Seasonal dynamics of a microtidal pocket beach with Posidonia oceanica seabeds (Mallorca, Spain)

G. Basterretxea*, A. Orfila, A. Jordi, B. Casas, P. Lynett, P. L.F. Liu, C. M. Duarte, J. Tintoré

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


In this work, we analyze the seasonal evolution of a Mediterranean pocket beach and its response to different storm episodes. Magalluf, an intermediate medium sand beach located in the Bay of Palma (Balearic Islands) was monitored by topographic levelling during 14 months. Near the beach, a Posidonia oceanica meadow covers most of the seabed and appears to influence the cross-shore beach adjustment. The low variability observed during the sampling period was perturbed by two storm events that caused significant beach evolution and sediment transport. The first storm gave rise to waves from the SE, significant height = 2.4 m, cross-shore sediment transport and along-shore net sediment exchange that resulted in decreased dry beach extension to a minimum. The second storm was characterized by strong northeasterly winds and generated a set-up of 0.5 m and a nearshore drift reversal that redistributed sediment from the berm crest to the beach face, thereby increasing beach extension. Results from numerical simulations of wave propagation show the circulation patterns during both events and their influence on the beach morphology. In general terms, the beach exhibited a homeostatic behaviour characteristic of an equilibrium system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1155-1164
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Beach profile
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Morphodynamics
  • Sediment transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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