Gulf of Valencia beaches lose an average 11.1 metres after storm Gloria

By 4 febrero, 2020Natural Sciences

At points such as Pinar beach (Castelló de la Plana), the average loss was 32 metres, and in the town of Canet, 29.1.Pinar beach

Storm Gloria has caused an average transgression of the beaches of the Gulf of Valencia of 11.1 metres, although there are points where losses of up to 32 metres have been registered. This is the main takeaway from a study conducted by the research group on Geo-environmental Mapping and Remote Sensing (CGAT) of the Department of Mapping Engineering, Geodesy and Photogrammetry of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV).

Taking as a source of information the images of satellite Sentinel-2 (European Space Agency) before and after the storm, the UPV researchers measured and mapped the transgression of the shoreline in detail.

The storm had its critical moment in the early hours of 20 January, where a maximum wave size of 8.4 metres was registered. This study took into account the satellite images of three days, two before the storm (6 and 16 January) and one afterwards (26 January). Researchers used a computer tool developed within the research group named SHOREX (SHOReline EXtraction) to map the position of the coastline on these three days with an accuracy close to 4 metres, encompassing the totality of the Gulf of Valencia, from Vinaròs to Dénia.

The results obtained verify the spectacular transgression that the coastline has suffered as a whole. Taking into account the two farthest apart days – 6 and 26 January – researchers measured that the average transgression of all the beaches of the Gulf of Valencia was of 11.1 metres, although local differences were greater. “Detailed monitoring of the over 200 km of coastline between Vinaròs and Dénia has made it possible to detect several changes. At points such as Pinar beach (Castelló de la Plana) the loss reached 32 metres, and in Canet, 29.1 metres,” adds Josep Eliseu Pardo, one of the authors of the study.

The following table shows the average and maximum transgressions from the 21 beaches that registered the most significant variations.


Beach Town Maximum loss (m) Average loss (m)
Pinar Castelló de la Plana 63.3 32.0
Canet Canet d’En Berenguer 39.4 29.1
Grau de Gandia Gandia 43.7 26.4
Port de Sagunt Sagunt 43.4 26.1
Sant Antoni Cullera 41.3 25.4
Malva-rosa and Cabanyal Valencia 38.5 24.3
Ahuir Gandia 45.3 23.2
Almadrava Benicàssim 59.5 21.7
Recatí Valencia 38.8 20.8
Xeraco Xeraco 40.2 19.8
Pobla Farnals sud Pobla de Farnals, Massamagrell, València 42.1 19.0
Racó Cullera 42.5 18.2
Dosel Cullera 40.3 18.0
El Dorado – La Goleta Cullera, Tavernes de la Valldigna 40.3 18.0
Les Fonts – Alcossebre Alcalà de Xivert 29.7 17.6
Piles Piles 33.1 17.5
Pau Pi Oliva 33.7 17.5
Rabdells Oliva 29.1 16.7
Les Deveses Oliva Oliva 50.0 16.7
Marenyet Cullera 37.5 16.4
Terra Nova Oliva 32.8 16.3