Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

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


  • William T. FoxEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93806-6_48

In his study of the erosion of steep cliffs around Huntington Sound in Bermuda by excavating sponges, Neumann (1966) defined the term bioerosion as the removal of consolidated material or lithic substrate by direct action of organisms. Soon after the term, bioerosion, was introduced, geologists and biologists described many different types of bioeroding organisms including algae, bacteria, foraminifera, sponges, bryozoa, annelid worms, barnacles, gastropods, bivalves, echinoderms, fish, and mammals. The process of bioerosion was also reported from many different marine and non-marine environments ranging from mountain slopes to the tops of deep sea knolls, and from rocky intertidal zones and coral reefs to the flanks of continental shelves. Bioerosion has also been reported from climatic zones extending from tropical and subtropical to the subarctic and arctic. Several different types of experiments have been devised for studying the rates of bioerosion by different types of organisms...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyCenter for Environmental Studies, Williams CollegeWilliamstownUSA