Morphometric Classification and GIS-Based Data Analysis in Coastal Modeling and Management

Dan Lindgren*, Lars Hakanson
Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Villavagen 16, SE-75236 Uppsala, Sweden.

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© 2010 Lindgren and Hakanson

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Villavagen 16, SE-75236 Uppsala, Sweden; Tel: +46 18 4717182; Fax: +46 18 551124;


This paper describes how morphometric classification (based on openness, form, depth and size) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used for possible identification of coastal areas sensitive to pollution. Generalized maps of key water properties are then created for as large parts of Europe as possible using large amounts of empirical data. These maps give an overview of the general spatial pattern of the presented properties and offer identification of highly polluted coastal areas. They also provide input and reference data for two dynamic ecosystem models (CoastWeb and CoastMab) suitable for in-depth studies of individual coastal areas or regions. A modeling case study of coastal eutrophication is presented to illustrate that these general models may be practically applied for simulations related to the response of coastal ecosystems to various remedial scenarios using only the data presented in the morphometric coastal classification system and in the generalized overview maps.

Keywords: Coastal areas, morphometric classification, GIS, maps, ecosystem modeling.