ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0202.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: sea level rise; coastlines; 2100; heritage sites; Pyrgi; Mediterranean; UAV; DSM
Online: 17 October 2019 (14:56:12 CEST)
Sea level rise is one of the main factor of risk for the preservation of cultural heritage sites located along the coasts of the Mediterranean basin. Coastal retreat, erosion and storm surges are yet posing serious threats to archaeological and historical structures built along the coastal zones of this region. In order to assess the coastal changes by the end of 2100 under an expected sea level rise of about 1 m, a detailed determination of the current coastline position and the availability of high resolution DSM, is needed. This paper focuses on the use of very high-resolution UAV imagery for the generation of ultra-high resolution mapping of the coastal archaeological area of Pyrgi, near Rome (Italy). The processing of the UAV imagery resulted in the generation of a DSM and an orthophoto, with an accuracy of 1.94 cm/pixel. The integration of topographic data with two sea level rise projections in the IPCC AR5 2.6 and 8.5 climatic scenarios for this area of the Mediterranean, were used to map sea level rise scenarios for 2050 and 2100. The effects of the Vertical Land Motion (VLM) as estimated from two nearby continuous GPS stations located as much as close to the coastline, were included in the analysis. Relative sea level rise projections provide values at 0.30±0.15 cm by 2050 and 0.56±0.22 by 2100, for the IPCC AR5 8.5 scenarios and at 0.13±0.05 cm by 2050 and 0.17±0.22 by 2100, for the IPCC AR5 2.6 scenario. These values of rise will correspond to a potential beach loss between 12.6% and 23.5% in 2100 for RCP 2.6 and 8.5 scenarios, respectively, while during the highest tides the beach will be reduced up to 46.4%. With these sea level rise scenarios, Pyrgi with its nearby Etruscan temples and the medieval castle of Santa Severa will be soon exposed to high risk of marine flooding, especially during storm surges, thus requiring suitable adaptation strategies.