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Encyclopedia of Geography

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Encyclopedia of Geography

Barney Warf

Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: September 01, 2010 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412939591 | Print ISBN: 9781412956970 | Online ISBN: 9781412939591 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Coastal Erosion and Deposition

Elspeth Rae

Coastal erosion is the term used for the removal of land or sediment from a coastline, whereas coastal deposition is the addition of sediment to a coastline. Factors influencing erosion and deposition include the rate of sediment supply to the coast, the shape of the underlying geology, the rate at which coastal processes transport sediment, and the rate and direction of sea-level change. These can ultimately be attributed to tectonics, climate, geology, and eustasy, all of which vary spatially and temporally. It is important to understand these processes, given the significance of the coast for habitat, recreation, and resources. Coastal morphodynamics , a systematic approach to integrating the processes and boundary conditions that influence coastal erosion and deposition, was introduced by Don Wright and Bruce Thom in 1977. This integrates the effects of instantaneous processes (e.g., wave and swash processes including incident waves, rip currents, bed return flows, and infragravity ...

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