Mediterranean Coastal Lagoons

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Prof. Eulalia Sanjaume
Universitat de València, Spain

Manuscript Topics
The lagoons present a great variety of morphologies that respond to a wide diversity of environmental conditions. For this reason, the morphogenetic and morphodynamic processes involved in their formation are very varied and consequently, the evolution experienced by the lagoons does not always follow the same guidelines.

In the Mediterranean Sea, the lagoons are frequent and are found in most Mediterranean Countries, including the islands. The lagoons are found associated with quite closed bays if there are river mouths in its vicinity; related with some deltas, and even with estuaries if a beach barrier my grow closing the estuary. Along the Mediterranean coasts, the lagoons may be found in micro-tidal ranges, as well as meso-tidal ones. Most of the lagoons shapes are: round, oval or elongated. Its form depends on several factors: internal structures, river mouths, sediment supply, wave climate, and littoral drift orientation. The evolution of the lagoons depends on climatic changes (affecting wind regime, waves, and littoral drift); sea-level changes that allow the beach barrier progradation or recession; tides, and during the last decades the human action.

The Mediterranean lagoons must be considered as the whole system. The system has different parts, with specific features in each of them: 1) internal part; the lake; the beach barrier, spit, or barrier island; the inlets; and the nearshore of the beach. On the internal part, the structures of relief, its lithology, gradient, drainage, small alluvial fans and sediments subsidence, are important.2) the lake also has its own features: water circulation, dispersion and stratification; vegetation growing; sedimentary inputs, sedimentary rates, and subsidence of the sediments; amount of fluvial water discharge; tidal effects that are related with the lake dimension in water and in marshy areas, and wind sediment supply. Sometimes, in arid zones, the lake may evolve to salt pans or halite and gypsum outcrops. 3) the beach barrier is one of the most important parts of the lagoon system. Without this accumulation, the lagoon would not exist. Sometimes barrier islands and spits may also close the lagoon, even though the spits do not reach normally the other side of the lake. The beach barrier width depends on the number of sediments transported by the littoral drift.4) the inlets are very important in the water exchange between the lake and sea. For that reason, the tidal range is determinant for the lagoon open maintenance. 5) the low gradient of the nearshore is also important because allows the sediment transversal transport. The main geomorphologic features on the beach barrier are beaches, dunes, beach cusps, berms, beach ridges, and washover fans.

There may also be additional improvements related to laboratory methods. Particular hot spots in this field are the standardized use of isotopic determinations on carbonates aimed at assessing pedogenic C stocks, the choice of methods for organic C determinations, relations between organic matter quality and C sequestration and the breakdown of carbonate contents.

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The deadline for manuscript submission is 15th June 2019

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