Historical morphological changes (1956-2017) and future trends at the mouth of the Ebro River delta (NE Spain)

  1. Maria Aranda García
  2. Francisco Javier Gracia Prieto
  3. Inmaculada Rodríguez Santalla
Cuadernos de investigación geográfica: Geographical Research Letters

ISSN: 0211-6820

Year of publication: 2022

Volume: 48

Issue: 2

Pages: 293-307

Type: Article

More publications in: Cuadernos de investigación geográfica: Geographical Research Letters


SCImago Journal Rank

  • Year 2022
  • SJR Journal Impact: 0.433
  • Best Quartile: Q2
  • Area: Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous) Quartile: Q2 Rank in area: 128/322
  • Area: Environmental Science (miscellaneous) Quartile: Q2 Rank in area: 170/371
  • Area: Geography, Planning and Development Quartile: Q2 Rank in area: 309/785

Índice Dialnet de Revistas

(Indicator corresponding to the last year available on this portal, year 2021)
  • Year 2021
  • Journal Impact: 1.690
  • Field: GEOGRAFÍA Quartile: C1 Rank in field: 1/42


  • Social Sciences: A

Scopus CiteScore

  • Year 2022
  • CiteScore of the Journal : 4.2
  • Area: Geography, Planning and Development Percentile: 76
  • Area: Environmental Science (miscellaneous) Percentile: 70
  • Area: Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous) Percentile: 70

Journal Citation Indicator (JCI)

  • Year 2022
  • Journal Citation Indicator (JCI): 0.58
  • Best Quartile: Q3
  • Area: GEOGRAPHY, PHYSICAL Quartile: Q3 Rank in area: 39/63


The present work focuses on the recent morphological changes recorded in the Ebro River delta, by using aerial photographs in the last six decades and by analyzing changes in the main constitutive features through geomorphological maps. Geomorphological maps of the years 1956 and 2017 are here presented. The results obtained give very valuable clues about the recent trends of the river delta mouth, which can be used to predict future coastal changes to be expected in the following decades. In this sense, by analysing changes in the surface by means of the geomorphological maps together with a shoreline analysis, a differential behavior has been described at both sides of the river mouth: the left side, El Garxal wetland, shows an accretionary trend with rates reaching +40 m/year, while the right side, San Antonio Island, shows erosive trends of more than -20 m/year. This last side also presents a surface reduction of more than 50 ha in the last 60 years. These results suggest that, approximately by the year 2050, the emerged San Antonio Island may disappear if shoreline retreat trends are maintained, making El Garxal exposed to easterly storms, the main erosive dynamic processes in this zone and, therefore changing the entire configuration of the Ebro River delta mouth in the upcoming years. Despite possible solutions have been described in recent works, they may not contribute to a total recovery of the most natural part of the Ebro Delta. Urgent management plans are required to attempting to slow or reverse these trends, otherwise one of the most valuable ecosystems of the delta could disappear.

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