Coast erosion

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Definition of Coast erosion:
Erosion in the coastal profile, taking place in the form of scouring in the foot of the cliffs or in the foot of the dunes. Coast erosion takes place mainly during strong winds, high waves and high tides and storm surge conditions, and results in coastline retreat. The rate of erosion is correctly expressed in volume/length/time, e.g. in m3/m/year, but erosion rate is often used synonymously with coastline retreat, and thus expressed in m/year[1]. An alternative definition: Erosion is the process of wearing away material from the coastal profile due to imbalance in the supply and export of material from a certain section[1].
This is the common definition for Coast erosion, other definitions can be discussed in the article


Erosion will take place on the shoreface and on the beach if the export is greater than the supply of material, this means that the level of the seabed and the beach will decrease. The deficit can be due to both cross-shore processes and longshore processes. Erosion due to cross-shore processes mainly occurs during extreme events associated with storm surge, which partially is a reversible process (this is also referred to as dune erosion). The most important reason for long-term erosion is a deficit in the littoral drift budget, which is often caused by a deficit in supply of sand to the area in question (this process is also referred to as structural erosion).

Erosion forms an important element in the process of coastal squeeze [2].

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mangor, Karsten. 2004. “Shoreline Management Guidelines”. DHI Water and Environment, 294pp.
  2. Doody, J.P. (2004) 'Coastal squeeze' - an historical perspective. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 10/1-2, 129-138.