AbstractThis paper summarizes a study recently concluded of a sandy coastal reach, 110 km long, on the Portuguese west coast. The final objective of that study was the design of a sea defense master plan covering all the stretch, to be built at a long term. That coastal reach has been under a strong erosion process for a long time. The history of the problem and its present situation were thoroughly analysed. Different techniques, related to different aspects of the general problem (wave climate, littoral transport, sand bypassing, long term evolution under accretion or erosion conditions, groin field, spiral beaches, etc. were used. In what concerns littoral transport and sand bypassing the improvement of currently available methods was tried. The need of an accurately defined wave climate was felt; some rather disappointing results can sure ly be related to the lack of accurate wave data.
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