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Vulnerability assessment of Al Hoceima bay (Moroccan Mediterranean coast ): a coastal management tool to reduce potential impacts of sea – level rise and storm surges

June 11, 2013
Projected increases in sea level rise (SLR) and in the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events pose a major challenge for the management of low-lying coastal ecosystems and human settlements in the context of climate change.
The bay of Al Hoceima is one of the least studied and largest low-lying coastal areas of the Moroccan Mediterranean coast, and is highly exposed to the effects of SLR and storms. The coast is also a touristic area and one of the most important economic assets in the region of Al Hoceima. Physical coastal vulnerability assessments are one of the principal tools for developing coastal management plans.
Here we assess the vulnerability of the coastline to sea level rise and extreme weather events through a standard index methodology based on physical indices, before carrying out a socio¡-economic evaluation of potential impacts in the area. Using a combination of high resolution maps and remotely-sensed data , we selected the five most relevant physicalparameters for local-scale vulnerability analysis, based on 50m/50m cells along the coastline. A total of 822 cells were identified and evaluated, with individual parameter scores ranging from 1 to 4 and calculated total scores from 10 to 20. We found that 41% of the studied coastline is highly vulnerable to the effects of SLR and extreme weather events. These findings will have direct repercussions for coastal development programs over both the short and long terms.
Khouakhi A, Snoussi M, Niazi S, Raji O, 2013, Vulnerability assessment of Al Hoceima bay (Moroccan Mediterranean coast): a coastal management tool to reduce potential impacts of sea – level rise and storm surges, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, 65, 968-973, doi:10.2112/SI65-164. Article.
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