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Reef controlled areas in the tropical Brazilian Coast: length and occupation

Grant number: 20/02856-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2020
Effective date (End): December 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Geological Oceanography
Principal Investigator:Eduardo Siegle
Grantee:Vitor Tavares de Souza Silva
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Coastal environments are highly dynamic and have great spatio-temporal variability in their morphological features, which are the result of erosive and depositional processes. In Brazil, along its more than eight thousand kilometers of coastline, the wide latitudinal variation allows the existence of distinct coastal environments, with their own characteristics, which define, for example, the type of ecosystem there is in each region. Each ecosystem with its associated fauna and flora and unique ecological functions. In the context of coastal protection, reefs, in particular, play a essential role in the morphology of the coastline, as they act as barriers to impacts (natural or man-made), such as beach erosion, storms and climate change; being able to dissipate a great amount of energy promoted by surface waves, thus protecting the adjacent area and consequently favoring sedimentation, which results in the procreation of the adjacent coastline. This larger coastal area, thanks to the reef protection, allows occupation and coastal urbanization. Therefore, the objective of this work is to carry out a study of the areas protected by reefs and emphasize the importance of these natural structures in the development of coastal cities and municipalities along the Northeast region of Brazil, and to highlight the importance of the coastal protection provided by these structures in the current context of climate change and human impacts. (AU)