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date: 22 May 2024

Two Millennia of Natural and Anthropogenic Changes of the Polish Baltic Coastlocked

Two Millennia of Natural and Anthropogenic Changes of the Polish Baltic Coastlocked

  • Andrzej Osadczuk, Andrzej OsadczukUniversity of Szczecin
  • Ryszard Krzysztof BorówkaRyszard Krzysztof BorówkaUniversity of Szczecin
  •  and Joanna Dudzińska-NowakJoanna Dudzińska-NowakUniversity of Szczecin, Institute of Marine and Environmental Sciences Research Group of the Geomorphology and Remote Sensing of the Coastal Zone

Summary

Changes of the coast are a net result of morphodynamic processes driven by changes in external conditions. Morphodynamics can be understood as feedback between shore topography and hydrodynamics, the latter including bedload transport, which alters the morphology of the coast.

The evolution of a marine coast can take various pathways depending on the time scale, shoreline length, geological setting, tectonic underpinnings, type and availability of sediments in the nearshore zone, sea level changes, intensity of waves and currents, and the influence of the adjacent land masses.

A spatio-temporal approach (processes of millennial, decadal, annual, and seasonal change) is particularly important for coastal areas built of erosion-prone, poorly consolidated glacial and postglacial deposits. This is the case of the southern Baltic Sea coast where the shore has been and continues to be impacted by geological processes, climatic factors, and anthropogenic activities. The processes involved are shaped primarily by external factors such as wind–wave action, currents, storm surges, precipitation, winter ice cover, and gravitational mass movements. The shoreline response to climate change depends on both the nature of the change and the coastal zone characteristics. Long-term climate changes result in sea level changes. The sea level rise resulting from global warming enhances coastal erosion, particularly where the shore is built by poorly consolidated rocks and deposits.

Coastal zones are usually very sensitive to all the external forces, therefore climate change will most likely be the strongest driver and will be the first to impinge on the coast, whereas the most distant changes in the oceans may produce effects delayed by decades or even centuries.

Subjects

  • Climate Impact: Extreme Events
  • Climate Impact: Sea Level Rise
  • Climate of the Baltic Sea Region

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