University of Twente Student Theses


Mapping and modelling coastal protection at national level: A study on Greece’s coastal zone

Hasan, Mahbub Ul (2021) Mapping and modelling coastal protection at national level: A study on Greece’s coastal zone.

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Abstract:Marine and coastal ecosystems are providing many kinds of ecosystem services for human-wellbeing including coastal protection. The number of research initiatives in the marine and coastal ecosystem service domain is increasing over time, but still, many marine and coastal ecosystem services such as coastal protection have not been yet assessed and mapped in various spatial scales despite having importance in policy decisions for ecosystem management and restoration. A regional level study has been conducted by providing a methodological and conceptual framework to assess and map coastal protection for the entire EU coastal zone which has opened the possibilities to incorporate coastal protection assessment in marine spatial planning at different spatial scales. This thesis adapted and downscaled the regional level model to the national scale in order to assess the model applicability at different spatial scales. The aim was dual: a) to map coastal protection at the national level and b) to assess the difference in the outcomes between the regional level and national level model. To downscale the model at the national level, the entire Greek coastal zone was chosen. The coastal zone has been delineated by considering the hydrodynamic, climatic, oceanographic, and socio-cultural conditions of the Greek coast. Coastal protection of the Greek coast has been assessed through three indicators namely, coastal protection capacity, exposure, and demand. To assess these indicators, 20 variables have been selected based on the literature search and the biophysical and socio-economic condition of the Greek coast. Expert opinion has been collected through an online survey in order to weigh the contribution of the selected variables. Within the results, no clear pattern of coastal protection capacity has been seen for the Greek coast. A continuous pattern has been seen for coastal protection exposure indicator and it has been identified that southern coastal areas of Greece are more exposed to natural hazard than the northern coastal areas. The higher the coastal protection demand of the Greek coast has been seen near the big cities such as Athens or Thessaloniki. To compare with the outcome of the regional level model, RMSE has been calculated of the variables and indicators that are similar in both models. From RMSE values of indicators, a relatively high discrepancy has been observed for coastal protection capacity indicator. A relatively higher similarity was seen for coastal protection exposure and demand indicators with some minor differences. These differences of both models might be the results of the differences in the demarcation process of coastal zone and development of calculation unit. The overall result suggests that the outcomes of the national level model can contribute more effectively to national-level policy decisions than the outcomes of the regional model.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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