Determining anthropogenic pressure on the Southern Black Sea blue flag beaches

GÜNEROĞLU N., GÜNEROĞLU A., DİHKAN M., Sari D., ONUR M., Demirsoy E. H., ...More

Journal of Coastal Conservation, vol.28, no.3, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11852-024-01057-y
  • Journal Name: Journal of Coastal Conservation
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Environment Index, Geobase, Greenfile, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Beach, Black Sea, Blue flag, Coastal Change, Remote sensing
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Coasts are settlement areas that attract human for many years. Türkiye, geographically located on Mediterranean Basin and Asian Continent passage with unique climate regime, has a great coastal zone. The mid-latitude geographic setting makes possible to experience coastal recreation and tourism activities for almost all year along. Among all activities sun, sea and sand tourism can be placed on the first stage. Recent changes in local climate of the Black Sea such as rising mean atmospheric temperatures and increasing number of sunny days have triggered touristic beach activities in the region. In the literature, there are different techniques for grading and classifying coastal beaches. In this study, as an integral part of coastal landscape formation Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) structure is linked to landscape value and regarded as cover changes that determines landscape pattern of the area under investigation. The research rationale of this study is based on an assumption of Southern Black Sea coastal blue flag beaches are under severe anthropogenic pressure. For this purpose, 15 blue flag beaches which are located on the Black Sea coast of Türkiye were selected based on their morphological dimensions. To determine landscape changes and potential human induced effects on selected beaches for the last 35–40 years period, georeferenced, atmospherically corrected Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 8 OLI-TIRS satellite images were used. Furthermore, carrying capacities for all researched beaches were calculated and documented in order to find the actual human usage frequencies during the high season. According to results of the study, it is clearly observed that all beach areas are under anthropogenic pressure. The most important evidence of this situation is the proportional increases in the IS (Impervious Surface) cover class in the classified images between 1984 and 1985 and 2021 in all 15 beaches. Moreover, these increases have reached up to 5–6 times for some beaches. As inferred, from the field surveys, beach carrying capacities were also exceeded for the most of the beaches under investigation. This means the blue flag beaches of Southern Black Sea are not only affected by construction and urbanization but also under intense pressure of overuse during the high seasons. It is revealed that these areas should be carefully managed with state-of-the-art techniques that prioritize adaptive planning that takes into account all stakeholders participation. Moreover, the activities, authorization and attitudes of municipalities regarding the coastal zones must be limited and inspected by a higher organization.