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Coastal erosion Romania

The Romanian coast

The Romanian coastline is 243 km long. The northern part is the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, Europe’s largest nature reserve. The southern part consists of an almost uninterrupted chain of tourist resorts, alternating with towns and harbours (1).

Relative sea level rise is 2.5 - 3.7 mm/year, of which subsidence accounts for 1.5 - 1.8 mm/year. Mean significant wave height is 1.16 m in the winter and 0.79 m in the summer. Water level rise due to storm surge is up to 1.2-1.5 m (1).

Vulnerabilities - Romania

Coastal erosion, noticed especially during the last decades, has become almost a general phenomenon on the Romanian seaside, leading to the decrease of the beach surfaces. For instance, the beach in Mamaia known formerly for its wide opening and stability, started to face accentuated erosion, especially in the southern part. Data show that the annual average modification rate of the shore line was of -2.3m/year, with oscillations between +7.8 m/year (Melody Hotel) and -10.4 m/year (Riviera Hotel) (2).

The massive development of tourist resorts along the southern part of the coastline has created a ‘vicious circle’ in the coastal assets that have required protection, which in turn has generated negative side effects, especially with respect to sediment dynamics. These coastal and river engineering works include embankments along the entire Danube basin and dams in the river that generated a reduction of sediment supply to the coast of over 50%, measures such as meander cut-offs and embankments in the Danube Delta, and ‘hard’ coastal protection works (harbour jetties, seawalls, groins, etc.). Artificial beach nourishments have only been applied on a small, experimental scale. Most of the beaches of the southern part have been artificially stabilized (almost 22% of the southern coastline); erosion rates are generally in the order of 2 m/year. Cliff erosion rates in the southern part are 0.3-0.7 m/year (1).  


The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Romania.

  1. Stãnicã et al. (2013)
  2. Ministry of Environment and Forests (2010)