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Francesca Ribas Prats

Associate Professor


Phone: +34 9341 34145
Fax: +34 9341 37007

Address: map

Departament de Física
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Escola d'Enginyeria de Telecomunicació i Aeroespacial de Castelldefels
Mòdul C3, office 116
c/ Esteve Terradas 5
E-08860 Castelldefels
Catalonia, Spain


  • Degree in Physics, 1998, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Ph.D. in Physics, 2004, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya 

Research Interests

Primary research interest: unravelling the physical processes that dominate the dynamics of sedimentary coasts, with the final goal of increasing the presently-limited predictive capacity of mathematical models and unveiling the future of these complex, fragile and valuable systems.

Research on coastal morphodynamics (including sediment transport, wind, waves and currents), focusing on formation of nearshore sand bars and shoreline sand waves, as well as large-scale coastal evolution under climate change. Theoretical studies using numerical modelling and stability analysis, with special emphasis on self-organization processes. Experimental studies using imagery analysis with video-cameras. Applications to coastal engineering.

Biographical Sketch

Francesca Ribas Prats graduated in Physics in 1998 from the University of Barcelona and received her Ph.D. in Physics in January 2004 at the Department of Applied Physics of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). Subsequently, she carried out postdoctoral stays at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands (2004) and the Institute of Marine Sciences of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (2005-2007), with a research contract "Juan de la Cierva". She began her university teaching career in September 2007 at the Escola d'Enginyeria de Telecomunicació i Aeroespacial de Castelldefels of the UPC, where she is still teaching today. On September 2014 she became Associate professor at the Department of Physics of the UPC, where she conducts her research activities within the Coastal Morphodynamics Group, belonging to the Nonlineal Fluid Dynamics Group. At present, she has published more than 20 articles in JCR journals, participated in more than 70 conferences (including invited talks) and supervised 2 PhD thesis. She has also participated in more than 10 national and international research projects.

Selected Publications

  • Ribas, F., Portos-Amill, L., Falqués, A., Arriaga, J., Ruessink, G., Marcos, M. Impact of mean sea-level rise on the long-term evolution of a mega-nourishment. CLIMATIC CHANGE (2023) 176, 66, doi: 10.1007/s10584-023-03503-6
  • de Swart, R.L., Ribas, F., Calvete, D., Simarro, G., Guillén, J. Observations of megacusp dynamics and their coupling with crescentic bars at an open, fetch-limited beach. EARTH SURFACE PROCESSES AND LANDFORMS (2022) 47( 13), p. 3180–3198 doi: 10.1002/esp.5451 
  • Falqués, A., Ribas, F., Mujal-Colilles, A., Puig-Polo, C. A new morphodynamic instability associated with cross-shore transport in the nearshore. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS (2021) 48 (13), pp. 1-9 doi: 10.1029/2020GL091722
  • Ribas, F., Simarro, G., Arriaga, J., Luque, P. Automatic shoreline detection from video images by combining information from different methods. REMOTE SENSING (2020) 12 (22), pp. 1-23 doi: 10.3390/rs12223717
  • Simarro, G., Calvete, D., Luque, P., Orfila, A., Ribas, F. UBathy: a new approach for bathymetric inversion from video imagery. REMOTE SENSING (2019) 11 (23), pp. 2722:1-2722:24 doi: 10.3390/rs11232722
  • Arriaga, J., Rutten, J., Ribas, F., Falqués, A., Ruessink, G. Modeling the long-term diffusion and feeding capability of a mega-nourishment. COASTAL ENGINEERING (2017) 121, pp. 1–13 doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2016.11.011
  • Falqués, A., Ribas, F., Idier, D., Arriaga, J. Formation mechanisms for self-organized kilometer-scale shoreline sand waves. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE (2017) 122 (5), pp. 1121-1138 doi: 10.1002/2016JF003964
  • Ribas, F., Falqués, A., de Swart, H. E., Dodd, N., Garnier, R., Calvete, D. Understanding coastal morphodynamic patterns from depth-averaged sediment concentration. REVIEWS OF GEOPHYSICS (2015),
    53 (2), pp. 362-410, doi: 10.1002/2014RG000457
  • van den Berg, N., Falqués, A., Ribas, F., Caballeria, M. On the mechanism of wavelength selection of self-organized shoreline sand waves. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE (2014) 119(3), pp. 665-681 doi:10.1002/2013JF002751
  • Ribas, F., de Swart, HE., Calvete, D., Falqués, A. Modeling and analyzing observed transverse
    sand bars in the surf zone.
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE (2012) 117, F02013, doi: 10.1029/2011JF002158
  • van den Berg N., Falqués, A., Ribas, F. Modeling large scale shoreline sand waves under oblique wave incidence. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE (2012) 117, F03019, doi:10.1029/2011JF002177pdf
  • Ribas, F., de Swart, H.E., Calvete, D., Falqués, A. Modeling waves, currents and sandbars on natural beaches: The effect of surface rollers. JOURNAL OF MARINE SYSTEMS (2011) 88(1), pp. 90-101 doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2011.02.016
  • Ribas, F., Ojeda, E., Price, T.D., Guillén, J. Assessing the suitability of video imaging for studying the dynamics of nearshore sandbars in tideless beaches. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING (2010) 48(6), pp. 2482-2497, doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2009.2039576
  • Ribas, F., Kroon, A. Characteristics and dynamics of surfzone transverse finger bars. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE (2007) 112 (F3), F03028, doi: 10.1029/2006JF000685
  • Ribas, F., Falqués, A., Montoto, A. Nearshore oblique sand bars. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS (2003) 108 (C4), 3119, doi: 10.1029/2001JC000985

Full publication list of the group full list


  • Assignatures 'Mecànica de fluids', 'Mecànica' i 'Fonaments de Física' del Grau en Enginyeria de Sistemes Aeroespacials de l'Escola d’Enginyeria de Telecomunicació i Aeroespacial de Castelldefels (UPC).
  • Assignatura 'Physics of Fluids' del Grau en Enginyeria Física de l'Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeria de Telecomunicació de Barcelona (UPC).
  • Assignatura 'Física' del Grau en Enginyeria de Sistemes de Telecomunicació i del Grau en Enginyeria Telemàtica de l'Escola d’Enginyeria de Telecomunicació i Aeroespacial de Castelldefels (UPC).

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