Coasts in Crisis
Research Questions on Coastal Processes
- How do the prevailing winds, waves, tides, and seasonal weather patterns affect coastal environments?
- What are the sediment sources, sediment volumes, and rates of sediment movement into, out of, and within coastal areas?
- What biologic communities inhabit specific coasts? How do they affect (and how are they affected by) sediment movement?
- What short-term and long-term factors and processes control the movement of sediment and changes to the coastal sediment budget?
Research Questions on Short-term Coastal Events
- How often do major storms strike specific sections of the coastline?
- What are the geologic effects of these storms-extent of flooding, height of storm surge, sediment mixing in estuaries and bays?
- What are the effects on coastal sediments-erosion, deposition, changes in the sediment budget?
- Can these movements of water and sediment be quantitatively predicted for storms of specific strength and duration?
- Which effects of storms are permanent and which are temporary?
Research Questions on Long-term Changes in Water Levels
- Can paleoclimate studies help us to predict future global climate change?
- How has global sea level changed throughout geologic and historic times? What factors have determined these changes?
- For specific sections of the coast, are changes in relative water level significant on a local or regional scale?
- What effects will future changes in water level, global and local, have on coasts and development in the coastal zone?
- What is the current rate of worldwide sea-level change? Can we predict future changes with confidence?
- Are lake-level changes cyclic, and can we predict their magnitudes, frequency, and duration?
Research Questions on Human Involvement Along Coasts
- What are the qualities and quantities of construction materials (sand, gravel, and shell), metals (gold, titanium, and so on), and potable water resources?
- What effects do groins, jetties, breakwaters, seawalls, revetments, levees, and other engineering structures have on coastal processes?
- Can mitigation techniques, such as the mechanical transport of sediment trapped by jetties at tidal inlets, be designed to reduce downdrift erosion caused by engineering structures?
- How are buildings, roads, bridges, pipelines, and other infrastructure affected by coastal processes?
- What long-term effects does the damming of rivers have on the sediment budget of coastal areas?
- What effects does the withdrawal of underground fluids and minerals have on sediment compaction and local subsidence?
- How are contaminated sediments and pollutants dispersed in the coastal zone? What is their ultimate disposition in the coastal environment?
- How are ground-water resources affected by dredging of navigation channels, mining of minerals, and waste disposal in the coastal zone?
|Maintained by J.M. Watson||https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/c1075/questions.html||Last updated 9.11.97|