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EUROSION: Case Study: Castellón (Spain)

Type of Entry: Case Study

The study zone is in the province of Castellón (Spain), in the municipality of Almazora. It is located in the Mediterranean coast, in which it is known the Valencian Oval, from the Port of Castellón to the mouth of the Mijares River, including the beaches of the Serrallo, Ben Afeli and De la Torre.

The section is regressive by the concurrence of factors that affect their feeding. On the one hand, the section is leeward (downdrift) of the Castellón Harbour and on the other hand, the regulation of the Mijares River and the city-planning pressure on beaches. This causes an important erosion of adjacent beaches, characteristic of a dominant coastal transport towards the south, causing the disappearance of the dunes, exposing to low territories to continuous floods.

The variation of the sea level next to 1m, is crucial because in the precoastal area, great zones with level next to the sea level exist, since they are formed by coastal barriers and old saltmarshes, reason why any variation of the same one can have influence in the future evolution of the coast.

The main functions of the coastal zone are related to the industry and agriculture (orange trees). The problems of erosion have been tried to mitigate with hard works of engineering, that have made vary the alignment of the coast (2º in average value), being faced the resultant of the surge and a net coastal solid transport in this insignificant zone:

  • Serrallo beach: 1,400m long, located after the Port of Castellón, only has submerged beach, being the coastline a great longitudinal revetment made to restrain the erosion and to protect of the marine invasion.
  • Ben Afeli beach: 450m long and 40m of average width, present two detached breakwaters that form a gravel beach.
  • De la Torre beach: 8 groins cause its width variation between 45m and 15m. Its length is of 2,200m and is composed by gravel. In these beaches the works have been oriented nonsingle to the fight against erosion but also to beach creation.

The total barriers to the sediment passage, as in this case are the Port of Castellón, suppose the maintenance by means of artificial works of hard engineering of the beaches that are to leeward of the obstacle. Of this form, while the obstacle stays, the erosive problems of the adjacent coastal zone waters down will be more and more severe, needing continuously to invest in projects of regeneration and sand contribution, as well as in new defensive installations that maintain the coast and avoid the backward movement of the coastline. In fact, in the coast section, the Ministry of Environment has projected new engineer installations that will reinforce the existing ones already.

EUROSION Case Study: Castellón (Spain) (539.894 Bytes)
Contact: Inmaculada Rodríguez Santalla
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos - Escuela Superior de Ciencias Experimentales y Tecnología
Telephone: +34 91 488 70 17 / +34 91 488 74 90