Propuesta metodológica para la caracterización y tipificación de las costas españolasAplicación a las costas de Galicia

  1. Augusto Pérez-Alberti 1
  1. 1 Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

    Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

    Santiago de Compostela, España


Cuadernos de investigación geográfica: Geographical Research Letters
  1. Gracia Prieto, Francisco Javier (ed. lit.)

ISSN: 0211-6820 1697-9540

Ano de publicación: 2022

Volume: 48

Número: 2

Páxinas: 269-291

Tipo: Artigo


Outras publicacións en: Cuadernos de investigación geográfica: Geographical Research Letters

Objetivos de desarrollo sostenible


There are several coastal classifications. Most of them have been elaborated worldwide using tectonic, climatic, topographic, or oceanographic criteria. Other classifications have been generated on a larger scale and focused on classifying the coastal forms, as cliffs, beaches, estuaries, lagoons, or dune complexes in different places. This project analyzes the types of coastlines, understanding as such each sector that presents certain topographic conditions marked by the elevation and slope, and that was modeled on a concrete type of rock in a specific climatic and marine environment. This paper describes a methodological approach for a detailed scale classification. This approach based on the delimitation of the different coastal systems, exemplified in cliffs and boulder beaches, sandy beaches, and dunes. In this case the shore platforms, marshes and lagoons have not been considered for the technical problems derived from the LiDAR data source, from which the 2 m spatial resolution digital terrain models (DTM) are derived. The first step in the classification was a manual delimitation combining DTMs and orthophotographs. Subsequently, other typification has been carried out through the automatic creation of Coastal Topographic Units (CTU). This index is the combination of two variables: coastal elevation and slope. The possible integration of others, such as orientation or lithology, is possible, but generate a very high number of units and make it difficult to interpret. For this reason, this study did not consider more variables. In this project 30 CTUs was generated, and then selecting only those that appear in the cliffs, boulder beaches, sandy beaches, and coastal dunes sectors. The possibility of viewing one or several CTUs in any sector of the coast allows to know more accurately the conditions of each sector and these categories could be improve the coastal management plans.

Referencias bibliográficas

  • Aranda, M., Gracia, F.J., Pérez-Alberti, A. (coords.). 2019. Selección y descripción de variables que permitan diagnosticar el estado de conservación de la “estructura y función” de los diferentes tipos de hábitat costeros. Serie Metodologías para el seguimiento del estado de conservación de los tipos de hábitat. Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica, Madrid, 132 pp.
  • Aufrere, L. 1936. Le role du climat dans l’activite morphologique littorale, Proceedings, 14th International Geographical Congress, Warsaw, 2, 189-195.
  • Benedet, L., Finkl, C.W., Klein, A. H.F. 2006. Morphodynamic classification of beaches on the Atlantic coast of Florida: geographical variability of beach types, beach safety and coastal hazards. Journal of Coastal Research SI 39, 360-365.
  • Carter, R.W.G., 1988. Coastal Environments. Academic Press, London, UK.
  • Consellaría de Medio Ambiente, Territorio e Infraestruturas. 2011. Plan de Ordenación do Litoral de Galicia (POLGalicia). Xunta de Galicia.
  • Cotton, C.A. 1952 Criteria for the classification of coasts. Proceedings 17th Conference, International Geographical Union, Washington, 315–319.
  • Davies, J.L. 1972. Geographical Variation in Coastal Development. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh.
  • Davies, J.L. 1980. Geographical Variation in Coastal Development. Longman, London.
  • De Martonne, E., 1909. Traite de Geographie Physique. Colin, Paris.
  • Del Río, L., Gracia, F. J., Benavente, J. 2013. Morphological and evolutionary classification of sandy beaches in Cadiz coast (SW Spain). Journal of Coastal Research 65 (10065), 2113-2118.
  • Finkl, C.W. 2004. Coastal classification: systematic approaches to consider in the development of a comprehensive scheme. Journal of Coastal Research 20 (1), 166-213.[166:CCSATC]2.0.CO;2
  • Gómez-Pazo, A., Pérez-Alberti, A., Trenhaile, A. 2021. High resolution mapping and analysis of shore platform morphology in Galicia, northwestern Spain. Marine Geology 436, 106471.
  • Goudie, A. 2004. Encyclopaedia of Geomorphology. Routledge publisher, New York, 1250 pp.
  • Haslett, S. 2009. Coastal systems. Routledge, London, 240 pp.
  • IGME (Instituto Geológico y Minero de España). 2021. Mapas disponibles en:
  • IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional). 2021. Información disponible en:
  • Inman, D.L., Nordstrom, C.E. 1971. On the tectonic and morphologic classification of coasts. Journal of Geology 79, 1–21.
  • Ottmann, F. 1965. Introduction a la Geologie Marine et Littorale. Masson, Paris.
  • Pérez-Alberti, A., Vázquez-Paz, M.C., 2011. Caracterización y dinámica de sistemas dunares costeros de Galicia. En E. Sanjaume Saumell, F.J. Gracia Prieto (Eds). Sociedad Española de Geomorfología, Madrid, pp. 161-185.
  • Pérez-Alberti, A., Trenhaile, A. S., 2015. Clast mobility within boulder beaches over two winters in Galicia, northwestern Spain. Geomorphology 248, 411-426.
  • Pérez-Alberti, A., Gómez-Pazo, A. 2019. The Rocky Coasts of Northwest Spain. In The Spanish Coastal Systems. Dynamic Processes, Sediments and Management. Springer, Cham, pp. 27-47.
  • Puertos del Estado. 2021. Datos disponibles en:
  • Russell, R. J. 1967. River Plains and Sea Coasts. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • Suess, E. 1906. The Face of the Earth. Clarendon Press, Oxford
  • Trenhaile, A.S. 1997. Coastal Dynamics and Landforms. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Valentin, H. 1952. Die Kusten der Erde. Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen, 246 pp.
  • Ward, N., Roberts, K.L. 2020. Estuaries and Coast: Classification and Attributes for Southland. Environment Southland Regional Council, Publication number 2020-03, Environment Southland: Invercargill.
  • Zenkovich, V.P. 1967. Processes of Coastal Development, Oliver and Boyd. Edinburgh.