May 29, 2016


Lesvos has 218 recorded beaches, the larger of which (in terms of length and width) are mainly located to the southern part of island. The vulnerability assessment of the island’s beaches to the projected mean sea level rise showed that a big amount is expected to significantly retreat (about half of the beaches are expected to decrease by >50% of their max. width).

Beach retreat projections for the island of Lesvos based in the reduction (% percent) of their max. recorded width

Two beaches have been selected for detailed study: Eresos and Tsamakia beaches. Eresos beach is located at the southwestern coast of Lesvos. It is a major touristic resort, parts of which have shown increased rates of erosion in recent decades. In addition, the major sediment supply of the beach has been an intermittent flow river (Chalandras River), which was dammed in 1999; thus, this beach is ideal area to develop/implement approaches to assess riverine sediment supply at island settings. Tsamakia beach is a small developed beach located in the town of Mytilene which forms the major in-town beach.


Eresos Beach

Eresos beach is located along the SW coast of Lesvos (NE Aegean Sea). The ‘pocket beach’ is about 1.7 km long, has a spatially variable width and fronts a catchment basin with an area of about 57 km². The most important stream of the watershed is the now-dammed Chalandras river. Previous estimations have shown that the dam captures > 50 % of the sediment produced in the basin.

Eresos beach, catchment basin and dam location

Tsamakia Beach

Tsamakia beach is located close to island’s main harbor at the city of Mytilene. It faces the relative shallow and mild-sloped (max. water depth of about 70 m) Mytilene Strait (between Lesvos and Turkey), that shows extensive fields of Posidonia oceanica. The coast has a NE-SW orientation, and the beach is formed between a natural promontory and the harbor breakwater. The beach has a length is  about 300 m has a small width, while 2 small groynes are present at its central section. Well organized field works have been completed within the duration of the project, which led to record the beach topo-bathymetry, bed morphology and its technical characteristics with high detail.

(Left): Transects and data collection points during the field works in Tsamakia beach. (Center and right): High resolution bed morphological and bathymetric maps

ERA Beach Partners - Funding