Morpho-sedimentary features and sediment transport model of the submerged beach of the ‘Pineta della foce del Garigliano’ SCI Site (Caserta, southern Italy)

<p>In this paper, we present the results of a detailed geomorphological and sedimentological study of a coastal sector of southern Italy, the Pineta della foce del Garigliano SCI (i.e. Site of Community Importance), which is largely affected by shoreline retreat and the degradation of dune habitat. The analysis of shoreline evolution demonstrates that severe erosion processes have occurred over the last 50 years. They caused the complete dismantling of the foredune, whereas the anomalous and advanced position of the secondary dune promoted a progressive loss of vegetation habitat of high environmental value such as juniper (<i>Juniperus oxycedrus</i> ssp. <i>macrocarpa</i>). Morpho-sedimentary data and hydrodynamic models suggest that the main climate events promoted a net longshore transport toward the South. Our analyses confirm that erosion processes are linked to natural factors but several negative human practices have contributed to the acceleration of shoreline retreat and degradation of the dune habitat. In addition to its scientific value, the map and data here presented represent an important tool for beach management purposes.</p>