Geotimes: The impending coastal crisis

Mar 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: Aging Africa

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate change endangers historic US landmarks

May 20, 2014

Climate change and sea level rise are threatening historic US landmarks, from the Statue of Liberty to NASA's coastal rocket launch sites, and the nation needs to prepare, scientists said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Aging Africa

Aug 29, 2014

In the September issue of GSA Today, Paul Bierman of the University of Vermont–Burlington and colleagues present a cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa ...

NASA animation shows Hurricane Marie winding down

Aug 29, 2014

NOAA's GOES-West satellite keeps a continuous eye on the Eastern Pacific and has been covering Hurricane Marie since birth. NASA's GOES Project uses NOAA data and creates animations and did so to show the end of Hurricane ...

EU project sails off to study Arctic sea ice

Aug 29, 2014

A one-of-a-kind scientific expedition is currently heading to the Arctic, aboard the South Korean icebreaker Araon. This joint initiative of the US and Korea will measure atmospheric, sea ice and ocean properties with technology ...

User comments : 0