Coastal Problems: Geomorphology, Ecology and Society at the Coast, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Coastal Problems

Geomorphology, Ecology and Society at the Coast, 1st Edition

By Heather Viles, Tom Spencer


360 pages

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As coastal populations burgeon, problems of erosion, pollution and coastal change are becoming ever more serious and necessitate scientifically informed management strategies. This authoritative new study discusses the causes of, and possible solutions to, some of the more pressing problems at the coast, against a background of the natural geomorphological and ecological workings of coastal environments.

A holistic approach to the understanding of coastal problems is suggested, which integrates geomorphology, ecology and society through a consideration of the basic processes at work. Coastal problems are caused by both human and natural impacts, often working in conjunction with each other; thus drawing on their wide experience of temperate and tropical coasts the authors consider all types of coastal problems, ranging from those produced entirely naturally to those where the human impact dominates. Extensive use is made of case studies drawn from around the world, from beach erosion along the Nigerian coast to the recovery of the Vietnamese mangroves from war damage. A major theme of the book is that, given recent downgrading of predictions of future sea level rise, it is the distinctive geomorphological, ecological and societal aspects of each coast which are the vital factors.

'Coastal Problems' brings together material vital to any attempts to understand and manage our coasts and will be of interest to all those concerned with the environment and its management.


Recommended highly as a text that offers new dimensions in the study of applied coastal science.
Progress in Physical Geography

An excellent addition to any undergraduate or introductory course related to coastal environments. A fine introduction to the wide variety of coastal ecosystems.
Coastal Management

An exciting and highly readable synthesis of both the science of coastal problems and the interactions with society.

A wealth of references is cited.

Chapters are profusely illustrated with excellent line diagrams and with photographs. Overall, this is of immense value to all concerned with the coast whether as academics and students or as managers and decision-makers.

Table of Contents

The coastal context
How coasts work
Sandy coastlines: beaches and dunes
Rocky coasts: cliffs and platforms
Coastal wetlands
Coral reefs
Cold coasts
Managing the coast: coping with coastal problems.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography