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Coastal zone geomorphologic interactions: natural versus human-induced driving factors
Convener: Margarita Stancheva  | Co-Conveners: Andreas Baas , Hannes Tõnisson 
 / Tue, 29 Apr, 10:30–12:00  / 13:30–15:00
 / Attendance Tue, 29 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Coasts worldwide face a great variety of environmental impacts as well as increased anthropogenic pressures of coastal zone urbanization and rapid population growth. Over the last decade coastal erosion has emerged as a widespread problem that causes shoreline retreat and irreversible land losses. The attempts of managers and other stake holders to cope with erosion using different types of hard engineering methods may often aggravate this problem, damaging natural landscape and coastal ecosystems in unexpected and unpredicted ways. Other negative impacts of human activities on littoral environments are chronic and punctual pollution of beach and coastal sediments with associated health risks for human beings. Chronic pollution is often observed in coastal areas close to factories, industries and human settlements - because of waste water discharges, punctual contamination is often linked to beach oiling.

The session gives priority to the subjects of coastal geomorphology: evolution of coastal landforms, coastline alterations and various associated processes in the coastal zone, e.g. waves and sediment transport, which shape coastal features and cause morphological changes. Contributions to this session will focus on the mechanisms responsible for coastal erosion and shoreline behaviour (advance or retreat) and will address the many natural and anthropogenic factors involved. The topics may include work on predictions of shoreline change and discussions on the effects of human activities and their continuing contribution to coastal changes. Studies related to the most crucial coastal zone issues with emphasis on ICZM aspects are also welcome: impacts of global climate changes, associated with severe storms, sea level rise and flooding, low-lying coastal territories, progress of coastal erosion and degradation of sandy beaches. The session will also cover submissions on coastal vulnerability to the combined effects of natural and human-related hazards, any type of coastal and environmental sensitivity classifications, and risk assessments.

This session is sponsored by the Commission on Coastal Systems (CCS) of the International Geographical Union.

Public information: The session is sponsored by the Commission on Coastal Systems (CCS) of the International Geographical Union (IGU). The CCS encourages and promotes the studies on coastal systems throughout the world as focusing on both human and physical factors, and the fields of crucial issues such as sea-level rise, land-use changes, estuarine resources, coastal tourism and shoreline development, coastal recreation, and coastal zone management. Newsletters and announcements of the CCS can be found at the website: We believe this is a great opportunity to foster the exchange of knowledge on coastal geomorphology and to strengthen links within coastal community.