Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Sediment Budget

  • Jeffrey H. ListEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_277-2


As it pertains to coastal sedimentary systems, the sediment budget can be defined as the balance between changes in the volume of sediment stored in the system and the sum of the volumes of sediment entering or leaving the system. Examples of coastal sedimentary systems include estuarine areas composed of fine (mud-size) sediments and open-coast littoral systems most typically composed of sand-sized sediments. The focus here is on sedimentary systems of the littoral zone, the region of coast for which sediment transport is dominated by incident wave processes. This zone ranges from the intermittently dry beach (where wave swash dominates) to water depths of roughly 10–20 m (where the seabed first feels the impact of waves). A focus on the littoral zone reflects the objective of most sediment budget studies: to understand and/or predict longterm changes in the position of the coastline, the interface between the subaerial and subaqueous portions of the littoral zone.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.US Geological SurveyWoods HoleUSA