Finkl, C.W. and Makowski, C., 2021. Alongshore classification and morphometric analysis of developed coastal belts: An example from Uruguay, South America. Journal of Coastal Research, 37(5), 906–922. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Approximately half of the 666-km long Uruguayan coastal belt length is characterized by continuums of developed urban centers that are associated with ports and harbors, residential, recreational, military, shore protection, and/or commercial facilities that occur in association with agricultural pursuits. Modification of the Biophysical Cross-shore Classification System (BCCS) to include such features of anthropogenic change along with naturally occurring coastalscapes permits classification of developed and undeveloped coastal belts based on interpretation of satellite imagery. Characterization of alongshore domains was based on conjoining archetypes into catenary sequences that typify coastal belts both alongshore and cross-shore. Based on interpretation of satellite imagery acquired from Google Earth Pro, Uruguayan coastal belts were divided into six separate departments (Rocha, Maldonado, Canelones, Montevideo, San Jose, Colonia) and characterized by the alongshore widths of archetypes that extended from offshore to several kilometers inland. Compilation of coastal belt catenas showed that promontories and headlands, which comprise resistant igneous and metamorphic rocks, function as anchor points along the shore and are widely interspersed by sedimentary (littoral) domains that contain mainland and barrier beaches that are backed by beach-dune couplets, wetlands, lagoonal flats, and developed upland archetypes. Typical alongshore super domains, which were concised from cross-shore archetypical consequences, include the following predominant types of sequences: Barrier-Beach-Dune, Beach-Dune-Lagoon, Beach-Dune-Wetland, Beach-Dune-Upland, Beach-Cliff-Upland, Beach-Wetland-Flat-Lagoon, and Rock-Cliff-Upland. Certain archetypes, such as rock and developed, were prevalent throughout the coastal belt codifications with their representative symbolizations appearing in the variable code sequences of domains and super domains. Morphometric analysis tables were also compiled with alongshore lengths of domains and super domains, as well as percentages of individual department and Uruguayan coastal belts. This examination of the Uruguayan coast showed for the first time that the BCCS can characterize anthropogenically developed units with naturally occurring biophysical features. Interpreted cross-shore transects, alongshore domains, and all-encompassing super domains allow for a comprehensive classification and morphometric analysis of offshore, inshore, and onshore components along Uruguay's natural and developed coastal belts.