IMPACT OF THE PORT STRUCTURE IN THE SPATIO-TEMPORAL EVOLUTION OF THE SEDIMENTARY AND BATHYMETRIC CHARACTERISTICS OF A MOROCCAN ATLANTIC BAY, STUDY CASE BAY OF SAFI CITY
- 1Interdisciplinary Laboratory LIRBEM, Department of Life and Earth Sciences, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco
- 2Associated Unit URAC 45, Marine Geosciences and Sol Sciences Laboratory, Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences, University Chouaib Doukkali, El Jadida B.P. 20, 2400, Morocco
- 3Physical Geography Laboratory, Cadi Ayyad University, Polydisciplinary Faculty, Department of Natural Sciences and Geography, Safi, Morocco
Keywords: Safi Bay, morpho-sedimentary, development, port, lowering, raising
Abstract. This study focuses on morpho-sedimentary changes in the bay of Safi (Atlantic coast of Morocco), due to a progressive extension of the port. For this purpose, several bathymetric and sedimentary surveys carried out by the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy (SHOM) in 1892, 1906 and 1940 respectively, coupled with a bathymetric and sedimentary measurement mission in 2009, were analyzed to understand the impact of the port developments on the bottom of Safi Bay. This analysis consists of making maps of the evolution of (i) sedimentary facies (of different dates 1892, 1906, 1940 and 2009) and (ii) the shallow seabed of the three periods 1892–1906, 1906–1940 and 1940–2009. The sedimentary facies maps show that the facies appear unstable and evolve intermittently in response to environmental changes in the bay (port construction and expansion). In addition, the overlay of the bathymetric maps indicates that the bay has undergone changes (lowering, stability, and raising) controlled by hydrodynamic conditions before, during, and even after harbor construction. Analysis of the data showed that the expansion of the port often reshaped the morphology of the bay's seabed. The consequences of these evolutions are the appearance of the fattening or the erosion of the bank and the filling of small depressions of sediments. This evolution is reflected in the modification of the funds near the port and the beach of Safi.