Category Archives: Erosion

Rising Pacific Seas Linked to Climate Change: study

tahiti beach erosion
Photograph: © SAF


Sea levels in the southwest Pacific started rising drastically in the 1880s, with a notable peak in the 1990s thought to be linked to human-induced climate change, according to a new study.

The research, which examined sediment core samples taken from salt marshes in southern Australia’s Tasmania island, used geochemistry to establish a chronology of sea level changes over the past 200 years.

Read Full Article, AFP

Panel Rejects Plan for Matunuck Retaining wall, Rhodes Island

matunuck beach
East Matunuck State Beach, RI. Photo source: ©© Johnmcq


A state environmental panel has rejected plans by South Kingstown officials to build a 200-foot retaining wall to protect the only road leading in and out of Matunuck, RI, from beach erosion.

Several environmental groups opposed the roadside seawall, saying it would add to the erosion problems…

Read Full Article, AP / Boston Globe

Oceanic Islands’ Topography and Erosion Impacts on Ecosystems

Hawaii. Photograph: © SAF


Oceanic islands are born, they grow, they are eroded and they disappear beneath the sea. Throughout this process, which takes millions of years, the islands change form and therefore change their ‘tenants’.

The species adapt to the new environmental conditions, occupy empty niches, specialise and become exclusive. In the case of the youngest islands with high mountainous ecosystems, the endemic ecosystems increase…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Chilean Court Approves Huge Patagonia Dam

“For rivers, against dams”. This expression of support for rivers, not dams, was spray painted on a wall in Caleta Tortel. Many of the towns in this region, including Caleta Tortel, would be adversely affected by the HidroAysén dam project. Photo source: ©© International Rivers


Chile’s Supreme Court Wednesday removed the last legal obstacle to building a giant $2.9 billion hydroelectric complex in the Patagonian wilderness, rejecting a bid by environmentalists to block it.

The highly controversial project, which environmentalists say will wreck a unique and pristine habitat in the southern tip of South America, sparked violent protests last year.

The highest legal authority in Chile rejected seven appeals filed against Project HidroAysén, which plans to build five dams, flooding 6,000 hectares. The government had approved the project last year but the case was taken to the supreme court after objections were raised over the environmental impact study…

Read Full Article, AFP / in Terra Daily

Chilean court rejects opposition to Patagonia dam, Guardian UK

Site of first proposed dam on Pascua River, Patagonia.
Few people in the world have ever seen the pristine, and one of Chile’s most powerful, 62-kilometer Pascua River, which until as recently as 1898 was completely unknown to European settlers. The HidroAysén dam project propose to build five massive dams in Aysén (Region XI) that would together generate some 2,750 MW of electricity – roughly equivalent to 20 percent of Chile’s current overall generating capacity. Three of those dams are slated for the Pascua. The other two would be built along the Baker River, Chile’s most voluminous, which is located farther north.Captions: Benjamin White. Photo source: ©© Gary Hughes / International Rivers

Sand Mining Throughout Coastal Liberia

The return of the sand collector. Captions and Photo source: ©© Jeremy Weate


Sand Mining: Do We Want a Repeat of Buchanan Throughout Coastal Liberia?

“The city of Buchanan, Liberia, is gradually being swept away by sea erosion; and if nothing is done about it, Buchanan will one day be nothing but a memory. The government, through its Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (LM&E), should do a comprehensive study of that situation and make recommendations as to how the city can be saved before it is too late.

But there is an even more serious matter that should claim the urgent attention of the LM&E. It is the issue of sand mining in Monrovia and its environs.

In an article entitled “The Effects of Sand Mining on the Liberian Coast,” Liberian Observer environmental columnist, warned that the government might be “compelled to spend millions of dollars to combat sea erosion if care is not taken.” As much as sand is needed to meet human needs, it requires “efficient and effective resource management to ensure sustainable development.”

The article called for the collective effort of policy makers, sand contractors, engineers, traditional rulers and local residents to find a preventive solution to what the author called “the impending environmental danger.”

All stakeholders, said the author, have to ensure that sand mining “is conducted in a responsible manner.” The reason: depletion of sand in the streambed and along coastal areas causes the deepening of rivers and estuaries (wide tidal mouths of rivers).

Uncontrollable sand mining could also lead to salt water intrusion inland. More over, and perhaps even more dangerous, uncontrolled sand mining could affect the sea level rise…”

Read Full Article, Liberian Observer

Liberia: Sand Mining Worries Citizens, All’Africa

Unabated Illegal sand Mining And The Danger it Poses

Shrinking Britain will force land to be abandoned to the sea

Eroding Chalk cliffs, Dover, UK. Photo source: ©© sipazigaltumu


Geologists take the long view, which can lead to some striking thoughts, and here is one: Britain is shrinking. As the waves crash onto the shores of this island, the rock is worn away or falls off in chunks, and, as the adage goes, they are not making land any more in Britain…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK

This Shrinking Land: Climate Change and Britain’s Coasts

Britain Ranks Top Risks Posed by Climate Change
Beaches and historic coastlines are likely to be reshaped by coastal erosion, with the rate expected to increase fourfold, a new report says.

Sinking England. a National Geographic Video
All may seem calm on the beautiful stretches of british coastline, but there is a battle being fought on the beaches of Britain. It’s a fight for survival against the mighty forces of the North Sea…

Tsunamis in the UK

Energy Companies Pledge to Measure Impacts of Large Dam Projects ?

Indigenous people shown leaving Bato Kelau village for the last time due to construction of the Bakun Dam in Malaysia. Photo source: ©© International Rivers


The sixth World Water Forum (held this year in Marseille, France from March 12-17) the world’s largest meeting devoted to water – is to create solutions to the water, energy, and food challenges presented by climate change and economic growth.

But critics say new scorecard to evaluate social and environmental impacts of hydropower projects serves dam builders not local communities and denounced the protocol as an attempt to “greenwash” the industry.

“The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP), proposes to replace the “best practice” recommendations of the World Commission on Dams with a voluntary, non-binding scorecard that allows dam builders to assess the social and environmental performance of each other’s projects. HSAP is more about protecting the right to build large dams than protecting the rights of the millions of people who depend on rivers for their daily needs. It is conceivable that HSAP could be used to greenwash some of the world’s most destructive dams…”

The Bakun Dam in Malaysia. Photo source: ©© Mohamad Shoox

Read Full Article, The Guardian UK

Dam Greenwashing Flows at World Water Forum, International Rivers

EDF confirms commitment to HSAP, International Water

Controversial dam projects – in pictures

Dubai’s Staggering Growth

Uploaded by NASA / EarthObservatory on Jan 17, 2012


To expand the possibilities for beachfront development, Dubai undertook a massive engineering project to create hundreds of artificial islands along its Persian Gulf coastline.

Built from sand dredged from the sea floor, and protected from erosion by rock breakwaters, the islands are shaped in recognizable forms such as palm trees. As the islands grew, so did the city.

The above video includes satellite images showing the growth of Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates, between 2000 and 2011.

Taken by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite, the false-color images were made from visible and infrared light. Bare desert is tan, plant-covered land is red, water is black, and urban areas are silver.

In 2000, the area was nearly entirely undeveloped. By 2011, whole city blocks had sprung up. Offshore, the first palm-shaped island, Palm Jumeirah, reached completion.

Environmental Impacts of The Palm Islands Construction
The construction of the Palm Islands and The World, for all Nakheel’s attempts to do otherwise, have had a clear and significant impact on the surrounding environment. It would be impossible to introduce a change of such magnitude to an established ecosystem and not anticipate any negative changes or reactions in the area’s wildlife and natural processes. The construction of the various islands off the coast of Dubai has resulted in changes in area wildlife, coastal erosion and alongshore sediment transport, and wave patterns. Sediment stirred up by construction has suffocated and injured local marine fauna and reduced the amount of sunlight filtered down to seashore vegetation. Variations in alongshore sediment transport have resulted in changes in erosion patterns along the UAE coast, which has also been exacerbated by altered wave patterns as the waters of the Gulf attempt to move around the new obstruction of the islands.

The World is sinking: Dubai islands ‘falling into the sea,’ The Telegraph
The “World”, the ambitiously-constructed archipelago of islands shaped like the countries of the globe, is sinking back into the sea, according to evidence cited before a property tribunal. Their sands are eroding and the navigational channels between them are silting up…

Palm Islands, Satellite Images, NASA
Along the coast of Dubai—one of several emirates comprising the United Arab Emirates—are human-made islands. From south to north, the artificial island sites in this image are Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Jumeirah, The World, and Palm Deira. Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Jumeirah appear largely complete in this image, looking like giant palm trees enclosed in huge arcs.

Slipping Sands Of Time Hit Dubai’s World, Time Magazine
The World islands off the coast of Dubai are sinking. The development, consisting of 300 islands, was designed to look like the countries of the globe when seen from above (or from the top of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building onshore in the city). The islands were intended to become luxury hotel complexes and private properties, each tailor-made to suit its owners…

Coastal Erosion Threatens Evolutionary Hotspots, Green Prophet
A shoreline expert is concerned about the toll construction and shoreline projects are having on the world’s marine ecosystems. Looking at the intensive construction projects ongoing in the Gulf region, such as Dubai’s The World, and over-pumping of aquifers by the Palestinian and Israeli authorities, Berne sees the current management of shorelines as a disaster. In an interview with Green Prophet, Berne points out the problems in the Middle East and gives alternative solutions, such as offshore ports powered by solar energy, to stop soil erosion and habitat loss…

White cliffs of Dover suffer large collapse, UK

The White Cliffs of Dover form part of the British coastline facing the Strait of Dover, and France. The cliffs are part of the North Downs formation. The cliff face, which reaches up to 350 feet (110 m), owes its striking façade to its composition of chalk accentuated by streaks of black flint. Captions: Wikipedia. Photo source : ©© Sipazigaltumu


A large section of the white cliffs of Dover has collapsed into the English Channel following a “substantial” rockfall, according to the coastguard.

“There isn’t any physical warning beforehand. When it happens, it just happens.”

Read Full Article, Guardian UK

WATCH: a BBC Video

Britain Ranks Top Risks Posed by Climate Change, AP
Beaches and historic coastlines are likely to be reshaped by coastal erosion, with the rate expected to increase fourfold, a new report said …