an innovative step in the understanding of the complex mechanisms driving the supratidal beach formation at the mouth of Oka estuary and by extension of the majority of the estuaries of the southeastern Bay of Biscay.

 Congreso: International Symposium on Oceanography of the Bay of Biscay ISOBAY (15º : 2015 : Bizkaia Aretoa, Bilbao)

Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 01/12/2017

Nº de páginas: 11

Tipo de publicación: Comunicación a Congreso

 DOI: 10.1016/j.seares.2017.06.003

ISSN: 1385-1101

Proyecto español: BIA2014-59643-R.

Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2017.06.003