Influence of a Reef Flat on Beach Profiles Along the Atlantic Coast of Morocco
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Author/sTaaouati, Mohammed; Parisi, Pietro; Passoni, Giuseppe; Lopez-Garcia, Patricia; Romero-Cozar, Jeanette; Anfuso, G; Vidal, Juan; Muñoz-Perez, Juan J.
DepartmentCiencias de la Tierra; Física Aplicada
SourceWater 2020, 12(3), 790
The North Atlantic coast of Morocco is characterised by a flat rocky outcrop in the south (Asilah Beach) and a sandy beach free of rocky outcrops in the north (Charf el-Akab). These natural beaches were monitored for a period of two years (April 2005-January 2007) and two different profiles (one for each beach) were analysed based on differences in the substrate. Topographic data were analysed using statistics and empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) to determine beach slope and volumetric changes over time. Several morphologic phenomena were identified (accretion/erosion and seasonal tilting of beach profiles around different hinge points), attesting to their importance in explaining variability in the data. Periods of accretion were similar in both profiles, but the volumetric rate of change was faster in the sand-rich (SR) profile than in the reef flat (RF) profile. Moreover, the erosion rate for the SR profile was greater than the RF profile (135.18 m(3)/year vs. 55.39 m(3)/year). Therefore, the RF acted as a geological control on the evolution of its profile because of wave energy attenuation. Thus, special attention should be given to the RF profile, which has larger slopes, less amounts of mobilised sand, and slower erosion/accretion rates than the SR profile.