Abstract and keywords
Abstract (English):
In 1980-th the average width of beaches of Kalamitskiy Gulf on the Western coast of Crimea was 40 m on accumulative part and 10 m on abrasion. Now they are reduced more than 2 times. Depletion of beaches, abrasion of coasts and erosion of underwater slope accompany these processes. Activation of mentioned processes is caused by deficit of beaches material due to intense anthropogenic impact on the coast. The main factors of human activity in that area are quarrying of sand and pebbles on the beaches; regulation of solid runoff of rivers; unwarranted hydrotechnical construction; dredging; pollution of sea waters and bottom sediment. Between natural factors the Black Sea level rise, sinking down of described coast, wind-wave conditions, beaches lithology and activation of extreme storms facilitate beaches reduction.

beaches reduction, coastal deposits reduction, economic activity, coastal erosion, Kalamitskiy Gulf , Western coast of Crimea.

The coastal zone is an arena of modern interaction of the sea and the land, and one of the brightest contact zones on the Earth. Its specificity is determined by an active matter-energetic exchange between the sea and the land that is expressed in character and direction of coastal processes. Modern dynamic of the coasts is characterized by coasts stepping back that is correlated with the eustatic rising of World Ocean level with an average speed of 1.7 mm/year [4]. As a whole sea level rise activates abrasion and weaken accumulative processes in the coastal zone. About 41% of Russia coasts are actively demolished [9]. Intense economic activity in the most parts of the coastal zone promotes to the strengthening of those processes. It scale is comparable or prevail under the natural factors. The economic activity is mostly influence on the coasts consisted of loose materials. They are extremely dynamic and any interference of man into the natural coastal processes fraught with serious consequences. One of such problem takes part in the Western coast of Crimea in Kalamitskiy Gulf.

The goal of the article is to describe modern state of dynamic of the beaches in Kalamitskiy Gulf. To achieve the goal the following tasks have been solved: (1) modern state of long-term dynamic of the beaches is shown, (2) main reasons of beaches reduction and coasts retreat are detected.



Analysis of modern state and dynamic of beaches is based on published data [1-3, 8, 11, 15, 19-22] and on long-term research data collected by Institute of Mineral Resources (Simferopol), Crimean State Hydrogeological Expedition, Yaltinskaya engineering-geological group, Crimean Republican Counterlandslide Board.

Results and discussion

Kalamitskiy Gulf is located on the Western coast of Crimea and bordered by cape Evpatoriyskiy on the north, and cape Lukull on the south (Fig. 1). The total length of the gulf coast is about 66 km (map with the scale 1:200 000). Coasts are an example of abrasion-accumulative system (pair) [24]. They consist of two genetically different parts: accumulative part from cape Evpatoriyskiy till lake Kyzyl-Yar, and abrasion part from lake Kyzyl-Yar till cape Lukull. The parts are binded together into single lithodynamic system. Beaches of accumulative parts take material transported by along-shore sediments flow from Sevastopol to Evpatoriya. Beaches of abrasion part has complex feeding: they take material from coastal and bench abrasion, rivers discharge, along-shore sediments flow, and biota functioning [14] (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Material flows and genetic type of beaches of Western Crimea

We consider in detail the dynamic of beaches reduction from the middle of 1980-th. We describe beaches from south to north – from cape Lukull to cape Evpatoriyskiy.

In the middle of 1980-th there were a natural 8-10 m width beach in the mouth of rive Alma, and an artificial beach with the same width near Peschanoye settlement [20]. After 20 years the width of beach near sanatorium “Lukomorye” in Peschanoye was 0-6 m [19]. At the same time the coastal-protection construction near pension “Volna” in Peschanoye near “Lukomorye” had been destroyed by the sea.

In the middle of 1980-th beaches northward Peschanoye and near Beregovoye were 5-8 m width, northward Beregovoye were 10-15 m [20]. After 20 years those beaches reduced till 4-7 m width, and the distance from buildings of recreation complex “KSU Shevchenko” to coastal cliff was 2.5-5.0 m [19].

In the middle of 1980-th beaches southward Nikolaevka were 30 m width [20]. After 10 years there was a sharp reduction of beaches width southward of coastal-protection constructions. Beaches near pensions “Bolshevik”, “Gornyak”, “Yuzhniy” and “Izumrud” were absolutely vanish. Now sea washes the base of embankment here [19].

In 1990 in the central part of Nikolaevka the width of beaches was 23-34 m, now it is 3-5 m near pensions “Polymer”, “Solnechniy”, “Luchezarniy”, and 10-18 m near “Energetic” and “Skif-88” [19].

In the middle of 1980-th northward of Nikolaevka there was a 10 m beach [20]. In last years that beach from pensions “Solnyshko” to pension “Polet” grows till 22-30 m because of building of coastal-protected constructions. Now its width seasonally vitiates on 5-7 m [19].

In the middle of 1980-th a beach southward of lake Bogayly bank was 18 m width [20]. From 1994 till 2005 the part of the coast northward of bank near recreation center “Volna” (Frunze settlement) retreat on 15 m. As a result the hangar and boat-berth of the recreation center were destroyed, and its cottages approaches to coastal step on 12 m [19].

In the middle of 1980-th the width of beaches between lakes Bogayly and Kyzyl-Yar was 7-12 m, and 10 m near Krasnaya Gorka [20]. The width of Kyzyl-Yar bank was reduced 1.5 times from 200 m [19]. In the northern part of Kyzyl-Yar bank since 1983, after the water intake had been constructed here, the beaches material began to accumulate.

In the middle of 1980-th beaches of the southern part of Saky bank had 60 m width. In 2000-th the width of the beaches is only 5-15 m. The maximal average speed of beaches reduction from 1983 till 2005 has been registered near child’s sanitary camp “Zvezdniy” im. kosmonavta G. Titova and recreation center “Uyut”. During that time the quay built here in 1986 had been completely destructed. Similar coastal processes and similar beaches width are registered everywhere between camp “Zvezdniy” and rest home “Prybrezhniy”. The formed here wash-out step has the height 0.1-2.0 m [3] .

The beach near rest home “Prybrezhniy” is relatively stable. The beach width is varied from - 3.0 to 5.0 m during 20 years [19]. Near recreation center “Priboy” and pension “Golubaya volna” the width of beaches is changed a little and it is more than 50 m.

In the middle of 1980-th the average width of beaches between Saky bank and Evpatoriya was 30-50 m. Maximal beaches width was registered opposite to Pribrezhnoye settlement. It is a cause of changing coastal line direction that favor to accumulation of beaches material.

In the beginning of 1980-th the width of Evpatoriya beaches in the southern part of city was 30-50 m. After the strongest storm in November 1981 the sea started to destroy beaches [15]. In that year the quay and part of the street on south outskirts of the city were destroyed. At the beginning of XX century the width of beaches near quay Gorkogo was 20-85 m, and in 2005 it was reduced to 15-35 m. At the beginning of XX century in the central part of Evpatoriya (near park Frunze and pension “Zolotoy bereg”) the width of the beaches was 50-80 m, in the middle of 1980-th it was 30-40 m, and in 2005 it was 6-15 m. The beaches degradation is increased during the last 20 years on the part of coast from cape Karantinniy to cape Evpatoriyskiy. The 0.8 m steep of wash-out is formed at the beaches near pensions “Planeta”, “Magnat”, “Almazniy”, “Rossiya”. The width of lake Moynaky bank was reduced from 125-150 m in 1989 to 90-100 m in 2005 [19].

The reduction of beaches width leads to exhausting of beaches sediments on the studied coast. Average volume of beaches sediments increases from south to north according to the movement of along-shore sediments flow. In the southern part of Kalamitskiy Gulf it is 7.4-12.0 m3/m of sediments. They are increased towards lake Bogaily till 42.0 m3/m, and near Evpatoriya they equal to 85 m3/m. Near Evpatoriya capes average volume of beaches sediments decreases from 28.0 m3/m near cape Evpatoriyskiy to 17.6 m3/m near cape Karantinniy [11]. Total reduction of beaches sediments increases the vulnerability of beaches in relation to washing-out and activates the development of exogenous processes on the coast.

The coastal erosion dominates between coastal processes in Kalamitskiy Gulf. During the last 100 years average speed of erosion is 1.3 m/year, maximal 7.8 m/year [19]. Beaches on abrasion part of Kalamitskiy Gulf have the maximal speed of erosion in Crimea. However different researches give different values of that speed. According to data [8] the speed of beaches erosion in the mouth of Alma river near settlements Peschanoye and Beregovoye is 3 m/year; on the southern parts of lakes Kyzyl-Yar and Bogaily is 5.0 m/year; northward to Nikolaevka settlement is 6.0 m/year. The speed of erosion decrease to 0.6-1.0 m/year on places where clay sediments armor pebble conglomerates, e. g. near Nikolaevka [8]. The speed of destruction of Krasnaya Gorka and the part of coast between end of Bogaily bank and cape Lukull is 2.0-2.8 m/year [11]. Romaniuk O. S. et al. [15] found that the speed of erosion on the part of coast between lake Kyzyl-Yar and Nikolaevka for the period 1940-1973 was 1.46 m/year. The coastal erosion brings into the sea about 350 thousand m3/year of material [11].

Beaches erosion on the accumulative part near and on Saky bank was registered since 1930-th [7]. Dzens-Litovskiy A. I. and Zenkovich V. P. mentioned that Saky coast retreated with the same speed as abrasion clay slope near lake Kyzyl-Yar [7, 23]. In 1941-1963 the width of beaches in the southern part of Saky bank decreased by 47.0 m and the mean annual speed of erosion was 2.1 m/year [15]. In 1970-th Shuisky Yu. D. calculated the speed of erosion on Evpatoriya part as 3.75 m/year, on Saky part as 1.0 m/year [16]. The speed of erosion of Saky bank in 1979-1982 was 2.6 m/year [22]. Maximal average speed of erosion on Saky bank for the period 1984-1998 was 3.76 m/year near camp “Zvezdniy” [1]. Total coastal line regression from the middle of 1980-th till 2005 was 31 m near camp “Zvezdniy”, 24-33 m near recreation center “Uyut”, and 18 m on the part of a coast from camp “Zvezdniy” to pension “Parus” [19]. The average speed of erosion near camp “Zvezdniy” in 1983-2005 was 1.5 m/year, in 1998-2005 was 1.8-2.0 m/year [2, 19]. Average speed of erosion of Evpatoriya beaches was 1-2 m/year [19].

The speeds of beaches erosion are changed in seasons and years. They increase in the years of active storms, and during winter season from November till March. Above mentioned speeds of erosion on abrasion parts of Kalamitskiy Gulf take into account exogenous processes, which stimulates coasts destruction and includes landslides, landslips, collapses [20]. Landslides are formed near Beregovoye settlement between mouth of river Alma and cape Lukull. Landslips are more intense on the parts of coasts without conglomerates. Along valleys of rivers Zapadniy Bulganak, Alma and other temporal streams of water the erosion is formed. Eolian processes are active on accumulative parts of the banks of salt lakes Sasyk-Sivash, Sakskoye, Kyzyl-Yar and Bogaily. NE winds prevailing here in cold period of year carry away sand from shore on to the underwater slope.

When beaches sediments are exhausted and edge of coastal step moved towards land, bottom abrasion become stronger. Speed of abrasion is 2.0-14.0 cm/year in the northern part of the Gulf, and 23.0-26.0 cm/year in the southern [11]. Absence of sediments between cape Evpatoriyskiy and cape Karantinniy at depth 2-5–10 m confirms deficit of beaches sediments. For example in underwater part of sanatoriums “Smaragdoviy”, “Smena”, “Dnepr”, “Druzhba”, “Rodina” the volume of sand sediments sufficiently reduced and limestones were uncovered [19]. Insignificant bottom accumulation of 13.0 cm/year is observed near cape Evpatoriyskiy, which is explained by underwater submerging of along-shore sediments flows [11].

Shuisky Yu. D. calculates the capacity of Belbek-Evpatoriya sediments flow which is equal to 72.6 thousands m3/year [17]. All sources of beaches material in Western Crimea have capacity of 300 thousands m3/year that is equal to 3.6 m3/m∙year. To keep a stable state of beaches it is necessary of 30-50 m3/m∙year of coastal material [17], or 8,5-14 times more than exists. Therefore along-coast flow in Kalamitskiy Gulf feels a need in coastal material, and compensates it by washing relict gravel-pebble deep-water banks and beaches [22].

The modern deficit of material in the coastal zone of Western Crimea is the case of unreasonable economic activities. Through them the main role belongs to sand and pebble quarries, regulated rivers streams, unfounded hydrotechnical constructions, dredging, pollution of marine waters and bottom sediments [1-3]. Below we consider their deposit in forming of the beaches of Kalamitskiy Gulf.

The first sand quarries were founded in the northern part of Kalamitskiy Gulf near Pribrezhnoye in 1920-1930-th. The sand was used for building of DneproGES. Apparently from that time the intervention of man into natural dynamic of coastal processes starts the mechanism of Kalamitskiy Gulf beaches reduction. In 1952-1972 quaries moved underwater to depth 2.5-5.0 m. During those period about 15 millions m3 of sand and pebble were withdrawn [22], and the along-shore sediments flow was completelly catched. According to data collected in [12] till 1985 sand was querred from abovewater parts of coast near Beregovoye and Peschanoye. After 1985 beaches material was mined near lake Kyzyl-Yar and from the bottom of Evpatoriyskiy Bay. Now it is prohibitted to quarry sand on Saky bank, but the facts of its unaproved mining are presented.

The first reservoirs in Crimea were made on rivers Alma and Kacha in 1920-1930-th. They held significant part of river alluvium. Further building of hydrotechnical constructions on rivers Belbek, Alma and Kacha in 1960-1980-th exacerbate the problem of along-shore sediments flow forming that negatively influence on stability of accumulative beaches in the northern part of Kalamitskiy Gulf.

In 1979-1982 a hydrotechnical construction 120 m length was built near lake Kyzyl-Yar. It blocks along-shore flow of sediments moved from south to north towards Saky and Sasyk-Sivash banks. According to calculations the hydrotechnical construction completely catch gravel-pebble flow (about 27.8 thousands m3/year), and about 50 thousands m3/year of suspended sand miss the construction and only partially come onto the Saky coast [21]. Together with quality-quantitative changes in sediments flow, the accumulative and abrasion parts of coasts are redistributed. Before 1979 the northern part of Kyzyl-Yar bank retreats back with the same temp as neighbour abrasion part of coast – 1.5 m/year. After the construction had been built the downstream wash of the northern part of the bank was started, and south part began to accumulate sediments. Now the coastline advance to the length of the construction, therefore we could forecast that along-shore flow will bring material into the northern part of the Gulf.

The clearing of passages for ships mooring in a marine port area affects on Evpatoriya beaches reduction. An annual volume of such clearing since 1986 was more than 50 thousands m3/year. Extracted sand-gravel-pebble material was used for building. As a result the deficit of sediments in underwater area was compensated by an intensification of beaches erosion. After every clearing the edge of existed beaches from Evpatoriya marine port to lake Moynaki stepped back by 14 m. Only after the sea fills up ships passages by beaches material, it restores the beaches width [15].

Because coast-protection offices did not provide any actions to prevent beaches erosion, the recreation objects on Saky bank like “Poltava-Krym” sanatorium, child’s sanitary camp “Zvezdniy” im. kosmonavta G. Titova, recreation center “Uyut” started to construct coast-protection objects, which, as it seemed, could retake the declining beaches from the sea. Unfortunately those construction were doomed to destruction. The fact is that concrete walls built in the zone of wave flow prevented the free moving of waves. Waves mirrored from the walls and washing away walls bases actively drawn beaches sediments back into the sea. As a result the walls crushed and generated a chaotic conglomerate of concrete constructions. For example the walls in child’s sanitary camp “Zvezdniy” im. kosmonavta G. Titova begun to destruct after 6 years. However after crushing those constructions served as block heap that protected coast from erosion, and after about 10 years their remains were buried under the sand or go under the water.

Anthropogenic municipal and industrial drainages near human settlements, especially near Evpatoriya and Saky, pollute coastal area, biota, and bottom sediments. Comparative analysis of bottom vegetation in 1964 and 1988 reveals change in their saprophic state. In 1964 the oligosaprobic algae species were dominated and polysaprobic algae were absent. In 1988 the meso- (48%) and oligosaprobic (33%) algae species prevail, and polysaprobic species constitutes 19% [6]. The green algae Enteromorpha intestinalis and red algae Ceramium rubrum were found here that indicates the pollution of sea waters. In 1991-1992 researchers of zoobenthos of Kalamitskiy Gulf found that in bottom zoocenoses mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis predominated by biomass. The comparison of obtained data with the results of previous works showed enlargement of macrozoobenthos biomass and replacement of small detritophages (Polychaeta) by large sestonophages (mollusks, mainly mussels) [6]. Furthermore the pollution leads to reduction of abundance and productivity of marine hydrobionts which form granulometric and material composition of beaches. As a result the strength and dimension of beaches sediments were increased. A granulometric composition of beaches, instead of fine-grained in 1960-th, becomes medium-grained in 1990-th [15]. In the middle of 1990-th the Saky chemical factory, that supplied the most part of pollutions, stopped activity. For that reason we establish a fact that quality of waters near Saky coast gradually improves and communities of phyto- and zoobenthos restore.

In spite of convincing negative role of human activity in the coastal zone of Kalamitskiy Gulf, we try to analyze a role of natural factors in beaches degradation.

The most part of Kalamitskiy Gulf is located in Alminskaya sineclise, which sinks down with the average speed of 2.5-3.0 mm/year [13]. At the same time the average speed of the Black Sea level rise is about 1.6 mm/year [5], from the end of 1940-th it equals to 2.5 mm/year [12], and from that period the level rises up to 15.0 cm. The response of accumulative Crimean coasts on that process is their retreat: when a sea level rise on 1.0 cm, the Saky coasts retreat on 30.0 cm [12]. Therefore the coast of the northern part of Kalamitskiy Gulf retreat by 4,5 m for last 70 years

Lithological structure of the coasts of Kalamitskiy Gulf favors to wash out, because they consist of material yielding and very yielding to abrasion [18]. Accumulative part of the coasts consists of loose marine Quaternary sediments of sand, gravel, pebble and shells. Abrasion part of the coasts consists of foxy Pliocene-Quaternary clays.

Hydrodynamic and hydrometeorological factors form unfavorable wind-wave situation in the gulf. Owing to comparative shallow-waters in the northern part of Kalamitskiy Gulf, the strength of sea waves is directly correlated with wind. The monitoring discover that NE, W and SW winds are the most frequent in Saky region. NE winds dominate in autumn-winter seasons and produce set-down of sea waters [21]. SW winds cause rough sea. Regular observations on Saky bank show that when waves are directed from south to south-west, the sea takes away beaches sediments and wash out a coastal step; western waves wash ashore sediments that protect coast from erosion. Comparison of wind characteristics in 1986-1990 and in 1991-1995 shows that the repeatability of SW winds, that facilitate coastal erosion, increased by 10%. Specialists from Marine Hydrophysical Institute confirm that tendency and indicate that since 1990-th the repeatability of SW and S storms increases. Those winds are dangerous for beaches in that region [19]. Beaches erosion is increased during storms because of sea onset and sea level rise. For example during storms sea water penetrates into cellars of sanatorium “Poltava-Krym” located on Saky bank [19].

Active destruction of marine coasts depended on extreme exogenous processes in the Black Sea region like cyclonic and rare strong storms activity [10]. The bright examples of those processes are the strongest Black Sea storms in November 1981, November 1992, January 2000, November 2007. For example during some days in January 2000 the 6-7 balls storm raves on Saky coasts. It strength is confirmed by biogenic emission from sea bottom. There were algae Phyllophora nervosa, vegetated at depth 10-20 m; live crustaceans Upogebia sp. or Callianassa sp.; eggs of rayfishes Raja clavata; living mollusks Solen marginatus and Anadara sp. [2].

The beaches of Kalamitskiy Gulf are the main natural resource in the Western Crimea and the main object that attracts tourists. Therefore their protection and conservation should be the priority task for all region. To solve the task the complex decisions are needed that takes into account coastal-protection, ecology and legal aspects of nature management [3, 8, 11, 15, 22], which need a governmental support. Beaches restoration and improvement will positively influence on tourists flow to Evpatoriya, Saky, and in the Western Crimea. That leads to the appearance of funds to support normal states of beaches in the region.


The coasts of Kalamitskiy Gulf are characterized by the tendency of beaches width reduction and shoreline retreat. Activation of economic activity on the coasts since middle of 1980-th leads to intensification of beaches reduction. As a result width of beaches in the accumulative part of the gulf reduced more that 2 times from 40-50 m in 1980-th to 15-20 m at 2010-th. Those processes are accompanied by the depletion of beaches sediments, shift of coastal line towards land, and activation of abrasion on underwater slope. Parts where hydrotechnical constructions have been built or parts near them are exceptions because constructions upset natural lithodynamic conditions. The  deficit of beaches material in the Western coast of Crimes is the cause of intense economic activities in the coastal zone. Through them the main role belongs to sand and pebble quarries, regulated rivers streams, unfounded hydrotechnical constructions, dredging, pollution of marine waters and bottom sediments. Through the natural factors the beaches reduction is facilitated by Black Sea level rise, newest sinking down of described coast, wind-wave conditions, beaches lithology and activation of extreme storms. Beaches of Kalamitskiy Gulf are the main recreation resource of the Western Crimea. To restore beaches it is necessary to minimize consumer attitude to nature and to realize costal-protection, ecological and legal aspects of coastal zone management with the support of government.


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