Skip to main content
Log in

Characteristics of coastline changes in mainland China since the early 1940s

  • Research Paper
  • Special Topic: Climate changes and human adaptation
  • Published:
Science China Earth Sciences Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Based on multi-temporal topographic maps, remote sensing images and field surveys covering the entire coastal zone of mainland China, the coastlines of six periods since the early 1940s were extracted. Coastline changes over the last 70 years were then analyzed in terms of coastline structure, coastline fractals, coastline change rates, land-sea patterns, and bay areas. The results showed that mainland coastline structure changed dramatically, and due to the significant coastline artificialization mainly driven by sea reclamation and coastal engineering, the remaining natural coastline merely accounts for less than one third at present. Coastline fractal dimension represented an overall spatial pattern of “north < entirety < south”; however, the discrepancy between the north and south coast was apparently narrowed due to dramatic coastline artificialization of northern China which in turn altered the whole pattern. Patterns and processes of land-sea interchange along the mainland coast were complex and varied spatially and temporally, with over 68% advancing toward sea and 22% retreating toward land. The net growth of land area was nearly 14.2 ×103 km2 with an average growth rate of 202.82 km2 a−1; and coast retreat was characterized by area decrease of 93 bays with a magnitude of 10.1 ×103 km2 and an average shrinking rate up to 18.19% or an average shrinking speed up to 144.20 km2 a−1, among which the total area of Bohai shrunk by 7.06%, with an average annual loss amounting to 82 km2. The dramatic coastline changes along mainland China have brought about kinds of challenges to the coastal environment, therefore the integrated management, effective environment protection and sustainable utilization of coastlines is urgent.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Boak E H, Turner I L. 2005. Shoreline definition and detection: A review. J Coastal Res, 21: 688–703

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cooper M J P, Beevers M D, Oppenheimer M. 2008. The potential impacts of sea level rise on the coastal region of New Jersey, USA. Clim Change, 90: 475–492

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crowell M, Coulton K, Johnson C, Westcott J, Bellomo D, Edelman S, Hirsch E. 2010. An estimate of the U.S. population living in 100-year coastal flood hazard areas. J Coastal Res, 26: 201–211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cui Y, Chen B J, Chen J F. 2005. Evaluation on self-pollution of marine culture in the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea (in Chinese). Chin J Appl Ecol, 16: 180–185

    Google Scholar 

  • Dar I A, Dar M A. 2009. Prediction of shoreline recession using geospatial technology: A case study of Chennai Coast, Tamil Nadu, India. J Coastal Res, 25: 1276–1286

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Feng Y Q, Niu J. 2004. Some problems about coastal environment of China (in Chinese). Mar Geol Lett, 20: 1–5

    Google Scholar 

  • Gao Y, Su F Z, Zhou C H, Yang X M, Sun X Y, Zhang D D. 2011. Scale effects of China Mainland coastline based on fractal theory (in Chinese). Acta Geogr Sin, 66: 331–339

    Google Scholar 

  • Gao Y, Wang H, Su F Z, Liu J M. 2013. Spatial and temporal of continental coastline of China in recent three decades (in Chinese). Acta Oceanol Sin, 35: 31–42

    Google Scholar 

  • Guan L X, Jin B F, Li J Y. 2008. The changing of typical bay coastline in Yantai in recent 20 years (in Chinese). Mar Sci, 32: 64–68

    Google Scholar 

  • Hou X Y, Wu T, Wang Y D, Xu X L, Chen Q, Yu L J. 2014. Extraction and accuracy evaluation of multi-temporal coastline of mainland China since 1940s (in Chinese). Mar Sci, 38: 66–73

    Google Scholar 

  • Ji Z X. 1996. The characteristics of coastal erosion and cause of erosion (in Chinese). J Nat Disasters, 5: 65–75

    Google Scholar 

  • Kish S A, Donoghue J F. 2013. Coastal response to storms and sea-level rise: Santa Rosa Island, Northwest Florida, U.S.A. J Coastal Res, SI: 131–140

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kuleli T, Guneroglu A, Karsli F, Dihkan M. 2011. Automatic detection of shoreline change on coastal Ramsar wetlands of Turkey. Ocean Eng, 38: 1141–1149

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kuleli T. 2010. Quantitative analysis of shoreline changes at the Mediterranean Coast in Turkey. Environ Monit Assess, 167: 387–397

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moore L J, Benumof B T, Griggs G B. 1999. Coastal erosion hazards in Santa Cruz and San Diego Counties, California. J Coastal Res, SI: 121–139

    Google Scholar 

  • Morton R A, Mckenna K K. 1999. Analysis and projection of erosion hazard areas in Brazoria and Galveston Counties, Texas. J Coastal Res, SI: 106–120

    Google Scholar 

  • Mujabar P S, Chandrasekar N. 2013. Shoreline change analysis along the coast between Kanyakumari and Tuticorin of India using remote sensing and GIS. Arab J Geosci, 6: 647–664

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peduzzi P, Chatenoux B, Dao H, De Bono A, Herold C, Kossin J, Mouton F, Nordbeck O. 2012. Global trends in tropical cyclone risk. Nat Clim Change, 2: 289–294

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ranasinghe R, Duong T M, Uhlenbrook S, Roelvink D, Stive M. 2013. Climate-change impact assessment for inlet-interrupted coastlines. Nat Climate Change, 3: 83–87

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Roeland H, Piet R. 1995. Dynamic preservation of the coastline in the Netherlands. J Coast Conserv, 1: 17–28

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Romine B M, Fletcher C H. 2013. A Summary of Historical Shoreline Changes on Beaches of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, Hawaii. J Coastal Res, 29: 605–614

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Slott J M, Murray A B, Ashton A D. 2010. Large-scale responses of complex-shaped coastlines to local shoreline stabilization and climate change. J Geophys Res, 115: F03033

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • St-hilaire-Gravel D, Forbes D L, Bell T. 2012. Multitemporal analysis of a gravel-dominated coastline in the Central Canadian Arctic Archipelago. J Coastal Res, 28: 421–441

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wu T, Hou X Y, Xu X L. 2014. Spatio-temporal characteristics of the mainland coastline utilization degree over the last 70 years in China. Ocean Coast Manage, 98: 150–157

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wu T, Hou X Y. 2015. Spatial-temporal characteristics of coastline in Jiaozhou Bay during the period of 1944–2012 (in Chinese). Sci Technol Rev, 33: 28–34

    Google Scholar 

  • Xu J Y, Zhang Z X, Zhao X L, Wen Q K, Zuo L J, Wang X, Yi L. 2013. Spatial-temporal analysis of coastline changes in northern China from 2000 to 2012 (in Chinese). Acta Geogr Sin, 68: 651–660

    Google Scholar 

  • Yildirim U, Erdogan S, Uysal M. 2010. Changes in the coastline and water level of the Aksehir and Eber Lakes between 1975 and 2009. Water Resour Manag, 25: 941–962

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang K, Douglas B C, Leatherman S P. 2004. Global warming and coastal erosion. Clim Change, 64: 41–58

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang X H, Sun X M, Yin P, Liu J, Ye S Y, Xia Z, Wang Z L. 2015. Sustainable development of coastal zone based on integreted geologcal investigation (in Chinese). Mar Geol Front, 31: 1–8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhu G R, Xu X G. 2011. Research review on environmental effects of land reclamation from sea (in Chinese). Ecol Environ Sci, 20: 761–766

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhu G R, Xu X G. 2012. Annual processes of land reclamation from the sea along the northwest coast of Bohai bay during 1974 to 2010 (in Chinese). Sci Geogr Sin, 32: 1006–1012

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhu X H, Cai Y L. 2004. Study on fractal dimension of Chinese coastline and its character (in Chinese). Adv Mar Sci, 22: 156–162

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhuang Z Y, Liu D Y, Liu C D, Hu G L, Wang L. 2008. Coastal topography survey and mapping (in Chinese). Mar Geol Lett, 24: 25–32

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to XiYong Hou.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hou, X., Wu, T., Hou, W. et al. Characteristics of coastline changes in mainland China since the early 1940s. Sci. China Earth Sci. 59, 1791–1802 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-016-5317-5

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-016-5317-5

Keywords

Navigation