ABSTRACT

Tourism is the basic industry in Fuerteventura Island (Canary Islands, Spain), mostly due to the sunny conditions and excellent beaches. Probably the best well-known beaches are those located in the southeastern part of Jandía Peninsula, locally named Sotavento Beaches. These beaches are the largest and widest in the whole archipelago, and are up to 15 km long and 800 m wide in some points. Interest has focussed on these beaches not only from the tourism point of view, but also from a geomorphological perspective. Based on beach profile data and aerial photographs from 1963 until 1996 from the central part of these beaches, landward migration of the coastline has been identified. The width reduction of these beaches –to the point that in some areas the beach has completely disappeared- is a consequence of the reduction of sediment supply to the coast from inland sedimentary deposits. This reduction in sediment supply and consequent beach erosion is due to the development of tourism resorts and associated activities, such as road widening, sand mining and gardening along the roads.

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