Introduction to Coastal Environments and Global Change

Gerd Masselink, Roland Gehrels

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The coast represents that region of the Earth's surface that has been affected by coastal processes, i.e. waves and tides, during the Quaternary geological period (the last 2.6 M years). To provide the theoretical framework and the scope of this book, this introductory chapter first discusses the dominant paradigm for coastal research ('morphodynamics'). This is followed by a summary of the dominant elements of climate change relevant to the coastal zone. Finally, the chapter focuses on a scale from simple to complex, different types of models: conceptual, empirical, behaviour-oriented, and process-based morphodynamic models. The examples used to illustrate the different modelling approaches all pertain to the same coastal process: the response of barrier systems to storms and sea- level rise.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoastal Environments and Global Change
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781119117261
ISBN (Print)9780470656594
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2015


  • Climate change
  • Climate models
  • Coastal environments
  • Coastal morphodynamics

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