Managing Beach Erosion in Fortaleza, Brazil

by Enise Valentini, Federal Univ of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
Paulo C. C. Rosman, Federal Univ of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


The littoral of the metropolitan region of Fortaleza City, State of Ceara in the Northeastern part of Brazil, has suffered significant morphological changes during this century. There is relatively well documented information, such as maps and history of the engineering works; therefore it is possible to establish a cause and effect link between these works and the physical processes. For instance, about 6 million km of coastal area have been eroded along 30 km of the littoral metropolitan region of Fortaleza. It thus becomes a matter of economical and social relevance, besides its intrinsic technical interest for coastal engineers. For a stretch of 70 km of coastline, a preliminary diagnostic study was conducted, identifying the causes and verifying the impacts on the coast, during this century. In this study, the following physical processes were considered: littoral drift, wave climate, local currents, wind characteristics, and continental contribution of sediments. Historical information allowed verification of the impacts of human activities of the morphological evolution, within the considered time frame. A review of the human interventions on the coastal zone is presented in chronological order, as well as an assessment of impacts and a sediment budget for the region. As a result of this study, a set of recommendations is proposed, which includes a monitoring program, mitigating measures, and management plans.

Subject Headings: Coastal management | Erosion | Developing countries | Littoral drift | Urban areas | Sediment | Urban and regional development | Verification | Brazil | South America

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