Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 169–180

The role of human actions in evolution and management of foredunes in The Netherlands and New Jersey, USA

Special Feature

DOI: 10.1007/BF02806509

Cite this article as:
Nordstrom, K.F. & Arens, S.M. J Coast Conserv (1998) 4: 169. doi:10.1007/BF02806509


The rationale and methods of construction of foredunes in The Netherlands and New Jersey, USA are identified and used to explain their genesis, locations, mobility, internal and external characteristics and temporal scales of evolution. Dunes are then ranked according to the degree they are modified by human processes. The lower level of protection required of foredunes in New Jersey and the greater amount of modification by municipal managers and shorefront residents results in smaller dunes and greater variety of sizes, shapes, methods of construction and alterations. As a result, humans are considered intrinsic agents in evolution of dune landforms and landscapes. Higher, wider, better vegetated foredunes occur in The Netherlands due to greater frequency of onshore winds and greater emphasis on sea defence at the national level. Natural processes play a greater role in the evolution of landforms. Human actions are considered extrinsic at this scale but intrinsic at the scale of landscapes. The change in foredunes from natural features to artifacts reveals the significance of humans in the modification of coastal landforms and reflects the changing perception of the role of these landforms in the coastal landscape.


Aeolian transport Beach Coastal policy Foredune Landform Management Sediment Shore protection 

Copyright information

© EUCC 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine and Coastal SciencesRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.Netherlands Centre for Geo-Ecological Research ICG, Landscape and Environmental Research GroupUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands