Coasts, Form, Process and Evolution



The geomorphology of coastal systems varies tremendously from sandy beaches and barriers in temperate climatic regions, to coral reefs in tropical areas. Not only do climatic conditions play a role in the development of coasts, but the boundary conditions do as well, in terms of geology and lithology (type of sediments), the processes operating in the coastal zone, the sea level history, and the degree of human impact. In addition, knowledge about the short-term process-response character of coastal systems on a time scale of days to weeks is no guarantee for understanding coastal evolution on time scales of decades, centuries, or even millennia. To write a new handbook on coastal geomorphology with an emphasis on coastal morphodynamics—defined as “the mutual co-adjustment of coastal form and process”—that covers the complex interaction of all of these aspects, and stands out well, is a major challenge to every author.