As part of an erosion protection program for the beaches of Barcelona, Spain, the Municipality of Barcelona conducted a study to analyze coastal dynamics from 2010-2013. The study determined whether measures such as dikes, breakwater extensions, and sand contributions to city beaches helped to stabilize against wave action, wind, and coastal currents. By quantifying how many cubic meters of sand were lost or gained each year, the City will be able to plan for more effective future actions.
Five bathymetric surveys were done over the three-year study period. Using MicroStation to process the information allowed the City’s engineers to work with several different programs within the same environment. The engineers used Bentley’s InRoads to create digital terrain models (DTMs) from the information collected, producing one model for each beach and for each year. InRoads was used to generate isopach surfaces which easily show the differences of each surveyed surface and revealed the sand balances for each year.
Using InRoads to generate isopach surfaces reduced the project delivery time and cost. Armed with a better understanding of the forces at work on the beaches, the City will be better able to plan for their protection. Because the beaches are a main tourist attraction for Barcelona, protecting the beaches from erosion is a step toward preserving tourism as an economic engine for the city.
Digital terrain models produced in InRoads allowed Barcelona’s engineers to quantify how much sand was lost or gained during the study period. The color-coded elevation differences of the isopach maps made it easy to visualize the effects of coastal dynamics.