Beach erosion results from coastal flooding, sea-level rise, and intense wave action, causing rocks, soils, and sands to be washed away along the coast. Storms or other natural events can erode the coastlines. Combining strong waves, storm surge at low tide, and landfalling storms can cause the most severe conditions. The problem is getting worse because of the global sea level rise.
Beach erosion or Coastal erosion is the displacement or loss of land along the coast and the movement of sediments and rocks due to waves, winds, tides, waterborne ice, and other storm-related effects so, you can measure and describe landward retreat from shorelines using a temporal scale, including seasons, waves, and other short-term events. Hydrostatic action, abrasion, wind, and other natural forces can contribute to beach erosion.
Types of beach erosion
There are many types but the four main types of beach erosion are following.
Hydraulic action refers to moving water to transport or dislodge rock particles. Water flows or waves can move rock particles in many erosional processes like abrasion. Chemical weathering is also known as chemical erosion. Hydraulic action is a mechanical process where water flows against the river bed and banks, removing rock particles.
A wave striking a cliff face can cause hydraulic action, where it compresses rock cracks and creates pressure. The surrounding rock can be affected by force, cracking, breaking, splintering, and detaching rock particles. As the wave recedes, the air is decompressed. An explosion can follow this process to weaken the rock further. Each wave increases the explosive power and compresses more air. Over time, cracks become more considerable. Cracks can grow and sometimes form a salt cave. Broken pieces can lead to erosion through sandpapering and attrition. When eroded particles drop to the seabed, they are subject to wave action and decomposition. Hydraulic erosion is the most common form of erosion along coastlines.
Abrasion involves using sand and small stones to smoothen the shorelines and headlands. This process is often called the “sandpaper effect.” Most commonly, abrasion occurs during stormy weather when the waves pick up a lot of material and then smash against the cliff face with enough force to wear it down.
This type of coastal erosion can lead to cliff collapse, mainly if the focal point of the damage is at its base.
Corrasion is when waves drag sediment, rocks, or other material above the bottom of the ocean and wear away at its surface. The waves then pick up these loosened materials and use them against the cliff faces in abrasion.
Corrasion can also cut away at the base of the cliff face, causing a wave-cut notch.
Attrition refers to making large rocks into small pebbles, which turn into sand. Wave action is what transports rocks along the coast and into the sea. The rocks collide with other stones, causing them to separate and smoothen their surfaces. Attrition occurs in the same way that rivers cause large rocks to be found higher upstream and smaller, smoother pebbles to be found lower down. Attrition is a process that causes coastal rocks to shrink and spread over time and then transports sand from the coast into the ocean.
WHY DO WE NEED TO PREVENT BEACH EROSION?
The coastline is slowly being eroded by erosion. Anyone who lives or owns a business on the coast is at risk. It can lead to the deterioration of the foundation beneath your home. Water can also collect around your foundation due to beach erosion. This process can cause water to build up around your concrete foundation. It can also cause moisture problems in your home and business by seeping through your foundation’s porous surface. These problems can lead to costly repairs.
It is essential for residents that they must be aware of the ways to prevent beach erosion. You can avoid beach erosion from happening near your business or home. It will ensure your foundation is not damaged, and you don’t have to face water seepage.
Ways to prevent beach erosion
These barriers are constructed offshore at an angle or along the shoreline. Breakwaters are like wave barriers. They allow the beach to grow and prevent erosion. The waves are hitting the breakwater and depositing sediment on it. The breakwater doesn’t protect all coastlines.
Seawalls are a great way to stop beach erosion. These structures are created along the coast to prevent waves from ever touching the shore or sand on the other side so, seawalls are functional in preventing decay, but they can only protect the coastline they are placed along.
These wall-like structures, which are long wall-like, are built on beaches. They extend into the sea perpendicular to the shoreline. Groins can be used to block longshore currents. They can alter and control the movement of sand. As it approaches the groin, the longshore wind loses speed and dumps sediment on the wall’s current side. The wind catches the sand on the wall’s one side but causes more beach erosion on the opposite side. On the down-current side, the waves grab the sediment and sand again.
Rock armor, also known as Riprap, effectively protects coastlines from erosion by rivers and streams. Protect coastlines. Rock revetments are enormous boulders that have been interlocked to form rock walls. It is used to stop erosion and dissipate wave energy.