Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

New video station at El Puntal, Spain

The Bay of Santander is one of the largest on the Cantabrian Coast (North of Spain) and provides a natural shelter from the waves of the Gulf of Biscay. For that reason, the bay has been used as a harbour since the 12th Century. Likewise "El Puntal" Spit is one of the most important urban beaches within the Bay of Santander. The relevance of the beach is not only induced by the recreation activities but for the protective effect of the beach and dune field on the small tourist village of Somo.

The evolution of the beach has been controlled by the history of land reclamation inside the Bay of Santander. In the last 200 years, 50% of the original bay area has been reclaimed, thus the tidal prism and the associated currents have been dramatically reduced. This reduction has lead to a narrowing of the tidal discharge channel forming the bay mouth.

A major commercial harbour is present or situated inside the bay. Merchant vessels are larger and deeper, thus navigation channel needs have increased in the recent years. Both effects (larger navigation channel requirements and narrowing of the natural bay mouth) are not compatible and, thus, major dredging works are required periodically.

Therefore the management of the beach is carried out by different institutions with different needs and objectives, most of activities based on detailed surveying of the beach. Four cameras have been deployed in order to acquire the images of the El Puntal spit evolution. The cameras are located on the roof of one of the most luxury hotels of Santander, Hotel Real, which has a wonderful view of the spit and inner bay of Santander.

Reported by

University of Cantabria
Av Los Castros s/n, 39005
39005 Santander, Cantabria
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