Wave processes and shoreline change
Ashton, Andrew Geology and Geophysics Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Murray, Brad Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
- Transformation of waves approaching a coast
- Cross-shore sediment transport and shoreline change
- Transport of sediment along the shore and coastline change
- Coastline instability
- Formation of capes and “flying spits ”
- Segmentation of elongate water bodies
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Shorelines are among the most strikingly dynamic geological features on the planet. Winds, waves, and tides are constantly reshaping the coast, moving the shoreline back and forth. Where waves have caused significant deposition along the coast, the shore consists primarily of sand and gravel. Of social, financial, and often sentimental value, the sandy coasts of the world increasingly are being developed despite the ongoing changes that endanger structures and infrastructure built near the shore. Increased rates of sea-level rise over the last century already threaten many developed coasts; these risks will only increase over the coming decades and centuries with predicted increases in the rate of sea-level rise. Coastal scientists endeavor to understand how coasts change. Predicting future coastal changes requires an understanding of how and why coasts have both eroded and accumulated over time. Although beaches and sandy coastlines, such as barrier islands, are currently mostly being eroded or are moving landward, these shores were originally formed through depositional processes. Coastal landforms can store information about the environmental conditions in the past and can help us better understand how the world's coasts could behave in the future. Until recently, the cause of several types of coastline shapes—regularly spaced coastal undulations and landforms—has been poorly understood.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information