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Title: Application of the Coastal Hazard Wheel to assess erosion on the Maltese coast
Authors: Micallef, Stefan
Micallef, Anton
Galdies, Charles
Keywords: Coast changes -- Malta
Coastal ecosystem health -- Malta
Coastal zone management -- Malta
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Citation: Micallef, S., Micallef, A., & Galdies, C. (2018). Application of the Coastal Hazard Wheel to assess erosion on the Maltese coast. Ocean & Coastal Management, 156, 209-222.
Abstract: This study provides an assessment of erosion hazard on the Maltese coast via application of the Coastal Hazard Wheel, a tool that also facilitated analysis of a number of other inherent coastal hazards including ecosystem disruption, gradual inundation, salt water intrusion, and flooding. The CHW characterises the coastal environment by considering geological layout, wave exposure, tidal range, flora and fauna, sediment balance and storm climate. Application of the CHW identified coastal erosion to present a high to very high influence on the Maltese coastline, with 45.7% of the coast exhibiting a low level of erosion hazard, 12.1% a moderate level, 12.6% a high level and 18.4%, a very high level of erosion hazard. Application of the CHW suggested somewhat higher erosion hazard levels than prior studies using different methodologies; it also confirmed the ease of application of this climate change sensitive coastal hazard identification tool. Management considerations identified a wide range of options the applicability of which is highly dependent on specific coastal configuration and that characterisation of the latter is crucial to allow appropriate management. The study generated management-useful maps describing coastal susceptibility to various hazards and hazard levels. It further provided a description of the entire Maltese coast in terms of ten different coastal configurations that infer management considerations of six coastal characteristics and five hazards. The study outputs are presented as a contribution to more effective management and decision-making by civil protection and planning agencies and as a key first step in the risk analysis process.
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