Response of natural, modified and artificial sandy beaches to sea-level rise

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Sandy beaches occur in a wide variety of environmental settings and as components of a 13 diverse range of coastal system types. These variations among beaches lead to significant 14 differences in their mesoscale (multi-decadal, km length scale) behaviour, including their 15 response to sea-level rise. In addition to this natural variability, the degree to which the 16 sandy beach system has been or will be modified by humans is a major influence on how it
17 responds to sea-level change. From a spectrum of beach types based on the degree of 18 human modification, three situations (Natural, Modified and Artificial beaches) are 19 considered in order to demonstrate the role of humans as geomorphic agents as sandy 20 beaches respond to rising sea level. The potential trajectories of change are assessed, and 21 future scenarios are presented and discussed. Natural beaches are most likely to survive
22 sea-level rise, while the fate of artificial beaches depends almost entirely on the politics and 23 economics of what lies immediately landward. In all categories of beach, human decision-making is the most important determinant of sandy beach response to sea-level rise.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCuadernos de Investigación Geográfica
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Jan 2022


  • sandy beach
  • sea-level rise
  • human impact


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