The one and only Coastal Erosion -
Is the procedure of wearing away of land and the displacement of dune or beach sediments through means of wave action, tidal currents, wave currents, or drainage. Erosion is a natural and somewhat physical reaction/process, through which sediments are broken loose from the surface and/or transferred from one location to another. Land erosion and marine erosion both contribute to the modification of the nature of rocky coasts. Erosion is a process that begins with weathering. Weathering processes such as rain, freezing and thawing, and chemical reactions break down the rocks into fragments, and streams and rivers transport these particles to the oceans. Erosion is the natural algorithmic process in which dirt, stone, and more dirt are gradually worn away. (Erosion can also be caused by chemicals and living organisms).

There are a variety of causes that shape erosional coasts, such as "stream erosion, abrasion of wind-driven grit, the alternate freezing and thawing of water in rock cracks, the probing of plant roots, glacial activity, rainfall, dissolution by acids from soil and slumping" [6].

The study of erosion and sediment redistribution - which is similar to the process of sediment transport, as it is the formation of characteristic coastal landforms such as beaches, and how sediment particles are moved from various coastal landforms, and redistributed to other landforms - is called 'coastal morphodynamics'. It may be caused by hydraulic action, abrasion, and corrosion. The beach-ocean system can be manifested as a "dynamic equilibrium". Often one gazes upon a beach, or stands in the water feeling the "pull" and "push" of the tide, but neglects to question the effect that it has on the "sand-sharing system". Sand can be moved by wind, currents, and wave action, and is often taken from one beach and redistributed to another, however, due to erosion, sometimes there isn't such an equilibrium, beaches do not subsist as such a closed system, as sand is incessantly being "lost". Thus, the removal of sand from the sand-sharing system results in permanent changes in beach shape and structure

"The natural factors that influence the coast are:

Other beach erosion factors:
  • effects of human impact, such as construction of artificial structures, mining of beach sand, offshore dredging, or building of dams or rivers.
  • loss of sediment offshore, onshore, alongshore and by attrition.
  • reduction in sediment supply due to deceleration cliff erosion.
  • reduction in sediment supply from the sea floor.
  • increased storminess in coastal areas or changes in angle of wave approach."


Wave Action™–™– N
™– ™– Originating from the sea, immense storm surf algorithmatically provokes prodigious pressures. Crashing waves play a notoriously vital role in coastal erosion, as they push air and water into tiny rock crevices. Thus wave action can somewhat be referred to as the independent variable, as for the most part, when wave action increases in severity, so does the level of erosion - dependent variable. [6] There are four main types of wave action, such as:
A. Hydraulic action transpires when waves thrashing a cliff face compress air into cracks. This results in high amounts of pressure on the surrounding rock. Once the rock meets its pressure “threshold”, the air “explodes” – expands – the surrounding sediment, forcing out rock fragments. Over time, the size of the crack increases, and results in various forms (an exemplary form of such, are caves). The rock fragments removed/forced out, then sink to the bottom of the sea bed, and are used in ensuing wave action.
B. Corrosion (i.e. abrasion) can succinctly be defined as a process of wearing away a surface through means of friction. A cliff face undergoes the process of abrasion by two forces/elements – land and sea. Wind abrasion occurs when the mere force of wind slowly breaks down sediment surfaces, and prompts friction. Ocean abrasion occurs when waves incessantly break on a cliff face, and thus gradually erode it. The force of the waves cause small pieces of the cliff to break off. These large sediments are then “picked up” by the ocean, and used in ensuing attrition. This sometimes results in higher and larger cliff fragments breaking off, due to a lack of substantial support.
C. Attrition occurs when sediments of various sizes are transported in either a riverbed or and ocean current, and due to incessant collisions, are broken up into smaller fragments. Coastal regions where such occurs have an increase in well-sorted sediments, as the sediments become smaller and more rounded.
D. Corrosion – solution – occurs when the ocean’s pH level is below 7.0 – “neutral” – and it corrodes the rocks on a cliff face. One example of this process is how when a river stream flows over an area of limestone (calcium carbonate), it erodes the limestone by reacting chemically with it and dissolves it.

An Additional Article to Read - National Geographic - tells of the tools of erosion and weathering, and the beautiful, and fully natural masterpieces the two processes create -