Cabanas and Cacela

Description of Cabanas Island/Cacela Peninsula

Cabanas Island has been elongating towards the East since the 1960s. The growth of the island was closely related to the eastwards migration and narrowing of the Lacém Inlet. Cabanas Island has developed initially by the incorporation of intertidal sand banks and deltas associated to the inlet. Progressively, dunes developed over the low-lying barrier, enhanced by dune building grasses.

From the 1950s to 1996, about 77% of the dune area of the Cacela Peninsula has been eroded. In 1996, Cacela Peninsula was an extremely vulnerable system, densely breached, with a very low, poorly vegetated, single crested dune field. As a consequence of the nourishment operation, during the 1996/97 winter, the dune ridge top was raised by placement of about 325,000 m3 of dredged sediments.

The Cabanas/Cacela barrier sub-system is one of EVREST project study sites because it allows a quantification of time frames of barrier development, from intertidal features to vegetated dunes.

Oblique aerial view from Cacela towards Tavira. This picture displays the eastern end of Cacela Peninsula, with remnants of an artificial nourishment, Cacela Inlet, with associated deltas, and Cabanas Island that develops towards West, i.e., to the top of the picture. Nowadays, the barrier configuration has changes in relation to this image, with the closing of Cacela Inlet in this position, due to an artificial opening of a new inlet eastwards (not visible here).
In the slideshow of raster datasets collected and integrated in the EVREST GIS database, given below, you can see the evolution of the Cabanas-Cacela subsystem for the period of 1947 to 2014. Information and credits for each mosaic are provided in the caption. Navigation buttons are provided for users on desktop devices, while users on mobile devices can swipe through frames.