Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2005 Edition
| Editors: Maurice L. Schwartz

Erosion: Historical Analysis and Forecasting

  • Mark Crowell
  • Stephen P. Leatherman
  • Bruce Douglas
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3880-1_138


The ability to forecast future coastal positions has taken on increased importance as development along the world’s coasts has risen dramatically over the past few decades. This is readily apparent, for example, in the United States where development has transformed many small beach villages into moderately to densely populated cities. Currently, about 350,000 structures are located within 500 feet of the US open-ocean and Great Lakes coasts (Heinz Center, 2000).

Rates of coastal erosion are calculated by monitoring the location of a representative geomorphic indicator, usually the high-water line (HWL; i.e., wet-dry boundary) or bluff line, over a specified time frame. Rates are obtained by measuring the location of two or more shorelines (hereinafter the term “shoreline” generally refers to the “high-water line,” or “bluff line,” unless noted otherwise, with no distinction made between cliff and bluff) from historical shoreline change maps. These maps are produced by...

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  1. 1.
    Coastline ChangesGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Coasts, Coastlines, Shores and ShorelinesGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cross-Shore Sediment TransportGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Global Positioning SystemsGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mapping Shores and Coastal TerrainGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    PhotogrammetryGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Crowell
  • Stephen P. Leatherman
  • Bruce Douglas

There are no affiliations available