Biogeomorphological processes in an arid transgressive dunefield as indicators of human impact by urbanization

Levi Garcia-Romero, Irene Delgado-Fernandez, Patrick A Hesp, Luis Hernández-Calvento, Antonio I Hernández-Cordero, Manuel Viera-Pérez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Urban and tourist developments can have long-lasting impacts on coastal environments and fundamentally alter the evolution of coastal dune systems. This is the case of the Maspalomas dunefield (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands), hosting one of the largest tourist resorts in Spain. The resort was built on top of a sedimentary terrace at 25m above sea level (El Inglés) in the 1960s, and has subsequently affected local winds and therefore aeolian sediment transport patterns. Buildings on the terrace deflect the winds to the south of the dunefield, where the rate of sediment transport accelerated. A shadow zone appeared to the lee side of the resort with a consequent decrease in wind speed and aeolian sediment transport and an increase in vegetation cover. In this paper, first we characterize the environmental changes around El Inglés terrace in recent decades, and describe the changes in the shadow zone through an analysis of the evolution of sedimentary volumes and vegetation characteristics (density, spatial patterns, and plants communities). A series of historical aerial photographs, recent orthophotos and digital elevation models obtained by digital photogrammetry and LiDAR, as well as fieldwork were used to characterize plant communities and spatial-temporal changes in erosive landforms. Results show changes in the pattern and migration rates of dunes located at the southern edge of the urbanization, as well as the formation of blowouts and large deflation areas, where the vegetation increases in density and number of plant communities. We discuss eco-anthropogenic factors that have produced these environmental changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume650
Issue number1
Early online date31 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2019

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anthropogenic effect
plant community
urbanization
Sediment transport
terrace
sediment transport
dune
environmental change
Blowouts
Landforms
digital photogrammetry
deflation
Photogrammetry
vegetation
Sea level
aerial photograph
vegetation cover
fieldwork
landform
digital elevation model

Cite this

Garcia-Romero, Levi ; Delgado-Fernandez, Irene ; Hesp, Patrick A ; Hernández-Calvento, Luis ; Hernández-Cordero, Antonio I ; Viera-Pérez, Manuel. / Biogeomorphological processes in an arid transgressive dunefield as indicators of human impact by urbanization. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2019 ; Vol. 650, No. 1. pp. 73-86.
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title = "Biogeomorphological processes in an arid transgressive dunefield as indicators of human impact by urbanization",
abstract = "Urban and tourist developments can have long-lasting impacts on coastal environments and fundamentally alter the evolution of coastal dune systems. This is the case of the Maspalomas dunefield (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands), hosting one of the largest tourist resorts in Spain. The resort was built on top of a sedimentary terrace at 25m above sea level (El Ingl{\'e}s) in the 1960s, and has subsequently affected local winds and therefore aeolian sediment transport patterns. Buildings on the terrace deflect the winds to the south of the dunefield, where the rate of sediment transport accelerated. A shadow zone appeared to the lee side of the resort with a consequent decrease in wind speed and aeolian sediment transport and an increase in vegetation cover. In this paper, first we characterize the environmental changes around El Ingl{\'e}s terrace in recent decades, and describe the changes in the shadow zone through an analysis of the evolution of sedimentary volumes and vegetation characteristics (density, spatial patterns, and plants communities). A series of historical aerial photographs, recent orthophotos and digital elevation models obtained by digital photogrammetry and LiDAR, as well as fieldwork were used to characterize plant communities and spatial-temporal changes in erosive landforms. Results show changes in the pattern and migration rates of dunes located at the southern edge of the urbanization, as well as the formation of blowouts and large deflation areas, where the vegetation increases in density and number of plant communities. We discuss eco-anthropogenic factors that have produced these environmental changes.",
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note = "Projects CSO2013-43256-R and CSO2016-79673-R (National R & D & I Plan) co-financed with ERDF funds and a PhD contract of the Canary Islands Agency for Research, Innovation and Information Society and by the European Social Fund (ESF)",
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Biogeomorphological processes in an arid transgressive dunefield as indicators of human impact by urbanization. / Garcia-Romero, Levi; Delgado-Fernandez, Irene; Hesp, Patrick A; Hernández-Calvento, Luis; Hernández-Cordero, Antonio I; Viera-Pérez, Manuel.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 650, No. 1, 10.02.2019, p. 73-86.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Garcia-Romero, Levi

AU - Delgado-Fernandez, Irene

AU - Hesp, Patrick A

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AU - Hernández-Cordero, Antonio I

AU - Viera-Pérez, Manuel

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N2 - Urban and tourist developments can have long-lasting impacts on coastal environments and fundamentally alter the evolution of coastal dune systems. This is the case of the Maspalomas dunefield (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands), hosting one of the largest tourist resorts in Spain. The resort was built on top of a sedimentary terrace at 25m above sea level (El Inglés) in the 1960s, and has subsequently affected local winds and therefore aeolian sediment transport patterns. Buildings on the terrace deflect the winds to the south of the dunefield, where the rate of sediment transport accelerated. A shadow zone appeared to the lee side of the resort with a consequent decrease in wind speed and aeolian sediment transport and an increase in vegetation cover. In this paper, first we characterize the environmental changes around El Inglés terrace in recent decades, and describe the changes in the shadow zone through an analysis of the evolution of sedimentary volumes and vegetation characteristics (density, spatial patterns, and plants communities). A series of historical aerial photographs, recent orthophotos and digital elevation models obtained by digital photogrammetry and LiDAR, as well as fieldwork were used to characterize plant communities and spatial-temporal changes in erosive landforms. Results show changes in the pattern and migration rates of dunes located at the southern edge of the urbanization, as well as the formation of blowouts and large deflation areas, where the vegetation increases in density and number of plant communities. We discuss eco-anthropogenic factors that have produced these environmental changes.

AB - Urban and tourist developments can have long-lasting impacts on coastal environments and fundamentally alter the evolution of coastal dune systems. This is the case of the Maspalomas dunefield (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands), hosting one of the largest tourist resorts in Spain. The resort was built on top of a sedimentary terrace at 25m above sea level (El Inglés) in the 1960s, and has subsequently affected local winds and therefore aeolian sediment transport patterns. Buildings on the terrace deflect the winds to the south of the dunefield, where the rate of sediment transport accelerated. A shadow zone appeared to the lee side of the resort with a consequent decrease in wind speed and aeolian sediment transport and an increase in vegetation cover. In this paper, first we characterize the environmental changes around El Inglés terrace in recent decades, and describe the changes in the shadow zone through an analysis of the evolution of sedimentary volumes and vegetation characteristics (density, spatial patterns, and plants communities). A series of historical aerial photographs, recent orthophotos and digital elevation models obtained by digital photogrammetry and LiDAR, as well as fieldwork were used to characterize plant communities and spatial-temporal changes in erosive landforms. Results show changes in the pattern and migration rates of dunes located at the southern edge of the urbanization, as well as the formation of blowouts and large deflation areas, where the vegetation increases in density and number of plant communities. We discuss eco-anthropogenic factors that have produced these environmental changes.

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