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Coastal erosion

What is it?

Coastal erosion is the specific form of wind erosion which damages coastal sand dunes. The sand dunes have little material less than 0.1 mm diameter and thus dust movement is rarely associated with this form of erosion. Loss of vegetative cover by over use of such areas allows wind to destabilise the dunes.

Land degradation - An example of coastal erosion
A Boardwalk used to minimise damage to coastal vegetation in an area of coastal erosion previously initiated by human trampling


Small areas of disturbance and sand exposure can lead to a loss of dune stability. Coastal amenity is damaged. In some cases the erosion can mobilise a dune and lead to significant damage and productive loss on adjoining land


Vegetation is essential to stabilise dune systems. The environment is harsh for plant growth (steep, low moisture holding capacity, and of relatively low fertility) and thus is quite susceptible to low levels of disturbance. Retention of vegetation by controlling trafficking and trampling is essential.
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