Coastal Erosion Induced by Human Activities: A Northwest Bohai Sea Case Study

Chinese companies and Chinese banks are now the biggest builders and financiers of global dam building. Chinese banks and companies are involved in some 307 dams in 74 different countries, particularly in Africa and Southeast Asia, including Kamchay Dam (Cambodia), Bakun Dam (Sarawak, Malaysia), Myitsone Dam (Burma) and Merowe Dam (Sudan). Captions and Photo source: ©© International Rivers


Using mooring hydrodynamic observation, cross-shore profiles, and topographic-map and satellite-image comparisons, this study shows dramatic coastal erosion on the Qinhuangdao coast (northeast Bohai Sea, China) between 1986 and 2000, with an average retreat rate of 3.7 m/y. While the retreat rate during 1996–2003 decreased to 1.5 m/y, serious coastal erosion was found around river mouths, such as the Tang, Dai, Yang, Dapu, and Renzaohe Rivers, as well as Qilihai Lagoon, with the maximum of >7.0 m/y.

Sediment starvation induced by dams mainly caused this fast coastal retreat. Sediment flux of the Luan River, the dominant fluvial sediment source in the study area, declined to only 9.0% of the levels before the impoundment of two large dams in 1979. Sharply reduced sediment supply disrupted the stability of sediment transport as well as the beaches’ self-recovery processes after storm surges. Coastal erosion was further intensified by coastal engineering and tourism activities…

Read Full Article, Journal of Coastal Research

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