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Deltaic coasts under climate-related catastrophic events - Insights from the Save River delta, Mozambique
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
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Number of Authors: 6
2015 (English)In: Ocean and Coastal Management, ISSN 0964-5691, E-ISSN 1873-524X, Vol. 116, 331-340 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The deltaic coast of the Save River is characterized by mangrove wetland, one of the most important coastal ecosystems in Mozambique. This ecosystem provides direct services to the neighbouring communities and contributes to the productivity of the marine ecosystem. This region has, however, been hit by recurrent catastrophic events that have caused negative impacts on the ecosystem and in people's lives, posing challenges for its management. In this article we use this area as a case study to structure and propose an interactive and integrated approach for coastal zone management under recurrent climate-related catastrophic events. Our results show a need for systematic interaction between the decision makers (at the different levels) and the communities to set up adaptive measures for climate-related events. Also, we noticed that the presence of the neighbouring communities is a factor to capitalize on the adaptation activities by maximizing their participation as active actors in the process. Therefore, we conclude that a continuous process of adaptation and preparedness to climate-related catastrophic events (focused on both social and ecological systems) constitutes a leverage variable to be used for sustainable management of the coastal zones.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 116, 331-340 p.
Keyword [en]
Climate change, Adaptation, Coastal management, Cyclones, Sustainability
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123779DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.08.008ISI: 000364436700033OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-123779DiVA: diva2:889314
Available from: 2015-12-23 Created: 2015-12-07 Last updated: 2016-01-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Geomorphology and environmental dynamics in Save River delta, Mozambique: A cross-timescale perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Geomorphology and environmental dynamics in Save River delta, Mozambique: A cross-timescale perspective
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Long-term perspectives on the evolution of river deltas have provided useful knowledge capable of responding to pending questions related to the ongoing climate and environmental changes. Increasing utilization pressure on delta environments has necessitated increased attention to protect the socio-economic and ecological values. As a result, multiple local initiatives have been designed, aimed at mitigating environmental deterioration and implementing adaptive measures, but many such initiatives have shown limited success. This thesis uses a case study of Save River delta in Mozambique to explore the relation between geomorphological evolution and socio-ecological system dynamics in delta environments. In addition, key environmental variables that concern the society today are highlighted and discussed in a management perspective. The results of the study show the development of Save River delta from the mid-Holocene to the present. The geomorphological settings of the delta suggest a faulted coastline over which subsequent deposition of fluvial sediments has formed a protruding delta front. Between c. 3000 and 1300 years ago, fine-grained sediments accumulated on top of the delta-front in the proximal part of the delta. This type of material was deposited under intertidal conditions and supported the formation of mangrove habitat. The geographical distribution of the mangrove deposit was driven by successive stages of back-barrier swamp formation and sea-level change as the delta evolved. From c. 1300 years ago, the river delta started to receive fluvial sediments from pulses of floods forming an alluvial floodplain. These sediments have accumulated mainly on the fine-grained mangrove wetland deposit. All the geomorphological features have evolved in a shoreward-shifting pattern over time. Centennial to decadal changes observed in the delta have followed a predictable geomorphological pattern, which is also part of the millennial evolution. The mangrove system, the base for the socio-economic system, is consequently strongly affected by the geomorphological development of the area. An increasing sensitivity of socio-ecological systems to environmental stressors, e.g. floods, cyclones and erosion, has motivated multiple initiatives to work towards a sustainable management of delta environments. This thesis highlights the need for interplay between geomorphology and ecology, considering both long- and short-term dynamics of delta environments. Hitherto, management initiatives have been concentrated on fragmented interventions of controlling water flow, which have disrupted the natural dynamics by obstructing the sedimentation-erosion cycle. To change this trend, coastal planners need to consider the significance of natural processes, e.g. cyclones, floods, erosion and accretion, for the long-term ecological and social sustainability of delta environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, 2016. 35 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 53
Series
, Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography, ISSN 1653-7211 ; No 53
Keyword
Save River delta, deltaic wetlands, biogeomorphology, climate change, landscape evolution, coastal management, socio-ecological systems
National Category
Physical Geography Geology
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126064 (URN)978-91-7649-311-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-03-11, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Decision No. 2011-002102
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 2. Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-02-17 Created: 2016-01-24 Last updated: 2016-02-08Bibliographically approved

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