Response of natural, modified and artificial sandy beaches to sea-level rise




sandy beach, sea-level rise, human impact


Sandy beaches occur in a wide variety of environmental settings and as components of a diverse range of coastal system types. These variations among beaches lead to significant differences in their mesoscale (multi-decadal, km length scale) behaviour, including their response to sea-level rise. In addition to this natural variability, the degree to which the sandy beach system has been or will be modified by humans is a major influence on how it responds to sea-level change. From a spectrum of beach types based on the degree of human modification, three situations (Natural, Modified and Artificial beaches) are considered in order to demonstrate the role of humans as geomorphic agents as sandy beaches respond to rising sea level. The potential trajectories of change are assessed, and future scenarios are presented and discussed. Natural beaches are most likely to survive sea-level rise, while the fate of artificial beaches depends almost entirely on the politics and economics of what lies immediately landward. In all categories of beach, human decision-making is the most important determinant of sandy beach response to sea-level rise.


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How to Cite

Cooper J. Response of natural, modified and artificial sandy beaches to sea-level rise. CIG [Internet]. 2022 Jul. 14 [cited 2023 Mar. 25];48(2):257-6. Available from: