Efthimios Karymbalis, Christos Chalkias, George Chalkias, Eleni Grigoropoulou, George Manthos, Maria Ferentinou
December 8, 2012
The eustatic sea-level rise due to global warming is predicted to reach approximately 18–59 cm by the year 2100, which necessitates the identification and protection of sensitive sections of coastline. In this study, the classification of the southern coast of the Gulf of Corinth according to the sensitivity to the anticipated future sealevel rise is attempted by applying the Coastal Sensitivity Index (CSI), with variable ranges specifically modified for the coastal environment of Greece, utilizing GIS technology. The studied coastline has a length of 148 km and is oriented along the WNW-ESE direction. CSI calculation involves the relation of the following physical variables, associated with the sensitivity to long-term sea-level rise, in a quantifiable manner: geomorphology, coastal slope, relative sea-level rise rate, shoreline erosion or accretion rate, mean tidal range and mean wave height. For each variable, a relative risk value is assigned according to the potential magnitude of its contribution to physical changes on the coast as the sea-level rises. Every section of the coastline is assigned a risk ranking based on each variable, and the CSI is calculated as the square root of the product of the ranked variables divided by the total number of variables. Subsequently, a CSI map is produced for the studied coastline. This map showed that an extensive length of the coast (57.0 km, corresponding to 38.7% of the entire coastline) is characterized as highly and very highly sensitive primarily due to the low topography, the presence of erosionsusceptible geological formations and landforms and fast relative sea-level rise rates. Areas of high and very high CSI values host socio-economically important land uses and activities.