Question: Sea erosion as a serious disaster threat has amplified in recent times. Highlight the reasons for its occurrence and measures to contain its impact.
Answer: Sea erosion or coastal erosion is the loss or displacement of land, or the long-term removal of sediment and rocks along the coastline due to the action of waves, currents, tides, wind-driven water, waterborne ice, or other impacts of storms.
Reasons for sea erosion
- Sealevel rise
Sea level rise due to global warming and ice melting is assumed to have detrimental effect on sea erosion. The high sea level waves have larger velocity and amplitude, resulting in sea water entering into land more often than not.
- Anthropogenic activities
Human activities such as excessive sea mining, sand extraction, and degradation of coastal ecosystem can enhance erosion activity. Natural sea barriers such as reefs and mangroves are destroyed, leading to higher intensity of sea waves.
Effects of sea erosion
People staying near sea shore are at risk of losing their homes to rising sea. Infrastructure such as roads, buildings etc can also be destroyed.
- Degradation of agricultural land
Agricultural land at the vicinity of sea plains can be destroyed due to incoming sea. The salts get accumulated on these lands, making them not suitable to grow new crops
Measures to contain sea level rise
- Controlling Climate change
Since climate change has a large impact on sea erosion, reversing its effect can lead to some respite. Controlling greenhouse gases and preventing pollution can also help in avoiding sea erosion in future.
- Sustaining and developing mangroves
Mangroves are natural barriers against sea erosion. They absorb the energy of waves and reduce its erosion capacity. Planting mangrove plantations has proved to be a successful idea to stop erosion activities.
- Artificial Embankments
Modern engineering techniques have proven effective in reducing sea erosion. Use of techniques such as embankments, breakwater, sea dams have proven to be an good solution.