Geotimes: The impending coastal crisis

March 12, 2008

Coastlines are the most dynamic feature on the planet. In the March issue, Geotimes magazine looks into the risks of increased development along our coastlines and what that means for erosion, flooding and future development.

As coastal communities grow, so does the call for human-made structures to prevent local beach erosion. But what do these structures mean for the overall health of surrounding coastal areas?

Geotimes follows the erosion patterns of the southern shore of Long Island, starting with its recovery from the 1938 Long Island New England Hurricane. The noticeable change in landscape after the Category-3 hurricane caused a demand for structures that would stabilize the remaining inlets. While the structures did help the situation locally, erosion increased elsewhere, creating a need for more engineered structures.

What happens to the land when normal erosional patterns are altered? Geotimes studies the effects nor’easters that struck Long Island in the early 1990s, decades after bulkheads and jetties were put in place. Did the residents learn from past mistakes when rebuilding after the storms of the ‘90s?

Source: American Geological Institute

Explore further: Scientists find formula for rate of glacial erosion

Related Stories

Saturn's moon Titan

October 5, 2015

In ancient Greek lore, the Titans were giant deities of incredible strength who ruled during the legendary Golden Age and gave birth to the Olympian gods we all know and love. Saturn's largest moon, known as Titan, is therefore ...

Famed beach in Jamaica slowly vanishing to erosion

October 3, 2014

Tourists from around the world are drawn to a stretch of palm-fringed shoreline known as "Seven Mile Beach," a crescent of white sand along the turquoise waters of Jamaica's western coast. But the sands are slipping away ...

Finding a Secret Map to Erosion (w/ Video)

February 11, 2010

( -- On the northeast coast of New Zealand's North Island, the Waipaoa River drains into the dazzling sea. Upriver, things are not so pretty. More than a century of land clearing for farming has created some of ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.