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What Causes Beach Erosion

Beach erosion, also called coastal erosion, causes wearing of the land around coastal areas. It is not only a problem for animals and plants that rely on this habitat, but it is also a major problem where population centers are located near the ocean. In fact, whole houses in certain parts of the world have collapsed into the sea because of erosion. There are both natural and human causes for beach erosion and these causes to differ depending on the location.

What causes beach erosion?
There are a variety of causes beach erosion. The following are some of the most common causes.

Natural causes
The most common cause of natural beach erosion is from the action of the wind and waves. Over long periods of time these can erode the coastline, but this process may occur faster if a significant weather event, such as a hurricane, impacts the area. It is also believed that rising sea levels may cause erosion by creating alternative tidal patterns.

Human intervention
The dredging and/or widening of rivers, creation of manmade ocean features (such as jetties and rock walls) and construction along the coastline, are some of the most common manmade causes of beach erosion. Each has a different impact on the area, but many human causes of coastal erosion disrupt the natural flow of water and can create irregular sediment deposition. Unfortunately, even some attempts to fix beach erosion can actually make the problem worse.

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