Pan European coastal vulnerability: developing a new coastal behaviour data product, EMODnet Geology

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


invited poster pitch:

The identification and communication of potential risks faced by coastal-zone populations is becoming increasingly important to strengthen society’s resilience and enable communities to better handle coastal hazards. Assessing risk and vulnerability is important to inform the public, as well as coastal managers, on sustainable policy and practice. This so-called coastal vulnerability has been assessed, quantified and mapped using a wide variety of approaches, focussing on hazard, risk and resilience. Many studies place emphasis on physical parameters such as geology and topography, and on marine factors such as wave energy and storm frequency. Others also incorporate socio-economic factors such as population, cultural heritage, presence of crucial infrastructure, land use and conservation status.

Our pan-European assessment of coastal vulnerability adds a new layer of information to the existing EMODnet Geology product suite on shoreline change. Using the most complete inventory to date of case studies on coastal vulnerability in scientific journals, books and governmental reports, we have developed a detailed database on various vulnerability aspects across Europe and in other countries around the world. By geo-locating the maps from these studies, we have been able to assess the extent of coverage of coastal vulnerability assessment around European shorelines. Drawing on the existing literature, we have developed a common legend, indicating lower, intermediate and higher levels of vulnerability mapped at a pan-European scale.

Our research indicates incomplete coverage by existing studies, highlighting the potential to use data from existing EMODnet products such as shoreline migration, geology and bathymetry, to develop a basic coastal vulnerability index that can be validated against existing studies and used to fill the gaps. The resulting applied data product will help raise awareness in the general public and facilitate the work of coastal policy makers, planners and practitioners.
Period29 Nov 2023
Held atEuropean Marine Observation Data Network (EMODnet), Belgium
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • coastal vulnerability
  • geology

Public engagement types

  • Other Public Engagement