Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2019 Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Modes and Patterns of Shoreline Change

  • Francis A. GalganoEmail author
  • Stephen P. Leatherman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93806-6_217


A mode of shoreline behavior is defined as a discrete pattern of shoreline movement identified by a recognition of a unique change in shape, a rate of movement, or a cycle of change.


It is estimated that worldwide 70% of all beaches are eroding (Bird 1985); in the United States this percentage may approach 90% (Heinz Center 2000). Nearly every developed shoreline in the United States is retreating, and the coast is on a collision course with seaside development (Morton 2003). This problem is manifest in the United States where heavily developed barrier islands are experiencing sea-level rise and beach erosion. For example, Galgano (1998) demonstrated that more than 86% of US East Coast beaches are eroding, which is adversely affecting some 25 million people who live in areas now vulnerable to coastal flooding (FEMA 2008). With property values estimated at over $3 trillion for the US East and Gulf Coast barriers, these policy decisions invariably have important...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and the EnvironmentVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth and EnvironmentFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA