Academic year
2018/2019 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
CM0466 (AF:248779 AR:136448)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
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The teaching it is part of the basic courses of the Assessment and Management of Environmental Systems curricula and aims to provide tools useful to reading and understanding marine-coastal ecosystems.
The objectives of the course are oriented to:
a) prepare a master's degree student who is able to understand the factors, the processes and the morphological characteristics that determine the short-term as well as longterm behaviour of coastal systems.
b) the student will be able to recognizes and determines the different spatial and temporal scales associated with the morphodynamic behavior. Furthermore, he will be able to identifies and quantifies the interrelations between processes and evolution of forms.

In particular, the master's degree student will acquire knowledge aimed at the application and development of methodologies for the management of informations and data in the coastal environment.
The course aims to provide the knowledge and methodological basis for the analysis, evaluation and management of coastal systems, both natural and modified by humans.
A further objective is to provide tools to assess the consequences of management actions aimed at mitigating the undesirable effects due to the variation of the sea level.
The student will acquire the necessary skills to be able to determine factors, processes and morphological characteristics that determine the behavior of coastal sedimentary systems.
It will also be able to know the approach, methods and means used in coastal research. Lhe knowledge of the geomorphic principles will enable him to deal with the problems of coastal management.
It will also have the ability to understand morpho-sedimentological variations and the vulnerability of coastal environments related to human activity
Attendance and participation in lectures and field trips will be useful for developing critical judgment skills in real case studies.
Knowledges on Earth Science, sedimentology, geomorphology, physics.
I. The coastal area
- Definition of the basic concepts. Basic hydrodynamic processes in the
coastal zone: waves and tides.
II. Sedimentology
- Textural properties of sediments
- Tansport, bed forms, facies, and depositional environments
III. Coastal geomorphology
- Coastal systems dominated by waves and tides.
- Sediment transport processes. Seasonal and cyclic beach change.
- Morphological and hydrodynamic profile of the beach.
- Movement of sediment in the coastal area.
V. coastal Facies
- Beaches, costal dunes, sand flats and tidal flats.
VI. Sea level fluctuations and changes in morphological features
- Sea level variations referred to different temporal scales.
- Assessment of variations of s.l.r. during the last century.
- Analysis of coastal areas and sea level rise.
VII. Development of barrier island systems.
VIII. Deltas and estuaries.
IX. Environmental problems in the costal areas.
- Vulnerability and costal risk.
- Costal erosion. Adaptation of the beach profile in response to changes in sea level.
- Subsidence processes: examples from the Italian coast.
X. Study of coastal areas: methods of sampling sediments, geophysical analysis, monitoring of a beach
XI.Case study: the barrier island / lagoon system of Venice
- Identification of scenarios for the future of Venice and its lagoon.
XII. Possible thematic seminars
Ricci Lucchi F. 1993. I ritmi del mare. La nuova Italia Scientifica
Woodroffe C.D. 2002. Coasts: Form, process and evolution. Cambridge University Press
Pranzini E. 2004. La forma delle coste. Zanichelli
Introduction to Coastal Processes & Geomorphology, 2 nd Edn., 2011, by Gerhard Masselink, Michael G.
Hughes, and Jasper Knight; ISBN: 978-1444122404; Publisher: Hodder Education
Materials provided by the teacher.
The student will be asked to present a case study of related to a coastal area. The choice will be made during the lesson. The presentation will be made through use of powerpoint.
In addition the student will be required to prepare all topics covered during the course for an oral interview.
Seminars on specific topics.
The preparation will be integrated with field trips.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 05/04/2018