This paper examines the vulnerability and management options for the dune systems at Olu Deniz, Patara Beach and Side on the southwestern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The dune systems in this region are subjected to varying levels of pressure, principally resulting from high tourist densities and varying Aeolian processes. Although several areas are governed by legislation, the threats can trigger phase transitions within the system over a variety of time scales. This paper will begin by highlighting the vulnerability and management issues associated with dune systems before reviewing the research methodology employed during site visits in Turkey. Various methodologies have been utilised to measure dune vulnerability in an attempt to preserve and restore the natural values of a system. This study applies a recognised checklist to objectively assess the concepts of dune vulnerability and protection at the three chosen sites. The checklist is divided into sub-sections covering site and dune morphology, beach conditions, beach surface characteristics and pressure of use, all of which are assessed to give an overall percentage vulnerability index, with recent protection measures also calculated to enable a comparison between vulnerability and protection. Evaluation of the results determined Patara as positively out of equilibrium as a result of excessive sand supplies due to the size of the beach, relatively low levels of tourism in relation to the system size and extensive protection measures in place to safeguard the presence of sea turtles; Olu Deniz was established as a system in equilibrium following the protective status of the area as a Nature Park, work undertaken by the Turkish Marine Research Foundation and low wind erosion rate owing to the granular sediment size; and the dune system at Side assessed as one negatively out of equilibrium, caused predominately by the lack of beach sediment supplies, absence of any appropriate protection measures and high visitor numbers. Based on these results future management options and objectives are identified.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2003|