Raji, O., Niazi, S., Snoussi M., Dezileau L., and Khouakhi A., 2013. Vulnerability assessment of a lagoon to sea level rise and storm events: Nador lagoon (NE Morocco)
Sea level rise is now a reality supported by scientific evidence, and coastal areas are already beginning to experience the consequences. The purpose of this work is to assess the vulnerability to accelerated sea level rise (SLR) and storm events in the barrier island of Nador lagoon, the largest lagoon (115 km2) of Morocco located along the Mediterranean coast. The vulnerability assessment was based on the combination of both a physical coastal vulnerability index and a socio-economic component, using a Geographic information system (GIS). The key results of this study are presented in vulnerability maps, and show that the Northwest sector of the barrier island is the most vulnerable area. Only the middle sector seems to be immune to the negative impacts of SLR and storm events. Human occupation of the area is mainly in the form of residential units, which represents only 3% of the total area. 20% of these units are located in highly vulnerable areas. Significant investments for future development projects are planned in an area identified as very vulnerable. This approach thus highlights the areas of the Nador lagoon where the effects of future SLR and storm events might be the greatest. Taking advantage of the currently low level of human occupation in the study zone, this information may have direct applications in coastal development programs and can assist decision-makers in the implementation of preventive management strategies in the most sensitive areas.