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Experiences with beach nourishments in Portugal

General description of the area

Vale do Lobo beach is located on the south Portuguese Coast at Quarteira, between Albufeira and Faro in the district of Loulé, about 5km east of Vilamoura.

Geomorphology

The cliffs of Vale do Lobo beach are almost vertical formations of red Pleistocene sands (see also Figure 1). This shoreline stretch is characterised by a set of high cliffs, composed of highly fractured formations with weak cohesion, and a narrow subjacent beach. The base of the cliffs is often hit by breaking waves, especially in winter. The width of the subjacent beach is the main factor on which the evolution of the cliffs depends, as it is the main protection against waves breaking directly on the cliffs.