The geomorphological evolution of a low-lying, micro-tidal sandy beach in the western Mediterranean, Pals beach, was characterized using airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data. Data were collected in prior to and six months after the impact of an extreme storm with a return period of approx. 50 years, with the aim of characterizing the beach's response to the storm. The use of repeated high-resolution topographic data to quantify beach geomorphic changes has allowed assessment of the accuracy of different proxies for estimating beach volume changes. Results revealed that changes in the shoreline position cannot accurately reproduce beach volume changes on low-lying beaches where overwash processes are significant. Observations also suggested that volume estimations from beach profiles do not accurately represent subaerial volume changes at large profile distances on beaches with significant alongshore geomorphological variability. Accordingly, the segmentation of the beach into regularly spaced bins is proposed to assess alongshore variations in the beach volume with the accuracy of the topographic data. The morphological evolution of Pals beach during the study period showed a net shoreline retreat (- 4 m) and a significant sediment gain on the subaerial beach (+ 7.5 m3/m). The net gain of sediment is mostly due to the impact of the extreme storm, driving significant overwash processes that transport sediment landwards, increasing volume on the backshore and dunes. The increase of volume on the foreshore and the presence of cuspate morphologies along the shoreline also evidence post-storm beach recovery. Observed morphological changes exhibit a high variability along the beach related to variations in beach morphology. Changes in the morphology and migration of megacusps result in a high variability in the shoreline position and foreshore volume changes. On the other hand, larger morphological changes on the backshore and larger inundation distances occur when the beach and the dunes are lower, favouring the dominance of overwash. The observed storm-induced morphological changes differ from predicted beach storm impacts because of spatial and temporal variations in the beach morphology, suggesting that detailed morphological parameters and indicators used for predicting beach vulnerability to storms should be regularly updated in order to represent the pre-storm beach conditions. Finally, observed morphological changes in Pals Bay evidenced a different behaviour between natural and urban areas, with better post-storm beach recovery on natural areas where the beach is not artificially narrowed.
This discussion a) reviews the geological model adopted for the landslide analysis and argues that there is nothing new in the reference paper, b) examines the conditions for fast catastrophic sliding and demonstrates that conditions for such a phenomenon may be present in the case of Canelles slide, against the opinion of the authors, and c) justifies the corrective measures adopted to stabilize the landslide.
The Meaipe-Maimba embayed beach (MMEB) on the south-east coast of Brazil has been subject to anthropogenic pressures since the 70's. In this study we discuss the adequacy and contribution of the parabolic planform model to determine the planform and variability of the MMEB, taking into consideration variation in wave conditions. The role of different controlling conditions on the planform variability is analyzed, as well as the morphological and planform mobility. MMEB exhibited a new configuration in response to the construction of a harbor, which interrupted the longshore sediment transport. After four decades, three particular morphodynamic sectors have been recognized along the beach. The central sector is more exposed to normal wave incidence and cross-shore processes predominate. The northern and southern sectors are influenced by wave diffraction processes around the headlands and port, respectively. In the northern sector, the presence of secondary headlands and inner islands imposed a geomorphological control on beach morphology and coastal processes. The use of the parabolic planform model provided useful insights for the assessment of potential planform mobility, since the decadal shoreline evolution combined with beach profiles and sediment characteristics allowed understanding of the beach mobility processes and supported the interpretation of modeling results.
Hillslope debris flows are unconfined flows that originate by shallow failures in unconsolidated material at steep slopes. In spite of their significant hazard for persons and infrastructure in mountainous regions, research on hillslope debris flows is rather scarce in comparison to other landslide types. This study focusses on the runout characteristics of hillslope debris flows applying two different approaches. First, detailed landslide inventories, which include field measurements of 548 slope failures that occurred during the last two decades in seven parts of Switzerland, were analysed. Second, laboratory tests were carried out to study the effect of the soil water content, grain-size distribution and mobilized volume on the runout behaviour of hillslope debris flows. Most of the failures in the field started as shallow translational slides at terrain slopes between 25° and 45° and involved volumes of some tens to a few hundred cubic meters. An analysis of the runout distance of 117 hillslope debris flows showed that they normally travelled some tens of meters, but sometimes the runout exceeded 300 m. A positive relation between volume and runout distance and between volume and affected area was observed, although there is considerable scatter in the data. The affected area of 63 hillslope debris flows ranged from ~ 100 to ~ 1500 m2. Based on the field data, a 7.5 m long laboratory hillslope was designed with a geometrical scale factor of 20. A total of 75 runs with volumes from 4 to 20 dm3, water contents from 18% to 38%, and four grain-size distributions were carried out. The laboratory tests revealed that water content is the dominant control, but also the clay content strongly influences the runout distance and the affected area. Even a small increase in water or clay content produces a considerably larger or smaller runout distance, respectively. In contrast, the influence of the volume on the runout was smaller, and a positive relation was observed between these two parameters. The field and laboratory results are in general agreement and consistent with the results of other studies. The results of this work improve the understanding of hillslope debris flows and may aid in the hazard assessments of these processes.