Development of Predictive Tool for Coastal Erosion in Arctic—A Review

  • Mohammad Saud AfzalEmail author
  • Raed Lubbad
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 23)


Arctic permafrost constitutes one-third of the world’s coastline that is characterized by the presence of ice and cohesive sediments. Erosion of Arctic coastline has adverse impacts on social life and economy of the communities living in the area. There are two main processes of coastal erosion in the Arctic regions: thermodenudation and thermoabrasion. Studies suggest that erosion along the Arctic coastline is considerable and increasing. With increasing global warming, sea-ice is disappearing at an accelerated rate and wave growth in Arctic has increased to an alarming level. The situation is worsened by the fact that most of the existing knowledge regarding coastal erosion pertains to temperate areas and for non-cohesive sediments. A brief review of existing numerical models used for Arctic coastal erosion is presented, which shows that there exist some knowledge gaps which need to be closed first. The study recommends that an ideal solution is to develop a predictive tool consisting of four different models coupled with each other; (1) Earth system model to provide boundary conditions to other models, (2) Hydrodynamic module to calculate flow, sediment transport, and wave propagation in ice, (3) Thermal permafrost model to provide permafrost temperature field, ice content, bulk density, ice content, and sediment type to (4) The Arctic Coastal erosion model (thermoabrasion and thermodenudation). The coupled model will introduce more physical processes but a fully coupled model shall be complex and computationally expensive. Nevertheless, it shall produce the best possible predictions in local areas where site conditions are available. The model should also be validated against field observations and experimental data.


Coastal erosion Arctic Thermoabrasion Thermodenudation Permafrost 



This work was carried out as part of a Center for Research-based Innovation called Sustainable Arctic Marine and Coastal Technology (SAMCoT) at Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway, funded by the Norwegian Research Council and industrial partners. The authors would also like to acknowledge the efforts done my M.Sc. students, Agnes Katharina Schneider and Nauman Raza, for helping with parts of the text and graphics used in the paper.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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