The marble beaches of Tuscany

Karl F. Nordstrom, Enzo Pranzini, Nancy L. Jackson, Massimo Coli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Beach-nourishment operations designed to replace sediment lost through erosion change the identity and meaning of coastal landscapes. Seven beaches in Tuscany, nourished with marble-quarry waste, reveal how an industrial byproduct is naturalized by particle rounding and sorting and can become a positive symbol of human-altered nature. The marble was placed on formerly sandy beaches, resulting in different grain size and color of sediments, beach morphology, and value for human use. The abrasion rate of marble makes the nourished beaches unsatisfactory when viewed solely as protection structures, but the rapid particle rounding and aesthetic appeal of marble increase the acceptability of the beaches for recreation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-300
Number of pages21
JournalGeographical Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


  • Abrasion
  • Beach environment
  • Gravel beach
  • Mine waste
  • Shore protection
  • Tuscany


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