The Main Characteristics Of Coastal Erosion
Editorials News | May-17-2022
We, humans, are fascinated with the coasts. It's not just that the sea facilitates commerce and travel. It's not only because it's fun to swim in the water and lie on the sand of the beach. There's something inherently interesting about seeing the place where two things made where the waste of the ocean touch is the land on which we live. Just like campfires, we are naturally drowned to the coast, even just to see water and hear the waves crash ashore. It might not seem like but there's an endless battle going on between land and sea along every coastline in the world.
They may look static and unmoving on the map but coastlines are some of the most dynamic areas in the world. The position of the coastline over time is highly variable. Tides create fluctuations in the level of the sea moving on the shore in and out sometimes 100 meters over a day. But it is just not the level of the Ocean dad influences the shape and the topography of the show that infinitesimal line between land and sea. The material that makes up the land, soil, and rocks is in constant flux, largely due to the interminable power enacted by seawater over time. Rock and sediments are carried out to the sea in a process we all know as erosion. The big difference between coastal erosion and other types of times scale. The sea steals away land so much quicker than other forces on inland areas for many reasons.
Ocean currents move beaches constantly but the biggest component of coastal erosion is waves. If you have ever played in the ocean or even in the wave pool you have probably been surprised at the power behind them. Just like waves wash around swimmers with no hesitation they can also wash away the coastline. This is exactly a precise law of Physics but it is a good rule of thumb in engineering when you bash heavy stuff against something it's liable to break. A single wave can smash tons of force into a small area easily washing away loose sediments or wearing away rocks. Waves can also carry sand and sediments from the seabed which get bashed against the rocks, grinding, chipping, and scraping them over time. In some cases, the seawater can dissolve the rocks themselves, a process called chemical weathering. This destructive environment certainly creates some serious erosion, but it gets even worse. All of these processes are amplified during storm events like hurricanes and Typhoons which produce some of the fastest sustained wind on the earth. That high wind leads to high waves which accelerate erosion way beyond normal levels. Erosion steals land away from the shore carrying it piece by piece out to sea or to be deposited somewhere else along the shore.
That means development nearest to the coast is constantly at risk of being claimed by the sea. In addition to that, beaches support massive local economies, providing millions of jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity. As I mentioned before, people love the beaches and their all spend a lot of money to see, hear and swim in those waves. So just by adding humans to the mix, what was this perfectly natural geologic process of coastal erosion is now a certified hazard in many places, threatening structures along the shore and the livelihood of a huge portion of the coastal population. That's bad and we don't want it to happen.
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