Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2019 Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Beach Erosion

  • Edward J. AnthonyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93806-6_33


Beaches are loose accumulations of sand, gravel, or a mixture of the two that bound an estimated 30% of the world’s coasts (Bird 1996). Beach erosion is a process whereby a beach loses its sediment, resulting in a depletion of its sediment budget. This process implies that the beach can no longer balance energy produced by waves, currents, and water piling up against it, leading to further net sediment loss and lowering and retreat of the beach. Sometimes, beach erosion also occurs concomitantly with beach retreat through overwash by waves. Basically therefore, beach erosion may be viewed as resulting from an imbalance between, on the one hand, the energy inputs and, on the other, the resistance of the beach bed and sediment liable to be mobilized by the fluid forces. The erosion process itself is thus a way of eventually reestablishing balance through dissipation of energy.

Beaches: Natural Buffers of Wave Energy

Because they consist of more or less loosely packed...
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aix Marseille University, Institut Universitaire de France, CEREGEAix en ProvenceFrance