Coastal Processes

The coast is a dynamic environment, constantly changing due to winds and waves, and the effects of tides and currents.

Long-term changes can occur as the coast is affected by climate change (for example, El Niño/La Niña and global warming), fluctuations in sea level (glacial changes) and the action of humans.

Changes can’t always be seen straight away but they can often be felt!

  • Have you ever stood on the beach on a windy day and felt the sand stinging the back of your legs? This is an example of a changing coastline caused by wind.
  • Have you been dumped in the surf and had your bathers fill up with sand? This is an example of a changing coastline caused by water.