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Modelling the Potential Impact of Sea-Level Rise: A Study on the Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Habitat in Crete Island - Greece

Asaad, Irawan (2009) Modelling the Potential Impact of Sea-Level Rise: A Study on the Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Habitat in Crete Island - Greece.

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Abstract:Sandy beaches, the exclusive nesting habitat of the Loggerhead sea turtle, could reduce both in quality and quantity due to sea-level rise. The aim of this study was to investigate the nesting habitat suitability of sea turtle and possible effects of the potential sea-level rise to these habitats. A set of coastal physical parameters composed of sand characteristics and climatic data were used to identify the parameters that determine the suitability of certain beaches as nesting beaches and a set of beach profile data has been used to assess the impact of sea-level rise to those beaches. Fourteen coastal physical parameters were categorized as different significantly for nesting and nonnesting beaches i.e. sand salinity, sand conductivity, NaCl content, sand grain shapes, minimum and maximum temperature in the months of May and July, precipitation and solar radiation in the months of May, July and September. Using a backward stepwise logistic regression, three parameters were categorized as the most important parameters and possibly influencing the nesting habitat suitability of the Loggerhead sea turtle i.e. precipitation in month of May, sand grain shape and sand salinity. The impact of the sea-level rise within a beach has been analyzed using a coastal elevation model that has been developed from beach profiles data. Using a moderate scenario, with a 0.4 m rise of sealevel, up to 50 % of the total beaches area will be lost and the preferred nesting range will be reduced from 43.8 % to 17.1 % of the total beaches area. More than 69 % of the land-covers behind the beaches were categorized as “protected” that prevent the beaches to shift landward as an adaptation to sea-level rise. The threat of sea-level rise to the nesting habitat coupled with the uncontrolled coastal development will affect the viability of sea turtle to survive decades later. Keywords : Loggerhead sea turtle, Carreta carreta, sea-level rise, climate change, nesting habitat suitability, coastal physical parameters, coastal elevation 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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