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The AKTAIA project: the first large scale research on beach erosion on the East Crete coastline.

Sep 21, 2012

For the first time in Crete, a complete coastline survey is performed, using a scientific approach with new, high reliability, methods and technologies in order to investigate the beach erosion phenomenon that is evident across the island. The phenomenon has taken the dimensions of a natural disaster and is further induced by various anthropogenic interventions and the climate change. Under this perspective, the entire coastline in Eastern Crete is examined, with particular emphasis on the beaches, while there is provision, given the project’s feasibility, to be extended to the rest of Crete. The adopted scientific approach involves the assessment of the coastal vulnerability to erosion through remote sensing techniques, simulation models and detailed field measurements. Extensive field measurements have already initiated and are implemented with field surveys to all beach zones of Eastern Crete. During the field surveys, precision measurements of the topography, bathymetry and sedimentology of the beach zone are made, along with the record of the anthropogenic interventions. Field surveys of selected study areas are in an initial stage which includes the installation of a large number of high definition recording instruments, such as coastal imaging cameras, wave-gauges and current meters, connected with portable weather stations.

These actions fall within the AKTAIA project "Development of new methods for quantifying and addressing the impact of climate change on the eastern coasts of the island of Crete" which aims to the estimation of regional climate trends for the coming decades, the impact of climate change in relation to the evolution of the coastal zone, and evaluation of the anthropogenic interferences to the coastal environment. The ultimate goal is to quantify the vulnerability of the coasts to erosion, thus creating management protocols of the impact of climate change and to propose environmentally friendly technical solutions for an economical and effective response to the coastal erosion problem. The project began in March 2011, will last for 36 months and has a total budget of € 653.000, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Public Investment Fund through the Operational Programme "Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship" (EPAN-II). The Eastern Crete Development Organization (OANAK) is the project coordinator and the Department of Geography and Climatology of the University of Athens, the Institute of Applied & Computational Mathematics of FORTH and the Department of Marine Sciences of The University of Aegean are active participants.

On behalf of the Institute of Applied & Computational Mathematics of FORTH, the project is implemented by the Laboratory of Coastal Research & Applications under the supervision of Research Director Dr. Nikos Kampanis and Post-Doctoral Researcher Dr. George Alexandrakis. The performed actions concern the parameterization of climate change scenarios to determine the 10 years climate trends until 2100 and the morphodynamic analysis of beaches with coastal hydrodynamic models that emphasize on modeling the coast - sea interaction, which is particularly important for the stability of the beaches. Also, IACM-FORTH has participated the field surveys, carried out under the project, during the period from 24/8/2012 till 2/9/2012, concerning capturing and describing the morphodynamic characteristics of 85 coastal areas in eastern Crete.

For further information:
Dr. Nikos Kampanis, PhD
Research Director
Laboratory of Coastal Research & Applications, IACM-FORTH
Tel.: 2810391780, 6973305072
Fax: 2810391761
Ε-mail: kampanis@iacm.forth.gr

Dr. George Alexandrakis, PhD
Post-Doctoral Researcher
Laboratory of Coastal Research & Applications, IACM-FORTH
Τel.: 2810391756
Fax: 2810391761
Ε-mail: alexandrakis@iacm.forth.gr