Climate Change and Man-made Interventions, as Destabilizing Factors of the Coastal Zone: Some Examples of Coasts and Coastal Wetlands in Urban, Peri-Urban Areas and Natural Parks in Greece

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Aristeidis Mertzanis
Asimina Mertzani


The consequences of man-made interventions, Climate Change and future Sea-level rise upon some coastal plains of Greece are examined. Many urban, peri-urban areas and Natural Parks, in low elevation coastal zones in Greece are experiencing or are at risk of Sea-level rise, storm surges, water and soil pollution, saline water intrusion (salinity), coastal erosion and shoreline retreat, floods, and droughts. Sea-level rise could erode and inundate coastal ecosystems and disrupt wetlands, Urban and peri-Urban areas. Characteristic examples of these are the protected wetlands that exist in Greece such as those in the Delta and the river mouth areas of the Sperchios, Alfeios, Arachthos, Louros, and Inois rivers, and the small town of Tolo. Man-made interventions affect the coastal wetland ecosystems, Urban and peri-Urban areas under study. At the same time, an important factor of the destabilization of the ecological balance is the Climate Change and the expected sea-level rise. The main anthropogenic degradation and stresses on the under investigation areas, in recent decades, includes wetland draining, exsiccation of lagoons and lakes, river engineering works, dam construction, intensification and development of agriculture projects, sand mining from riverbeds and beaches, construction of motorways, construction of harbor structures, such as harbors, jetties, seawalls, groins, and breakwaters, rapid urbanization processes, holiday home building and tourist facilities, massive tourism and intense coastal development, water pollution, human-induced land subsidence (uncontrolled water abstraction from surface and underground water tables), and removal of coastal vegetation. Satellite images, maps and systematic in situ observations, integrated with the direct digitizing on the basis of different aged aerial photographs was adopted to estimate the coastal erosion and accretion rates in recent decades (1945-2019) in the areas, under study.

Man-made interventions, environmental impact, coastline erosion, Sperchios river, Alfeios river, Arachthos river, Louros river, Inois river.

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Mertzanis, A., & Mertzani, A. (2019). Climate Change and Man-made Interventions, as Destabilizing Factors of the Coastal Zone: Some Examples of Coasts and Coastal Wetlands in Urban, Peri-Urban Areas and Natural Parks in Greece. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 9(11), 616-642.
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