The Natural Process
Erosion is when wind, water, and ice take away sediments of land. Sediment is made of rocks, dirt, and earth. Erosion by wind action occurs mostly on beaches and in deserts, because there is no continuous vegetation or plants. Wave erosion, which occurs along beaches and coasts, is caused by the impact of breaking waves on the land.
Coastal erosion occurs along beaches and shorelines. Both wind action and water action have important parts in this process and constantly change the boundary between land and water. Coastal erosion takes land away forever from one area to deposit it someplace else.
The beach is constantly pounded by waves which eventually break fragments of ground and rock into sand. How hard a beach is hit by waves depends on lunar tides and differences in water density.
There is no continuous groundcover on the beach, so sand dunes form easily. Wind blows sand particles from side to side. People sometimes build fences to keep sand from shifting so much. Eventually, the sand is blown away and water takes its’ place. The land is gone.
Things that can Effect Coastal Erosion
Seawalls force waves back to the ocean. These waves take the sand in front of the seawall and deposit it far away from land. The water in front of the seawall gets deeper and makes for bigger waves next to the shoreline, so you always have to build bigger seawalls. The sea will always win this battle because the force of water will always be stronger than any seawall.
Sand replenishment takes sand away from one place to deposit it elsewhere. People built jetties to catch sand which works great for that beach. But beaches down current will erode away because they don’t get any sand.
Levees block access to the Mississippi River and without sediments, the land can’t rebuild itself. The Delta is so heavy it sinks, and wetlands, marshes, and swamps are affected by the rise in sea level. Salt water replaces fresh water habitats.