Progetto  CUGRI-Università di Salerno

Eugenio Pugliese Carratelli                     


Coastal risk

The University of Salerno and CUGRI have had a very important role in defining, developing and applying metodologies for coastal hazard development. From 1997 to 2000 the Italian Research Council funded a Research Programme based upon four research Unit  one of which was ahndled by CUGRI. The results were applied to  a number of applications carried out by the Salerno Province and by a Watershed Authority  in  Campania.  A further  - and even more important  application - was the work carried jointly with M. Calabrese of the Federico II University of Naples  for the Campania Region Authority between 2006 and 2008.   Recent work in connection with Cuban researchers is carried out also though a contract with Cuban Autorities

The development as well as the protection of existing infrastructure in coastal areas requires a careful assessment of the risks deriving from wave action and from coastal erosion as well as the provision of real time warning and damage assessment systems. Besides, disasters connected to sea water pollution, even though very different from those related to wave action, share with them a number of problems and solution, and it is reasonable to assume that they should also share some of the prevention and abatement methods. A recent concern is also the protection, or the reduction of damage from tsunamis, i.e. earthquake generated long waves.

Coastal hazards are of course mostly felt along the coasts of the oceans, where the wave action is extremely strong; but enclosed or semi enclosed seas like the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, teh Gulf of Mexico or the Arabian Gulf have their own specific problems, since the economic interests connected with seaside tourism have placed very densely populated coastal areas and valuable infrastructure within easy reach of wave action.

The design of coastal structures is of course a very old problem and a well established research sector; what is relatively new, however, is the concept of planning the protection of a whole coastal area on a large scale; carrying out such a task requires the integration of various complex tools such as meteorological, wave and circulation models, monitoring equipment, and remote sensing systems

Disaster management of the costal zone activities can take two forms: the production of hazard scenarios ("static" measures) and the setting up of a forecasting and alert system ("dynamic" ).

The first activity, which requires the evaluation of the probability of damage is a necessary requirement for the general planning of public works and activities: such information must be used by the Authorities as a planning tool in order to identify the needs and the priorities of structural actions such as shore protection works.

Forecast and alert ("dynamic") systems should provide the Authorities with adequate warning of potentially dangerous storms and of their likely effects, the objective being thus of reducing the damage by alerting emergency services and – if possible – by taking pre-emptive measures such as interrupting marine, rail and road circulation and evacuating buildings and beaches.

It is also clear that a proper design of an alert system should be based on the best possible previous knowledge of the hazard scenarios; which in turn must be updated and calibrated during the operation of the alert system- the two aspects are therefore closely interconnected.

It is useful to introduce a distinction between erosion and flooding hazards, the former being those deriving from damage to houses and infrastructure caused by the removal or the collapse of the foundation ground due to beach erosion, while flooding or run up hazards are those directly caused by wave action. The two things are of course related since on the one hand it is the wave action which causes erosion, while in turn erosion processes cause changes of the shoreline that put the inhabited areas within reach of extreme wave run up.

A further classification should be introduced, based on the time scales involved. Short term risk is related to the damage which might be caused by a storm, given the present configuration of the coastline; long term (n years) risk is related to the damage that a storm will cause if it occurs when the coastline is changed due to erosion within n years. Of course both risks are characterized by their probability or return period.

A coastal hazard assessment should thus provide one or more maps with different scenarios, for the short term risk and for different risk time scales. Each of these scenarios should report the coastline estimated position and the flooded areas for various return times and various damage level.

Further experience in this field was gained, in cooperation with  Mario Calabrese (Università Federico II di Napoli)  in preparing hazard scenarios for coastal erosion as well as in the preliminary planning of the wavemeter network of the Civil Protection Network of the Campania region.

A similar subject is the investigation of the protection techniques for coastal erosion and for harbour safety harbour safety, carried out mostly under contrracts from private companies and public bodies such as Provincia di Salerno, Sapri, Castellabate, Port Autorities of Messina, Salerno, Naples, etc

A number of publication were produced, some as early as 1999:

C.C. Giarrusso, E. Pugliese Carratelli and G. Spulsi “Assessment Methods for Sea-Related Hazards in Coastal Areas “, Journal of Natural Hazard, Kluwer  Academic  Publishers, March 1999

and some years later

Giarrusso C.C., E.Pugliese Carratelli  and G. Spulsi “Large Scale Coastal Storm Hazard Mapping”, ASCE Conference Solutions to Coastal Disasters '02,  February 2002 San Diego, CA

E. Pugliese Carratelli  “Erosion and Storm Hazard Mapping and Real Time Monitoring: the Role of Remote Sensing and Real Time Systems “  ,1st Regional Conference on Geoinformatics, Disaster Management and Early Warning Systems November 24-26, KISR, 2008 State of Kuwait



Further References

Boccotti P., E. Foti, E. Pugliese Caratelli, F. Arena, G. Barbaro, L. Cavallaro, M.R. Della Rocca, V. Fiamma, P.Filianoti, C.C. Giarrusso, G. Spulsi  “Previsione e prevenzione dei danni causati dal moto ondoso sulle coste”  XIX Giornata dell’ambiente, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Roma, 5 Giugno 2001

E. Cocco, C. C. Giarrusso, S. Iuliano, A.Mangiolfi, E. Pugliese Carratelli, G. Spulsi  “Assessment of Erosion and Wave Risk over Coastal Areas”;  Coastal Engineering 2001, WIT press, Southampton

Giarrusso C. C., F. Dentale, E. Pugliese Carratelli “Numerical Evaluation Of Crosshore Beach Sediment Transport In The Swash Zone” International Conference on Port And Maritime R&D And Technology Singapore October 2001

E. Pugliese Carratelli  “Erosion and Storm Hazard Mapping and Real Time Monitoring: the Role of Remote Sensing and Real Time Systems “,1st Regional Conference on Geoinformatics, Disaster Management and Early Warning Systems November 24-26, KISR, 2008 State of Kuwait





Ultima revisione 2013- EPC