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Changes in the Coastline of the Bohai Gulf, China – April 29th, 2013

38.8N 119.7E

April 29th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Sediments

China – April 29th, 2013

The evolution of a coastline reflects the influence of geology, rivers, climate, tides and sea level changes. Bohai Gulf, visible here with a strong presence of sediments, is the core region of the China Bohai Bay economic circle, so the research of coastline changes and the driving forces is of great importance for socio-economic sustainable development and regional environmental protection.

By analyzing spatial and temporal coastline changes and the driving forces behind them, scientists have shown a dramatic increase in the proportion of artificial coastlines over the past thirty years, as well as increases in coastline length.

As a result of coastline changes, land area increased by 760 square kilometers during 1979-1989, 424 square kilometers during 1989-2000 and 608 square kilometers during 2000-2010. Due to coastal erosion, however, there were 66.2, 77.5 and 28.3 square kilometers of land lost during the years of 1979-1989, 1989-2000 and 2000-2010 respectively.

Scientists have also observed that the driving forces for coastline changes have significant temporal heterogeneity: in the period of 1980 to 1990, the main driving force for coastline change was estuary sedimentation, especially in the Yellow River estuary, while the main driving force was tidal flat reclamation for aquaculture during 1990 to 2000, and the driving force for coastline change in the last decades has been the interaction of aquaculture and port construction (click here for more information).

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