Rip current hazard assessment on a sandy beach in Liguria, NW Mediterranean

Mucerino Luigi, Carpi Luca, Chiara F. Schiaffino, Enzo Pranzini, Eleonora Sessa, Marco Ferrari
2020 Natural Hazards  
Rip currents are one of the most significant environmental hazards for beachgoers and are of interest to coastal scientists. Several studies have been conducted to understand rip current dynamics, and several approaches for rip hazard assessment have been proposed. In general, the purpose is to provide knowledge and tools to support authorities and lifeguards in rip current risk prevention. This study proposes the application of an expeditious methodology to evaluate rip current hazard and
more » ... ent hazard and risk, based on probability theory. The tested area was located along the Alassio beach, a renowned tourist destination located on the western Ligurian coast (NW Italy). A coastal video-monitoring system was used for rip currents individuation, whereas wave data were collected thanks to an oceanographic buoy managed by Regione Liguria. In detail, a yearly analysis was performed to identify the correspondence between rip currents and wave parameters data. The results showed that rip currents occur, in the study area, under moderate wave conditions ($$0.5 \le H_s \le 1.34$$ 0.5 ≤ H s ≤ 1.34 m; $$4.7\le T_m \le 7.0$$ 4.7 ≤ T m ≤ 7.0 s; $$150^{\circ }\,\hbox {N} \le \theta _m \le 227^{\circ }$$ 150 ∘ N ≤ θ m ≤ 227 ∘ N). Based on this analysis, an easy application of the probability theory was applied to evaluate the level of hazard. Moreover, considering the official tourist data, we also perform an expeditious rip currents risk evaluation. The results showed that the hazard level is considered high at annual time scale and moderate during the tourist season; the risk is related to seasonal presences. The study can propose a tool to support authorities and lifeguards in water safety planning and management.
doi:10.1007/s11069-020-04299-9 fatcat:yozuz3y6qng6xnyzeud3ewpmvu