Coast 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. It takes 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.
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).
- Types and background of coastal erosion: explanation of two different types of coastal erosion, dune erosion and structural erosion.
- Articles on different causes of erosion: Natural Causes of Coastal Erosion and Human Causes of Coastal Erosion
- Articles on the background of erosion: Coastal Hydrodynamics And Transport Processes
- Erosion for different coastal types: Accumulation and erosion for different coastal types, see also Coastal zone characteristics (description of different coastal types) and Classification of Coastlines (classification of different coastal types).
- Biogeomorphology of aquatic systems: Interaction between ecology and geomorphology of a system
- Mangor, Karsten. 2004. “Shoreline Management Guidelines”. DHI Water and Environment, 294pp.
- Doody, J.P. (2004) 'Coastal squeeze' - an historical perspective. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 10/1-2, 129-138.