Factors Influencing the Retreat of the Coastline

Factors Influencing the Retreat of the Coastline

M. López J.I. Pagán I. López L. Aragonés A.J. Tenza-Abril J. GarcÍa-Barba

Department of Civil Engineering. University of Alicante, Spain

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One of the main problems of coastlines around the world is their erosion. There are many studies that have tried to link coastal erosion with different parameters such as: maritime climate, sediment transport, sea level rise etc. However, it is unclear to what extent these factors influence coastal erosion. For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted an increase in sea level at a much faster rate than that experienced in the first part of this century, reaching 1 m of elevation in some areas. Another factor to consider is the lack of sediment supply, since currently the contribution of new sediments from rivers or ravines is interrupted by anthropic activities carried out in their basins (dams, channelling, etc.). The big storms, increasingly frequent due to climate change, also should be considered, since they produce an off-shore sediments transport, so that these cross the depth of clo- sure, causing nonreturn of the sediment to the beach. Also, the sediment undergoes a process of wear due to various reasons such as the dissolution of the carbonate fraction and/or breakage and separation of the components of the particles. All these elements, to a greater or lesser extent, lead to the retreat of the coastline. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyse the different factors causing the retreat of the coastline, in order to determine the degree of involvement of each of them and, therefore, be able to pose different proposals to reduce the consequences of coastal erosion.


coastline retreat, erosion, sand


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